Phillip Glass

Rockford artist shares rainbow cookie visions

September 23, 2010 // 0 Comments

by BETH ALTENA When looking back on a life of accomplishments, local artist Philip Glass sees rainbows—in cookies. The long-time resident may be known for his career as an artist here. He once had a oil painting gallery in the South Squire street red kaboose now occupied by Reading Books and once painted a mural for the American Legion in honor of fallen military heroes. He designed screenprinting for t-shirts. Some people may still drink coffee from the cups he had made depicting his sketch of the Rockford dam. It is another artistic contribution that Glass still ponders, however, and it is likely little known around town. Glass believes Keebler Rainbow Cookies are the result of a vision of rainbows that came to him during a profound time in his life. Glass said about 20 years ago he was losing his vision to cataracts and feeling very emotional about the loss of his visual world. One day he looked up at a spectacular rainbow and it struck him that he may never see one again. “I made up a poem right there on the spot,” Glass recounts. He also imagined in that moment a cookie made with the colors of a rainbow and decided to submit his idea to Keebler Company. He sketched a drawing of a rainbow machine—which he still has today, crafted a letter to the company explaining his ideas and sent it in. Glass said he went about his business, which included receiving surgery to restore his vision, and later received a letter from the company. Dated November 6, 1987, the letter thanked him for his input but went on to state, “Because of the obvious misunderstandings and uncertainties which often arise from the use of ideas independently conceived, our company, as many others in the food business, has a policy of not examining or considering ideas or suggestions from outside sources unless submitted without obligation of any kind on our part.” It asked Glass to re-submit his idea with an enclosed agreement and thanked him for his interest in the company. Pursuing his cookie idea, Glass said he followed the company’s recommendation and again waited to hear from them. He received a second letter dated November 30, again thanking him for […]