Public Art: Rockville Town Center “Compositions In Light”

“Compositions In Light” public artwork sculpture at Maryland’s Town Center Phase 2.

Washington Glass Studio was commissioned to make a new, two-part public art sculpture installation for the new mixed use residential development, Ansel, in Rockville, MD. Working with the project’s art consultant Artists Circle Fine Arts, the outlined goals were to enhance the location and the urban environment, as well as creating welcoming and colorful place markers that enlivens Rockville Town Center. The client – Duball, LLC – asked that the street placemaking artwork allow for a sense of fun and discovery.

The site – Ansel, 33 Monroe Street, Rockville, MD

The development was named “Ansel”, as spiritual nod to incredible American photographer Ansel Adams. Adams was considered a master of his craft and his experimentation with light gradations, degrees of exposure, and new techniques. Best known for his dramatic photographs of the American West, Adams achieved a popularity that few other photographers have known. Dedicated to wilderness preservation, he succeeded in changing the way Americans perceived their natural environment.

Creating a strong visual element for the streetscape – while maintaining clear pedestrian circulation – Washington Glass Studio focused on creating an internally illuminated vertical tower – approx 11′ high.

Named “Compositions In Light”, the sculpture is made of cast glass and powdercoated metal. The inset glass panels in the artwork incorporates artistic references to renowned photographer Ansel Adams – with artistic takes on his photos of still lifes, architecture, and landscapes; his love of nature, and sculptural interpretations of Adams main instrument – cameras.

The powder coated metal structure is arranged in triangular format to reference the classic photographers camera tripod. The shape also gives greater strength both structurally and in profile. The vertical structure supports the LED lighting and allows an even light to the glass wall panel opposite. The glass panels are inset into a removable grid section that is bolted to the structural frame. Each cast glass panel is set into silicone within metal angle surrounds. The metal base has a removable section to allow access to electrical source to tower.

Dimensional inset panels made of handmade cast glass presents tactile images of nature and objects that refer to Ansel Adams work and career. The varied nature of the artwork mounted in separate panels would invite investigation and exploration.

Shay Summers coldworks one of the artwork inset panels.

The gorgeous, illuminated tower is made up of colorful, tactile cast glass that defines each corner of the site. The inset glass panels are varied, but color coordinated with accent color panels to give a vibrancy to the design. The tapering form leads viewers eyes upward to a unique finial endcap, a cast sculpture that makes a fun, witty and distinctive statement. Dimensional inset panels made of handmade cast glass presents tactile images of nature and objects that refer to Ansel Adams work and career. The varied nature of the artwork mounted in separate panels would invite investigation and exploration.

Sparkling in the daytime and backlit with energy efficient LED, the glass artwork in “Compositions in Light” will always be a visible presence on the street. The metalwork and thickness of each glass panel make the artwork strong for a streetscape environment. In the history of American conservation, few have worked as long and as effectively to preserve wilderness and to articulate the “wilderness idea” as Ansel Adams. He spent decades in the battle to protect the environment. Helping reinforce the background of Ansel Adams as an environmental activist are the color directions for the artwork. Blues and greens are the colors most associated with nature and the environment.

The interplay of sculpture, the colors & quality of cast glass and the prominent location makes this an integrated urban design that brings focus to the site. The freestanding nature of the installed artwork encourages visitors and residents to walk around the artwork and experience a dynamic sense of place. A sense of playful fun caps each sculpture and helps define the paired artworks. United by form, colorful towers reinforce their connection to the artwork of Ansel Adams with finials inspired by the master photographer’s artwork.

“Compositions In Light”

Project Address: 33 Monroe St, Rockville, MD 20850

Client: Duball, LLC

Maryland’s Rockville Town Center Phase II includes 400 apartment units; 250 market-rate luxury apartments and 150 senior affordable apartments to be owned and managed by the Housing Opportunities Commission.

Artwork Project Team: Erwin Timmers, Christina Helowicz, Tim Tate, Michael Janis, Shay Summers

Art Consultant: Artists Circle Fine Arts

IN MEMORIAM: Erwin Eisch

Sad news to report – world-renowned glass artist and painter Erwin Eisch has died at the age of 94. Erwin Eisch fell asleep after midnight in the retirement home in Zwiesel, where he had lived since October. “On January 7, he celebrated a diamond wedding with his wife,” said Katharina Eisch-Angus. The parents Erwin and Gretel Eisch had celebrated the 60th anniversary of their marriage together in the home. The death was unexpected, as Erwin Eisch was in good health. The last few days, when his condition had deteriorated, someone from the family had always been with him.

Erwin Eisch was a pioneer German artist who was considered a founder of studio glass in Europe and the world. He was also a painter, draughtsman, and printmaker. Working with friend and colleague in glass Harvey Littleton, Eisch’s work in glass embodies the ideas of the international Studio Glass movement.

Erwin Eisch’s 8 mold blown works as a tribute to Harvey Littleton in 1976. Corning Museum of Glass

Eisch’s non-traditional approach to glassmaking had a profound impact during the formative years of the American Studio Glass movement, and his relationship with American glass pioneer Harvey K. Littleton forged an important link between European and American studio artists working in glass.

Harvey Littleton and Erwin Eisch
Blown & enameled bowl by Erwin Eisch made in U.S. at U Wisconsin. (ca 1967)

2022 Virginia A. Groot Foundation Award

The Virginia A. Groot Foundation established the Virginia A. Groot Foundation Grant in 1988 so that a ceramic sculpture or sculpture artist may have the opportunity to devote a substantial period of time to the development of his or her work.

Eligibility: Each year the Virginia A. Groot Foundation offers grants to artists who have exceptional talent and demonstrated ability in ceramic sculpture or sculpture. Artists may be at any stage of career development, from emerging through mature. Applicants must be 21 years or older at the time of the application deadline. We welcome and encourage international applicants.

DEADLINE: February 1, 2022

AWARD INFO: Three grants (up to $50,000, $20,000, $10,000)

FEE: $5

WHO: Artists working in ceramic sculpture or sculpture. Artists may be at any stage of career development, from emerging through mature. Applicants must be 21 years or older at the time of the application deadline and not currently enrolled as a student.

Click HERE to jump to online application.

Erwin Timmers Solo Exhibit Opens Feb 5th, 2022

Reception : Saturday, February 5, 2022, from 6:00PM-8:00PM; 9 N Centre St, Cumberland, MD 21502

Maryland’s Allegany Arts Council and its Saville Gallery feature WGS Co-Director and eco-artist Erwin Timmers for his solo exhibition, Reflections in Glass, to take place February 5-26, 2022. A Public Opening will take place on Saturday, February 5, 2022, from 6:00PM-8:00PM

Reflections in Glass features the environmental themed glass artwork of Erwin Timmers, Co-founder and director of the Washington Glass School and one of the DC area’s leading eco-artists. Recycling, waste, and the environment are recurring themes in his work.

Saville Gallery; 9 N Centre St, Cumberland, MD 21502

International Year of Glass 2022

2022 is the International Year of Glass AND the 60th Anniversary of American Studio Glass Movement.

The United Nations has declared 2022 as the International Year of Glass (#IYOG2022) with programming occurring worldwide to celebrate all aspects of glass: studio and public art glass, architecture, history, technology, industry, and science. This exciting journey began in 2018. Support came from 1500 Universities and research centers, societies and associations, museums, artists, educators, manufacturers and companies in 78 countries on 5 continents.

The official kickoff will take place on February 10-11, 2022 in Geneva, Switzerland at the UN Palace of Nations. Among other scheduled activities, a National Day of Glass event is planned for April 5-7, 2022 in Washington, D.C. that will feature the North American glass industry, art community, government agencies and educational systems that rely on glass.

Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass (AACG) is a member of the IYOG2022 International Steering Committee and is tasked, along with The American Ceramic Society (ACerS), with leading promotion efforts around the art component of this global initiative. To accomplish this, AACG requests that U.S. museums, glass centers and schools, artists, regional glass collector’s groups, and other entities with a focus on or interest in contemporary glass assist by sharing information about exhibitions, panel discussions and IYOG2022 celebrations with admin@contempglass.org and https://ceramics.org/iyog. These programs will then be included on the AACG event calendar of art-related glass events throughout 2022 so all can enjoy.

“This is an extraordinary time to celebrate the material of glass in the arts, science, technology, communications, architecture, and sustainability of the environment on a global basis,” said Laurence Sibrack, board president of Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass. “It is our hope that artists and art institutions and organizations will join us in sharing IYOG2022 programming. Simultaneously, we will celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the American Studio Glass movement in 2022.”

DC Commission Announces New grant/exhibition Opportunity

Environmental Justice Juried Exhibition Grant now open!

DC’s Commision on the Arts + Humanities invites District-based artists to apply for their new Juried Exhibition Grant! (Note: Must be a resident of Washington, DC)

Application deadline: Friday, January 21, 4:00 pm

Exhibition dates: May 9 – July 1, 2022

Exhibition theme: Environmental Justice. In their work, artists may address local and/or global questions of ecology, environmentalism, biodiversity, climate change, stewardship, the relationship of climate justice to social justice, and/or other related concepts and issues.

Click HERE to jump to CAH website for more info.

Corning Museum of Glass Awards Cheryl Derricotte BIPOC Residency

The Corning Museum of Glass in New York is a not-for-profit museum dedicated to exploring a single material: glass. With almost a half a million visitors from around the world each year, the Museum’s campus is home to the world’s most comprehensive collection of glass, the world’s foremost library on glass, and one of the top glassworking schools (The Studio) in the world.

One of the features of the Studio is Corning’s Artist Residencies. The Artist-in-Residence programs at The Studio provide artists the opportunity to research and experiment with new techniques and subjects in their work. Artists-in-Residence are invited to utilize the resources of the Museum’s campus including The Studio, the extensive collections and archives of the Museum, and the Rakow Research Library.

One of Washington Glass School’s illustrious alumni – Cheryl Derricotte – was awarded by Corning this coming year’s Black, Indigenous, and People of Color Residency (BIPOC).

Originally from Washington, DC, Cheryl now lives and makes art in San Francisco, CA. Her art has been featured in the New York Times, The Guardian, The San Francisco Chronicle, MerciSF and the San Francisco Business Times.

The BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) Residency is Corning Museum’s way of actively fostering a culture and community of inclusion that promotes, respects, and celebrates this community.

Artists spend a month at The Studio exploring new directions in glass art or expanding on their current bodies of work while using the immense resources of the world’s leading glass museum. During their residency, each artist gives a presentation about their work during a free public event in The Studio Lecture Room.

Congratulations Cheryl! Looking forward to your presentation and the works from the Residency!!

Arts’tination Open House Dec 16th

Cast glass by Erwin Timmers

This Thursday, Dec 16th, from 12 noon- 8pm, join us at the Holiday Open House at Arts’tination @ National Harbor. Prince George’s County Arts & Humanities Council (PGAHC) features artworks by local artists and has a space dedicated to artworks by artists of the Washington Glass School. Shown cast glass by Erwin Timmers.

Arts’tination @ National Harbor

Prince George’s County Arts’tination space at 162 Waterfront Street, National Harbor, MD

Prince George’s Arts and Humanities Council (PGAHC) features artwork by artists of the Washington Glass School in “Arts’tination” – their newest art space dedicated to supporting local artists and curating immersive creative experiences – located 162 Waterfront Street, National Harbor, MD.

Washington Glass School space at Arts’tination.

Featuring works for sale by Washington Glass School artists: Erwin Timmers, April Shelford, Vibah Bhatia, John Henderson, Patricia De Poel Wilberg, Trish Kent, and Diane Cabe – check them out!

Vibah Bhatia’s adorable plates are a steal!!
Glass artworks by John Henderson and Diane Cooper Cabe .
Erwin Timmers’ cast glass hand sculptures are sure to enchant all!
Arts’tination is at 62 Waterfront Street, National Harbor, MD 20744

7th Annual Glass National @ Lorton Workhouse

Kate Barfield, Urban Season, 2020, Cast Glass, 17 in x 17 in

The Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton, VA has opened their 7th Annual Glass National — an exhibition highlighting contemporary functional and sculptural glass artworks being created throughout the country.

April Shelford, Almondine, 2020, Glass, 8 ½ in x 8 ½ in 2 in

This year’s juror, Jack Wax -Professor of Glass @ VCU, reviewed over 80 artworks and select 28 which incorporate a combination of a contemporary spirit and technical mastery of the material. Glass National is a unique opportunity to view and experience a variety of styles and techniques encompassing the glass artwork field today. Three Resident Artists from Washington Glass School – Trish Kent, April Shelford and Kate Barfield – were selected to be part of the exhibit! Congratulations All!

The exhibit is on view at the Workhouse Arts Center Vulcan Gallery from October 23, 2021 – January 9, 2022. Reception: January 8th, 2022, 6 – 8 PM. The gallery is currently open Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday 11:00am – 6:00pm and Sunday Noon – 5:oopm. The Workhouse Arts Center is located at: 9518 Workhouse Way Lorton, VA 22079

Trish Kent, The Divided States of America #3, 2020, Glass, mixed media, 19″x 14″

Jurors’ Statement:

There is quite an idiosyncratic nature to the application and implementation of individual “choice” in the jurying of a small exhibition of “artworks.”

I find this especially true when the parameters set forth limit the “words” that I person may “speak.” That is a novel that is circumscribed in advance to never employ the letter E certainly can “say” many things…but can it in the end range quite as far or as deep as a book without such constraints? We all make “rules” for ourselves in our studios, other-wise we’d quickly be overwhelmed by the entire world being invited in through the door! And…I know as well that certain of us welcome working under the onus of restraint. It is somehow freeing! Yo-yo Ma chooses not to play all of the instruments in the orchestra but to truly master but one.”

Trish Kent studio visit video – click to watch.