Trenton, NJ – Continuing her “Tourism Tuesday” campaign, Acting Governor Kim Guadagno today visited WheatonArts in Millville to highlight the cultural and historical significance of the glass industry, one of South Jersey’s oldest and most successful industries.
“Today’s stop is a unique chance to see artists at work in the long tradition of South Jersey’s storied glass industry,” said Acting Governor Guadagno. “This is a great opportunity to learn more about WheatonArts’ contributions to the craft.”
In 1888, pharmacist Dr. Theodore Corson Wheaton began making his own pharmaceutical bottles in a glass factory in Millville. Today, WheatonArts consists of over 60 acres with 20 buildings. The facility includes The Museum of American Glass, which houses over 7,000 historic and contemporary objects, in addition to working studios for glass, ceramics and flamework that offer space for artists and demonstrations of contemporary and traditional techniques for visitors.
“All of us at WheatonArts are grateful that Acting Governor Guadagno is including WheatonArts as a stop on her "Tourism Tuesday" visits,” said Susan Gogan, CEO and Executive Director of WheatonArts. “Cultural tourism is extremely important to our region. Acting Governor Guadagno's recognition of WheatonArts, as well as the cultural and economic benefits we provide, means so much to our community.”
South Jersey’s abundance of sand, forest, and navigable waterways makes it a natural setting for a widespread glass industry. From 1840 to 1860, nearly one-third of America’s glass was manufactured in New Jersey, with many small shops throughout Salem, Cumberland, Cape May, Gloucester, Atlantic and Camden Counties. In 1858, John Mason, a tinsmith from Vineland, revolutionized the glass container with the development of the first mason jar, made exclusively by Crowley Glassworks of Burlington County.
In recognition of the State’s numerous unique, recreational, cultural, and historical attractions, not to mention the vital role tourism plays in the State’s well-being, today Acting Governor Guadagno also signed Senate Joint Resolution 45, which designates June of each year as "New Jersey Arts, Culture, History, and Tourism Month." Primary sponsors of the joint resolution include Senators Jim Whelan (D-Atlantic) and Nia H. Gill (D-Essex and Passaic) and Assemblymembers Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen), Annette Quijano (D-Union), Nancy J. Pinkin (D-Middlesex), Gabriela M. Mosquera (D-Camden and Gloucester), Benjie E. Wimberly (D-Bergen and Passaic) and Celeste M. Riley (D-Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem).
The "Tourism Tuesday" campaign was created to help promote the diversity of New Jersey's tourism industry during the critical summer season. In March, the Christie Administration announced that New Jersey's tourism industry set a new record in 2013, generating more than $40 billion in overall tourism-related demand. Visitor spending, capital investment and general government support of tourism tallied a record of $40.4 billion, a 1.3 percent increase over 2012. Visitation in New Jersey also rose to 87.2 million in 2013, a 5.9 percent increase compared to 2012.
Anyone interested in learning more about WheatonArts’ studios, programs and fellowship opportunities or purchasing handmade glass objects should visit WheatonArts’ website at: http://www.wheatonarts.org/.
Anyone interested in learning more about the unique collection of vacation opportunities available throughout New Jersey is encouraged to visit the state's Division of Travel and Tourism website at www.VisitNJ.org.
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