JRA Day December 6th!

Saturday, December 6, 2014, from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 pm


JRA Day is a one-day showcase for artists who are members of the James Renwick Alliance.This event gives the public the opportunity to see and purchase work by artists in many media. The show features more than 40 artists showing works in Ceramics, Fiber, Glass, Jewelry, Wood and Other Media.

JRA Day is sponsored by the James Renwick Alliance, an independent national nonprofit organization that celebrates the achievements of America’s craft artists and fosters scholarship, education and public appreciation of craft art. The JRA was founded in 1982 and is the exclusive support group for the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, our nation’s showcase of contemporary American craft. For more information on the JRA, go to the James Renwick Alliance website: www.jra.org

Saturday, December 6, 2014 – from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The Woman’s Club of Chevy Chase, 7931 Connecticut Avenue, Chevy Chase, MD

Directions: click HERE

White Point Studio Opens In Gateway Arts District

white.point.studioThere have been some changes going on recently in the studios adjacent to the Washington Glass School. Flux Studios and its Director, Novie Trump have moved out West, and the Shakespeare Theater Prop Department has begun centralized consolidation of its prop and costume storage space to new locations in the District.

Amidst all the changes to the studios, we welcome a new studio here at the fringe of the District known as “Artists on the Tracks” – the addition of White Point Studio, run by noted ceramic artist Laurel Lukaszewski

Laurel has exhibited across the country and in the UK. Since 2006, she has had ten solo exhibitions in the United States. A founding member of Flux Studios in Mt. Rainier, MD, Laurel has served on a number of nonprofit boards including the Washington Sculptors Group, the National Cherry Blossom Festival and the Washington Project for the Arts Artist Council. Many of Laurel’s artworks are composed of extruded forms resembling three-dimensional line drawings or calligraphic brushstrokes; others are installations of hundreds of hand-formed objects reflecting nature, focusing on the idea of a moment captured in time, a reference to Japanese tea ceremony concepts. Her work is influenced by her study of and work with Japan over the past two decades.

White Point Studio Director Laurel Lukaszewski

White Point Studio Director Laurel Lukaszewski

White Point Studio houses the workspaces of Laurel and six other artists: Kate Kretz, Jeffery Herrity, Tamara Laird, JoEllen Walker, Claudia Tordini and Russell Hawkins.

 “Having worked in the Gateway Arts District for over a decade, I couldn’t imagine moving my space anywhere else.” Laurel said; “I am extremely excited to have a talented group of artists share the space with me, and am fortunate to remain in close proximity to studios like the Washington Glass School and Red Dirt, among many others.”

White Point Studio will host its its inaugural Open Studio on Saturday, December 13, 2014, from noon to 5 p.m. in coordination with neighboring studios, including the Washington Glass School and the studios of Ellyn Weiss, Ellen Sinel and others. The Open House will showcase works in progress by resident artists, as well as art for the holidays.

White Point Studio, LLC is located at 3708 Wells Avenue, Mt. Rainier, MD 20712 (behind the Washington Glass School) in the Gateway Arts District.

Laurel Lukaszewski, Owner/Director
White Point Studio
3708 Wells Avenue
Mt. Rainier, MD 20712


What Tim Tate Meant to Say….

Washington Glass School Director/Mixed Media Sculptor Tim Tate never seems to be at a loss for words – yet he does have his moments where important things were left unsaid. Tim sent this letter looking for a second chance to say what he wants all to know about how Penland School of Crafts changed his art, his work and his life :

What I Meant To Say At Penland by Tim Tate

This last week I gave a very short presentation of my current work during the board meeting at Penland.  It was among my worst presentations ever. Here’s why.

For one thing, I have been making an effort to speak more seriously about my work. I did not take into account how overwhelmingly emotional this place was for me. I started to choke up before I even began, then could barely choke out 20 disjointed sentences during my short slides lest I completely lose it.  I garbled out something about wanting to tell stories. (dear god).

Throw in my complete intimidation by being surrounded by such accomplished artists and board members…all of who seemed to have amazing academic training. It was a hot mess…

Here’s what I meant to say:

I am an artist who did not come to art through academics. While I yearned to go to Cranbrook as a young man, my parents had neither the resources or interest in sending me there.  I sought another profession. Only years later did I see the path of artists retreats like Penland.  Finally a path within my control.  Thus began my educational journey which took me to Penland 20 times, also Corning, Haystack and Penland….always searching for a kiln forming or non-vessel related class.

Even though I did not come out of the studio glass system, I still loved glass with all my heart.  For 10 years I took every free moment, every vacation day to attend these artist retreats. In effect, I created my own curriculum for an unsupervised MFA. After that I thought I had enough of a voice to step out as a full time artist, and haven’t looked back since.

I meant to say that my overall work has meaning. I meant to say that I see my pieces as self-contained video installations.

Blending a traditional craft with new media technology gives me the framework in which I fit my artistic narrative. Contemporary, yet with the aesthetic of Victorian techno-fetishism.  Revelation —, and in some cases self-revelation,   — is the underlying theme of my electronic reliquaries and baroque cast frames.

My interactive pieces can be seen as disturbing because the images that stare back from the video screen prompts a variety of responses: amusement, discomfort, embarrassment, something akin to the feeling you have when someone catches you looking at your own reflection in a store window as you walk by.

But the important revelations here are in the viewer’s response to my hybrid art form and its conceptual nature.  I try to bare everything — the guts of my materials and my inner thoughts — in deceptively simple narrative videos set into specimen jars or ultra-Victorian cast glass picture frames. Nothing is random, all elements are thought out.

I meant to say that to me, these works are phylacteries of sorts, the transparent reliquaries in which bits of saints’ bones or hair — relics — are displayed. In many cultures and religions, relics are believed to have healing powers. My relics are temporal, sounds and moving images formally enshrined, encapsulating experiences like cultural specimens. And perhaps, to the contemporary soul, they are no less reliquaries than those containing the bones of a saint.

With technology rapidly changing the way we perceive art, the current day contemporary landscape closely mirrors Victorian times in the arts. We marvel at and invent bridges between past and present in an effort to define our time and make sense of this highly transitory moment in artistic history.

I meant to say that an artist can make it without going through the academic system. That a strong voice and hard work can count just as much.  This has been taken so frequently as disrespect towards MFA programs and studio glass.  They tend to shout down those that are not vetted with their peers.  I had great respect for them, I just chose my own path. The path of using the artist retreats as my personal MFA program.

I had a bias. My bias was towards extremely narrative work. Not nearly as plentiful then as now. I sought out those classes which would help me in that effort. I wonder if I would have stayed on this path if I had been accepted into an academic program. We’ll never know.

I wanted to say to all the new core and resident artists that I was blown away by their mature work. I wanted to say…..just keep making work. No matter what, just keep making. You are only 1000 pieces away from your goal…..get started! My premise is that an artist who makes a living from his art work will continually evaluate his work, will grow quickly with each new piece. That the working artist approach produces very good work if you put the time and energy into it.

I meant to say that I lived half my life feeling invisible. I had always had to leave DC because there was little glass for me to work on here.  My life happened away from where I lived. Then I realized something. When no one saw me….Penland always did. When my own family didn’t see me, Penland did. When other local artists couldn’t see my work, Penland did. When my friends and even my partners could not see me…Penland did. Penland saw a young man who was completely dedicated to moving his art forward. Penland will also give respect to any artist who is dedicated to his craft and vision. They will always see you. That is the environment that everyone sitting in that room was surrounded by. Not just a place, but the best support system that any artist may ever know.

That’s what I meant to say. That is what I will say now.

Tim Tate

Montgomery County Veterans Memorial by Washington Glass Studio


Montgomery County officials dedicated a new plaza and eternal flame in honor of the county’s war veterans on Monday, just before the next day’s observance of Veterans Day. County Executive Ike Leggett and Council president Craig Rice dedicated the plaza and its Fallen Heroes Memorial, which is part of the Judicial Center Annex construction project.

Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett (left) shakes hands with retired Navy Cmdr. Everrett Alvarez Jr. of Potomac, who was the longest-held prisoner of war in Vietnam, after Monday’s dedication of Memorial Plaza and unveiling of the Eternal Memorial Flame in Rockville, MD

Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett (center left) with retired Navy Cmdr. Everrett Alvarez Jr. of Potomac, who was the longest-held prisoner of war in Vietnam, after the dedication of Memorial Plaza and unveiling of Washington Glass Studio’s Eternal Memorial Flame in Rockville, MD

The plaza is part of the Judicial Center Annex construction project that began in 2011 and involved an addition and renovation of the existing Judicial Center. The plaza and green spaces were redesigned to invite public use of the space.

artwork.modern.public.sculpture.usa.memorial.dedicationDuring remarks at the dedication ceremony, County Council President Craig Rice, the son of a Vietnam veteran, noted the importance of having a peaceful place to visit to reflect and remember the sacrifices of our veterans.Among those participating was retired Navy Cmdr. Everrett Alvarez Jr. of Potomac, who was the longest-held prisoner of war in Vietnam. 


Omaha’s The Reader on Glass Exhibit

Gallery 72's exhibit of studio glass in Omaha, Nebraska.

Gallery 72’s exhibit of studio glass in Omaha, Nebraska.

Recently, the Washington Glass School blog noted Omaha, NE’s Gallery 72 exhibit “The Greatness of Studio Glass”. The show (just ending) had a great review in the local newspaper “The Reader“. Critic David Thompson wrote:” Rich in content and impeccably installed, this show provides a great opportunity to understand the relatively brief history of studio art glass as an American art form. The twelve artists in this show… all combine to say a great deal about art glass’s past, present, and future.”  

Mr Thomas has some notes about WGS artists: “Allegra Marquart’s past as a printmaker lingers in her flat, pictorial pieces that seem glow like pages from a magical storybook (Aesop’s Fables is one of her inspirations).”

Michael Janis’ artwork is also commented upon: “Yet another intriguing use of glass occurs in the work of Michael Janis, for whom the material functions as a lens, sometimes one of several, through which we view the other, more pictorial elements of the work.  Sometimes these elements are three-dimensional, as in the glass leaves that cascade down the front of “The Forest for the Trees.”  Sometimes they are both two- and three-dimensional, like the tiny shadows sprinkled across Janis’s works that are cast by bubbles in the glass surface.”

Mr Thompson ends his review with: “Gallery 72 has given us an engaging array of pieces from art glass’s past and present.  It is not to be missed.  Harvey Littleton would be proud.”

All of us, actually!

Click HERE to jump to the entire article in The Reader”.