WGS Featured Artist: Jason Chakravarty

CLICK IT! Featured Artist: Jason Chakravarty

Jason Chakravarty is a mixed media artist based in Arizona. He worked for four years in a commercial neon sign shop before earning his MFA from California State University-Fullerton. He teaches neon and kiln casting workshops at universities and glass centers nationwide, and exhibits his work nationally.

Jason Chakravarty, together with Jennifer Caldwell have made many collaborative pieces, maintaining a critical, conceptual, and technical dialogue thru their work. Jennifer best known for her flame worked glass compositions and Jason’s technical focus is cast glass objects which often include parts or techniques from the hot shop. He uses familiar photorealistic imagery that ranges from sea to space. The narrative is the starting point and is a response to daily life and cultural observations.

Their work has been exhibited in museums including Corning Museum of Glass and Tacoma Museum of Glass, at SOFA Chicago.

Jennifer Caldwell and Jason Chakravarty

Jennifer Caldwell and Jason Chakravarty

Washington Glass School blog catches up with Jason as his work is part of the WGS Contemporary online exhibit “CLICK-IT!” and the associated show “Artists for Racial Justice

Washington Glass School (WGS): Describe your artwork method/process.

Jason Chakravarty: Our process begins with a need to illuminate an idea. Ideas come from our surroundings, travels (or lack of in 2020), experiences, written stories, or even just captured moments. Glass presents the only medium with endless possibilities. We cast, blow, sculpt, paint, slump, fuse, carve, light it up and cut it. Glass can be made thick, thin, transparent, and opaque. To explain a single process would ignore the way we work. 

Jason Chakravarty and Jennifer Caldwell, "Bee-nounced"; cast murrini with flameworked components.

Jason Chakravarty and Jennifer Caldwell, “Bee-nounced”; cast murrini with flameworked components.

WGS: Describe your work in the show and highlight aspects that the viewers should understand about the work.

Jason Chakravarty: For Click It, we were lucky to include works that span over the past decade. The most recent being ‘Beenounced‘. This piece highlights the delicacy of Jennifer’s flame worked bee and honey living amongst a random and repeating hexagon honeycomb pattern. Each leg and wing is sculpted by hand, while a more machine-like process for the hexagon can be compared to a sushi roll. Long pulls of clear glass coated with yellow or black cut up, organized on end and cast to make a larger hexagon home.

Jason Chakravarty and Jennifer Caldwell, "Woken Inna Space Without Sound"; sculpted/blown glass/mixed media

Jason Chakravarty and Jennifer Caldwell, “Woken Inna Space Without Sound”; sculpted/blown glass/mixed media

On the other end of the timeline spectrum, ‘Woken Inna Space Without Sound‘ was entirely made using the hot shop. A small paperweight was created and cooled, butterfly and bee decals were applied to the surface. The paperweight was then heated, more clear glass was added and the glass cooled again. Add additional decals and repeat. Each layer requires a couple days. Once all the layers were built the glass was reheated again, shaped and sculpted into a half moon with craters. Layers of transparent and opaque gray, white and opal color were added to the surface and then cooled. The butterfly net was hand blown separately.

Discussing one last piece. “Catch and Release. The lock is cast glass and was purchased in Tel Aviv on a trip to teach in Jerusalem. At the time it felt like an ancient relic that we had found in an old mud hut and bought from a man that was nearing the end of a long and nonmonetary rich life. The fence referenced a fence that ran along the walkway to a bridge in Seattle that we would use when boarding/unboarding the ferry. The fence itself is created by hand using a torch and then assembled cold and held tight in a frame like a puzzle.

WGS: How have you handled the Covid lockdown?

Jason Chakravarty: It feels like we are working on the same path as a year ago. The demand for our work has shifted but not slowed down. While we are busy, the silver lining has been that all the anxiety has subsided. Deadlines are on ‘island time’ more like a suggestion vs an absolute. While too much to list has changed we are still consistently working. Every day is still a great day to add something better to the world.

Jason Chakravarty and Jennifer Caldwell; "Weeding Out"; cast/fused glass, steel.

Jason Chakravarty and Jennifer Caldwell; “Weeding Out”; cast/fused glass, steel.

WGS: What artwork/event has moved you and got you thinking about your own work?

Jason Chakravarty: Typically travel and life experience write the story for our work and fill our sketch books. It feels like we are now able to resolve some of the ideas that have been sitting or on hold. So I would say the ‘lack of event’ has us thinking more about how we work and the actual work and less focused on the excitement that comes with new ideas.

WGS: if you were not an artist – what would you be?

Jason Chakravarty: Fred Flintstone.

The artist formerly known as Jason Chakravarty.

The artist formerly known as Jason Chakravarty. Yabba.Dabba.Do.

WGS: Do you do a lot of planning in your work – or is there an element of chance while working?

Jason Chakravarty: We start with a plan and embrace all the changes along the way. Our work is very process orientated. Many steps using many techniques. Each would have to be perfect to reach our original plan. Nothing is ever perfect. Even our view of the narrative shifts with time, day, and week.

WGS: What is your rule of thumb in determining when a work is finished?

Jason Chakravarty: Each piece we make starts with a narrative. Our goal within a narrative is to raise questions vs provide answers. A piece is resolved when the question is asked.

Click HERE to jump to Jason Charavarty and Jennifer Caldwell’s work in CLICK-IT!

And see their work as part of “Artists For Racial Justice” – click HERE.

Read about Jennifer Caldwell – the other half of JC2   -click HERE.

CLICK-IT Exhibition Opens June 16th @ WGS Contemporary

WGS Contemporary hosts CLICK-IT and Artists for Racial Justice

WGS Contemporary hosts CLICK-IT! and Artists for Racial Justice

With much of the physical art world closing because of Covid-19, artists, galleries and museums have turned to technology and social media to stay open (albeit virtually), allowing visitors from anywhere in the world to interact with and view art.

WGS Contemporary Gallery (located in the DMV’s Gateway Arts District) had to get creative with how to bring art to the world. With so much changing so quickly, artists and arts organizations are still in the process of finding their footing. “With everyone in isolation, art is needed now more than ever to help remind people that we are not alone. Art helps us to dream, escape our current realities, and engage our imaginations in building a better world for tomorrow,” said Gallery Director Teri Bailey. “With this show, we all stand united (six feet apart, of course) and ready to take on these challenges and the new opportunities they present.” 

"Spilt Perfume Set", Artist:  Carmen Lozar

“Spilt Perfume Set”, Artist: Carmen Lozar

"Sea Through The Looking Glass" Artists: Jennifer Caldwell and Jason Chakravarty

“Sea Through The Looking Glass”, Artists: Jennifer Caldwell and Jason Chakravarty

Opening June 16th, WGS Contemporary presents “Click-It!” featuring works by some of the most exciting and inspiring artists, with a broad spectrum of works that showcase the current trends in art and the media specific works.

"Patterns of Containment", Artist: Erwin Timmers

“Patterns of Containment”, Artist: Erwin Timmers

Artists in the show include:

Teri Bailey
F. Lennox Campello
Jennifer Caldwell
Jason Chakravarty
Cheryl P. Derricotte
Sean Donlon
Sean Hennessey
Joseph Ivacic
Michael Janis
Carmen Lozar
Tim Tate
Erwin Timmers
Steve Wanna
Jeff Zimmer

“By placing artworks of different materials, mediums, and styles in direct conversation, there is opportunity for new dialogues and perspectives,” adds Bailey. Click-It! will highlight the many parallel and interesting artistic directions these artists bring creating a dynamic environment of exchange online.
“We will be using our online platforms to introduce exciting new art programming that aims to enrich, entertain and inspire during this challenging time.”
A special fundraising event “Artists for Racial Justice” is also scheduled online as a companion show, with the-proceeds for these special works to be donated to the non-profit organizations “Color of Change ” and the “NAACP”.

"Deja Vu" Artist Sean Dolon

“DejaVu”, Artist Sean Donlon

 

WGS Contemporary is a Washington, DC area art and special projects fine arts gallery. WGS Contemporary’s mission is to contribute to thinking about art, new media, technology, and social issues through an open access forum which we hope will facilitate contemporary and innovative projects worldwide. In that process, WGSC will expose the cutting edge work of artists pushing the new media frontiers of art. Projects using robotics, sensory perception, holographic imaging, self-contained video sculptures and others will offer an intelligent and fresh set of artwork that marries technology and art into a new creative dialogue in the visual arts.

 

 

 

 

 
Want more than just visual …stimulation? click on link below and get the official “Click It” themesong – music by Donovan Lessard.

“How We Take Care of Each Other” Artwork in the Time of Corona – Installation by Michael Janis

We are social creatures. Every relationship has been built and held together by complicated nonverbal language, beginning with parent and child. It’s part of our social fabric. Individual, family, and interpersonal relationships have all changed as a result of the COVID-19 emergency. What is the characteristic of a pandemic? Emptiness. The unusual quiet in what was normally noisy, bustling neighborhood. Silence – where the silence isn’t merely the absence of noise. It’s judgement, longing and paranoia.The fear the we may be ourselves a transmitter of the virus as we seek the comfort of others.

How people are psychologically affected by and coping with the COVID-19 emergency is the basis of the installation of kiln cast glass by WGS artist Michael Janis. Over 20 individual glass panels make up the large wall-mounted work.

Janis’ signature “sgraffito” imagery – where he manipulates fine crushed glass powder  into highly detailed imagery and portraiture, fires the images into layers of colored glass is used to strong effect in this new work. Images of that convey the sense of how we are connected and yet are contained into separate worlds is the essence of the work. Working in the isolation of the lock downed studio, Janis says he will continue to add to the installation as the virus continues to work thru the world. “Working on artwork keeps me sane” says the artist.

Partial view of Michael Janis’ “How We Take Care Of Each Other” glass art installation. Kilnformed glass; glass powder imagery; varying dimensions; 2020.

Partial view of Michael Janis’ “How We Take Care Of Each Other” glass art installation. Kilnformed glass; glass powder imagery; varying dimensions; 2020.

 

Michael Janis covid theme artwork installation

Partial view of Michael Janis’ “How We Take Care Of Each Other” glass art installation. Larger panels approx. 18″ (45cm) dia.

glass craft art made during coronavirus 2020

Detail of one of the fused glass panels in Michael Janis’ installation. Imagery made from glass powder in Janis’ signature sgraffito technique.

Michael Janis covid coronavirus art craft glass artwork 2020

Detail of Michael Janis’ glass art installation “How We Take Care Of Each Other”

Detail of works by Michael Janis.

Detail of works by Michael Janis. The translucent glass panels are mounted off the wall in varying dimensions, with light and shadow highlighting each panel edge.

glass craft american art fused kilnformed covid coronavirus 2020

Detail of one of Michael Janis’ kilnformed works. COVID-19 cases are heavily concentrated in the African American population.

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The fabric of society is held together by even the smallest physical contact. Touch is as important a social condition as anything. It reduces stress. It makes people trust one another. It allows for cooperation. When you look at people in solitary confinement suffering from touch deprivation, you see that people lose a sense that someone’s got their back, that they’re part of a community and connected to others.

Virtual Tour of WGS Contemporary Gallery @ Aqua Art Miami

Couldn’t make it to sunny Miami for Art Basel? Still want to see one of the leading shows from the comfort of … wherever? Click on link and get a 360 virtual tour of one of Art Miami’s leading art fairs – Aqua Art Miami. Spin all around, and go up and visit room #208 to see WGS Contemporary‘s exhibit – featuring works by Teri Bailey, J Jordan Bruns, Michael Janis, Tim Tate, Erwin Timmers, and Steve Wanna. The show was a great success – we will have more trips down to Florida, we might as well get a beachfront condo!

The virtual reality walk thru is so encompassing, you just might want to have a mojito in hand to get the full Miami effect!

nb: this is the full overview 360 view of show – follow arrows in and up the stairs to room 208 to see WGS – or walk thru the entire place and look into the windows to see all the galleries that had shown.

Stars & Stripes Let Freedom Ring!

Take time on this special day to understand what independence means to you. Happy July 4th! 

Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.  -Abraham Lincoln

Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.
-Abraham Lincoln

Let each one of us make a promise, that as long as we live, we will be good citizens of our country in the best of our capabilities and we will help America grow into a better nation with each passing day.

Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech. – Benjamin Franklin

2017 WGS Year in Review

wgs.2017.year.in.review

A look back at some of our biggest moments of the year and what we’re looking forward to in 2018. This year brought us the first year of Trump’s presidency, a historic solar eclipse and some huge exhibits. Now, as the year draws to a close, WGS blog reflects on some of the happenings that rocked – and to some degree reshaped our place in the glass art world.

January 

The Women’s march held in Washington D.C. on Jan. 21, 2017 was organized after the election of Donald Trump as president of the U.S. to demonstrate solidarity among women, minorities, LGBT and other disenfranchised communities. Glass Art Magazine editor Shawn Waggoner visited the Washington Glass School while in town for the event.

Glass Art Magazine editor Shawn Waggoner was one of the participants in the Womens March in January.

Glass Art Magazine editor Shawn Waggoner (second from left) was one of the participants in the Women’s March in January.

WGS Instructor Debra Ruzinsky was named the new director of the Appalachian Center for Craft. The Appalachian Center for Craft is located in scenic Middle Tennessee near the town of Smithville. The facility was built in 1979 and has spacious studios, gallery, exhibitions, administrative offices, library, student housing and meeting/audio visual rooms.

The Appalachian Center for Craft in Tennessee.

The Appalachian Center for Craft in Tennessee.

Glass Art Magazine featured our Michael Janis in a profiled in their magazine and as part of their podcast series “Talking Out Your Glass“.

Glass Art Magazine featured Michael Janis in the Jan/Feb issue.

Glass Art Magazine featured Michael Janis in the Jan/Feb issue.

February

Washington Glass Studio completed installation of a two-part public art project in Florida. Palm Beach County‘s Art in Public Places awarded WGS the commission to design and fabricate integrated public art sculptures as part of the renovation of an existing facility for the new headquarters for Palm Beach County’s Tourist Development Council (TDC) and the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office (PBSO). The works were installed starting in January and completed in February 2017.

Public art at Florida's West Palm Beach International Airport

Public art at Florida’s West Palm Beach International Airport

March
March featured the opening of “Embracing Narrative” – the joint exhibition of glass works by artists from the Washington Glass School and the Virginia Glass Guild opened this weekend at Virginia’s Portsmouth Art & Cultural Center (PACC). Juried by Diane Wright, Curator of Glass, Chrysler Museum of Art and Sheila Giolitti, Mayer Fine Art Gallery, the exhibit kicked off the Glass Art Society’s (GAS) 46th annual conference that was held at the Chrysler Museum and the Perry Glass Studio in June, 2017. embracing_narrative.GAS_conference_norfolk.washington_new_post.studio.glass_.secession.art_.exploring.invite

April

Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) invited WGS’ Michael Janis in April to the museum to talk about his artwork that was featured in the exhibit “Mindful: Exploring Mental Health Through Art”. He talked about his glass process and the themes that run thru his work. MOCA_meet_the_artist_Janis_michael.museum.glass_.mental_health.mindful

In April, Habatat Galleries featured works by Washington Glass School artists Erwin Timmers, Tim Tate, Michael Janis and Sean Hennessey at the gallery’s 45th Glass International Award Exhibition.

Erwin Timmers' new cast glass and LED panels were featured at the 45th International.

Erwin Timmers’ new cast glass and LED panels were featured at the 45th International.

May

Washington Glass School co-founder Tim Tate was invited by Glenn Adamson, senior scholar at Yale, to speak at a symposium at Yale University. Tim talked about his work, as well as artists Roberto Lugo and Stephanie Syjuco. Tim Tate talked about how objects differ from other types of evidence, when it comes to histories of ideology and belief.

Tim Tate at Yale conference.

Tim Tate at Yale conference.

June 

glass.weekend.wheaton.arts

WheatonArts hot shop during Glass Weekend 2017

New Jersey’s WheatonArts opened GlassWeekend 2017– an International Symposium and Exhibition of Contemporary Glass. For 32 years, GlassWeekend brought together the world’s leading glass artists, collectors, galleries, and museum curators at Wheaton Arts and Cultural Center for a three-day weekend in June. This year’s demonstrating artists were Matthew Szosz, Rik Allen, and Shelley Muzylowski Allen. The keynote speaker featured Susie Silbert, the new Curator of Modern and Contemporary Glass at the Corning Museum of Glass.

Tim Tate was one of the featured LBGTQ artists in the Liberty Museum show.

Tim Tate was one of the featured LBGTQ artists in the Liberty Museum show.

The National Liberty Museum hosted the nation’s first museum exhibit of studio glass works produced exclusively by artists of the LGBTQ+ community. Each artist explored diverse subjects, methods, and styles using the artistic medium of glass making.

July

Teary-eyed farewell to Our Miss Wilson - artist Trish Kent baked a farewell cake in the shape of Audrey's favorite artistic element - a feather.

Teary-eyed farewell to our Ms Wilson – artist Trish Kent baked a farewell cake in the shape of Audrey’s favorite artistic element – a feather.

The Table-making class was great fun!

The glass table-making class was great fun!

Washington Glass School’s table making class ended with some happy artist/students! Erwin Timmers class made the glass for the tabletops and welded the steel for the table bases.

Audrey Wilson was recognized unstoppable force of nature! The Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass (AACG) awarded her with their Visionary Scholarship - with it, she was off to Penland for intensive workshops. Glass Art Magazine also featured Audrey with a great profile in the July/August issue! Ms Wilson had to say goodbye to WGS, as she began MFA classes at Ohio’s Kent State.

Glass Art Magazine featured Audrey Wilson in their July/August issue.

Glass Art Magazine featured Audrey Wilson in their July/August issue.

August

Tim Tate outlines the history of the American Studio Glass Movement to the class.

Tim Tate outlines the history of the American Studio Glass Movement to the class.

Baltimore’s Contemporary Glass Art class held at the CCBC visited the Washington Glass School as part of their studies. The group got to meet with many of the artists working from the studio, and were able to see how a school & studio functions.

laura.beth.konopinski.audrey.wilson.studio

LBK gets to work making changes in the Glass School.

Laura Beth Konopinski joined the WGS crew as the new Studio Coordinator coming from the Pittsburgh Glass Center. LBK quickly updated our procedures and has taken over the workings of the busy studio. Ms Konopinski’s artwork has also been noticed, with her work being sought out for exhibition at the Miami Art Week.

“The Great American Eclipse” was the name given to the solar eclipse visible within a band across the entire contiguous United States, passing from the Pacific to the Atlantic coasts. WGS celebrated by having the community over to watch the event using the studio’s protective welding eyewear.

Said WGS Co-Director Michael Janis of the eclipse: "whoa".

Said WGS Co-Director Michael Janis of the eclipse: “whoa”.

September

sean.Hennessey.art.sculptureArtist Sean Hennessey became a proud papa, introducing his best work yet: Atlas Leif. Mazel tov!

The James Renwick Alliance’s (JRA) annual Distinguished Artist Series (DAS) brings notable craft artists from around the country – and in September, the season started off great with Alex Bernstein as the distinguished artist in Glass. Alex took the JRA workshop attendees along a journey from billet to awesome in about 3 hours! The  JRA Distinguished Artist walked the audience thru his signature process of “Bernstein-ing” his work, and everyone loved it!

DAS Alex Bernstein begins his workshop demo at the Washington Glass School. photo by Diane Charnov

DAS Alex Bernstein begins his workshop demo at the Washington Glass School. photo by Diane Charnov

October

Washington Glass School said farewell to Studio Artist Veta Carney as she retired from her law practice and headed out west with her husband to join her son Daniel Carney’s glass studio in Arizona.

Changes at the Glass Studio are best addressed with food.

Changes at the Glass Studio are best addressed with food.

November

The Sculpture Objects Functional Art and Design (SOFA) Fair in Chicago this past November was focused on three-dimensional art and design. Artists Tim Tate and Michael Janis were shown at Habatat Galleries space at Chicago’s Navy Pier.

Seen in Chicago SOFA 2017 at Navy Pier

Also in November, the Washington Glass Studio installed the site specific commission for the William Beanes Community Center in Suitland, MD. The internally illuminated artwork was commissioned by Prince Georges County for the new community center named for William Beanes, MD, who played a pivotal role in the history of The Star-Spangled Banner.

The William Beanes Community Center in Suitland, MD.

The William Beanes Community Center in Suitland, MD.

The images were designed and selected by the community after a series of interactive meetings and finalized with the help of local council members. The LED illuminated discs were mounted to a powder coated structure that was mounted to the building structure.

December 

tim.tate_.american.craft_.magazine.william.warmus.glass_.new_.usa_.art_.infiity.mirror.sculpture

Tim Tate’s definitive profile by William Warmus in American Craft Magazine.

The December/January 2018 American Craft magazine issue features a story by author/critic William Warmus explores WGS co-founder Tim Tate’s history in the glass world. Titled “The Spaces Between“,  William writes about what drives Tim’s work, and about the development (and controversy) of the Facebook “Glass Secessionism” page.

scope.art.fair.2017

Miami Art Week 2017 featured works by WGS crew Michael Janis, Laura Beth Konopinsk, Tim Tate, Erwin Timmers & Alum Audrey Wilson.

December 2017 finished up with an amazing feat – ALL the principal staff of the Washington Glass School were featured as part of the worlds largest and most prestigious art fair – Art Basel/ Miami Art Week. The enormous art fair envelopes Miami and one cannot help but be inspired and encouraged.

Looking Ahead

2018 promises many new opportunities – looking ahead on the calendar:

New classes at the glass school! Michigan’s Habatat Galleries will again feature WGS artists in this year’s 46th International Glass Invitational in April. Michael Janis will be teaching an intensive session at Pittsburgh Glass Center in May. Tim Tate’s artwork  will be part of the LA activist art show “Into Action!curated by John Legend, Shepard Fairy, Rosario Dawson, Harry Belafonte and other notable activists, artists and museum curators. Never a dull moment!

Washington Glass School and Studio Wishes All the Best for the Holidays! May the New Year give wings to all of our dreams and let them come true in 2018!

Washington Glass School & Virginia Glass Guild Explore New Directions In Special Glass Exhibit

Erwin Timmers talks about the environmental themes that are part of his glass artwork to Gayle Paul - Curator at the Portsmouth Art & Cultural Center

Erwin Timmers talks about the environmental themes that are part of his glass artwork to Gayle Paul – Curator at the Portsmouth Art & Cultural Center. For this exhibit, PACC joins with the Chrysler Museum of Art and regional art facilities to celebrate the art of glass as Norfolk, VA hosts the Glass Art Society Conference from June 1-3, 2017.

Tying into the creativity that is part of the Glass Art Society 2017 conference in Norfolk, artists of the Washington Glass School and the Virginia Glass Guild are creating a joint exhibit at the nearby Portsmouth Art & Cultural Center (PACC). Titled “EMBRACING NARRATIVE: Artwork of the Washington Glass School and Virginia Glass Guild”, the show will feature works by members of the two glass organizations. Together these organizations promote the awareness and advancement of glass through ideas, theory, sculptural design, technology and installation. 

Audrey Wilson talks about her plasma-charged narrative assemblages.

Audrey Wilson talks about her plasma-charged narrative assemblages.

Gayle Paul, the Curator of the PACC came to the Washington Glass School this weekend to finalize selection of glass artworks. The jurors of the exhibit are Diane Wright, Curator of Glass, Chrysler Museum of Art and Sheila Giolitti, Mayer Fine Art Gallery.

Featured Washington Glass School artists include: Michael Janis, Tim Tate, and Erwin Timmers, Audrey Wilson, Diane Cabe, Sean Hennessey,  Allegra Marquart, Syl Mathis, Elizabeth Mears,  Debra Ruzinsky, Nancy Weisser, Erin Antognoli, Steve Durow, Jennifer Lindstrom, Sherry Selevan, and Jeff Zimmer.

Gayle Paul is intrigued by Allegra Marquart's combination of glass and textile for her sculptures.

Gayle Paul is intrigued by Allegra Marquart’s combination of glass and textile for her sculptures.

 

Embracing Narrative
Artwork of the Washington Glass School and the Virginia Glass Guild

Portsmouth Art & Cultural Center
400 High Street
Portsmouth, VA 23704

March 3- June 4, 2017
logo.embracing_narrative.glass.exhibit.GAS.norfolk.porstmouth.art_cultural_center_gallery.washington.virginia_guild.school

Washington Glass Studio Installs Laurel Library Public Art

The steel structure is lowered by crane onto the foundation at the new Laurel Library

The steel structure is lowered by crane onto the foundation at the new Laurel Library

Washington Glass Studio installed their outdoor sculpture at the new Laurel, Maryland library. The 16′ H tower titled “Involve Me and I Learn” has over 100 glass tiles mounted in the steel framework. The artwork’s title – attributed to Ben Franklin – references the engagement of the community. The neighborhood and the Laurel Library supporters had joined in making the individual glass panels in workshops at the Washington Glass School. The Baltimore Sun had earlier in the year covered the story of the glass quilting bee workshops.

Siteworks for the sculptural and architectural application of glass were completed and the risky business of installing the works just took place.

Audrey Wilson rises to meet the challenge.

Audrey Wilson rises to meet the challenge.

Washington Glass Studio Co-Director Erwin Timmers bolts the steel framed glass panels to the main structure.

Washington Glass Studio Co-Director Erwin Timmers bolts the steel framed glass panels to the main structure.

The panels were fitted and bolted in place and the internal LED lighting was installed. Prince George’s Art in Public Places has advised that the official opening of the stunning library is set for November 28th.laurel (2)

Washington Post Reviews Michael Janis Solo @ Littleton Gallery

The Washington Post published the following review of Michael Janis’ solo show “Echoes of Leaves and Shadows” being exhibited at the Maurine Littleton Gallery through Oct 15. Art critic Mark Jenkins  describes Michael’s skill as “extraordinary. Jenkins also enthuses that Janis’ glass artwork combines “the stateliness of stained-glass windows with the vivacity of pop art”. Have a read of the full text below:

Michael Janis. "Radiance," 2016, glass, glass powder imagery, steel; on view at Maurine Littleton Gallery. (Michael Janis/Maurine Littleton Gallery)

Michael Janis. “Radiance,” 2016, glass, glass powder imagery, steel; on view at Maurine Littleton Gallery. (Michael Janis/Maurine Littleton Gallery)

By Mark Jenkins October 8, 2016

Michael Janis

If Michael Janis worked with pencil or charcoal, his draftsmanship would be impressive. But the D.C. artist draws photorealist portraits with pulverized glass, placing the powder exactly with tiny tools. Which is extraordinary.

Most of the pieces in “Echoes of Leaves and Shadows,” at Maurine Littleton Gallery, include depictions of pretty young women. These gamines, who might be ballerinas or French New Wave stars, are rendered in granulated black glass fused by heat to clear glass sheets. The pieces aren’t just black-and-clear, though. Janis overlays and underlies patches of translucent colored glass, and often adds such 3-D glass elements as butterflies or flower petals. Aqua and orange are common in this array, among other hues. In one picture, an abstract yellow-green swirl contrasts the subject’s slightly darker green eyes.

Janis employs many variations, slicing faces into three equal parts or contrasting them with panels of textured glass. There are ceramic busts garlanded with glass leaves, and portraits embellished with near-opaque peacock- or dark-blue circles. The latter combine the stateliness of stained-glass windows with the vivacity of pop art — half medieval cathedral, half 1960s Vogue.

Michael Janis: Echoes of Leaves and Shadows On view through Oct. 15 at Maurine Littleton Gallery, 1667 Wisconsin Ave. NW. 202-333-9307. littletongallery.com.

USA Glass Industry Update

uroboros-sign2016 has been a year full of upheaval in the the glass industry, with the environmental concerns affecting Bullseye’s Portland, Oregon factory, and the unexpected closure of Spectrum glass.

Unfortunately, recently Uroboros Glass Company- also located in Portland- announced that they will be shutting down after almost 44 years in the business. While very sad, company owner Eric Lovell has said that the situation has become “unavoidable”, citing new environmental regulations, rising cost of materials and facilities, and his own impending retirement age as contributing factors in the decision.

Uroboros plans on discontinuing new production in early 2017, and will continue with the company’s closure in “an orderly fashion” over the next 9-12 months. It is possible that they may find a buyer for the company, but no solid plans are in the works as of yet.

On a happier note, Spectrum Glass announced that they have sold their product line to a California-based glass manufacturer, and are currently in the process of transferring ownership. They haven’t released any details regarding future product line yet, but they are working hard to make the transfer as quickly and smoothly as possible.

While Bullseye Glass has completed production line improvements and has resumed manufacturing most previously restricted colors, they still will not be able to produce chromium-bearing colors until early in the new year.