27 June 2013

UK National Glass Centre at the University of Sunderland Reopens

The UK's National Glass Centre at the University of Sunderland reopens its doors this weekend (June 29/30 2013) following an ambitious £2.3m ($3.5 USD) redevelopment program.

The Centre is one of the UK’s leading institutions for contemporary glass, celebrating Sunderland’s unique glass-making heritage, presenting a rich temporary exhibition program and facilitating international level research in new approaches to glass and ceramics. This ambitious redevelopment project will allow National Glass Centre to fulfill its potential as a cultural and education venue.

The Glass Centre houses the University of Sunderland’s Glass and Ceramics Department, the International Institute of Research in Glass and the Ceramic Arts Research Centre at the University of Sunderland. The Research Gallery space will allow the Centre to showcase some of its groundbreaking work in research carried out by its students, academics and visiting artists.

The redevelopment sees a complete overhaul of the Centre’s exhibition spaces and will allow the Centre to present work by the highest caliber artists and to work in partnership with international museums and galleries. The Centre will host three major exhibitions annually and up to 15 smaller scale exhibitions in the new gallery spaces, we will also have a ‘rotating museum’ which will present a selection of high profile glass and ceramics collections on a yearly basis.
Director of the National Glass Centre, James Bustard, said: “Our vision is to be a Centre of national excellence supporting the research, teaching, production and exhibition of contemporary glass – a Centre valued by the local community in Sunderland and whose reputation across the (UK) North East region as well as nationally and internationally.”

Professor Peter Fidler, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sunderland, said: “National Glass Centre is such an important cultural venue for Sunderland and the wider North East region. That is why we took over the running of the Centre in 2010 and put forward a vision that would make it a venue with national significance.”
“We have been supported with this vision by a range of people and organizations. The redevelopment reinforces the Centre’s reputation for excellence and enables us to play a major role in the growing cultural landscape of Sunderland.”
Tim Tate and Michael Janis at the UK's National Glass Centre
Last year, Washington Glass School's Tim Tate and Michael Janis completed their Fulbright Scholar assignment at the University of Sunderland and taught at the National Glass Centre. Click HERE to jump to the University of Sunderland news article.

All of us here at the Washington Glass School are excited to see the ambitious redevelopement and wish it great success as it enters into a new era! We all agree - Glass Is More!

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