Glass Sparks: Tim Tate

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Tim Tate photograph by Tom Wolff

When Tim Tate started out as a glass artist there was almost no place locally that he could study glass sculpture. A third generation Washingtonian, Tim had to leave the region to be able to interact with the medium he fell in love with.


Tim works “off pipe” at Penland, NC

For 10 years, he spent every vacation, every free moment, at various arts facilities throughout the country learning as much as possible about every aspect of the medium.


After a personal event sent him to Penland School of Craft for several months, Tim left the concept of technique driven vessels behind, and began his decade long passion for narrative, content driven sculpture. By working with content, Tim had found his voice. With this clarity of focus Tim sought to enhance the position of glass as a sculptural medium to the Washington, DC art scene. Tim’s first step: he founded the Washington Glass School.

Working with Erwin Timmers and a dedicated group of volunteers, they began by clearing space out of one of DC’s abandoned school buildings that was converted to artist studios. That task was a hard enough start, but after a summer of preparation of the studios, the school was challenged by situations outside if its control. The first class occurred just days after 9/11. Thinking the students would want to cancel after so disturbing an event, Tim called all the students – who unanimously asked for the class to go on. In frightening and unstable times, Tim discovered that people like to work through pressures by creating artwork. The glass school has sought to become the refuge for those seeking artwork as a way to help define and express themselves.

Tim advises a student about a casting technique.

Over the past ten years, the school has grown greatly – crossing the threshold of 4000 students since its opening. The glass school has been host to dozens of nationally recognized instructors and students from 4 continents and many countries.

Tim has worked at having the medium of glass evolve in the last decade; taking it from a technique driven vessel approach to the mixed media sculptural material it has become.
His pioneering work at integrating contemporary electronics and video medias into traditional craft has brought much attention to his artwork. In 2009, National Public Radio (NPR) had segment about Tim’s work in their “All Tech Considered”

Click HERE to jump to the NPR segment “Tim Tate’s Hi-Tech Art”.


Tim has become an enthusiastic promoter of the medium, finding new ways to have artists of other media integrate glass into their works. He also works with other glass artists on collaborative works that takes both artists to new levels that they could not achieve on their own. Most notable are the series that Marc Petrovic and Tim Tate worked on together – the Apothecarium Moderne and the Seven Deadly Sins – which was recently featured in American Craft Magazine.

Tim has shown nationally and beyond, including exhibitions in the Museum of Arts and Design in New York; SOFA New York and Chicago; Art Basel Scope in Switzerland; Red Dot at Art Basel-Miami; the Luce Foundation Center for American Art at the Smithsonian; the Renwick Gallery and commercial galleries from Washington, DC to London and Berlin.


Tim Tate & Marc Petrovic

Apothecarium Moderne
photo: Anything Photographic

Ken Trapp, the former Curator-in-Charge of the Smithsonian American Art Museum said this of Tim’s work, “by taking on the clichés of our culture, Tate lays down a challenge for himself, a challenge he is up to…it is impossible to see such figures and not be reminded of how much the discovery of self is a daily exercise of uncovering layers we have assumed or imposed on ourselves.”

His awards include “Rising Star ” from the American, the Virginia Groot Foundation Award for Sculpture, three Artists Fellowship awards from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities and the Mayor’s Art Award. His work is in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Renwick Gallery, the Mint Museum, the Fuller Museum, the Katzen Art Center of American University, the Milwaukee Art Museum and Vanderbilt University. Tim Tate was just awarded a Fulbright, and in 2012, he will be at the UK’s University of Sunderland and the National Glass Centre. He has an upcoming solo show at the Taubman Museum in Roanoke, Va.

The Taubman Museum in Roanoke, VA

Click HERE to jump to the Taubman’s website information on the museum’s solo show “Tim Tate: The Waking Dreams of Magdalena Molière”


Tim will be one of the featured artists at Long View Gallery ‘s exhibition in honor of Washington Glass School’s 10 year anniversary:

Washington Glass School: The First 10 Years
LongView Gallery
1234 9th Street, NW, Washington, DC
May 19 – June 19, Opening Reception, May 19th, 6:30-8:30 PM

For other glass artist profiles:

Diane Cabe
Sean Hennessey
Teddie Hathaway
Elizabeth Mears
Erwin Timmers
Michael Janis
Robert Kincheloe
Jackie Greeves
Jeff Zimmer
Allegra Marquart

Installing Washington Glass School @ Long View Gallery

>The installation of the Washington Glass School retrospective at Long View Gallery’s incredible space has begun.


Long View Gallery, 1234 9th Street, NW Washington, DC


L-R Robert Wiener & Sean Hennessey‘s works installed and looking good.

m. l. duffy’s glass & steel sculpture comes rolling up 9th. Erwin Timmers directs the sidewalk traffic to make delivery… easier.


Jennie Lindstrom helps out the crew.

m. l. duffy’s cast glass and steel piece located at the front of the gallery.


Jennie then gets working on her artwork installation – next to glass artwork by Jackie Greeves.

Robert Kincheloe gives his glass sculpture a buff. (erm…Rob – tho an old t-shirt is great for cleaning, its often better not to wear the shirt whilst cleaning the glass… I’m just saying)

The installed works look amazing. This show (10 years in the making) shows a cross section of artists who are working outside the traditional notions of glass art and that look to the future of the medium.


Washington Glass School: The First 10 Years
Long View Gallery
1234 9th Street, NW, Washington, DC
May 19 – June 19, Opening Reception, May 19th, 6:30-8:30 PM
Closing Reception Sunday June 19, 2-5 PM
phone: 202.232.4788

Washington Glass School – The First 10 Years

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The Washington DC area has become internationally renowned as an emerging center of glass art. At the forefront of this charge is the Washington Glass School, where the instructors, artists and students have brought narrative and content into glass, dragging it away from decorative craft and into the rarefied atmosphere of the contemporary fine art scene. The Washington Glass School has produced artists whose art can be found in museums and collections world-wide and is advancing the Studio Glass Movement with its explorations of narrative, technology and skills. This represents the largest and most important movement in the Washington art scene since the Color School of the 70′s/80′s.

This May, the Washington Glass School celebrates a momentous milestone – its 10th year. DC’s Long View Gallery presents “Artists of the Washington Glass School – The First Ten Years” showcasing over 20 artists and 10 years of integrating glass into the contemporary art dialogue. While it recognizes the past and present, The First 10 Years is intended to instigate – and celebrate – the new directions contemporary glass is exploring through various artistic metaphors.

Featured artists include: Tim Tate, Michael Janis, Erwin Timmers, Elizabeth Mears, Syl Mathis, Lea Topping, Robert Kincheloe, Alison Sigethy, Dave D’Orio, Anne Plant, Jeffery Zimmer, Teddie Hathaway, Jackie Greeves, Kirk Waldroff, Debra Ruzinsky, Tex Forrest, Diane Cabe, Robert Wiener, Nancy Donnelly, Sean Hennessey, Cheryl Derricotte, Jennifer Lindstrom, Michael Mangiafico, Allegra Marquart and m.l.duffy.

In bringing The First 10 Years to Washington, DC, Long View asks artists and audience alike to cast aside traditional notions of glass art and participate in a new form of dialogue; one that looks to the future and not the past.

The Washington Glass School Movement has focused almost entirely on the narrative content aspects of glass, breaking away from the technique-driven vessel movement of the last millennium. By focusing on cross-over sculptural work, mixed media and new media (such as interactive electronics and video), the impact this movement has had on the work of contemporary art has been felt internationally. This is the perfect chance to see a cross section of artists who have led this evolution.

Washington Glass School: The First 10 Years

LongView Gallery

1234 9th Street, NW, Washington, DC
May 19 – June 19, Opening Reception, May 19th, 6:30-8:30 PM

For more information

http://www.longviewgallerydc.com/

email: info@longviewgallery.com
(202)232-4788

A Bit of A Tease

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Next month, the LongView Gallery will present : “Artists of the Washington Glass School – The First Ten Years“. In bringing The First Ten Years to Washington, DC, LongView Gallery asks artists and audience alike to cast aside traditional notions of glass art and participate in a new form of dialogue; one that looks to the future and not the past. This exhibition is still in the process of being curated by the gallery, but one of the works submitted is so amazing, below is a sneak peak of the show.

Elizabeth Ryland Mears and William “Tex” Forrest have created a collaborative sculpture piece. The illuminated work is over 6′ tall, made of flameworked glass, steel wire & fabric.


Liz Mears & Tex Forrest’ design sketch

Full-size sample

Liz & Tex at the glass school for a photo shoot of the finished sculpture

Elizabeth Mears shows the tactile detail of the glass….”embellishments”

The finished work – photography by Anything Photographic.
Detail of the lampworked glass

The First Ten Years is intended to celebrate – and instigate– the new directions contemporary glass is exploring through various artistic metaphors. Featured artists include: Tim Tate, Michael Janis, Erwin Timmers, Elizabeth Mears, Syl Mathis, Lea Topping, Robert Kincheloe and others.

Washington Glass School: The First 10 Years

LongView Gallery

1234 9th Street, NW, Washington, DC
May 19 – June 19,2011

Artist Reception, May 19th, 6:30-8:30 PM

Glass Sparks: Diane Cabe

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Moving into the Capitol Hill/Half Street campus – circa 2003.

Diane Cabe was one of the Washington Glass School’s first Resident Artists – helping set up the main classroom in 2003 at the Half Street, DC location. Her glass studies included courses at The Studio at the Corning Museum of Glass, where she studied with Lucartha Kohler, author of Glass: An Artist’s Medium. She was a Bullseye E-merge Finalist in 2004 and has exhibited at many area fine art galleries including the Fraser Gallery ,Target Gallery, VisArts Gallery, and the Glenview Mansion. Diane’s work was part of the seminal “Compelled by Content” exhibition of narrative glass held in 2005.

Diane’s glass portfolio comprises both sculptural and functional pieces. She is a resident artist with the Art Glass Center at Glen Echo, where she now teaches casting and other forms of kilnformed glass.

Diane’s cast glass purses are meant to evoke the bags, purses, satchels, backpacks that would sit with her wherever she would travel, holding her life. Diane sees the bags as how one holds treasured objects, secrets and the important items that define one’s life, paradoxically rendering them in beautiful translucent glass.


Some of Diane’s recent works expands on exploring items from the domestic life; La Bella Figura is about personal memories, reflections, sensations. Diane said of the work that it …”is a tribute to my genetic inheritance that has compelled me to find beauty in mundane objects”…


La Bella Figura

Glass, Wood, Copper, Mica

DC’s Longview Gallery juried invitational exhibition showcasing the people and work of the artists of the Washington Glass School. The show opens in May.

Washington Glass School: The First 10 Years

LongView Gallery

1234 9th Street, NW, Washington, DC
May 19 – June 19, Opening Reception, May 19th, 6:30-8:30 PM


Click HERE to jump to Diane’s artwork website.


For other glass artist profiles:

Sean Hennessey

Teddie Hathaway

Elizabeth Mears

Jeff Zimmer

Allegra Marquart

Jackie Greeves

Collaborative Art Project to Commemorate WGS’ 10th Anniversary

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from drab…

to FAB!

Artists from the Washington Glass School are working together on a collaborative outdoor artwork to commemorate our 10th year anniversary. Artists, instructors, teaching assistants, and friends of the glass school are helping create a wall installation that, while being a singular work of art, expresses the individuals that make up the glass school. This weekend, the glass school held a “play date” to get many of the school’s artists together to make the artwork and have a great time socializing. Here are some pix from the day:

Laurie Brown working with recycled glass.

Leslie Beil working on her design.

Kay Janis gets extra special attention from the instructor. She also gets points for wearing earrings made from panda-glass” (the remnants from the dichroic glass that was used in the making of the Washington, DC Commission on the Arts 2004 public art project “Pandamania” – where the Glass School had made a glass mosaic covered panda that sat in front of the Corcoran Gallery of Art.)


Anne Plant carefully aligns her glass elements prior to fusing.


Erwin Timmers works with recycled elements to reference …recycling.

Some of the tiles after fusing.

The installation of the exterior grids will happen at the school’s anniversary date. More images of the panels will be added as we continue with the making of the artwork – the fun will be the guessing on which artist made which panel.

Glass Sparks: Sean Hennessey

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The Measure of Value (detail)
Sean Hennessey is a Sculptor, Painter, blogger, propmaker and installation artist, and member of the Washington Glass School family. A graduate of the unique Berea College, Sean worked in professional theater for 10 years as a welder, carpenter, rigger, scenic artist, prop artist, and designer all the while creating his own artwork. Sean has been with the Washington Glass School since 2004 when Tim Tate finally convinced him that glass was cool.


The Measure of Value
Glass, Concrete, Steel
42″x13″

He began his relationship with the Washington Glass School by teaching mold making and concrete casting and assisting various classes. Slowly and steadily Sean began including more and more glass into his mixed media sculptures. By 2010 Sean focused primarily in glass and became a resident artist at the Washington Glass School. His current work uses a combination of glass, concrete, found objects, and steel to create works based on mythologies, philosophy, personal experiences, and whimsy.

We Share What We Have
Glass, Concrete, Steel
24″x13″

A Dream of Flying
Glass, Concrete, and Steel
24×13

Sean creates pieces that have the feel of archaeological finds, as if messages from today have been uncovered in some not too distant future. The earthiness of the concrete in his pieces suggests age and patina, slightly covering and obscuring his glass reliefs. He equates the glass with ethereality and the concrete as a corporeal coating. His work touches on issues of overcoming in everyday life–judging yourself and being judged by others, finding and maintaining inspiration, and dealing with dreams and hopes than conflict with our reality.

Ghost Light
Glass, Concrete, Steel
43″x13″

Sean uses the Dry Plaster Relief Casting technique in his work. He sets up boxes inside the kiln, fills the box with sifted plaster power, makes impressions in the plaster, places sheets of float glass on top of the box and fires the glass to slump into the mold.

Sean working inside the kiln.

It’s a dusty process

Example of a Mold used for Dry Plaster Relief Casting

Once the glass is removed from the kiln, Sean uses special primers and polymers to add a coating of cement to the surface.

Glass castings fresh out of the kiln.

Adding layers of concrete to the glass

But it’s not done yet! Apparently Sean loves adding many complicated processes into each piece! He then goes on to stain, sand, and distress the concrete, adding to the sense of age and antiquity. Sometimes he will paint the back of the glass using translucent coatings to allow light to come through. He then welds up steel frames to finish off his work.

Finding Your Power

Glass, Concrete, Steel 42″x13″

Sean will be one of the artists exhibiting at DC’s Longview Gallery juried invitational exhibition showcasing the people and work of the artists of the Washington Glass School. The show opens in May.

Washington Glass School: The First 10 Years

LongView Gallery

1234 9th Street, NW, Washington, DC
May 19 – June 19, Opening Reception, May 19th, 6:30-8:30 PM

Click HERE to jump to Sean’s artwork website.


For other glass artist profiles:

Teddie Hathaway

Elizabeth Mears

Jeff Zimmer

Allegra Marquart

Jackie Greeves

Glass Sparks: Elizabeth Ryland Mears

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Elizabeth Ryland Mears is an amazing, award winning, studio glass artist that is a master with flameworked glass. Flameworking is a technique of working with hot glass. Rods or tubes of glass are held in the flame of a bench torch where the glass is softened and then shaped by sculpting and/or blowing. The forms created are limited only by the artist’s creativity and skill, in addition to gravity and the sizes of the bench torch and annealing kiln.

Elizabeth has studied and taught lampworking techniques at Penland School of Crafts, Pilchuck Glass School, The Studio of Corning Museum of Glass, and has been involved with the Washington Glass School for many years. Her instructional book of borosilicate glass techniques Flameworking, was published in 2003 by LARK Books.

The creative work of Elizabeth Mears incorporates several different series; each one relates to and informs the others. In her Artist Statement, Elizabeth informs the viewers of her work that she ”uses the lexicon of Nature images to portray her relationship to her inner and outer worlds”. Her “Bundle of Twigs” series clearly expresses this theme, as does her “Basket” series.

Elizabeth Mears Basket of Past Dreams and Future Fears
Each bundle represents some aspect of her inner world or the outer world, as she relates to it. Joseph Campbell in The Power of Myth with Bill Moyers also speaks of this relationship, “The seat of the soul is there where the inner and outer worlds meet”.

In her “Shelter” series the glass structure of the shelters serve as the protective shell for the work of her inner journey. Each shelter has a different theme.


Elizabeth Mears Shelter For Endings That Beget Beginnings

One such shelter created at a time of transition in Elizabeth’s creative life is entitled, “Shelter for Endings That Beget Beginnings”. The inner objects of this shelter are composed of hollow blown egg shapes which contain the charred remains of cedar wood shavings collected at Pilchuck Glass School from the 30th Anniversary Totem carved while she was at the summer session. The egg shapes can represent new life, and the charred remains, the death of the old life. Liz has commented that her time away at Pilchuck was instrumental in her personal transformation.

In 2002 Liz began a series, which started as a collaboration with her daughter L. Lindsey Mears, a maker of artist books and prints. Elizabeth created the glass sculpture, which later became “books” with her daugher providing the content through her photographs and poetry. Elizabeth is now the sole creator of the glass books, which contain the poetry that she writes. The photographic images chosen are symbols, which represent the experience of her poetry.


Elizabeth Mears Breath

A later series began after the death of Elizabeth’s mother in 2006. One day after that death Mears learned that her mother had been adopted as a newborn. She had never shared with any of her four children this secret she carried and no information exists about her birth family. Soon after this revelation, Liz learned many other family secrets, which prompted a continuing series of glass and mixed media pieces dealing with various aspects of the secrets we each consign to the dark recesses of our lives. In the process of making these pieces and contemplating secrets as a universal theme, Elizabeth looks at how the secrets of life often bind us together more than the parts of our lives which are shared openly. According to Campbell, “…the experience of eternity right here and now, in all things, whether thought of as good or as evil, is the function of life”.


Elizabeth Mears Secrets They Sprout Up and Burst

Liz felt a strong connection to the comment by Joseph Campbell, “If you follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. When you see that, you begin to meet people who are in the field of your bliss, and they open the doors to you”. She was struck by the similarity to a statement she has included in her own writings for many years.

In 2008, Mears was asked by LARK Books to be one of ten master artists to write a chapter for the book, The Penland Book of Glass. In her chapter, Elizabeth writes the following about her personal philosophy of living a creative life, “I am a proponent of the philosophy that when we are born, we come to Earth with a personality and a set of gifts, propensities, and abilities. If we pay attention to them, they lead us along a path to fulfillment. When those things we feel passionate about energize us, energy flows out and then returns to us, altered in some form by its journey. This energy creates a positive dynamic in all directions, reaching and influencing an ever enlarging circle”.

Through making her glass objects and meeting other makers and lovers of glass and sculpture, poetry and photography, the circle of energy continues to grow, and, as Campbell says, “doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be”.


Elizabeth Mears and Robert Kinchloe review glass projects at Washington Glass School.

Elizabeth will be one of the featured artists at Longview Gallery ‘s exhibition in honor of Washington Glass School’s 10 year anniversary. Click HERE to jump to Elizabeth Mears website.

Glass Sparks: Jeff Zimmer

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Washington Glass School alumn Jeff Zimmer had returned to the school for a visit in January. Now a resident of the UK, Jeff lives in Edinburgh, Scotland, where he received a MDES in Glass & Architectural Glass, at the Edinburgh College of Art, (ECA), where he is now an instructor.

In the UK, Jeff has been making quite a name for his artwork – recently featured in the British Glass Biennale and shown in a collaboration between Contemporary Applied Arts & Contemporary Glass Society This year he will be exhibitng at the Perth Museum and Art Gallery, in the UK .

Jeff’s work was selected to be part of the Corning Museum of Glass’ New Glass Review 31. Tina Oldknow, Curator of Modern Glass, The Corning Museum of Glass said of his work:

“… glass is not immediately apparent in Jeff Zimmer’s ’1/1000th the Distance between Me and You (in a Deadrise)’, but it is an essential part of the work. A dark and dramatic object, it is constructed of 22 layers of enameled and sandblasted glass in a light box. In the obscured photograph, an object in the distance that emerges from black clouds under a clearing sky can be faintly discerned: is it a ship or something else? Using a box of cut glass sheets, Zimmer creates the depth and luminosity of a painting, but it is an image that undoubtedly changes every time it is viewed, depending on the angle and the ambient light.”

While at the Glass School, Jeff worked on a piece that will be shown at the WGS 10th Anniversary Exhibition to be held this May at Washington, DC’s Longview Gallery.

A strong narrative is created by meticulously layering imagery made from enameled and sandblasted glass.

The layered composition works in a tremendously subtle way; the depth of field changes as the viewer moves around the work, allowing one’s perception to shift and migrate.

Jeff evaluates and modifies each individual layer of glass as he fires the enamel onto the glass sheets.

Jeff constructs a box of glass for presentation, and installs LED lighting to illuminate the panels.
The box-like construction of each work creates an almost cinematic experience of space, volume and depth. One is drawn in by the emergent light from beneath the horizon or trailing into the distance like a wake.
Check out the final piece – titled “Fog Of Communication” at the 10th Anniversary Show!
Click HERE to jump to Jeff’s website.

For other glass artist profiles:

Diane Cabe

Sean Hennessey

Teddie Hathaway

Elizabeth Mears

Allegra Marquart

Jackie Greeves