About Us

Hot Glass offers a unique model in using art as a means of intervention with youth and Veterans. Teens are faced with a lack of positive activities for their age group.  Many traditional teen activities like athletics foster an adversarial relationship as competition becomes more intense and some students are left off the team.  Art provides an opportunity for teens to have success without having to compete for a spot on the team or losing a game.  At Hot Glass, students are never refused service based on their past behavior, grades, disabilities, or artistic talent. All of the youth and Veteran programs are tuition-free to the student; these are funded through grants, schools, and corporate funds. The Hot Glass concept is designed to provide youth and Veterans with a life changing experience.  In working with glass, students develop essential skills including teamwork, communication, planning and decision-making, as well as specific job related applications.  Most importantly, students learn that they have the responsibility, and the power, to shape their own futures by participating in these unique Hot Glass programs. 

Hot Glass offers a variety of classes, corporate team building events, seasonal events, and annual sales to supplement operating costs.  Funding is also provided by way of private donations, corporate donations, and grants.  All proceeds from these classes and events are used to fund our youth programs.

Hot Glass is a hands-on, non-profit organization dedicated to the instruction, presentation, interpretation, collection, documentation and preservation of the contemporary glass art movement with a special focus on team building for organizations.  The goal is to become the premier center for the advancement of glass art for the Greater Quad City Region. This “one-of-a- kind” facility will provide people of all ages (but particularly our youth and Veterans) the opportunity to experience and enjoy glass art. Hot Glass’ primary focus is to connect all sectors of our community with diverse cultural and economic backgrounds and to improve life experiences through glass art.

Photo of Joel Ryser, Founder and Executive Director

Joel Ryser, Founder and Executive Director

  • Retired teacher and Fine Arts Chair, Moline High School
  • 2014 Lloyd Schoeneman Community Impact Award Recipient
  • 2011 Dispatch-Argus Master Teacher Recipient
  • 2004 Illinois Humanities Council Studs Terkel Humanities Service Award Recipient
  • Head Football Coach, Moline High School, 2001 – 2009
  • Assistant Football Coach, Moline High School, 20 Years
Friends on the Journey
2014 Construction Volunteers and Donations
  • GETT Industries
  • Timmy Edwards
  • Tim Miner
  • Steve Reem, and the employees at GETT
  • The Electric Doctor Jeff Lanum, Steve Nelson, and Rod Borrows
  • East Moline Glass Larry Anderson, Donny Lane and Eric Moore
  • John and Quintzy Liljequist of Davenport Printing Co. Con
  • Andy Flick
  • Ostrand Decorating
  • Richard and Nick Krantz
  • Justin O’Brien
  • Rich Hillier
  • Wayne Desmet
  • Shawn Mulvaney
  • Rich Hillyer
  • Chris Welsh
  • Guardian Glass
  • Pyxis Refractories
  • Matt Bowman
  • Mike Runge
  • Mark Runge
  • Luke Bowman
  • Plumber and Pipefitters Local 25
  • JL Brady
  • Vital Signs
2018 Remodel Donations and Volunteers
  • Plumber and Pipe Fitters Local Union 25
  • Phil Davison
  • Bill Allison
  • The Crawford Company
  • Adam Isaacson
  • Scott Kochuyt
  • Joe Burkhart
  • David Fogle
  • Joe Rossi
  • Austin Wilhelm
  • Andy DeWulf
  • Skylar Davison
  • Jacob Bowman
  • Joseph Childs
  • Kyle Thiede
  • Jake Greer
  • Hempel Pipe & Supply
  • The Electric Doctor: Jeff Lanum & Steve Nelson
  • Chris Welsh Masonry
  • Linco Refractory
  • K and J Finishing
  • Doors Inc.
  • Sampson Fence and Deck Co.
  • Dale and Wilma Briggs
  • Glass Heritage & Adrian English
  • Ed Shamblin
  • Duane Brashears
  • John and Quintzy Liljequist
  • Tim Miner
  • Praxair
  • Trackside Solutions
  • Riverbend Signworks
  • ALL Equipment
  • Mark, Bub and Garrett VanOsdel
  • Quad City Arts Dollars Grant
  • Iowa Arts Council Grant
  • Regional Development Authority Grant
What People Are Saying!
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