In honor of Earth Day, today's artist profile is about eco-artist Erwin Timmers.
Erwin has become one of the area’s leading “green artists”. Recycling, waste, the environment and how they relate to society are recurring themes in his work - all of which he blames on his Dutch heritage. Erwin’s main medium is one of the least recycled building materials; float glass or window glass, and he has had to develop new techniques to work with this material.
Originally from Amsterdam, Erwin Timmers moved to California, graduating from Santa Monica College for Design Art and Architecture in 1995. Erwin’s artwork and sculpture has always incorporated recycled materials, and often integrated lighting elements. In 1999 he came to the Washington DC area and along with a new home came a new passion: Glass - creating the perfect marriage of metal and light. Combining this with found and recycled metal, his work carries strong environmental themes.
"Love Me, Love Me Not", recycled steel, cast recycled glass, neonSeeking to further his knowledge on using recycled glass, Erwin soon found there were few local options that taught glass techniques and recycled glass processes. And with little information available, Erwin became a pioneer in the field, developing his own kiln schedules. Fate would have it that he met up with Tim Tate, who was then starting the foundations for a glass school in Washington, DC. With his experimental approach and his easygoing, accessible teaching attitude, Erwin and Tim started the Washington Glass School in 2001. Erwin developed a number of courses that integrate his love of the materials and his environmental philosophies. His sustainable design knowledge has been sought by other glass schools, and besides courses here at the Washington Glass School, he has been teaching across the country, spreading the word about eco-friendly art.
Erwin has also become a leading consultant in LEED Certified artwork. He has received multiple public art commissions and is also featured in numerous private collections. The EPA had commissioned Erwin and the Washington Glass Studio to create an educational sculpture for the courtyard at the EPA's Washington, DC headquarters.
Low-Impact Demonstration Project, Ariel Rios Courtyard, Washington, DC. Quinn Evans Architects, John Shorb Landscaping
Erwin's environmental focused artwork has found an audience, from Miami International Art Fair to local and regional art gallery shows, including and upcoming engagement at Project 4 Gallery this summer. His work showcases the possibility and beauty of recycled material, while encouraging the viewer to consider his or her environmental impact.
"What We Leave Behind" detail, 2000's
Erwin will be one of the artists featured in the upcoming LongView Gallery show Artists of the Washington Glass School: The First Ten Years.
Washington Glass School: The First 10 Years
1234 9th Street, NW, Washington, DC May 19 - June 19,2011
Artist Reception, May 19th, 6:30-8:30 PM
For other glass artist profiles