Janis & Tate @ Catholic University Architecture Department? Fab!

Washington Glass School’s Professor Michael Janis and Professor Tim Tate will present a lecture on glass art and architecture to students and faculty of Catholic University’s School for Architecture and Planning (CUArch) at the Crough Center for Architectural Studies as part of the Fall 2015 Fab Lab Lecture series.

Catholic University Architecture Department presents Michael Janis and Tim Tate

Catholic University Architecture Department presents Michael Janis and Tim Tate

We have just 3 things to say about this:

Fab.

U.

Lous!

Emotional Leak

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The UK has some great glass artists – ones that are moving narrative or content driven glass forward. Erin Dickson and Jeffrey Sarmiento are two such artists, and they had collaborated on this work titled “Emotional Leak”. Both artists work out of England’s University of Sunderland, and with access to waterjet cutters, have exploited that resource to their artistic end. From Erin’s artist statement: “my works takes on…the intersection of glass and architecture. As an architect by training, and more recently a glass designer, I use my own experience to evaluate how glass can be manipulated to suit both intentions. When glass is used in architecture, it is too often viewed as a separate component passed to glass ‘specialists’ or artists for manipulation, it is allowed to become a dissected part of the building. My aim is to remove glass from being just a ‘window’ and enable it to become an architectural design element of its own. My work looks at non-traditional methods of using space and light, using glass to manipulate a viewer’s experience of place.”

 Dickson/Sarmeinto, Emotional Leak, 2011: waterjet cut glass with steel and rubber base about 9.5 x 4 x 4 ft 
Below is a video of the construction of Emotional Leak - 

Emotional Leak Construction from Sarmiento Glass on Vimeo.

Glass Sparks: Michael Janis

photograph by Tom Wolff

Michael Janis studied architecture at Mies van der Rohe’s IIT in his hometown of Chicago, IL. In 1993 he moved to Australia and there he worked on a number of large scale architecture projects, including work for the 2000 Sydney Olympics. It was in Australia that Michael first started working with glass, designing walls of cast glass.

Moving back to the United States in 2003, glass artwork became his focus. Michael began glass blowing at a Baltimore hot shop and was soon taking glass courses at art centers such as Haystack Mountain in Maine, North Carolina’s Penland School of Craft, and Urban Glass in New York.

Michael at Penland School of Craft

Attracted to the experimental and adventurous approach to the medium that defined the Washington Glass School, he soon became involved with the school as the Studio Coordinator.

L-R Washington Glass Studio directors Erwin Timmers, Tim Tate, Michael Janis. From the 2006 American Style article “Filling Glass With Meaning“. Photo by Roger Foley.

In 2005, Michael became one of the Co-Directors of the Washington Glass School, and he is the Director of Public Art projects for the Washington Glass Studio.

“The Gravity Between Us” Hotel Palomar, Washington, DC

Public Art sculpture for Prince George’s County Circuit Court

Michael continues teaching at the Washington Glass School, and also has taught glass art workshops at Istanbul’s Glass Furnace, the Penland School of Craft and the Bay Area Glass Institute (BAGI) in California.

Michael teaching fused glass technique class at Washington Glass School, 2005

Michael Janis teaching at California’s Bay Area Glass Institute, 2010

His kilncast bas-relief glass and steel sculptures were featured in the seminal “Compelled By Content” exhibition at Bethesda, Maryland’s Fraser Gallery. In this show, artists that used glass with narrative content showed how the traditional craft of glass was evolving.

“Liar Paradox” Collection of Susan and Fred Sanders. Photo: Anything Photographic

Michael began incorporating imagery into his glass works, and by manipulating crushed glass powder he has been able to create intricate detail images within the glass, layering the images to emphasize the depth within.

Text and imagery work their way through Michael’s artwork panels, similar to an architect’s diagrams, suggesting elements of stories not fully disclosed. Michael’s work references the Surrealist artists of the early twentieth century and Neo-Dada concepts as seen in the work of artists like Robert Rauschenberg, Joseph Cornell and Jasper Johns.

Click HERE to jump to a short documentary on Michael and his sgraffito frit powder technique.

From the catalog of the 2011 exhibit “Material World”:

“When viewers see images of Michael Janis’ work, they may not immediately recognize it as glass art…The virtuosity of Janis’ technique supports his imagery, which is often tinged with a nostalgia for days where innocence reigned and magic seemed possible. Janis is not simply naïve, for there is a darker undercurrent to these works that speaks to the loss of this sense of wonder.” Stephen Boocks curator, April 2011

Maurine Littleton Gallery space, SOFA Chicago 2009

In 2007, Maurine Littleton Gallery began exhibiting his glass artwork at international art shows such as Art Miami, SOFA Chicago and SOFA New York. Currently, his work is on exhibit at the Flemish Center for Contemporary Glass Art in Lommel, Belgium.

In 2009 he was awarded Florida’s “Emerging Artist” award by the Florida Glass Art Alliance, in 2010, he received the Saxe Fellowship from California’s Bay Area Glass Institute. This year, Janis will be named a “Rising Star” by the Creative Glass Center of America and the Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass at the biannual glass art conference held at the Museum of American Glass at WheatonArts, in New Jersey.

The Memory of Orchids, 2011

His first museum solo show will open this year (August 6 thru November 6, 2011) at the Fuller Museum of Craft, in Brockton, Massachusetts. Michael Janis also was just awarded a Fulbright Scholarship, and will be at the UK’s University of Sunderland and National Glass Center in 2012.

Detail from “In the Evening Twilight”

Michael will be one of the featured artists in Long View Gallery’s exhibition of Artists of the Washington Glass School:

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

For other Washington Glass School artist profiles:

Diane Cabe

Sean Hennessey

Allegra Marquart

Teddie Hathaway

Elizabeth Mears

Jackie Greeves

Erwin Timmers

Jeff Zimmer

Robert Kincheloe

Anatomy of a Site-Specific Artwork Project

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Vanderbilt University medical complex in Nashville, Tennessee, a leader in patient care, medical education, nursing education, and research, just opened its new Critical Care Tower, a 329,000-square-foot multi level addition. The University commissioned the Washington Glass Studio to create cast glass panels for the nurse’s stations on a number of floors within the new hospital.

Working with the architects on the project, the artwork commission was refined. The art panels would have to perform many duties – besides providing a screen to each floor’s nurse work area, allowing light to beyond, it would also need to block the viewing of sensitive papers and office equipment, as well as being a striking sculpture that would define the entry of each floor.

Design Concept

The initial concept design for the artwork at each floor’s nurse stations.

Preliminary artwork rendering layout. The inspiration was to bring a contemplative sense of nature into the hospital.

We wanted to bring the natural word into the medical center. Our goal was to give the patients and caregivers a place that felt restful – a place of healing and renewal. Our inspiration for the artwork was to have the feel of swirling masses of delicate oak, poplar, tulip, ginko and maple leaves in an autumn breeze. Each leaf is detailed, including curved stems and crisp leaf veins. The different level of the hospital would have unique swirling leaf patterns, allowing for differentiation and orientation.


One of the cast float glass panels inside the kiln.



Studio artist Nicole Puzan cleans and preps the cooled and annealed glass panel.

The kilncasting process started with making one-of-a-kind molds inside the kilns. The glass is placed atop the mold, and then fired to temperatures up to 1600 degrees F, and then annealed – over two days. The glass is then removed, cleaned and rough areas are ground and polished. As the panels were sequential, each section was mapped out and compared to each companion panel.


Typical nurse station cast artglass panel.

Typical nurse station reverse.

Detail of cast glass leaf pattern.

Bold

Front view of artwork.

View of panels showing leaf detailing.


The Washington Glass Studio artglass project team: Tim Tate, Michael Janis, Erwin Timmers and Nicole Puzan and Robert Kincheloe.

CASE STUDY: Glass Sculpture as Public Art

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Prince George’s County Circuit Courthouse


If you have been following the ongoing story of the Washington Glass Studio’s design and progress of the installation of Prince George County’s Upper Marlboro courthouse glass public art sculpture – the installation is almost complete. As described in the June 2009 blog posting -

The historic 1939 Circuit Court building was devastated by fire in 2004, completely destroying the ornate Duvall Wing. The old bell tower that was atop the portico entry had been reduced to the structural frame and the historic bell within had crashed down to the ground during the fire.

The cupola’s 124-year-old bell fell through the second floor during the fire and was buried in the rubble. (photo: Mark E. Brady — Prince George’s County Fire/emergency Medical)
For a number of years, during the renovation of the courthouse, the bell tower structure continued to deteriorate on what had become a construction site for both the courthouse expansion and the renovation of the damaged courthouse.

The structural remains of the original 1939 bell tower cupola.

In 2008 Prince George’s County asked two of the artists that had made artwork for the interior of the Marbury Wing court expansion to collaborate and come up with some concepts for the front entry courtyard of the refurbished court building as it neared completion; Washington Glass Studio and Alonzo Davis. Early on, the decision was made to restore the original bell tower cupola as the centerpoint of the public artwork sculpture, and that informed the many design concepts explored. Infill panels made of cast glass with courthouse/legal imagery, sandcarved glass infill panels, backlighting with computer controlled LED panel lighting effects, neon lighting – were some of the many different ideas that were explored and the design options were narrowed down, documented and presented to the courthouse committee, headed by Circuit Court Judge Sheila Tillerson-Adams.

Different concepts of integration of lighting and cast recycled glass were explored.

Titled “Rebirth and Renewal “, the concept was modified with input from the judges and the committee, and in late 2009, the original steel structure and copper dome top was restored and set into a new paved area outside the courthouse, near the main courthouse entry. Glass began being cast into bas-relief panels with imagery based on the courts, the legal system, Prince George’s County, and the original court building.

Cast bas-relief panels made from recycled glass were made with court and community based imagery. Michael Janis begins coldworking the panels. Nicole Puzan installs the cast textured panels into the steel framework.

Steel frames were made for the glass panel infill support. Neon artist Marty King made a neon representation of the original bell of the bell tower, which, by tradition, was struck at 9.30 am each day court was in session. An engineer certified the original bell tower cupola’s structural integrity for the modifications and reuse. Custom benches for seating around the artwork were started. The chamfered corner panel infills were designed to incorporate detailed county seals representing the counties served by the Circuit Court. These panels were clear, with deep, intricate sandcarved panels. In December of 2009, all the elements were coming together, and installation of the cast glass began.

Erwin Timmers tests the neon. Erwin Timmers and Alonzo Davis bolt the infill panels to the steel structure.

During the installation, the Washington, DC area was hit by two snowstorms that dumped the largest amount of snow ever recorded in the area’s history, and installation had to work around the snow removal efforts.


The names of the Circuit Court refurbishment committee are acknowledged in sandcarved panels mounted in the glass and steel sculpture. The cast recycled glass alternates with clear glass to allow alternating views looking into the neon bell sculpture and allowing diffused lighting from the neon to illuminate the cast glass symbols.

The final elements were recently installed, and the neon switched on. In the next couple of weeks, the professional photos of the cast glass public art sculpture will be taken by Anything Photographic – and we will post. The photos of the artwork are now online – Click HERE to jump to photos of the finished work.

Food & Friends ‘Friendship Wall’

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The charity organization Food & Friends had commissioned the Washington Glass Studio to create its outdoor donor wall, located in the park adjacent to its Northeast Washington, DC facility. The wall is made of bas-relief cast glass, made in muted autumnal Bullseye glass colors, and set in a steel framework. The donor names are engraved on metal inset panels. The translucent panels allow for light and color to pass thru the memorial.

Food & Friends was founded to serve a distinct need in the community — feeding those who are sick. This need persists and continues to grow. For more than twenty years, Food & Friends has been the only organization in the Washington metropolitan area to provide life-sustaining nutrition to our neighbors in need. For more information on Food & Friends and how you can help out – click HERE .
To order a delicious Thanksgiving Pie from Food & Friends – click HERE


photos by: Anything Photograhic

The Friendship Donor Wall opened this past September. Check out some of the architectural projects by the Washington Glass Studio – click HERE.

‘New Glass Review’ features Washington Glass School artist

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The Corning Museum of Glass hosts a yearly international review of glass in a publication from Germany called New Glass Review (Neues Glas).

This year’s judges included Rachel Berwick, Department Head of Glass, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, Rhode Island; Mieke Groot, independant curator, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Tina Oldknow, the Curator of Modern Glass for Corning Museum, Corning, New York; and Dante Marioni, glass superstar, Seattle, Washington.

A total of 1,047 artists from 43 countries sent 2,974 images of work for consideration. Of these 100 were selected for inclusion in New Glass Review 30, and I am thrilled to be one of those 100! The publication is due in May, and the images will be part of the Corning Museum’s Rakow Research Library.

Michael Janis