US/UK Collaborative Art Precedents : Glass 3 and Artomatic

As the arrangements for the UK artists are being finalized, the Washington Glass School blog takes a look back to the first two collaborative exhibitions and their outcome.

GLASS 3__________________________
In 2008, Artomatic organized an exhibit that showcased glass art, focusing on how three “glass” cities approach the medium. The collaborative show was titled “Glass 3″ referencing the invited glass centers of Washington, DC, Toledo, Ohio and Sunderland, England. 

  • Sunderland is home to the UK’s National Glass Centre at the University of Sunderland. The North East of England has a long tradition of glassmaking – since the 7th century as glassmakers from France were brought in to make the stained glass windows. The numerous glass factories of the 17th and 18th century have now closed, and in its place a number of studio glass artists working in smaller studios. 
  • Toledo, Ohio is known as “Glass City” – where in 1962, Harvey Littleton and Dominick Labino presented the seminal glass workshop with the Toledo Museum of Art. This workshop profoundly influenced the American Studio Glass Movement. 
  • Washington, DC glass artists work at using glass as an expressive component in a larger whole, mastering technique in order to express content. The “post-craft” artists strive to make works that transcend words and discrete disciplines – therein lies their beauty.
Design of the Glass 3 exhibit graphics and catalog by Jon Gann.

Artomatic had secured an exhibition space in the Georgetown Mall, and in February, artwork and artists from the UK and Ohio came into DC setting up the multi-level space. 

2008 “Glass 3″ Exhibit. Photo by Tracy Lee.
2008 “Glass 3″ Exhibit. Photo by Tracy Lee.
Artist Vanessa Cutler (R) talks about the UK artwork with Sunderland City Council’s Anne Tye (C) and DCist’s Heather Goss (L) on opening night.

DCist city blog writer Heather Goss wrote of the 2008 collaborative show “Glass 3″:
“But does all of this lovey-dovey, hands-around-the-world stuff translate into a good art show? In this case, definitely. Glass work has always faced a tough challenge being accepted as “fine art” and not “a bunch of bowls and vases you find at the craft fair.” And if anyone can make you change your mind, its the artists from Sunderland. Some of the artists are actually experts in glass theory with Ph.Ds and have developed techniques that not only create beautiful art, but have revolutionized architecture and other uses for the medium.”
Click HERE to jump to full DCist article.

A catalog of the works in the show was published, a copy is in the Corning Museum of Glass’ Rakow Library.

Click HERE to jump to the Glass 3 catalog pdf.
The Brits returned charged up with the success of the interaction with the Americans, and based on the Washington Glass School model, created a not-for-profit artist run studio facility in Sunderland; Creative Cohesion. The new organization is home to professional artists working in glass, ceramics, fine art and mixed media, with a gallery, arts workshops and a glass hot-shop.

UK’s Stephen Reveley’s fused glass forms at 2009 Artomatic.

Artomatic 2009__________________________ 
In 2009, Artomatic held the 10th anniversary of its unjuried art fair in DC’s Southeast, near the Navy Yard. 38 artists from the UK were able to participate in the event via Creative Cohesion joining with Artomatic in the planning of the exchange.  A number of the visiting artists were part of the University of Sunderland and the UK’s National Glass Centre and held workshops where they demonstrated their techniques.

UK glass casting workshop by Stephen Beardsell held at Washington Glass School, May 2009.
Sarah Blood’s neon artwork at Artomatic.

The Artomatic was a great success, and the visiting artists were able to connect to the US artscene. Glass artist Phil Vickery’s artwork was selected by the James Renwick Alliance to receive their Craft Award of Distinction.

Award winning glass by Phil Vickery.
2009 UK / US Artomatic artist reception

The connection between the sister city artists had been strengthened, and Professor Peter Fidler, Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive of the University of Sunderland was impressed with the artists at Washington Glass School, and sought out ways to continue the interaction.

Later, after Tim Tate and Michael Janis were successful Fulbright Scholar candidates, the connection to the University of Sunderland continued; in 2012, they both were Fulbright Scholars at the University and held workshops at Creative Cohesion. 

The Brits are back this year, and the exhibit has broadened to include ceramic artwork. To complement the artwork, International Glass and Clay 2013 will host panels at Pepco Edison Place Gallery all month long meant to inspire in depth conversation about cultural diplomacy, Fulbright exchanges and international artists residencies and the arts. The events will include representatives from cultural institutions in the nation’s capital, including embassies, government entities, think tanks and local arts organizations.

“This year, the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities launched a program encouraging District artists and arts organizations to develop cultural partnerships with our sister cities, which we are proud to implement,” said Lionell Thomas, Executive Director of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. “International Glass and Clay 2013 is an excellent example of how cities with differing cultures can approach diplomacy through their respective creative heritage.”

International Glass and Clay2013 will open from Friday, March 1 to Friday, March 22. It is free for the public to attend. At Pepco Edison Place Gallery, 702 Eighth Street (between G and H Street). Gallery hours are 12 to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Tuesdays, and 12 to 8 p.m. on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. The gallery is closed on Sundays and Mondays. The Gallery Place Metro station servicing the green, red and yellow lines is within close walking distance to the gallery.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Tim Tate “Positive Progression” 2003 glass, clay, collection of F. Lennox Campello

For Valentine’s Day, we look at one of Tim Tate’s mixed media works – “Positive Progression”. The work was part of his 2003 Seized Moments…Captured Memories exhibit at Fraser Gallery.With the upcoming international glass + clay exhibit at Edison Place Gallery opening March 1 – this day’s post is a perfect time to reflect on how some of the artists involved took the combination of the medias to heart…

Washington Post art critic Michael O’Sullivan wrote of the work at the time:  Tate’s heart work is certainly nothing new to those who have been following his career of late, especially those who have seen his work at Renwick Gallery, which owns one of his pieces. “Seized Moments,” however, shows Tate pushing himself in new directions. One especially autobiographical piece from this show, titled “Positive Progression” and consisting of a clear glass heart that seems to wither away into a crude clay stump, is especially fine. It isn’t pretty by any means, as Tate’s work usually is, but it sure is powerful.”

Click here to jump to the entire 2003 Washington Post article.

Last Minute Prep for International Glass + Clay Show – Panic?

We are bracing for a new British Invasion! The Brits are arriving to set-up the collaborative arts exhibition at Pepco’s Edison Gallery. Arrangements are now being mad for workshops talks and demos to be part of the exhibit, organized by Artomatic and the DC Sister City - part of Washington DC’s Office of the Secretary.

International Glass + Clay
March 1 through March 22, 2013
Opening Reception is Friday, March 1, 2013, 6-8 PM
Edison Place Gallery
702 Eighth Street (between G and H Street)
Washington, DC

To bring an exhibit of this size to the US Capitol, there are a number of sponsors and partners for the International Show:

Brits To Teach Yanks A Thing or Two (in the glass shop!)

As part of the International Glass + Clay exhibit that runs from March 1, 2013 through March 22, 2013, a day of free demonstrations of amazing techniques utilized by the visiting artists will be held at the Washington Glass School and at DC GlassWorks Studio.

Saturday, March 2, 2013 starting at 11:00 AM – at Washington Glass School

UK based artists Criss Chaney and Robyn Townsend will demonstrate using metal wire and sheet inclusions into cast glass, and painting a layer of metal powders onto the inside mould surface. They will also demonstrate cold techniques for applying metals to a finished piece of glass, and options for patination using common household chemicals.

RSVP for the free WGS event to: washglassschool@aol.com – put “metal inclusion” in the subject line. Click HERE to register online.

Later the same day

starting at 2:00 PM at DC GlassWorks (just down the road in nearby Hyattsville) UK glass artists Roger Tye, Phil Vickery and Colin Rennie will be demo-ing their glassblowing techniques.  These Sunderland artists are extremely accomplished glass makers and their demos are always a highpoint.

Phil Vickery & Roger Tye demo at DC Glassworks in 2009

RSVP for the free DC hotshop demo to washglassschool@aol.com – put “hotshop” in the subject line. Click HERE to register online.

What could go wrong?

The loverly accents alone will make the demos like a trip overseas! Its as if Downton Abbey came to Mount Rainier!

John Henderson at Georgetown’s Parish Gallery

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Parish Gallery Georgetown: “Through the Years” Group of Gallery Artists 

Over the past 21 years, The Parish Gallery have shown so many exciting and talented artist. This exhibition the gallery will be showing both mid-career and masters.
Washington Glass Studio artist John Henderson is one of the artists featured in show.

John began his artistic studies at the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, at Harvard University, where he studied visual design and composition under the artist Albert Alcalay. His artistic journey has taken him through printmaking, water colors, stained glass, metal sculpture, and finally kilnformed glass. 

Through the Years
Feb 1 – 26, 2013
Parish Gallery, 1054 31st Street, NW
Washington, DC 2007

Nancy Donnelly: Transmission at VisArts Common Ground Gallery

>Nancy Donnelly‘s exhibit of new works opens February 22 at VisArts Common Ground Gallery in Rockville, February 22 to March 24, 2013.
 

Nancy Donnelly’s kiln-shaped glass sculpture and wall reliefs send out a message of spaciousness and calm. Referencing natural forms in glass, glass enamel, steel, concrete and transparent color, her work operates near a whisper, but sparks memory, emotion and imagination.

Nancy Donnelly – fused glass, enamel

An Opening Reception and Artist Talk will be held on Friday, February 22 from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. Both events are free and open to the public.

Nancy Donnelly: Transmission

February 22 to March 24, 2013

Common Ground Gallery

VisArts at Rockville

155 Gibbs Street, Rockville, MD  20850 

US/UK International Glass + Clay

>Opening March 1, 2013, Washington, DC will host to an international exhibit of glass and clay artwork – the third collaborative exhibitions between Washington, DC artists and artists from the Sister City, of Sunderland, England. A number of the UK artists will come to the opening and will be holding demonstrations – more to come in later posts as the dates are finalized.

The Brits are sure to be posh, shown here in front of the Sunderland glass studios.

The UK will be represented by artists Stephen Beardsell, Cris Chaney, Andrew Livingstone, James Maskrey, Inge Panneels, Megan Randall, Colin Rennie, Jeffrey Sarmiento, Midori Shinmura, Brian Thompson, Robyn Townsend, Margareth Troli, Roger Tye, Cate Watkinson, Philippa Whiteside, and Phil Vickery.

For the Americans, expect plenty of action and Tribbles.

The USA will be represented by artists Margaret Boozer, Nancy Donnelly, David D’Orio, Sean Hennessey, Jeff Herrity, Joe Hicks, Michael Janis, Ani Kasten, Tamara Laird, Laurel Lukaszewski, Syl Mathis, Allegra Marquart, Tim Tate, Erwin Timmers, Novie Trump, Elizabeth Vorlicek and Audrey Wilson. 

It will be an interesting exercise to see if there are cultural differences visible in the works as they are exhibited side by side in Pepco’s Edison Gallery. I’ve noticed that a number of the UK Studio Glass artists works involve components that were created with the waterjet cutter that is at National Glass Centre at the University of Sunderland. Expat Jeffrey Sarmiento, one of the UK artists, gave a quick demo of their waterjet during our Fulbright Fellowship assignment in Sunderland this past March. Click HERE to jump to that post. The integration of digital technologies is transforming glassworking methodology as well the visual language of the artworks by overlapping the realms of applied art, design and craft. We will begin posting some “teaser” images of artwork – from both sides of the pond – in upcoming blogposts. The crates of artwork from the UK have been shipped and are on the way to Washington. Below is an image of the Sunderland artists as they packed. Customs has been notified.

Robyn Townsend will be one of the exhibiting UK glass artists that will be here in DC for the show opening. Hopefully, for Robin’s sake, airholes were in the crate cover.

“International Glass and Clay 2013.” Artomatic presents this international glass and clay exhibition, featuring work from DC area artists, as well as artists from Sunderland, England. At Pepco Edison Place Gallery, 702 Eighth Street (between G and H Street), March 1 through March 22, 2013.

Glass Comes to Duke Ellington

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Tim Tate discusses his imagery and references to students at Duke Ellington School

Tim Tate and Sean Hennessey were invited to speak to the visual arts students of  DC’s Duke Ellington School of Arts. The two talked about glass, the business of being an artist and about their work.

Sean Hennessey outlines his process and integration of electronic media into his cast glass panels.

The Visual Arts department offers a sequence of courses in drawing, two-dimensional concepts, painting, sculpture, photography, computer graphics design, and art history.  As they develop and progress, students may also choose elective courses in computer graphics, print-making, AP art studio, sculpting, and painting.  Students will begin assembling their best works into a portfolio in the 11th grade year as a record of production and to use in applications to art schools and universities.  

Tim Tate and Sean Hennessey with art teachers and the principal of Duke Ellington School of the Arts.

Upon returning, both Sean and Tim expressed how impressed they were of the artworks and the interest in artwork media by the students of Duke Ellington. Said Tim of the experience of working with the young students – “I’m not sure who was more inspired, Sean and I or them!”.

More interactions between Washington Glass School and the Duke Ellington School of the Arts are being planned.