31 August 2010

Artists Covenants

Surrealist artists at Peggy Guggenheim’s New York apartment, 1942.
Front Row: Stanley William Hayter, Leonara Carrington, Frederick Kiesler, Kurt Seligmann. Second Row: Max Ernst, Amedee Ozenfant, Andre Breton, Fernand Leger, Berenice Abbott. Third Row: Jimmy Ernst, Peggy Guggenheim, John Ferren, Marcel Duchamp, Piet Mondrian.

Prof Tim Tate was asked by an arts magazine to write an article about how artists work and how they can support each other - we will have a link when the article comes out.

Below an excerpt from Tim's article on how the Washington Glass School artists work.

While reading the original article dealing with virtual guilds, it reminded me of the “Artist’s Covenant” that we follow here in our extremely busy working studio. We have almost 20 artists working out of this space - most as resident artists. We also just admitted our 4000th student in 9 years. This is an extremely active artist collective.

The over-riding manifesto in this space is the “Artist’s Covenant”. This is an intrinsic agreement by all artists utilizing our space. No one is admitted without committing it. In our case the pledge is as follows: “A Rising Tide Raises All Boats”.

To become a member here at the Washington Glass School, you must first agree to be happy for everyone’s success, not just your own. This fosters a positive air in the work environment. Jointly, each artist agrees to not only look out for their own opportunities, but also to promote the other artists in the covenant.
If there is an article being written about you, can you mention another of the studio artists? If you have a museum show, can a piece or two be a collaborative work with another studio artist? If a show opportunity comes along, can you let others know in the collective if their work is appropriate? If a collector comes and buys one of your pieces, can you then show them around the studio and introduce them to work by other artists?

None of these things costs the original artist anything. They still would have the press, still have the museum show, still have the sale, etc. They simply have increased someone else’s opportunities.

The reason for doing this is simple, beyond the pay-it-forward kismet. As each of the artist become progressively more successful, the opportunities ascribed to the entire collective also increases in number and stature. Eventually, all begin to move up the art world ladder.
Historically, there have been many such covenants; such as the groups that surrounded artists Georgia O’Keefe and Joseph Cornell (though he seemed to incidentally benefit from the New York Surrealists movement).

To stay completely positive towards all others successes when we ourselves are not moving forward is tougher than it may seem. Without these unwritten contracts, artists can fall too easily into a solitary guarding of personal turf.

The benefits to this approach are immediately evident in the feel of the working studio…where all things are possible and the sky’s the limit. Being connected to a group like this provides a sense of community within a profession that is inherently individualistic. The long term benefit is the synergy created accelerates the success its members.

28 August 2010

Arts On Foot

Centered around 7th St & F St NWWashington, DC 20001

Marking its 18th anniversary, Arts on Foot is a multimedia Festival that kicks off the fall arts season in Downtown DC’s Penn Quarter. Incorporating visual art, music, theatre, dance, film, and creative cuisine, it’s an interactive celebration the whole family will enjoy. With a lively outdoor street festival as its centerpiece, Arts on Foot also sets you in the midst of the city - handy to also explore the neighborhood’s museums, theaters, galleries, cultural organizations, and shops. The Washington Glass School will have a booth in this art fair - come on down and visit some of the artists from the school!
Wednesday, September 8 - Friday, September 10, 11:00am to 7:00pm daily.
The festival is Saturday, September 11 from 11:00am to 6:00pm.
For more information, including the official program, visit http://www.artsonfoot.org/.

26 August 2010

WGS at Pilchuck

Our Elizabeth Ryland Mears and Robert Kincheloe are off setting up a residency at the famed west coast glass school Pilchuck.

The Professional Artists in Residency (PAIR) offered at Pilchuck Glass School is a time for professional artists to come together and share information, expand a current series, or design a new one, to network and use the facilities that Pilchuck has to offer for an intense week of discussions, critiquing, and networking. There are no instructors as such, so each artist is responsible for designing his/her own program for the week within the structure of the larger schedule...in essence every participant is both a student and an instructor, so ideally each will be engaged in both teaching and learning.

Washington Glass School's Elizabeth Mears has organized this years program for the residency and has given us a look at the schedule:

Janis Miltenberger will be with the flamework group and will lead a discussion and demo of her approach to flameworking. Rob Kincheloe will give a presentation on the boro glass casting process that he is developing - and he will have some samples for experimentation. Kathleen Elliott will give a presentation on the John Burton Program as an example of one of the possibilities of how we can continue to grow as artists.

We look forward to their updates!
Pilchuck's beautiful wooded campus - about 50 miles north of Seattle overlooking Puget Sound.

25 August 2010

Glass Art Society Seeks 2012 Proposals

Glass Pavilion at the Toledo Museum of Art
Photo courtesy of floto + warner

The Glass Art Society Board of Directors is requesting proposals for lectures, lec-mo's, demonstrations and panels for the 2012 Toledo, Ohio conference relating to the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Studio Glass "Roots" in America.
You do not need to be a member of GAS to submit a presentation proposal.

Glass Art Society 42nd Annual Conference
Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Studio Glass “Roots” in America
Toledo, Ohio June 13-16, 2012

OCTOBER 25, 2010

Click HERE to jump to GAS' submission requirements.

22 August 2010

Digital Technologies & Contemporary Craft

An interesting article was put out by Craft Australia, Australia's craft advocacy organization: US based artist and design professor Donald Fortescue comments on recent work by craftspeople in the US which embraces digital technology. He defines the notions of sensuality, narrative and anachronism in this work and argues that digital technology is congruent with the core values of the crafts. He concludes that the challenge for artists and designers is to understand and become fluent not only with the technologies themselves but the meanings they carry with them.

"There has been an interesting trend in the last 10 years or so for many contemporary craft artists in the US to incorporate what has been called 'new' or more strictly 'digital' technology in their work. This might seem at odds with the very definition of craft practice with its emphasis on 'hand work', the primacy of the sensual and the honoring of traditions and historical precedents..."

"The crafts are often seen as outmoded and behind the times, clinging to technologies somehow inappropriate or rendered quaint by the proliferating 'new' technologies. However, clay and glass drinking vessels have been part of human culture for thousands of years. How long will the PET bottle be around for?
Similarly digital technologies while having the glamor of new and cool are arguably more distinctly artifacts of a moment in time. Technologically attuned craft artists are re-contextualizing old and new technologies and in doing so questioning the values we attribute to each."

Many of Donald's points are made using images from the
recent exhibition The New Materiality - Digital Dialogues at the Boundaries of Contemporary Craft at the Fuller Museum of Craft (Brockton, Massachusetts), including the work Virtual Novelist by Tim Tate.

Tim Tate, Virtual Novelist, 2008, Blown and Cast Glass, Electronic Components, Original Video,
Photographer: Anything Photographic

Click HERE to jump to Donald's full review.

20 August 2010

Anatomy of a Site-Specific Artwork Project

Vanderbilt University medical complex in Nashville, Tennessee, a leader in patient care, medical education, nursing education, and research, just opened its new Critical Care Tower, a 329,000-square-foot multi level addition. The University commissioned the Washington Glass Studio to create cast glass panels for the nurse’s stations on a number of floors within the new hospital.

Working with the architects on the project, the artwork commission was refined. The art panels would have to perform many duties - besides providing a screen to each floor's nurse work area, allowing light to beyond, it would also need to block the viewing of sensitive papers and office equipment, as well as being a striking sculpture that would define the entry of each floor.

Design Concept

The initial concept design for the artwork at each floor's nurse stations.

Preliminary artwork rendering layout. The inspiration was to bring a contemplative sense of nature into the hospital.

We wanted to bring the natural word into the medical center. Our goal was to give the patients and caregivers a place that felt restful – a place of healing and renewal. Our inspiration for the artwork was to have the feel of swirling masses of delicate oak, poplar, tulip, ginko and maple leaves in an autumn breeze. Each leaf is detailed, including curved stems and crisp leaf veins. The different level of the hospital would have unique swirling leaf patterns, allowing for differentiation and orientation.

One of the cast float glass panels inside the kiln.

Studio artist Nicole Puzan cleans and preps the cooled and annealed glass panel.

The kilncasting process started with making one-of-a-kind molds inside the kilns. The glass is placed atop the mold, and then fired to temperatures up to 1600 degrees F, and then annealed - over two days. The glass is then removed, cleaned and rough areas are ground and polished. As the panels were sequential, each section was mapped out and compared to each companion panel.

Typical nurse station cast artglass panel.

Typical nurse station reverse.

Detail of cast glass leaf pattern.

Front view of artwork.

View of panels showing leaf detailing.

The Washington Glass Studio artglass project team: Tim Tate, Michael Janis, Erwin Timmers and Nicole Puzan and Robert Kincheloe.

18 August 2010

Blown Out Of Proportion

Gigantic blown glass objects are a hallmark of artist John Miller.

John Miller's "Hot Stuff" exhibition at Hodge Gallery in Pittsburgh Glass Center
July 2 thru Sept 26, 2010

The Washington Glass School Blog first wrote of John when he was one of the featured artists at the 2009 Wheaton Arts Glass Weekend Relay Competition.

Click HERE to jump to a video of the relay team of Tim Tate, John Miller, Laura Donefer and Marc Petrovic.

Tim Tate, Marc Petrovic and John Miller at 2009 Wheaton Arts Glass Relay
John is an assistant professor and head of the glass department at Illinois State University in Bloomington-Normal, IL.

“Hot Stuff” features John’s Claes Oldenburg-like, over-sized goblets and glassware including martini and daiquiri glasses – some holding as much as five gallons – and some super-sized fast food from his “Blue Plate Special”.

Says John in his artist statement:
My work reflects both a love of the immediacy of the glass material and a respect for its demanding properties. Some pieces are very formal and about glass and how it moves; others envelope a sense of humor and playfulness. I am always interested in pushing the medium to its heights. My work is about control and proportion as much as it is about finding new textures and forms... While looking through images of the work of Pop artist’s from the 1960′s, something clicked for me. Previously, I had been making artwork that revolved around serious topics. I felt that this work revealed only one side of me. The predominant side of my personality is very loose and comical, but this had not come out yet artistically.
One of my main influences growing up was the silent comedy genius of Buster Keaton. Although humor was central to his art, he was intensely serious about his work. I feel our approach to the creative process is similar. Keaton managed to find a balance between his difficult life and his brilliant slapstick gags. Similarly, I try to find equilibrium between the intensity of glass blowing and the humor which can be found in art and the art making process."

Click HERE to jump to the Pittsburgh Tribune review of John's show.

Pittsburgh Glass Center
Hodge Gallery
5472 Penn Avenue

Pittsburgh, PA 15206

Tel: 412-365-2145

15 August 2010

Transitions @ Urban Glass

Urban Glass in Brooklyn, NY

Founded in 1977 as the New York Experimental Glass Workshop, Brooklyn's UrbanGlass was the first artist-access hot glass centers in the United States and is now the largest. In addition to the artist-access studio, UrbanGlass offers a program of classes, workshops and intensives at every skill level. In 2005, Washington Glass School's Michael Janis studied narrative glass techniques, which he now teaches at WGS. Next year, Urban Glass and its Robert Lehman Gallery will begin a renovation that will transform the facility into a state-of-the-art, energy efficient studio.

Robert Lehman Gallery
To capture the pivotal moment in the institutional transition, the gallery held a juried competition, titled "Transitions" and sought experimental, innovative and/or visually compelling works on a large or small scale that highlight transition: the juncture of endings, beginnings, transformations, and changes.
will be the final show to be held in the Robert Lehman Gallery until the renovation and expansion project is complete.
This group exhibition was juried by Jennifer Scanlan, associate curator, Museum of Arts & Design; Courtney J. Wendroff, visual arts director, Brooklyn Arts Council; Dave Altman, co-chair, Urbanites; and Alan Iwamura, visual artist.

Again and Again Michael Janis
21" x 21" kilncast glass, glass powder imagery, steel, 2010

TRANSITIONS: Artists of UrbanGlass
September 16, 2010 - December 22, 2010

Opening Reception: Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Time: 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Featuring work by:

Jane Bruce
Victoria Calabro
Joseph Cavalieri
Eunsuh Choi
Kanik Chung
Kelsey Harrington
Adam Holtzinger
Michael Janis
Solange Ledwith
Yuka Otani
Pamela Sabroso
Hiroshi Takizawa
Miguel Unson

UrbanGlass is located at 647 Fulton Street in the historic former Strand Theater in Brooklyn's burgeoning BAM Cultural District.

14 August 2010

DC Artist Fellowship Exhibition at Smith Farm Gallery

The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities held the opening of their exhibition of visual artists that are competing for the 2011 DCCAH Artist Fellowship at Smith Farm's Joan Hisaoka Gallery on Friday, Sept 13, 2010. Here are some shots of the gallery and the range of the artwork.

Artist Nancy Donnelly next to her flying glass birds "Trio".

Visitor contemplates Sean Hennessey's cast glass and concrete "The Measure of Value".

Top Left: Pat Goslee's "Pearling"; Below Left: Rania Hassan's mixed media "Ktog 29 (Knit Together)"; Right: Scott Brooks' "Patience".

Top Left: Elaine Langerman's "Poem/Painting #1"; Below left: Tim Tate's glass and electronic "Safe In My Nest"; Right: Michael Janis' "Altered Memories".

Left: Sondra Arkin's "Edge of Spring"; Center Top: Alec Simpson's "Postcard From Berlin"; Below Center: Kate Macdonnell's "Median"; Right: Rex Weil's "Hotland Vista #3".

Les than one third of the artists will be selected to receive the fellowship - the selection committee has their work cut out for them! The exhibition runs thru August 25.

The Joan Hisaoka Gallery
at Smith Farm Center
1632 U Street, NW, Washington DC, 20009
August 13 - 25, 2010

13 August 2010

MOG interviews Kari Russell-Pool

Marc Petrovic and Kari Russell-Pool

One of our favorite lampworkers is the lovely Kari Russell-Pool. Kari and her husband Marc Petrovic were here at DC Glass Works earlier in the year.

The Connecticut-based glass artist is in Tacoma, Washington as part of the Museum of Glass' Visiting Artist Series, in partnership with Pilchuck Glass School.

The MOG has a has an interview with Kari online - Click HERE to jump to MOG's website.

11 August 2010

Book 'Em Danno

Located in Altglen, PA, Schiffer Publishing has over 3100 titles, including books that range from Contemporary Scrimshaw to Historic Cape Cod Architecture to A Pictorial History of Cigar Box Labels. This year, Schiffer has a number of coffee-table art books on track that feature artists from the Washington Glass School.

The first book on the stands is Creative Glass by Danijela Kracun and Charles McFadden. Tim Tate's work is showcased on a number of pages, and other glass artists include Ned Cantrell, Bandhu Scott Dunham, Judith Schaechter, Diego Tolomelli, and Ian Sheldon, along with over 100 other artists and 582 color photos.

Other Schiffer artbooks that include WGS artists scheduled to be out in the coming year include: 100 Mid Atlantic Artists, Recycled Glass Sculpture and Design, Steam Punk, Art Glass Today and 100 Washington, DC Artists.

Looking to get busy with some books!

09 August 2010

DC Commission On The Arts & Humanities AFP Exhibition

The DCCAH announces the 2011 Artist Fellowship Program (AFP) exhibition, opening this coming Friday. The DC Commission AFP offers grants to individual artists who make a significant contribution to the arts and who strive to promote the arts in the District of Columbia. This year's show is held at the Smith Farm Gallery on U Street. Interestingly, about a half dozen of the artists in the fellowship show are included in Lenny Campello's book on Washington DC artists - the book that has created a bit of controversy regarding the press coverage that has surrounded the yet-to-be-published tome.

Exhibition Details:
Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery at Smith Farm Center
1632 U St NW
Washington, DC
Opening Night:Friday, August 13, 2010 at 6:00pm
Gallery Hours: Wed. – Friday 11am-5pm, Sat. 11am-3pm
Exhibition Closes: Wednesday, August 25th, 2010, 5pm

For more information, contact Moshe Adams at moshe.adams@dc.gov or (202) 724-5613

Exhibiting Artists include:
Adam Davies, Alec Simpson, Alexandra Silverthorne, Andrew Wodzianski, Anna U. Davis, Beatrice Delmonte, Bernard Smith, Bruce McKaig, Colin Winterbottom, Cory Oberndorfer, Dana Jeri Maier, Daniel Brooking, Donald Benjamin, Elaine Langerman, Elizabeth Wyrsch, Gediyon Kifle, James Brown Jr., James L. Hicks II, Jason Haber, Jenna Buckingham, Jenny Walton, Joanne S. Kent, John James Anderson, Joshua Cogan, Joshua Yospyn, Judy A. Southerland, Katharine MacDonnell, Kenneth George, Lely Constantinople, Leslie Talusan, Anne Marchand, Marta Perez Garcia, Michael Dax Iacovone, Michael Janis, Nancy Donnelly, Nicole Aguirre, Patricia C. Goslee, Patricia Tobacco Forrester, Patrick Michael Beldio, Peter Dueker, Rachel Beamer, Rania Salah Hassan, Rex Weil, Rik Freeman, Roderick Turner, Scott G. Brooks, Sean Hennessey, Sheila Crider, Sondra N. Arkin, Terrance E. Biddle, Tim Tate

The Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery at Smith Farm Center

1632 U St NW, Washington DC, 20009


08 August 2010

Working in the Studio - Tim Tate

Seasonal Changes by Tim Tate
photography by
Anything Photographic

Glass-meister Tim Tate is working on some new series for SOFA Chicago in November. Here is a sneak peak at some of the works he is completing.
Tim's series "Seasonal Changes" incorporates cast and blown glass, electronics and videos. Mr Tate has been working non-stop on work for this and a number of other major shows - keep posted for pics of some of his other projects as they complete!

Spring Awakening
Blown and Cast Glass, Electronics, Video
18 x 7 x 7
Inside are cast glass sprouting crocus bulbs. On the top finial is a bouquet of cast glass flowers. The video is a time lapse of flowers opening and closing.
Autumn Transformations
Blown and Cast Glass, Electronics, Video
18 x 8 x 8
Inside are cast chrysanthemums, top finials is covered in dozens of cast glass acorns. Video is of ripe grain in a soft wind.

Autumn Transformations (detail)
Blown and Cast Glass, Electronics, Video
18 x 8 x 8

Winter Warmth
Blown and Cast Glass, Electronics, Video
18 x 8 x 8
Inside are cast glass snowflakes and pine cones. The finial is of holly surrounding a teapot. The video is a city scape of rooftops with snow falling.

Summer Dreamin'
Blown and Cast Glass, Electronics, Video
18 x 8 x 8
Inside are stacks of watering cans. Video is of light reflecting off a swimming pool

Summer Dreamin' (detail)
Blown and Cast Glass, Electronics, Video
18 x 8 x 8

03 August 2010

Changes for Gallery Neptune

Gallery Neptune
(Photos above by Mark Finkenstaedt / The Washington Post)

The DCArtNews blog has posted a letter from owner Elyse Harrison - Bethesda's Gallery Neptune is closing :
In the spirit of economic realism (but indeed not cultural nourishment), Gallery Neptune will conclude it’s seven year run this summer on August 21st.

The good news though is that elements of the gallery’s programming such as our special events will continue, as will the very important work of Studio Neptune, our 20 year old educational program. In fact, Studio Neptune is positioning itself to go non profit and add a wonderful online component that will reach out to art educators and creative people everywhere.

I want to personally thank all of you who have shown dedicated support in covering our numerous exhibits over these past years. It is truly a labor of love to run an art gallery and our two year old gallery space in the building we so carefully developed is proof that my husband and I are firmly dedicated to inspire through good design and excellent programming.

I hope you remain interested in Studio Neptune’s bounty, as we step forward this fall on our world wide journey.

Elyse Harrison

Elyse Harrison has run one of the best art venues in the area, and has worked tirelessly as an artist, educator, and gallery owner; the closing of the gallery is a sad loss for the arts community. On a personal note, as an artist, she and the gallery have provided me invaluable support and expertise in my art career. I will miss the gallery, and hope that Studio Neptune gets all the support and success it deserves.

Michael Janis