In Memoriam: Stephen Rolfe Powell

Stephen Rolfe Powell (1951-2019) was born in Birmingham, Alabama in 1951. He studied painting and ceramics at Centre College and received a Bachelor of Arts in 1974. Before attending graduate school at Louisiana State University, Powell spent several years as an art instructor, first at the Draper State Prison and later at the Indian Springs School in Alabama. Between 1980 and 1983, he attended LSU and earned a Master of Fine Arts in Ceramics, where he first began working in glass. 

Stephen Rolf Powell, "Poochy Serpentine Striker"

Stephen Rolf Powell, “Poochy Serpentine Striker”

Since 1983, Stephen had been a professor at Centre College in Danville, KY where he founded a glass program. In 1991, a window shattered as he was attempting to free a bird from his Danville studio space atop the Norton Center for the Arts, severing a tendon, a nerve, and an artery in his right hand. After a complicated surgery and months of physical therapy, Powell returned to the fire and his work reached new heights.

Stephen Rolfe Powell, "Lurid Salacious Viper" Detail - photo from Habatat Galleries 2018 International Invitational.

Stephen Rolfe Powell, “Lurid Salacious Viper” Detail – photo from Habatat Galleries 2018 International Invitational.

In 2004, he broke his left wrist and tore an Achilles tendon, and briefly worked on a smaller “Whacko” series while he recovered. Recently, in 2012, Powell was presented with the Distinguished Educator award from the James Renwick Alliance.

Stephen’s work both as an artist and as an educator provides a powerful and enduring

A Visit With Mel & Nancy

Nancy Callan and Mel Douglas talk about collaboration in their newest glass artwork.

Nancy Callan and Mel Douglas talk about collaboration in their newest glass artwork.

Superstar glass artists Mel Douglas and Nancy Callan were recently in Norfolk, working on a residency at the Chrysler Museum Glass Studio. The James Renwick Alliance  and American University/Katzen Center invited the artists up to DC for a presentation and visit.
It was wonderful to have the chance to spend time with both of them while they were here. Some photos of the recent visit by these incredible artists!:

Mel &Nancy working at the Chrysler Museum Glass Center.

Mel &Nancy working at the Chrysler Museum Glass Center.

Collaborative work by Nancy Callan and Mel Douglas on exhibit at American University Museum.

American University Museum was host for the JRA artist talk by Mel Douglas and Nancy Callan.

American University Museum was host for the JRA artist talk by Mel Douglas and Nancy Callan.

Nancy Callan & Mel Douglas with WGS Co-Director, Michael Janis.

Nancy Callan & Mel Douglas with WGS Co-Director, Michael Janis.

Washington Post Reviews “The Wall” – Featuring Work By Erwin Timmers

Washington Post critic Mark Jenkins reviews OSAP "Wall"

Washington Post critic Mark Jenkins reviews OSAP “Wall”

Otis Street Arts Project has a new exhibit – titled “The Wall”, curated by Molly Ruppert. The show’s premise is to examine concepts invoked by President Trumps desire for a “great big beaurtiful wall” to be installed at the United States southern border. The curator asked the invited artists (Claudia Vess, Ellyn Weiss, Erwin Timmers, Gregg Hannan, Glenn Richardson, Jacqui Crocetta, Scott Brooks, Wayson Jones,Yar Koporulin, Paul Hrusa and Hebron Chism) for their take on the subject.
Washington Post Arts Critic, Mark Jenkins has a review in the weekend’s Arts Section, with an ebullient review of Erwin Timmers’ featured work “Changing the Conversation”.

This Saturday, March 9th, there will be an event tied to the exhibit - Come view the show, hear the curator speak, and have some therapeutic wall smashing of “wall” created by artist Glenn Richardson. Doors open at 7pm; Curator talk by Molly Rupert 8:00 PM; Wall Smashing 8:30 PM. Otis Street Arts Project, 3706 Otis Street, Mt Rainier.

Click HERE to learn more.

Glass in Conversation: Mel Douglas and Nancy Callan

Glass artists Mel Douglas (Australia) and Nancy Callan (U.S.)

Glass artists Mel Douglas (Australia) and Nancy Callan (U.S.)

The James Renwick Alliance (JRA) presents a lecture by glass artists Mel Douglas (Australia) and Nancy Callan (U.S.) at 6:30 p.m. on March 14 at the American University Museum at the Katzen Center.  The two artists are coming to Washington directly from a stint as visiting artists at the Chrysler Museum of Art’s studio in Norfolk, VA and will be talking about their work and their recent collaboration.

For more information – click here to jump to JRA page.

Click HERE to register online.

Bullseye Glass Company Closes Portland Gallery & Project Space

Opening night of 2012 exhibit "Facture: Artists at the Forefront of Painterly Glass" that featured works by WGS artist Michael Janis.

Opening night of 2012 exhibit “Facture: Artists at the Forefront of Painterly Glass” that featured works by WGS artist Michael Janis.

Three years after a toxic air scare resulted in unprecedented legal and civil actions against Bullseye Glass Company, the 45-year-old colored art glass factory is closing its downtown gallery, educational, and projects space in a move to cut costs while maintaining a firm commitment to its worldwide arts community. The sole surviving Pacific Northwest art glass factory plans on closing their flagship arts space as costs related to regulatory, legal, and civil actions exceed $4M.

Financial losses related to State demands and strategically orchestrated negative publicity, paired with the resultant billion-dollar class action lawsuit, cut deep into income that had previously supported Bullseye’s arts program.

“For twenty years our space in [Portland's] Pearl District showcased remarkable works in kilnformed glass created by artists from around the world who use the glass handmade in our southeast Portland factory,” said Lani McGregor, Bullseye co-owner and director of the exhibition and activities space known as Bullseye Projects.

Bullseye Projects is scheduled to close its doors on June 1st, though some of its activities organizing touring exhibits and doing educational programming will continue as will key staff members who will be transferred to the Bullseye facility in southeast Portland.

Click HERE to jump to BE press release.

Save the Date! JRA Spring Craft Weekend April 26-28, 2019!

All are cordially invited to the James Renwick Alliance (JRA) Spring Craft Weekend, April 26-28, 2019 in Washington DC. Celebrate the accomplishments of artists Nancy Crow (fiber), Michael Hurwitz (wood), Myra Mimlitch-Gray (metal), Michael Sherrill (ceramic), and Therman Statom (glass) as they receive the 2019 James Renwick Alliance Master of the Medium awards during the Craft Weekend celebrations.

Tentative Spring Craft Weekend Schedule:

Tour private collections Friday afternoon, April 26 for JRA Caucus and Patrons Program. Join this exclusive event at the private home collections of two area residents including Marc and Diane Grainer and another, yet to be announced.

Learn at the Saturday morning Symposium, April 27, at the Ring Auditorium at Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture GardenThe symposium will feature the five 2019 JRA Masters of the Medium, who will share their work and discuss their experience in the field. 

Bid Saturday, April 27, at the Evening Soirée where exquisite work by the Masters of the Medium will be available for auction, along with the 2018/19 Distinguished Artist Series Artists and the 2019 Chrysalis Awardee. The Cocktail party will include hors d’oeuvres and the opportunity to mingle with the guests of honor. This event will be at the Council on Foreign Relations historic venue at 1777 F Street, NW, Washington, DC.

Brunch on Sunday, April 28 at the Cosmos Club and celebrate the Masters of the Medium as they receive their awards. 

Click HERE for more info!


Demystifying Public Art Symposium at UMUC George’s County Department of Parks and Recreation/Arts and Cultural Heritage Division; Prince George’s Arts and Humanities Council; and University of Maryland University College Arts Program invite artists and other art professionals to a two-day symposium:

Demystifying Public Art

February 16–17, 2019

Public art—art outside traditional galleries or museums—is present everywhere, but many artists have limited knowledge of the various factors involved in participating in public art projects. The goal of this symposium is to demystify the process by bringing together people active in the public art field to address these factors.

The first day provides an introduction to public art through panel discussions geared to all levels of artistic experience. The second day offers a deeper dive into specific components of public art projects. Special closing events will take place on both days. This symposium will give attendees the opportunity to network and connect with presenters and each other.

Selected Panel Topics

  • Sponsors of Public Art
  • What Every Public Artist Needs to Know
  • Access and Entry Points: Testimonials of Various Artists
  • Public Art Resources
  • Public Art as the Art of Collaboration
  • Public Art Solicitation and Budget Documents
  • From Proposal to Fabrication: Making Public Art
  • Public Art and Community Engagement

Registration and on-site parking are free, but space is limited.

Click HERE to register online.

For more information, e-mail or go to:

Alec Simpson at or
Rhonda Dallas at or
Eric Key at or


University of Maryland University College
3501 University Boulevard East, Room 2001
Adelphi, MD 20783 | Directions

Lure of the Object: The June & Rob Heller Collection at Knoxville Museum of Art works of art — sculptures, glass works and paintings — open on exhibit Feb. 8 at the Knoxville Museum of Art (KMA). The exhibition titled “Lure of the Object: Art from the June and Rob Heller Collection” will be shown at the KMA through April 21.

Knoxville Museum of Art will exhibit glass artworks by WGS Co-Director Michael Janis.

Organized by the Knoxville Museum of Art with curatorial assistance from Mary Morris, the exhibit is of both small and large works includes nine sculptures, 32 glass sculptures and eight paintings. Eight of the works have been given the museum by the Hellers; the rest are part of their collection, assembled over four decades. The Hellers, who now live in Knoxville, TN, have collected art from around the world.

The show features works by William Morris, Michael Janis, Richard Jolley, Bertil Vallien, Oben Abright, Dante Marioni, Therman Statom, and Stephen Rolfe Powell. Complementing sculptural works are paintings by Jim Dine, Frank Stella, Christo, and Paul Jenkins.

 Lure of the Object: Art from the June and Rob Heller Collection
February 8-April 21, 2019 
1050 World’s Fair Park Drive, Knoxville, TN

Job Opportunity: Washington Glass School Studio Coordinator!

washington.glass_school.logo.clayWGS is Hiring!

The Washington Glass School and Studio is excited to announce the hiring of a new full-time Studio Coordinator!

Located just outside of Washington DC, WGS is a privately owned, public access art studio. Washington Glass School and Studio is dedicated to creating and promoting kiln-formed glass and mixed-media sculpture.

 Washington Glass School and Studio has 3 primary missions:

1. Community involvement through engagement of large-scale public artworks
2. Educate through teaching art classes and mixed-media classes
3. Promote and support Washington Glass Studio artists

Studio Coordinator

We are looking for someone who is excited about fabricating artwork, hands-on glass and art education, community involvement, and managing a studio. Someone who wants to learn about the contemporary art world and to expose themselves to  new techniques and mediums. The Studio Coordinator serves two roles: assisting studio artist Tim Tate and coordinating an active mixed media studio and school.. A great candidate will be self-motivated with positive energy, who can independently organize and manage studio activities, as well as collaborate closely with all staff and studio residents.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

*Manage artwork and assist glass and mixed-media artist Tim Tate

*Help to oversee and fabricate public art projects

*Organize and teach classes and workshops

*Serve as the primary liaison for students and resident artists 


Other Responsibilities:

-Fabricate parts for artwork

-Consult and work closely with Directors on a daily basis

-Serve as a public face for WGS, including private and public events

-Interact with resident artists and visitors on a daily basis

-Implement and reinforce safety protocol and procedures

-Travel to national art fairs to assist/represent WGS artists

-Conduct studio tours

-Manage and order studio materials

-Attend weekly staff meetings

-Performs other duties as they

Preferred Education and Qualifications (not all necessary):

-Experience managing a glass or art studio

-Basic understanding of glassmaking equipment and shop maintenance

-Fast and efficient working capabilities is a must

-Experience with mold making

-Experience with casting glass and acrylic resins

-Implement and follow WGS quality control standards

-Ability to interact with a variety of personalities

-Time management and organizational skills

~Experience in welding and working with metals

~Ability to work with electronics

-Ability to work as a part of a team

-Ability and desire to work independently

-Desire to further your own art career!

-Other material experience is helpful

-Creative ideas are always encouraged!

-Must be able to meet strict deadlines

We realize that no one meets all these criteria, but the more the better. We will train candidate in those unfamiliar to them.

The Studio Manager is a 35/45 hour per week position, depending on deadlines and includes some evening and weekend events. These can be flexible with hours. Starting salary at $15.00/hour plus $1200 annually towards health insurance. Position includes an opportunity for teaching bonuses. Access to all studio equipment and a studio space dedicated for your own work is provided!

WGS is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation national origin, age, disability or genetics.

 WGSTUDIO.logo.bigTo apply, please submit a cover letter telling us why you are a good candidate, resumé, and 3-5 images of your work to

Washington Glass School & Studio

3700 Otis Street, Mount Rainier, MD 20712


The many moods that are Laura Beth.

For the past year and a half, Laura Beth Konopinski has been the Washington Glass School’s go-to person when it came to making the magic of glass happen. Our Miss LBK is heading out to the big world of academia, becoming the new studio tech for the glass program at Philadelphia’s University of the Arts.

Tim Tate and Laura Beth Konopinski discuss process in glass art.

At UArts, Laura Beth will be working with glass giants such as Daniel Clayman and Judith Schaechter. Laura had made a strong impact with the artists of the Washington Glass School and the area’s art scene, and had exhibitions of her works at GRACE Arts center and at shows like SOFA and Art Miami.

We will all miss her wit and wisdom, wishing her well as she takes over Philadelphia.

Best of Luck Miss LBK!!

Laura Beth kicking butt and taking names.

Laura Beth kicking butt and taking names.