31 December 2013

Bottoms Up! That's the Right Spirit!

Raise a toast and welcome the New Year!
Stir the eggnog, lift the toddy, Happy New Year, everybody!
The Washington Glass School wishes you joy and surprises in the new year!

30 December 2013

John Henderson at DC's "Community of Hope" Collection

John Henderson "Kadima" fused glass
Washington Glass School Resident Artist John Henderson recently had a glass artwork panel acquired by Community of Hope, a non-profit organization located in Washington D.C. For 33 years, Community of Hope has provided hope and stability to low-income and homeless adults and children in DC. This acquisition was facilitated by Fitzgerald Fine Arts, an art consulting firm headed by Lillian Fitzgerald.

John Henderson began his artistic studies at the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, at Harvard University. John’s artistic journey has taken him through printmaking, water colors, stained glass, metal sculpture, and finally kilnformed glass.
John Henderson
Said John about his glass artwork: “I use glass as my medium because of its translucency and reflective qualities…In working with glass, my focus is on shape, form, texture and color…I use many different materials mixed with glass, yet glass is the dominated focus in all its various applications and techniques.” 
“In creating this visual transparency; abstracting images, symbols and text, my work invokes a spiritual awareness and connection to the past. My aesthetic philosophy is an exploration and extension of my cultural identity. I am reclaiming and reconciling the past, with the present, in order to move forward.”
The title of the triptych piece is “Kadima”. Kadima means "Forward" in Hebrew.  The medium is fused glass and each panel measures 8"x10".
Congratulations John!

26 December 2013

The Year That Was - 2013 Review

2013 Year In Review
From beginning to end (and we’re not done yet), everyone at the Washington Glass School has been extremely busy throughout this year. We are excited to share a snapshot of what's been going on and hope it will inspire you as much as it has inspired us!
AACG website
2013 Started off right - the Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass (AACG) featured WGS' Michael Janis as the "Artist of the Month". The Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to further the development and appreciation of art made from glass.
 Erwin Timmer's sculpture made from recycled glass was selected as part of the Arlington Arts Center 's national exhibit INTERWOVEN: Art. Craft. Design.
Architect of the Capitol inspects the cast glass.
Erwin Timmers provides thrills for visiting UK artists.
The Washington Glass Studio project of designing and creating cast glass doors for the Library of Congress continued, with an inspection and review of the glass by the Architect of the Capitol. Arrangements for the International Glass & Clay exhibit - the third collaborative exhibition organized by Artomatic and the DCCAH between Washington, DC artists and artists from DC's Sister City of Sunderland, England took place in February, with the visiting artists arriving late in the month. Erwin Timmers made sure the Brits staying with him had a taste of American adventure, being caught up in a too-fast police car chase that included the escaping fugitive ramming Erwin's van. The UK artists were told that car chases and gun shootings are as common as they appear in any Bruce Willis movie.
Sister Cities Washington, DC and Sunderland, England collaborated to create an exhibition of artwork in the mediums both cities are renown for - glass and ceramics.
The International Glass & Clay opened March 1, and the show featured exhibits, lectures, workshops and talks that integrated artists from the UK and the USA.
Intl Glass & Clay opening night at Pepco Edison Gallery

This was the third collaborative exhibition organized by Artomatic, the DCCAH, Sunderland City, the University of Sunderland and the UK National Glass Centre. 

The show garnered a lot of interest from international sources. The British Council USA enlisted Michael Janis as a its US Cultural Ambassador, providing stories to the UK's blog about artist Phil Vickery and how the relationship between the two glass centers enabled Tim Tate and Michael Janis to fulfill their Fulbright Scholar assignments.
UK glass artists demo at DC GlassWorks.

Workshops by visiting artists Robyn Townsend and Criss Chaney at the glass school and hot glass demos by Roger The, Phil Vickery and Colin Rennie gave the DC glass scene lots to see and think about. 
Many of the visiting artists enjoyed brunch at Artomatic's George Koch's place.
The James Renwick Alliance (JRA) also participated in the international show,  holding a High Tea event at the Edison Place Gallery. 
Tea with the Brits and the JRA formed the closing events. Photo by Miriam Rosenthal.
The UK organizations that showed in the USA arranged to show works by the DC artists in the UK, and featured the artwork at the Sunderland Museum and the Edinburgh Art Fair later in the year. Nancy Donnelly had created 

The James Renwick Alliance's Spring Craft Weekend theme was The Stars of Today and Tomorrow. Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Renwick Gallery had master artists Bruce Metcalf and Adrian Saxe, along with Hunt Clark and Sean Hennessey, and moderator Cindi Strauss, curator of Modern and Contemporary Decorative Arts of Houston's Museum of Fine Arts in a panel discussion about the direction of contemporary craft. 
JRA Spring Craft Weekend panel discusion at the Smithsonian. Photo by Miriam Rosenthal.
Audrey Wilson
The JRA Weekend also had the Glass Fashion Show, MC'd by glass superstar Laura Donefer. Glass artists from around the country participated and modeled the sartorial splendor, including our Audrey Wilson and Susan Taylor Glasgow. 
Susan Taylor Glasgow lashes out at Michael Janis.
Nancy Donnelly completed a commissioned artwork piece for the Lewinsville Presbyterian Church in McLean, VA.

Nancy Donnelly's Baptismal Font.
Tim Tate and Sean Hennessey were included in Michigan's Habatat Gallery's International Invitational. The exhibition had over 300 works of glass art and 2 separate exhibitions.
"Radar" Tim Tate and Sean Hennessey

Erwin Timmers’ colorful eco-friendly glass sculpture was on display in the Brentwood Arts Exchange gallery’s Front Window Gallery in May. Thoughtful and ingenious, Erwin's sculpture calls attention to contemporary issues through a creative re-engineering of often-overlooked forms and concepts, often focusing on industrial salvage and recycling.
Erwin Timmers sculptures in the Front Window Gallery. Photo by Krista Schlyer.

In May, Duncan McClellan Gallery in St. Petersburg, Florida opened an exhibit centered on works by artists of the Washington Glass School.
Duncan McClellan Gallery
Called DC-5' - Works by Artists of the Washington Glass School, the show had works by Sean Hennessey, Michael Janis, Allegra Marquart, Tim Tate and Erwin Timmers. St Petersburg Museum of Fine Art hosted a talk by Sean and Tim about their works and process.
Sean Hennessey at St. Petersburg's MFA.

The American Craft Council's magazine - American Craft featured Michael Janis with a profile on his glass artwork. The huge 8 page story gave insights to his imagery and process. This issue also included work by Tim Tate, and we have learned that the April/May issue won a national publishing award - no doubt due to the WGS stories.
American Craft April/May magazine can't fit Michael's head on one page. Photo by Robert Severi.

Jumping from Sunny Florida to Glamorous Venice, Italy is a daunting task - but Tim Tate's artwork can handle the leap easily. Tangents, a show featuring works by artists Christopher Baer and Tim Tate opened on the 4th floor of the Palazzo Bembo during the Venice Biennale. June
The biennial International Symposium and Exhibition of Contemporary Glass – GlassWeekend – was hosted in June by the Creative Glass Center of America at WheatonArts and the Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass
Amy Morgan - talks about the glass sculpture in Morgan Contemporary Glass booth during GlassWeekend.
So much went on
Keke Cribbs @ GlassWeekend.

during the long weekend; a compelling keynote talk by Judith Schaechter; introduction of the 2014 "Rising Stars of Glass"; fantastic demos; looking at the candy storeof glass art, up close and personal; seeing friends, collectors and artists - it was a great time.
American University Museum's Katzen Arts Center opened Tim Tate's show "Sleepwalker". Tim's latest work has moved toward video installations. Rich in symbol, metaphor, movement, and mystery, videos, enable us to participate in another reality. The record-breaking show featured collaborations with artists Pete Duvall and Richard Schellenberg. 
"Sleepwalker" installation at American University Museum.
Washington Glass Studio was kept busy in June - creating and installing a new commissioned artwork for Kaiser Permanente's refurbished and expanded Largo, MD. medical facility. 
Erwin and Audrey install Kaiser Permanente

The Washington Glass Studio was also awarded the DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities' Public Art commission for an outdoor sculpture to be located at DC's new Unity Parkside Health Care center. The new health center is located just down the road from the Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens, a National Park Service site.
American Craft Magazine featured the collaborative team approach for the Library of Congress cast glass doors. 
American Craft Magazine June/July 2013 issue re: Library of Congress cast glass.

Big congrats went out to our expat alum Jeff Zimmer. London's  Victoria and Albert Museum, one of the world's largest museum of decorative arts and design, acquired one of Jeff's artworks for its permanent collection. Speaking of Brits - Susan Ratliff - a glass artist from the University of Sunderland - came to the Washington Glass School for a summer residency. 
Susan Ratliff helps Audrey Wilson create the 2013 DC Shorts film awards.
Penland, NC
Sean Hennessey and Tim Tate led a tour for the Penland Auction at North Carolina's Penland School of Crafts. The guys took the James Renwick Alliance (JRA) group to many of the the artist studios that surround Penland, some of the galleries of Asheville, and then to the beautiful setting in the Blue Ridge Mountains that surrounds Penland for the auction. Accompanying the group was Jennifer Scanlan, independent curator and craft scholar.
Aqualino Cancer Center
 August, the Washington Glass Studio installed art glass made for the the chapel in Shady Grove Hospital's new Aqualino Cancer Care center.

UK ceramic artist Philippa Whiteside came to next door Flux Studios to do an artist residency. UK Sunderland City Council reps came to DC to discuss future collaborative proposals and brought Philippa to the meetings with DC and UK agencies. 
Public Art talk with DCCAH
Mt Rainier's Joes' Movement Emporium hosted an exhibit and talk about how public art comes into being. "Public Art Concepts” gave the public a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to create artwork for a public space. The exhibit featured scale models and proposals for public art works and opening night featured a lively panel of participating artists and reps from funding agencies that have diverse experience in the public art arena.
Sean Hennessey
Sean Hennessy had a solo show at The Dunes Gallery in Washington, DC. His show, titled "The Luxury of Dreams" was a series of artworks based on interpretations of dreams submitted to Sean by friends, colleagues, strangers, and social media connections. Using bas-relief cast glass, painting, drawing, and photography, Sean created a strong and surreal body of works that takes his work to a new level. 
School was back in session with Professor Debra Ruzinsky's lecture on the history of the studio glass movement. Students, including a class from Salisbury University, enjoyed Deb's talk that included pre-'60s and '70s works, works by women, European glass artists, kiln casters, and narrative works - all the alternate viewpoints.
Audrey Wilson's artwork was selected as the best from the Midwest, 28 glass artworks from 21 glass artists have been selected for this year’s Indiana Glass Arts Alliance (IGAA) annual exhibition.  Titled “GATHERING: Contemporary Glass from the Heartland,” the exhibition at the Indiana University Kokomo Art Gallery. Nearly 150 applications, from 48 glass artists in six states, were reviewed by a two-member jury panel.  Tom Riley, who for 30 years has owned Riley Galleries, in Cleveland, Ohio along with glass artist and director of the glass program at Kent State University, Sean Mercer, collaborated on selecting artwork for the exhibition.
Audrey Wilson
Audrey - who will be having a solo exhibition at the Washington Glass School Gallery - opening Jan. 11, 2014 - had two works selected for the Indiana show. 
Baltimore's gallery and showroom Case[werks] opened its October Group ExhibitProduct Lines: Art & Function Delineated, featuring works of our eco-artist,  Erwin Timmers. Ceramics, furniture, glass, prints, textiles, and design samples were displayed in tableaus.
The pitter-patter of little feet could be heard in the studio - a part-time studio dog, Faygo, arrived. A gentle soul, the pup has been marking his territory in earnest, much to Erwin's dismay.
Tim Tate at SOFA.
The 20th year anniversary of the big S.O.F.A. Chicago Art show proved to be a good one for the Washington Glass School artists. The show always promises to be an overload of art, ideas, artists and extravagance, and it delivered. 
Susan Taylor Glasgow's mobile chandeliers were stunning.
Also this year, a number of talks about the future of the glass movement were held;
Glass Secessionism had a round-table talk hosted by William Warmus and Tim Tate centered on Post-Studio Glass and Glass Secessionism. This talk generated a tremendous amount of buzz during the art fair, and is the ideas generated sure to continue to reverberate thru the glass world. Clearly, this is a topic that has the ability to stir passions - expect more to come. Articles about the evolving nature of studio glass and Glass Secessionism have since been published in Urban Glass' Art Quarterly winter magazine.
Glass Secessionism panel talk at SOFA Chicago 2013. L-R Tim Tate, Perry Price, William Warmus and Jennifer Scanlan.

Audrey Wilson at CONTEXT/ Art Miami.
The winter got hot quickly - with many of the WGS artists showing at the Art Basel/Art Miami fairs. Audrey Wilson worked the fair at Alida Anderson Art Project gallery, and her artwork was among the standout pieces.
In December, we congratulated alum Jeff Zimmer on being awarded the 2014 Stephen Procter Fellowship. The international award will be taking Jeff to Australia for a residency at The Australian National University. 
Harvey Littleton, c. 1978, working at his studio in Spruce Pine, NC
December also brought the passing of the man credited with defining the start of the American Studio Glass Movement, Harvey K. Littleton. His work, his legacy of taking glass to the university, and his concepts still define much of modern glass. 
Time moves us forward, and we don't always see the end result to which our paths lead. As we look to the future, here's to keeping our 'bug eyed' sense of wonder to the medium in which we work and the people in our lives.
Best Wishes for a Great 2014 from Washington Glass School!

    24 December 2013

    Happy Holidays To All From Washington Glass School!

    Fused glass Christmas tree by Kasian and Panache Glass
    Merry Christmas and Warm (Glass) Wishes for a wonderful Holiday Season and a very Happy New Year!

    20 December 2013

    Chihuly's "Red Reeds" Acquired by VMFA

    "Red Reeds" by Chihuly. The work is the first site-specific outdoor installation by the artist to be acquired by an art museum.
    The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) board of trustees has voted to acquire the work Red Reeds, by Dale Chihuly which was created for the museum's Anne Cobb Gottwald reflecting pool. The artist created more than 100 red glass reeds as part of the Chihuly at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts exhibition, October 20, 2012- February 10, 2013. Since that time, Red Reeds has been on loan to VMFA.
    This dynamic, site-specific work by Dale Chihuly was an instant success at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts,” said Alex Nyerges, director.”It is beautiful in every season, and is a wonderful addition to the Lora Robins Sculpture Garden. I am especially pleased that this is the first site-specific outdoor installation by Chihuly to be acquired by an art museum.”
    Red Reeds was purchased with private funds from the Arthur and Margaret Glasgow fund. Private funds are always used for art acquisition, but upon purchase the work becomes the property of the Commonwealth of Virginia for its ongoing care.
    The reeds were blown by team Chihuly at the Nuutäjarvi Glass Factory in Nuutäjarvi, Finland because of the excellent clarity of glass there and to take advantage of their annealing ovens, the largest in the world. The annealing process facilitates the curing of these large-scaled elements, which are as much as 10 feet in height. Also, the red glass in Finland has a particularly brilliant quality, due to the ruby red pigment and the added chemical element neodymium.

    About the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts VMFA’s permanent collection encompasses more than 33,000 works of art spanning 5,000 years of world history. Its collections of Art Nouveau and Art Deco, English silver, Fabergé, and the art of South Asia are among the finest in the nation. VMFA’s Statewide Partnership program includes traveling exhibitions, artist and teacher workshops, and lectures across the Commonwealth. VMFA is open 365 days a year and general admission is always free. For additional information, visit www.vmfa.museum.

    19 December 2013

    Jeff Zimmer Awarded 2014 Stephen Procter Fellowship

    We are as proud as all get out to announce that WGS alum Jeff Zimmer has just been selected for the 2014 Stephen Procter Fellowship.
    The Stephen Procter Fellowship is awarded to an International Artist. It includes a residency at The Australian National University School of Art Glass Workshop and travel funds.
    Jeff has advised that he will spend 8 weeks Down Under, primarily in Canberra, but also plans on traveling around a bit, researching, making work and absorbing and sharing as much as he can. As part of the project he will connect with The Projected Image Heritage of Australia and New Zealand project at the University
    Surprise! Jeff popped into the glass school for a visit this past January.
    Previous recipients include: Mark Zirpel, Matt Szosz, Mel George, and Amber Cowan. Congratulations Jeff!

    18 December 2013

    New Online Lit/Art Journal "Posit"

    Posit magazine issue 1. Posit is the love child of literature and art
    The first issue of Posit - an online journal of literature and visual art - features (artwork by) Michael Janis as the inaugural cover boy.

    Posit was founded by Editor and author Susan Lewis and the Arts Editor is NYC based artist Melissa Stern. Susan has been the managing editor of MadHat Press, MadHat Lit, and MadHat Annual, fiction and poetry editor of Global City Review, and guest editor of Right Hand Pointing and Altered Scale. She received her MFA from Sarah Lawrence College and taught creative writing at SUNY, Purchase. Melissa Stern is a studio artist, book designer, arts journalist, and critic living in New York City and Shokan, NY. Her work is exhibited in galleries throughout the U.S. and Canada. She covers the New York art scene for CityArts and the New York Press.

    Arts Editor Melissa Stern said of the inaugural issue artwork: "For Posit 1, it is my pleasure to present the work of three artists whose work shares a sense of elegance and grace. In these galleries, Michael Janis creates sublime narratives of extraordinary depth and dimensionality through the laborious fusing of layer upon layer of glass, bringing precision and construct to a parallel universe where science and reason adhere to their own logic; while Leah Oates’ gentle layers of image and tone build mysterious photographic journeys through countryside and city; a theme taken up by Kyle Gallup’s celebration of the past and possibility of New York, from Coney Island to old theater marquees, alternately documenting a world long-gone and fashioning a fantasy of what it might have been." 

    We wish the best of luck to the new online magazine! For the journal's submission guidlines - both artwork and literature - click HERE. 

    14 December 2013

    In Memoriam: Harvey K Littleton

    We mourn the passing of the "Father" of the American Studio Glass Movement, without whom none of us glass artists would be where we are now.
    Harvey K. Littleton (1922-2013) was the seminal glass artist whose work ranged from functional vessels to sculptural forms. His father was a physicist at Corning Glass Works providing him early exposure to glass in the factories. Trained as a ceramicist, he began experimenting with hot glass in his studio in the 1950's. Through two landmark workshops and by establishing the first Studio Glass curriculum at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, he helped to bring glass out of the factory and into the artists’ studio. Harvey died on December 13, 2013, at his home in Spruce Pine, North Carolina, at the age of 91. A letter circulated by his family states that his death came "after a long decline." A private celebration of his life, and that of his wife, Bess, who died in October 2009, will be held by the family on January 11th.

    He attended Brighton School of Art in England, received his Bachelors of Design at the University of Michigan, and received his M.F.A. from Cranbrook Academy of Art.
    Harvey Littleton, left, with student Dale Chihuly, right, in 1974. Photo courtesy of Chihuly Inc.
    In his role as an educator, Harvey was an "...outspoken and eloquent advocate of university education in the arts."  He organized the first hot glass program at an American university (the University of Wisconsin–Madison) and promoted the idea of glass as a course of study in university art departments in the Midwest and northeastern United States. Several of Harvey Littleton's students went on to disseminate the study of glass art throughout the U.S., including Marvin Lipofsky, who started a glass program at the University of California at Berkeley and Dale Chihuly, who developed the glass program at the Rhode Island School of Design and later was a founder of Pilchuck Glass School in Stanwood, Washington.
    Harvey retired from teaching in 1976 to focus on his own art. Exploring the inherent qualities of the medium, he worked in series with simple forms to draw attention to the complex interplay of transparent glass with multiple overlays of thin color.

    Harvey  was married to Bess Tamura Littleton in 1947. She died on October 8, 2009.The couple had four children: Carol L. Shay, Thomas Littleton, Maurine Littleton and John Littleton. All work in the field of glass art. Carol L. Shay is the curator at Littleton Studios; Tom Littleton owns and manages Spruce Pine Batch Company, which supplies batch (the dry ingredients of which glass is made) to artists and art departments around the U.S.; Maurine Littleton is the owner and director of Maurine Littleton Gallery which specializes in glass art, in Washington, DC. With his wife and collaborative partner, Kate Vogel, John Littleton is a glass artist in Bakersville, NC.

    Harvey's work can be found in the collection of the High Museum of Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, New York, Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution, the Victoria & Albert Museum in England, amongst others.

    From our friends at the Corning Museum of Glass: Donations in Harvey Littleton’s name can be made to The Hospice and Palliative Care Center of Mitchell County that provided invaluable support to his family in the care for Harvey, and/or to the Penland School of Crafts "Harvey and Bess Littleton Scholarship Fund" that provides one full scholarship for a two-week summer session in hot glass.