Tim Tate: Reflections on Studio Practice

Glass Sculptor and Artist Tim Tate looks back on 20 years of creating a community. He recently put together some of his observations on well, how did we get here?

Artist Tim Tate

“I had been raised in a household filled with craft materials. I rarely saw my mother’s hands empty, always creating something. I inherited this love. I spent my early adult years being trained in the methods revolving around studio glass while attending the 2 weeks to 2-month workshops of Penland, Pilchuck, Corning, Pittsburg, etc. (I had no money to attend grad school …though I yearned for Cranbrook). These years of varied workshops and practitioners was the perfect way to obtain a broad outlook on the entire field. We founded the Washington Glass School in 2001 with very specific goals. Let me see if I can make this clear.

Tim Tate & Joyce Scott work on a new collaborative sculpture at the Washington Glass School.

1). We wanted to be something other than a traditional studio glass shop. From the beginning we realized we wanted a much broader approach; something that reflected the mission of education centers like the Crucible in Oakland and Penland in NC. We embraced mixed media work from the beginning with varied classes in kiln formed glass, steel, electronics, encaustics, etc. Our idea was not to in any way denigrate the rich history of studio glass, but to live just outside of those confines to see what would happen. To step slightly away from the 20th century.

Tim Tate
Tim Tate “We Rose Up”, 2017, Cast objects, mirrors, and LED’s, 32 × 32 × 4 in.

2). As a gay man in glass, it was apparent that diversity was sorely lacking in every way in the glass world. So we did outreach and advertised our classes in many publications that went to diverse populations, rather than wait for these populations to approach us. This worked very well. Even now we go to the Facebook pages of different neighborhoods to show our class schedules.

Einar and Jamex de la Torre at Washington Glass School 2015
The Brothers De La Torre visit the Washington Glass School in 2015.

3). We have embraced social media in every way possible, from individual and school Facebook and Instagram pages (where we post regularly) to administering a Facebook discussion group. This group is called “21st Century Glass/Conversations and Images/Glass Secessionism” and maintain over 8000 members from 97 countries.

With William Warmus we came up with the original concept of “Glass Secessionism”…to step slightly away from the recognized canon of 20th century glass and to create as much dialog and critical analysis as possible. There have been over 1.5 million words written and over thousands of images shared on this page focusing almost entirely on that theme.

In 2008, Artomatic held an international glass show.

4). We participated in many local shows here in the DC area, such as the spectacular Art-O-Matic show that truly put us on the map. We also curated many shows over the years to include local emerging artists. I have served on a dozen boards and juried dozens of shows and grant applications to stay in the loop and form a community bond. There are 3 Co-Directors here, all sharing a similar mission….to create a large regional, national and international community to foster new growth within our field.

2009 Glass Workshop at Washington Glass School. L-R Cheryl P Derricotte, David Cook, Nicole Puzan.

5). Our first class was on Sept. 13, 2001…. a difficult day in history to start anything being right after 9/11. We thought no one would even attend the first classes. But we discovered something else….no one cancelled. It appeared that while the purchase of art slowed to a trickle around the country, the creation of art thrived. Our first class was filled with artists who wanted to make narrative work about the devastation of that event. From that moment on we embraced narrative work with all our hearts. Works about political events, social injustices and inequalities were common within our sculptural classes, and certainly in my own works. We have now been in operation over 20 years, with over 6000 students. 60% of those were and are women, we have a large population of BIPoC students and we have worked with hundreds of LGTBQ students. We are so very proud of this fact.

My purpose for serving on boards right now is to focus on the building of communities as an artistic practice. I want to take a slight step away from academia as these institutions can become elitist, and I want to be non-elitist as we have been from the beginning. I also like regional boards that focus in the mid-Atlantic.

My personal practice had been deeply imbedded in the world of glass galleries and museums, though frequently as an outsider. I have stepped away from this in the last few months. I have moved towards the fine art world once again, as I had started there. It feels great to go back to my roots, surrounded by a community that reaches far beyond anything we ever anticipated.” – Tim Tate, October, 2022

Michael Janis Finalist in 2022 Contemporary Craft Prize

Michael Janis, “Allowing Our Past to Become Part of Ourselves” detail, 2022, fused glass, glass powder imagery. Photo by Pete Duvall.

17 national and international finalists have been selected for this biennial exhibition in glass art, featuring newly created, innovative works.

Michael Janis glass art - title "Allowing Our Past to Become Part of Ourselves" 60"H x 40' W fused glass, glass powder imagery aluminum

Glass is itself a transformation: created when ordinary sand encounters extreme heat. In this breathtaking exhibition, glass is transformed again, this time by 17 contemporary artists from across the globe. The resulting work pushes the boundary of traditional craft techniques and takes glass from the realm of the ordinary to the extraordinary.

Transformation 11: Contemporary Works in Glass is Contemporary Craft’s 2022 Elizabeth R. Raphael Founder’s Prize juried exhibition. The winning artist and their work will be announced and presented at the public opening of the exhibition on Friday, September 9, 2022, where they will receive a cash prize. The 2022 prize will be awarded in the category of glass, and must meet the requirement that it has been made within the last 12 months and addresses the theme of “transformation.” Seventeen contemporary artists from across the globe explore creative concepts and innovative approaches in their use of the glass medium, with the winning artist sending additional works to demonstrate the breadth of their work.

The 2022 Raphael Prize finalists are: Dean Allison, Pittsburgh, PA; Eunsuh Choi, Rochester, WI; Donald Friedlich, Madison, WI; Michael Janis, Washington, DC; Lauren Kalman, Detroit, MI; David King, Danville, KY; Eriko Kobayashi, Carbondale, IL; Weston Lambert, Tacoma, WA; Patrick Martin, Emporia, KS; Hisayoshi Muto, Yatomi, Aichi, Japan; Aya Oki, San Bernardino, CA; Miroslava Ptackova, Zlín, Zlínský kraj, Czech Republic; David Schnuckel, Rochester, NY; Michaela Spruzinova, Ústí Nad Labem, brná, Czech Republic; Ben Wright, Stanwood, WA; Ayano Yoshizumi, Everard Park, SA, Australia; and Hoseok Youn, Toledo, OH.

The jury for the 2022 prize includes Anna Rothfuss, Project Development Manager, Derix Art Glass Consultants, LLC U.S., Portland, OR; Heather McElwee, Randi & L. Van V. Dauler, Jr. Executive Director, Pittsburgh Glass Center, Pittsburgh, PA; Alexandra Raphael, enameller, London, England; Catherine Raphael, metalsmith and writer, Pittsburgh, PA; Rachel Saul Rearick, Executive Director, and Kate Lydon, Director of Exhibitions (retired), Contemporary Craft, Pittsburgh, PA

Contemporary Craft, 5645 Butler Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15201

Contemporary Craft hours: Mon-Sat: 10 AM – 4 PM

September 9, 2022 – March 18, 2023

This opening is free and open to the public.

ABOUT CONTEMPORARY CRAFT

Contemporary Craft presents contemporary art in craft media by regional, national, and international artists. Contemporary Craft offers cutting edge exhibitions focusing on multicultural diversity and contemporary art, as well as a range of artist-led studio workshops, community engagement programs, and a store. Located at 5645 Butler Street in the Upper Lawrenceville neighborhood of Pittsburgh, PA. For more information, visit www.contemporarycraft.org

One Story Is Not Enough – Tim Tate & Michael Janis in Toronto’s Sandra Ainsley Gallery

Sandra Ainsley Gallery, Canada’s leading glass art gallery, presents a collaborative exhibition from Washington Glass School artists Tim Tate and Michael Janis titled “One Story is Not Enough“. The exhibition will feature their individual works along with joint pieces that highlight the narrative sculpture.

L-R: Tim Tate, Sandra Ainsley, Daniel Ainsley at the opening of “One Story Is Not Enough”.

Mark, line and material become an extension of touch in the act of representation. The relationship of hand to subject, negotiated through the material, can elicit a response of both visual and tactile.

Michael Janis’ kilncast glass L-R “The Color of Shadows” & “The Place Between Memories”

With these confines, Tim and Michael create works in many techniques, but if you stand slightly back and see their history, a huge thread of interconnected stories weave through their work from day one. The beauty comes into focus and the viewer sees the edges of a world not dissimilar to this one, but so much more thoughtful. They present this glimpse into that alternative world, seemingly unstuck in time somewhere between past and future.

On Friday, June 17, at 1 PM (Eastern time), the Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass (AACG) will hold an online zoom MeetUp and Tim Tate and Michael Janis will tour exhibition and talk about their careers and process. Join the AACG to watch it live, or else catch it on YouTube after Friday.

Click Here to register.

Sandra Ainsley Gallery, 100 Sunrise Ave, North York, ON M4A 1B3, Canada

2022 Venice Biennale Showcases DC Area Artists

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“There’s A Big Hole In The Sky” – Collaborative sculpture by Tim Tate, Michael Janis, and Chris Shea. 

The Venice Biennale is an international art exhibition featuring architecture, visual arts, cinema, dance, music, and theatre that is held in the Castello district of VeniceItaly every two years during the summer. This year’s Venice Biennale includes a collateral event – ‘Glasstress’ – held at the historic Berengo Studios in Murano, Italy.

The 59th International Art Exhibition features a sculptural collaboration between DC glass artists Tim Tate, Michael Janis and Brandywine metal sculptor Chris Shea, representing the USA.

21st century glass sculpture art
Detail of Tate,Janis,Shea artwork showing cast glass and metalwork .

Chris Shea’s incredible metal work frames out Tim Tate’s lush fields of cast glass elements (detailed figures, flowers, insects) and in center, a glass sgraffito panel by Michael Janis.

A central concern in “There’s a Big Hole in The Sky” is that viewers need to abandon their apathy towards climate change. This monumental sculpture brings to light the effects of global warming on the earth as most areas will be facing frequent flooding. Despite the growing evidence of climate change, and humanity as the driver of that change, there remains a hardcore 20 percent or so that reject the whole notion of it and a healthy percentage that remain unconvinced that humans are causing it. And on top of those dismal statistics, many believe that climate change does not represent a threat to them. The artwork is an invitation to understand, to act, and to prepare. But if political solutions to climate change don’t materialize soon, it may also be an invitation to come to terms with loss.

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Image of installation at Berengo Studios in Murano, Italy.

From Biennale Press Release 

GLASSTRESS 2022

2 JUNE – 27 NOVEMBER 2022

BERENGO ART SPACE FOUNDATION

Venice, 2022 

At the same time as the 59th Venice Biennale, the seventh edition of GLASSTRESS, scheduled from June 2 to November 27, 2022, brings together a group of important contemporary artists from Europe, the United States, Latin America, Africa and China in an ambitious exhibition that explores the infinite creative possibilities of glass.

The works will be housed in the Berengo Art Space Foundation in Murano, an old abandoned furnace transformed a few years ago into an evocative exhibition space. On display will be works by artists who have already collaborated and exhibited at GLASSTRESS with Berengo Studio, such as Ai Weiwei, Jimmie Durham, Tony Cragg, Monira Al Qadiri, Thomas Schütte, as well as first-time attendees Vanessa Beecroft, María Magdalena Campos-Pons, Tim Tate, Paloma Varga Weisz and eL Seed, among others.

GLASSTRESS is a project by Adriano Berengo dedicated to promoting new connections between contemporary art and glass. Starting from its debut in 2009 as a side event of the Venice Biennale, over the years GLASSTRESS has made dozens of internationally renowned artists and designers passionate about the traditional craft of Murano glass blowing, who have tried their hand at creating suggestive and innovative works in glass with the support of the masters of Berengo Studio.

GLASSTRESS 2022 – ARTISTS

NEW ARTISTS

Vanessa Beecroft (Italy), María Magdalena Campos-Pons (Cuba), Judy Chicago (United States), Chiara Dynys (Italy), eL Seed (France), Leandro Erlich (Argentina), Ryan Gander (Great Britain), Michael Janis (United States), Alexander Evgenievich Ponomarev (Russia), Laurent Reypens (Belgium), Liam Scully (Great Britain), Chris Shea (United States), Paloma Varga Weisz (Germany), Osman Yousefzada (Great Britain).

RETURNING ARTISTS

Ai Weiwei (China), Monira Al Qadiri (Kuwait), Ayman Baalbaki (Lebanon), Tony Cragg (Great Britain), Jimmie Durham (United States), Jan Fabre (Belgium), Josepha Gasch-Muche (Germany), Kendell Geers ( South Africa), Marya Kazoun (Lebanon / Canada), Brigitte Kowanz (Austria), Karen LaMonte (United States), Tomáš Libertiny (Slovak Republic), Massimo Lunardon (Italy), Federica Marangoni (Italy), Prune Nourry (France), Anne Peabody (United States), Jaume Plensa (Spain), Laure Prouvost (France), Thomas Schütte (Germany), Sean Scully (United States), Wael Shawky (Egypt), Lino Tagliapietra (Italy), Tim Tate (United States) , Koen Vanmechelen (Belgium), Robert Wilson (United States), Rose Wylie (Great Britain), Erwin Wurm (Austria).

Washington (State) Museum of Glass Showcases Washington (DC) Glass School Directors

Sculptures by each of the Washington Glass School Directors – Tim Tate, Erwin Timmers and Michael Janis- were acquired for the permanent collection of the Tacoma Museum of Glass (MOG).

Michael Janis, “Healing Words” 2009, kilnformed glass, glass powder imagery, 37″ x 19″ x 2″, Collection Museum of Glass.

A long-time Museum of Glass Trustee, Potomac, MD-based glass-art collector Robert Minkoff selected MOG to house his art collection before passing away in September 2020. Developed through decades of patronage and philanthropy, the collection celebrates the incredible diversity of glass art and its possibilities in the field of contemporary art.  With the addition of Robert Minkoff’s personal collection, the Museum’s glass holdings are now the largest in the Western United States.

The artworks by the Washington Glass School artists will be part of a yearlong exhibit Boundless Curiosity: A Journey with Robert Minkoff, opening April 2, 2022.

Organized by Museum of Glass and curated by Katie Buckingham, ‘Boundless Curiosity’ follows Minkoff’s love of glass and tells vibrant stories of glass’s evolution from a studio craft material. “The Minkoff Collection is a transformational gift to the Museum” said curator Katie Buckingham. “We are excited about the opportunity to widen the story of glass art and show compelling narrative sculptural work”.

MOG’s contemporary glass collection concentrates on how medium of glass interacts with modern day art. Citing “glass secessionism” (as defined by Tim Tate and William Warmus in their “21st Century Glass Conversations and Images” online group) there is a movement in glass art away from “technique” towards “artistic vision” and concept. Said Curator Buckingham “we all look forward to including the artworks by the Washington Glass School directors – the 3 Musketeers of Glass.”

Washington Glass School artists Erwin Timmers, Tim Tate and Michael Janis (aka aka- Athos, Porthos and Aramis)

Works by noted glass artists Dale Chihuly, Lino Tagliapietra, Debora Moore, Therman Statom, Amber Cowan, Susan Taylor Glasgow, Shane Ferro, Paul Stankard, and Laura Donefer round out the exhibit in the main gallery of the Museum. The Minkoff collection exhibition will kick off the Glass Art Society (GAS) 2022 international conference held in Tacoma, WA this May.

About Museum of Glass

Located in Tacoma, Washington, Museum of Glass is a premier contemporary art museum dedicated to glass and glassmaking in the West Coast’s largest and most active museum glass studio. Opened in 2002, the Museum has established a reputation for hosting impactful and engaging artist residencies, organizing nationally traveling exhibitions, and creating unique programs for visitors while building a growing permanent collection chronicling the development of modern and contemporary glass. 

Museum of Glass provides an environment for artists and the public to ignite creativity, fuel discovery, and enrich their lives through glass and glassmaking. MOG’s glass holdings are now the largest in the Western United States.

BOUNDLESS CURIOSITY: A JOURNEY WITH ROBERT MINKOFF

Opening April 2, 2022 thru 2023

Museum of Glass, 1801 Dock Street, Tacoma, WA 98402

www.museumofglass.org

May 14th Open Studios- Save the Date!

Save The Date! May 14th is the proposed date for Washington Glass School Open Studio Tour! Many of the surrounding art studios and galleries will be participating! We will follow health protocols – and it will be great to see all in real life! Come and see what’s new and what has been shaking at the studio!

Habatat Galleries Celebrates 50 Years

This Friday, September 3rd, Michigan’s Habatat Galleries presents the opening of Glass Art Fair exhibition at 11:00 a.m. ET. This will be the VIP preview day for the online art fair as it opens to the public virtually the next day. This presentation includes many of available works that will be featured in the Habatat Galleries 50th in-person celebration.

Michael Janis’ kilncast glass is featured in Habatat Galleries 50th Anniversary exhibit.

Artists from around the world have been invited to this event and the gallery expects a large turnout since all have been apart for so long. During the pandemic Habatat has been pioneering the world of virtual glass art events including Glass49, GlassArtFair, the new annual Not Grandma’s Glass exhibition, and the highly apropos Viral Glass exhibition. Director Aaron Schey has created a treasure trove of digital presentations over the last year via Habatat Now programs which are viewable on YouTube.

Gallery founder Ferdinand Hampson shares his thoughts about Habatat’s Legacy: Founded in 1971, Habatat has promoted, legitimized, and elevated a new art material to a point of recognition by the art community. Fifty years later we evolved with glass. We continue our efforts towards the mainstream though we are no longer outsiders. Fine art collectors, museums, and noted art publications have in many cases recognized the medium and shared in the excitement of what this material can do and be, in the hands of creative artists worldwide.

Tim Tate and Michael Janis’ collaborative work – “The Poetry of Everyday Objects” is featured.

Online Virtual Tour of Phillips Collection

In Washington, DC- the perfect thing to do is visit a museum! The Phillips Collection’ new exhibit “Inside Outside Upside Down” features works by WGS artists Tim Tate & Michael Janis! Below is installation view, “Inside Outside, Upside Down” at the The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC, July 12 – September 17, 2021.

Photograph by Gregory R. Staley. Image courtesy of The Phillips Collection.

Or… if one can’t get to the museum- take a virtual online 3D tour! Click HERE to jump to Phillips Collection online tour.

Michael Janis glass art Phillips Collection Museum.
Image of 3D tour courtesy of The Phillips Collection.

National Guard At Post For President-Elect Biden Inauguration

National Guard Soldiers stand guard at the John Adams Building, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. National Guard Soldiers and Airmen have traveled to the National Capital Region to provide support leading up to the 59th Presidential Inauguration. (photo: Tech. Sgt. Lucretia Cunningham)

National Guard Soldiers stand guard at the John Adams Building, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. National Guard Soldiers and Airmen have traveled to the National Capital Region to provide support leading up to the 59th Presidential Inauguration. (photo: Tech. Sgt. Lucretia Cunningham)

15,000 National Guard troops are now in DC for the scheduled Jan. 20 inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden. But with so many troops in a city that has become a maze of black fencing, cement barriers and dozens of checkpoints, there is an eerie calm in Washington DC, ahead of a feared storm of supporters of President Donald Trump, who don’t believe their candidate lost and are willing to continue the violence.

Photos of the Guard protecting the Library of Congress Adams Building shows the soldiers in front of the cast glass panels made by Washington Glass Studio with Portland’s Fireart Studio. Click Here to jump to the 2012 American Craft interview and photos of the cast glass made and the process to make the architectural artwork.

We are happy that  the military is taking no chances with who was coming to protect the inauguration.

On a normal day, it takes about an hour to walk the 2.5 miles down Pennsylvania Avenue to Capitol Hill.

But these are no normal days. 

These precautions come a week after a mob of supporters of Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol to try to overturn the results of the presidential election. 

The Future of Art: Glass Art Fair 2020

Many art fairs have been moved online due to the global pandemic. Now, as a way to provide access to the best of art glass – Glass Art Fair has been formed. This new online art fair provides a unique opportunity with virtual experience – where all are invited to learn and explore each artist featured and share on their personal social media. The future has “arrived so much sooner,” said the creator of Glass Art Fair,  “If galleries and fairs are closed, how can we sell art? Creating an online art fair platform is something we envisioned as an important part of what we do.”

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artist: Tim Tate. Image courtesy Habatat Galleries.

New for 2020, the Glass Art Fair online art fair features over 60 artists creating using glass as their art medium, opening online to the public on Sunday, November 1st, 2020. This art fair will be online the same time as the Sofa Chicago art fair (rebranded Intersect Art Fair).

GlassArtFair2020.michael_janis.glass.sgraffito.art.contemporary

artist: Michael Janis. Image courtesy Habatat Galleries.


Glass Art Fair hopes collectors on their laptops and iPads will take more time with the work than those darting through a Navy Pier or a Miami beachfront tent. 
“We have the ability to have multiple images and detail shots – When people are visiting the online platform, they aren’t walking through for 45 seconds. You’re going to have their attention for so much longer.”

GlassArtFair2020.wilfried.grootens

artist: Wilfried Grootens. Image courtesy Habatat Galleries.

This online presentation will continue for the month of November with more presentations as works become available. Each artist has the availability to edit and add artwork throughout the month so please check back in for updates often. The works on the site are available for purchase.

GlassArtFair2020.christina bothwell

artist: Christina Bothwell. Image courtesy Habatat Galleries.

Expect more of what you love at the Glass Art Fair.

artists:  Jennifer Caldwell and Jason Chakravarty. Image courtesy Habatat Galleries.

artists:
Jennifer Caldwell and Jason Chakravarty. Image courtesy Habatat Galleries.