2014 started with an ambitious solo show at the Glass School gallery and turned into year of transformation and shows. There were exhibitions, installations, articles, talks and television spots.
Needless to say, a lot has happened. You can be caught up by looking thru the monthly list of events:
The year started with artist Audrey Wilson’s solo show at the WGS Gallery. The Gallery Beat section of the Old Town Crier newspaper has a great review of the exhibit - “The Aberrant Collection of the Spurious Calamus” – describing Audrey as ”another giant signpost in the evolving art history of glass.”
One of the visitor’s to the exhibit was the Exec Director of the American Craft Council, Chris Amundsen, who later sent a note to the artist praising the “thoughtfulness and execution” of her work.
Miami’s international contemporary art fair “Art Wynwood 2014″ had featured international galleries presenting emerging, cutting edge, contemporary and modern works. Works by WGS artists Tim Tate, Sean Hennessey, Audrey Wilson, Michael Enn Sirvet and Novie Trump were on exhibit.
At the end of 2013, the DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities (DCCAH) had awarded the commission of a new public art sculpture to the Washington Glass Studio. Fabrication of the monumental sculpture took place, as did the community workshops to create the art glass panel insets.
The workshops took place throughout Spring of 2014, and each was filled beyond capacity.
The American Craft Council issue of American Craft Magazine featured an interview held by Editor-in-Chief Monica Moses and WGS artist Tim Tate about “Glass Secessionism” and how artists are exploring and advancing the medium. Titled “The World Beyond Studio Glass” the story became one of the magazine’s most controversial article in many years.
Later in the month, glass powder guru – Michael Janis – saddled up and headed out West to talk with the New Mexico and Arizona’s AACG groups about his technique and his artwork.
Michigan’s Habatat Galleries is the oldest and largest gallery in the United States devoted exclusively to artists working with glass as their medium. The gallery hosts an annual “International Glass Invitational“, which for 42 years has introduced and exhibited the greatest artists working creatively with glass. In April,three artists from the Washington Glass School – Sean Hennessey, Michael Janis and Tim Tate were included in the exhibition.
April also brought the AACG group from Arizona to Washington, D.C. The collectors, artists, and glass aficionados visited notable local collections, Maurine Littleton Gallery and wound up their tour of the Nation’s Capitol with dinner and a show at the Washington Glass School.
Glass artist and photographer Josh Hershman shows his kiln cast glass cameras, and integrated the visiting AZ crew and the artists showing into a new artwork. Josh’s artwork piece later received an International 1st Place GAS award, and was exhibited at Chicago SOFA.
The James Renwick Alliance (JRA) named WGS’ Michael Janis a “Distinguished Artist”. In early May, Michael presented at the Smithsonian’s American Art Museum’s McEvoy Auditorium. He outlined his career, process, and artwork. The talk at the museum was broadcast live and is now online.
One of the ongoing projects that started in May was the overhaul of one of the studio’s big casting kilns. The daunting project was one of the all-hands-on-kiln and even involved having Steve Durow, of the glass program at Maryland’s Salisbury University came to help out on this major project.
Also in May, Tim Tate was awarded Habatat Galleries 2014 Brilliance Award for “working on the highest level of innovation, intensity, and imagination within the contemporary glass community” .
Tacoma Museum of Glass Exec Director Susan Warner came to the glass school to see what is shaking on this side of the country. Susan Warner – Exec Director of Tacoma Mog - in the other Washington – came for a visit and to get some ideas to take home. Perhaps an East Coast/West Coast thing can result!
The D.C. Gateway Community Arch public art sculpture continued in its creation. In June, after firing and sizing over 300 individual glass panel insets, installation on site took place.
The steel arrived onsite, and the entire studio participated in the assemblage. Miles Lark joined WGS from Michigan to be part of the sculpture team.
One of our long-time Studio Artists – Nancy Donnelly said farewall to WGS and Washington, D.C. Off to travel through Europe and ultimately return to Seattle, WA.
Taking over the financial bookkeeping role is artist Laurie Brown, and she now keeps the studio running like clockwork.
WGS often has international artists and come to work and learn at the studio. This year we had Macadonian designers & glass artists Janko and Mimi Gogusevski working at the glass school.
Audrey Wilson had a great year for exhibitions! In August, her work was featured at Asheville, NC’s Bender Gallery. Simultaneously, Virginia’s Portsmouth Art & Cultural Center (near Norfolk’s Chrysler Museum) joins with the TCC Visual Art Center featured her artwork in a glass exhibits that celebrated the next generation of the studio glass movement.
Michael Janis was off to teach a class in using glass frit to create narrative imagery at Penland School of Crafts in August. With WGS Alum Evan Morgan as his Teaching Assistant, the workshop was non-stop excitement in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Also during August and at Penland – the annual Penland Auction took place. The event is always a favorite – and next year- 2015 – promises to be even bigger, with Tim Tate bringing 100 collectors from the AACG to the party!
Sean Hennessey’s mixed and multimedia series “Alice Revisioned” solo exhibit was held in September at the Tony Hungerfold Memorial Gallery at the College of Southern Maryland. Sean Hennessey began this work with the desire to add video and lighting to a series of mixed media artwork based on the writings of Lewis Carroll.
Washingtonian Magazine’s September issue featured the top 87 cool classes in DC. Under the category of “Unleashing Your Inner Artist”, the head of the class is Washington Glass School’s beginners class.
The ISC conference returned to New Orleans for the 24th International Sculpture Conference: Sculpture, Culture, and Community. This conference had a panel discussions, “Glass as Sculptural Medium in the 21st Century” that had Professor Gene Koss, arts writer/critic/historian/scuba diver William Warmus, and WGS Professor Tim Tate, moderated by Patrick Blythe.
Omaha’s Gallery 72 held an exhibition that showed the arc of development from the start of the U.S. Studio Glass movement in a show titled “The Greatness of Studio Glass“. The exhibit featured works by WGS’ Michael Janis and Allegra Marquart. The newspaper “The Reader” gave the exhibit a glowing review - 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.”
In October, Washington Glass Studio was on a shortlist for a new public art project to be created for the West Palm Beach, Florida International Airport. After an intense review and meeting with the arts review jury of Palm Beach County, WGS was awarded the exterior public art projects for the Sheriff Department and the Tourism Office.
The month started with the extravaganza that is S.O.F.A. Chicago. WGS artists Sean Hennessey, Michael Janis, Allegra Marquart and Tim Tate were all exhibiting at the international contemporary art fair.
One of the best aspects of this show is the number of famous glass artists that are actually there in person at the show. It was great to hang out with so many glass stars! More images of the SOFA Chicago show are online – click HERE to jump to the Flickr album.
Memorial Day, 2014 also was the dedication of one of the Washington Glass Studio’s public art projects completed this year. 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 in Rockville, MD.
The pace was non-stop up til the end of 2014. December started with the HUGE Art Basel/Art Miami fairs. WGS’ Audrey Wilson did well at the Context Fair with Alida Anderson Art Project. The Washington City Paper mentioned her work and had her comment on the international art fair in an article “What D.C. Galleries Brought to Two Miami Art Fairs, and What They Got Out of It“. Glass Secessionism (GS) moved forward with founders Tim Tate and William Warmus gathering information about glass artwork that is outside the traditional Studio Glass realm shown at the art fair.
Maryland Public Television (MPT) aired the third season of its weekly arts series “Artworks”. The show features profiles of artists from across the country working in all creative categories: musicians, performers, visual artists, writers, designers, artisans – and experimental others who defy definition. Each program gives viewers insider access to outstanding artists they might never see otherwise. December’s Episode 310 featured artwork by Washington Glass School’s Michael Janis in its “Pop Ups” segment.
Whew! That was a very busy year! Ok, enough of the auld lang syne – let’s get to work on 2015!
The Washington Glass School Wishes Joy & Happiness in 2015 to All!