Jeremy Lepisto @ The Glass School – Crikey!

L-R Sean Hennessey, Michael Janis, Jeremy Lepisto talk glass. All glass – All the time.

Ex-pat glass artist Jeremy Lepisto was in the country – teaching at nearby Vitrum Glass Studio – and he stopped in for a visit at the Washington Glass School. The Australia based artist chatted all about glass, MFA’s, the Glass Art Society, glass, Australia National University (ANU), glass art, studio space and glass gossip. Did I mention glass?

L-R Tim Tate, Jeremy Lepisto, and Vitrum Studio’s Judith Conway.
Jeremy Lepisto and Sean Hennessey talk about Sean’s cast glass & LED artwork.
Sean Hennessey’s cast glass panel.

Great to see Jeremy! And as his visit was on the anniversary of his marriage to glass artist Mel George – it was an honor to have had him by on such a special day! As they say down under, She’ll be right, Mate!

Jewel Box Gallery Artist Reception Tonight!

The Jewel Box Pop Up Gallery is month-long exhibition featuring the work of 18 DC area artists.  Located in a former jewelry store, the expansive space will serve as an excellent temporary gallery showcasing a wide variety of styles and media.

Erin Atognoli

 List of artists showing at the Jewel Box:

 Erin Antognoli

Alan Binstock

Jo Ann Block

Stephen Boocks

Matt Carl

Alex Chiou

Kathy Hart

Joe Hicks

Tom Hill

Emily Hoxworth

David Hubbard

J’Nell Jordan

Ani Kasten

Courtnye Koivisto

Lisa Rosenstein

Casey Snyder

Jeffrey Trueblood

Laurie Tylec

Stephen Boocks

The Jewel Box is located at 3108 Queens Chapel Road in Hyattsville, MD (at the intersection where 34th Street in Mount Rainier becomes Chillum Road) in a strip mall with ample parking. The West Hyattsville Metro is a 15 minute walk away. 

Opening Reception is Thursday, September 5th from 7-9pm. The gallery will be open Thursdays and Fridays from 7-9pm and Saturdays from 1-5pm throughout the month of September.  

Art Lives Here and The Shops at Queens Chillum teamed up to launch a series of placemaking events that showcase the talents of Gateway Arts District artists in a multi-use shopping center located in Hyattsville, MD and on the border of Mount Rainier. The Shops at Queens Chillum are funding these programs and events, which directly support local artists. Jewel Box (Pop-Up) Gallery; designed and curated by John Paradiso and Tim McLoraine.

10 years ago….I walked into Washington Glass School

The Washington Glass School was located on Half Street, SE from 2003 to 2005. It was part of the Washington Sculpture Center until the area was all claimed as part of the Washington National’s baseball stadium. Not the poshest part of town back then.

I am interjecting a bit of personal story into the blog – in January of 2003, my wife and I moved to the USA after living 10 years in Australia, initially staying with my sister-in-law’s family out in suburban Virginia. I wanted to educate myself to become a glass artist, and had been commuting from my Alexandria, to Baltimore, MD to blow glass. Without a car, this got old fast – real fast. In September of 2003, the second “Warm Glass Conference” was held in Arlington, VA, and since I planned on attending the seminars, I visited a number of the DC area glass facilities to see what glass courses were available locally. At the time, Washington Glass School was part of the Washington Sculpture Center, an organization that provided public access educational programs in sculpture. Wandering around Washington, DC, I discovered the practical aspects of DC’s quadrant names (Northeast, Southeast, etc) – I was wandering around on the wrong Half Street – and I discovered the seamy underside of Capitol Hill. Just before the conference, I took a fused glass workshop that dealt with architectural applications of glass at the Washington Glass School, and was hooked.

This is a photo of me in my first fused glass class. L-R: Tyler Frisbee, Michael Janis (me), Kathryn Cosmos, Tim Tate.

Tim Tate and Erwin Timmers were the teachers and Jeff Zimmer was the teaching assistant (Jeff has since earned a MDES Glass & Architectural Glass, Edinburgh College of Art, Edinburgh, UK).  
This class dealt with aspects of fused glass and included kilnformed projects such as dry plaster casting. It was my first foray into kilnformed work – and that introduction shifted my thoughts and process to fused glass.

Erwin Timmers and Tim Tate at the Warm Glass Conference, September 2003.

Glass School Co-Founders Tim Tate and Erwin Timmers were part of the Warm Glass conference- leading a seminar on how to hang glass, and they brought the student castings to the glass school students that were attending. Shortly after, I became the studio’s shop monkey, working every day and assisting at every class. By 2005 I was teaching the very kiln-forming glass class I had begun my journey in glass… ah, the circle of life…

Here I am teaching glass fusing class, October 2005.

The days became weeks; weeks into years, and by the time the Washington Glass School relocated to Mount Rainier, I had become a Co-Director. And still time marched on. Recently clearing out old file cabinets had me look thru old documents and class schedules, I came upon the 2003 class list and nostalgia hit. 10 years on – who’da thunk that events would unfold as they had!  
Anyhow – am still enjoying the ride – Cheers to all!

Happy Labor Day!

Detail from artist Slate Grove’s MFA exhibition “Everyday Heroes

Glass artist and sculptor Slate Grove was named one of the ‘Rising Stars” at Glass Weekend held at Wheaton Arts in Millville, NJ this past June. The Washington Glass School first met Slate when he was the Glass Studio Coordinator at Penland – around 2008. His glass tools fit the concept of Labor Day – intended to celebrate the economic and social contributions of workers.

From Slate’s bio and artist statement: 
“Growing up in the blue-collar town of Fort Dodge, IA, I was surrounded by hard work. Gypsum mills, Limestone quarries, meat packing plants and trucking companies provided the majority of jobs in town. Like many Midwestern towns, there was no shortage of strong willed, physical folks with impeccable work ethic to fill those jobs. The town depended upon factory work and the workers depended on each other. Many in my family were displaced when Hormel closed its Fort Dodge plant in the 1980’s and, more recently, when Electrolux decided to move their Iowa operation to a facility in Mexico.”

My art work focuses on the fragility and the invisibility of those who do service jobs daily. I attempt to elevate the ghostly memories of the character of people who raised me and who, I feel, deserve our unending reverence.”

Unbuilt Public Art Projects Exhibition – What Could Have Been.

Joe’s Movement EmporiumHosts “Public Art Concepts: An Exhibit Of Proposals”

Opening: Friday September 27, 2013 at 7:00 pm. Closing November 22, 2013

Coordinated by Alonzo Davis | Curated by Nehemiah Dixon III 

“Public Art Concepts” gives the public an opportunity to engage with the artist in a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to create artwork for a public space. Given the growing interest in and number of street murals and 3-D works along the arts district corridor “Public Art Concepts” paves the way for a focused dialogue about what it means to create an arts district and how this change begins with the artist. The exhibit features scale models and proposals for public art works by regional and national artists who have applied for grants and commissions, some of which were awarded and others not. 

Opening night features a lively panel of participating artists and reps from funding agencies that have diverse experience in the public art arena.

Featured Artists:

Alan Binstock

Joanna Blake

Margaret Boozer

Howard Connelly

Alonzo Davis

Melissa Glasser

Martha Jarvis Jackson

Luis Peralta

Valerie Theberge

Washington Glass Studio (Erwin Timmers, Tim Tate, Michael Janis)

Joe’s Movement Emporium, 3309 Bunker Hill Road, Mt Rainier, MD 20712

Jackie Riccio "Eels" Solo Exhibit at Flux Studios

sculpture and works on paper by Jackie Riccio
Saturday, September 7th from 5-7pm next-door neighbors Flux Studios is having a reception for eels, a solo exhibition of works created by Jackie Riccio, during her artist residency at Flux this summer. New art, great conversation and nibblies – come join the reception! 
Flux Studios, 3708 Wells Ave, Mount Rainier, MD 20712

Washington Post on Zenith Gallery:Fresh

Washington Post’s Sunday Arts section featured Tim Tate’s artwork on exhibit at Zenith Gallery.

This weekend, the Washington Post newspaper’s Arts Section had a great review of the Zenith Gallery anniversary show “Fresh” – which features our Professor Tim Tate. The review, written by Mark Jenkins, includes a mention of Tim’s recent show at American University Museum – so it’s a bit of a two-fer! 

Click HERE to jump to the Post’s review online .

Zenith Gallery : Fresh
Through Aug. 31 at Zenith Salon, 1429 Iris St. NW; 202-783-2963;

International Glass & Clay Exhibit Travels To UK Museum

International Glass & Clay exhibit in Washington, DC, March 2013

This year, Sister City art organizations enabled Washington, DC to host an exhibit of glass and clay artwork by US and UK artists during the month of March. The Washington Glass School – one of the partners in the exhibition – has had a history of working with artists from Washington, DC’s Sister City of Sunderland, England, which is President George Washington’s ancestral home.
The International Glass & Clay exhibit that was originally held here in DC in March of 2013 has moved on – and over the pond – landing in the UK, with the exhibition opening at the Sunderland Museum, in Sunderland, England. Currently, the main show at the museum is an exhibit of tapestries by noted English artist Grayson Perry, titled “In The Vanity of Small Differences“.
Exhibiting at two venues in the City of Sunderland, the exhibit again integrates and mixes works by artists from both cities from August 22nd - September 29th 2013. DC artists exhibiting: Sean Hennessey, Jeff Herrity, Michael Janis, Tamara Laird, Laurel Lukaszewski, Tim Tate, Novie Trump. UK artists exhibiting: Stephen Beardsell, Criss Chaney, James Maskrey, Brian Thompson, Robyn Townsend, Margareth Troli, Roger Tye, Phil Vickery and Philippa Whiteside.

Novie Trump’s ceramic installation looks incredible.

If you find yourself in England’s beautiful North East, wandering along the River Wear – do pop into the Museum. Oh, and stop by the National Glass Center for a spot of Prince Rupert’s Drop

International Glass & Clay
August 22 – September 29, 2013 
Sunderland Museum and Creative Cohesion

Glass Artwork for Shady Grove Hospital

The Washington Glass Studio was commissioned to make cast glass artwork for the chapel at the Shady Grove Hospital. Working with the art consultant – Fitzgerald Fine Arts – the artwork involves integration of glass with a large stone boulder. The artwork anchors and defines the interior chapel of the new Aquilino Cancer Center, now under construction in Rockville, MD.

The stonework required a setting bed and the glass framework was mounted into the concrete. The 5′-0″ H glass panels will cantilever out of steel frame behind the stonework, creating a dimensional screen to the meditative room.  The artwork team comes to the Glass Studio for a final review of the dimensions, process and schedule.

(L-R) Don Sebastian, Erwin Timmers, Lillian Fitzgerald and Erica Kemper review the design documents of the 5′-0″H cast glass panels.
Erwin Timmers describes the cast glass process, and discusses color options.
The design calls for bas-relief leaves cascading around the stone element.

Erwin Timmers said of the artwork concept: “The flowing cast glass leaves create a calming vista and reinforce a sense of transformation. Aided by the almost meditative quality of translucent cast glass, the viewer might contemplate healing visions of nature.”

More will be posted as the glass panels start being set up in the kilns!

DC Artist Exchange Panel Talk: What’s Hatching With Artist Incubators

DCax Incubator Panel (L-R) Mike Abrams, Lisa Neher, Paul So, Travis Bowerman, Michael Janis, Kristina Bilonick

This past weekend, DCartistexchange (DCax) – the collaborative project developed by several DC-based arts and cultural organizations – held the third in their initial series of panel discussions designed to explore new ways to build community.

WGS’ Michael Janis talks about how incubators = community.

Saturday’s talk was focused on how artist incubator spaces got started, their learning curves and growth, and what is planned for the future. The talk included an in-progress tour of the nearby artist spaces that are under construction.

Travis Bowerman of CulturalDC outlines what is planned for the new shared arts venue going up in the Brookland section of Washington, DC.
One of the artist spaces to be dedicated as performing arts/exhibition space.

Travis explains how the ground level artist studios are integral to the residential development.

The tour included a review of Dance Place’s spaces – given by their founding director Carla Perlo. After, a great lunch prepared by chef Tim Meadows ended the panel with everyone enjoying the fantastic food.

The initial series discussions still has more talks planned, as well as their networking events called Swap Meets – designed to allow opportunities for artists and creative professionals to swap services and art materials; increase connectivity and facilitate community building.
Check out the event dates HERE.

The next panel discussion topic: “Government Support” is scheduled for next Saturday, Aug 24th, starting at 10:30 am – held at the offices of the Menkiti Group, 3407 8th Street, NE, Washington, DC. Click Here to jump to DCax website for more info.