2012 Year In Review

>

Before we throw away the 2012 calender, we are looking thru the pages of the Washington Glass School dates and blog postings – noting that events from a few months ago seem like ages ago. The strange phenomena of time flying by is observed once again. Many of the years past events were months – or years- in planning and preparation, and seemed like they would never happen, now seem faraway, and the impact, both good and bad will be here for a while. Month by month – here is a quick review of Washington Glass School’s 2012:
_____________________________________________ 

January 2012

“Facture” exhibit at Bullseye Gallery, Portland.

Michael Janis started the year out west, showing at Bullseye Gallery in Portland, OR.  The show Facture was centered on artists that use glass as a canvas with artists Michael Janis, Kari Minnick, Martha Pfanschmidt, Ted Sawyer, Abi Spring, and Jeff Wallin; moderated by Michael Endo. The show ran thru February, and later traveled to Bullseye’s RCBA Gallery
in Emeryville, CA. 
_____________________________________________ 

February

Rob Kincheloe gets close to the critter.

Italian flameworker Simone Crestani was here teaching workshops at the new Chrysler Museum of Art Glass Workshop. While here in the area, Simone was working at Rob Kincheloe’s new torch studio out in Virginia.

After annealing, the bug was filled with plasma and charged.
The installed sculpture at Smith Farm

The “Science of Art Laboratory” (SOFALab) project was created to initiate the spark of communication that can bring out new understanding and develop new tools of interactions from both the sciences and arts. Developed as a collaborative effort from the Executive Director of Smith Center for Healing and the Arts, Shanti Norris; the Director of Printmaking at George Mason University, Helen Fredrick; and the Founder of Hamiltonian Artists and physics professor of George Mason University, Paul So, a SOFAlab project was held with Dr. Caroline Wellberry and Erwin Timmers using glass diverted from the waste stream. 

The students were from Georgetown University and Residents from the Fort Lincoln Clinic. The resulting glass and steel sculpture was exhibited at Smith Center Gallery.

Michael & Christina Bothwell: TLF.

February is also the month of Love – with American Craft Magazine included Michael Janis in its survey on who was “Craft Crushing”. Michael was all about sculptor Christina Bothwell.

The Washington British Embassy hosted the signing of the US/UK Friendship Agreement. L-R Chief Executive of Sunderland City Council Dr David Smith and Washington, DC Mayor Vincent C. Gray

The cities of Washington, DC and Sunderland, England renewed their Friendship Agreement in February, and the formal connection between the two cities were strengthened. The unique connection has allowed for international exchanges that played out in the year and beyond.
_____________________________________________ 

March

Professors Tate and Janis at UK’s Washington Old Hall, ancestral home of US President George Washington.
Sunderland Uni has a world class glass facility.

Fulbright Scholars Michael Janis and Tim Tate were off to England’s North East, teaching at the University of Sunderland.  Joined by Michael’s wife, Kay Janis, acting as chaperone for the lads, the boys were teaching at the National Glass Centre in the expansive glass facilities at the University.

DC’s Fulbright duo teach at Creative Cohesion.

Creative Cohesion, a Sunderland, England artist collaborative was initiated by artists that had participated in one of DC’s Artomatic events. Inspired by and modeling themselves on the Washington Glass School model, the City of Sunderland helped create a non-profit organization which specializes in arts based activities, and provides space, facilities and services to local creative practitioners and the local community. Creative Cohesion’s facilities include a glass hot-shop, which was set to open, and Michael and Tim were invited to teach at the inaugural glass workshops. The gallery component of Creative Cohesion was one of the exhibitors at London’s Affordable Art Fair in March. Michael and Tim were invited to show their artwork at the huge international art fair, and the lads were off to the big city. 

The artists celebrate at London’s Affordable Art Fair.
Jeffrey Sarmiento, Kevin Petrie and Michael Janis

Back to the University of Sunderland, for a big wrap up of more workshops. Professor and glass artist Jeffrey Sarmiento – showed Michael how the University’s waterjet machine worked with glass panels, creating a class demo piece. 

Hugs to all as the Fulbrighters returned home to Washington, DC, determined to reinforce the connections made. Right after the boys left Sunderland, Creative Cohesion’s artist facility was damaged as the adjacent building partially collapsed during a strong windstorm, closing the artist center until later in the year.

Click HERE to jump to video link

Upon Tim’s return to DC, he appeared as one of the speakers in a TED Talk about “The Creative City”.
_____________________________________________

April

“Jazz Man” tops the refurbished Howard Theater.

Sean Hennessey was in the news as Washington’s historic Howard Theater re-opened to fanfare. Working with Brower Hatcher and Mid-Ocean Studios, Sean created the concrete and glass trumpet form for the team. 
At the opening, Sean was interviewed by National Public Radio (NPR).
Erwin Timmers was one of the 121 featured artists at the 30th Annual Smithsonian Craft Fair

Erwin Timmers and Mick Coughlin set up at the National Building Museum.

His cast recycled glass sculptures were a strong point of the show at the National Building Museum.

Space Shuttle Discovery does a low flyover the Washington Glass School in April.

NASA’s Space Shuttle program was retired, and the shuttle “Discovery” flew over the glass school as it headed out across the country. We ate “astronaut freeze dried ice cream” in its honor.

Tim Tate’s glass and video sculptures received the “Critics Award” at Habatat Galleries 40th Annual International exhibit in Michigan.

Habatat Galleries held its 40th Annual International invitational, and exhibited Tim Tate’s video reliquaries. Tim’s work won the Critic’s Award at the show.
_____________________________________________ 

May

May started off running with Glass Art Magazine having an article about Erwin Timmers eco-glass and a cover story about Michael Janis’ frit powder drawings – creating a publishing two-fer! The magazine also late ran a special online feature about Tim Tate & Michael Janis’ Fulbright adventures.
Some great photos by Pete Duvall of Anything Photographic filled the 10 pages of articles about Erwin and Michael.

The design concept for the LOC Adams building doors.
Rubber mold from one of the LOC sculptures.

The Washington Glass Studio began working on the Library of Congress Adams Building doors in May, working to recreate the historic sculpted bronze doors in cast glass. The project  integrates a number of artists from the Washington Glass School and connects craft artisans from FireArt Glass in Portland, OR. Sean Hennessey started the process by creating a test panel taken from the original doors. There would be a full size sample made of the cast /laminated artwork panel, submitted to the US Architect of the Capitol for approval.


Dave D’Orio’s artwork awarded by the JRA.

Artomatic 2012 – the month long, non-juried, anything-goes exhibit opened in May. This year, the setting was a soon-to-be-demolished office building in Crystal City. The James Renwick Alliance (JRA) is an independent national nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing scholarship and education on contemporary American craft, to supporting activities directed toward this purpose, and to encouraging connoisseurship and collecting. At this Artomatic, the JRA sponsored activities and programs, and had reviewed the 10 floors of artwork, selecting winners in different media.

Sean Hennessey’s artwork awarded by the JRA

Dave D’Orio, Sean Hennessey and Michael Janis were each selected for their works in glass. The JRA also sponsored receptions and artist talks during the event. (FYI- The not-for-profit organization Artomatic.org has been instrumental in organizing international exhibits that brought together Sunderland artists and the Washington Glass School, and some new plans are being developed for the coming year.)
_____________________________________________ 

June
2012 was anniversary year marking the start of the American Studio Glass Movement in 1962. A number of shows were held this summer to give some insight into how the art form has changed during the past 50 years. In the arty city of Asheville, NC, Bender Gallery showcased Erwin Timmers, and Asheville’s Blue Spiral 1 hosted a show about the next generation of glass artists (including Christina Bothwell, Thor & Jennifer Bueno, Susan Taylor Glasgow, Sean Hennessey, Michael Janis, Marc Petrovic, Tim Tate and others). 

Marc Petrovic demo’s at GAS
Laura Donefer works the runway.

The Glass Arts Society (GAS) held its annual conference in the nominal birthplace of the studio glass movement – Toledo, OH.  Said Tim Tate of the Toledo GAS – “
[Outgoing GAS President] Jeremy Lepisto’s gang did a spectacular job! and Laura Donefer’s fashion show blew me away!”
_____________________________________________ 

July

Sean Hennessey gets serious at the LOC.
The panel molds are cleaned in the studio.

 The month of July was a scorcher! Work continued on the US Library of Congress bronze doors in the sun with temps in the mid ’90′s F (mid 30′s C!). The “rockets red glare” refers to how hot it feels. Sean and crew worked in the brutal heat taking rubber molds from the Lee Lawrie bronze sculpted doors. 

The Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian Museum opened its spectacular “Craft Futures – 40 Under 40” exhibit. 40 under 40:Craft Futures features forty artists born since 1972, the year the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s contemporary craft and decorative arts program was established at the Renwick.

Matt Szosz at the opening of 40 Under 40.

The show, curated by Nicholas Bell, showed how the youngsters in craft are remaking the world of craft. 
This show generated many discussions on how craft is no longer a part of the “apprentice to a master” world, and is one where the young students wish not to be tied to any one craft media.

Audrey Wilson models the latest in cold shop fashion.

Speaking of kids today, in July, Audrey Wilson joined the Washington Glass School as the new studio coordinator. Audrey had met Tim Tate when he was teaching a workshop at the Chrylser Museum of Glass in June, and applied for the position.

Elegance comes to the Glass School.


Audrey soon was teaching classes at the Glass School, and her accessible and welcoming teaching style won over many of the artists at the studio.
 
______________________________________________ 

August
In August, the Brentwood Arts Exchange (part of Maryland’s Prince George’s Parks and Recreation) held part of its summer Creative Expressions Camp encouraging the kids to explore a variety of artistic media as well as contemporary reading and writing activities around such themes as animals, nature, and adventure. 

The studio was overrun with kids, all eager to try working in glass. Some showed an intuitive knack for the craft – Who knows where these young artists will take the medium and artworld as they grow up!

Ceramic artist Novie Trump worked in the studio, working to incorporate glass into a commissioned artwork piece. Novie wanted to make an illuminated hive for an installation of ceramic bees. Novie made a number of fused glass alternates and presented to the client – a trendy restaurant in Georgetown.
Ultimately, however, the architect selected a ceramic version for the installation. We will get her to glass somehow, we will not surrender. 

An impressive steed. And a handsome horse too. Michael Janis as a Beltway Cowboy.

The London Olympics were celebrated here as the Washington Glass School hosted the equestrians dressage events along Otis Street. In Mt Rainier, MD.  Ok, the 2012 Summer Olympics did not take place at the Washington Glass School, but the 2012 National Night Out (NNO) did. The NNO is a campaign that involves citizens, police, neighborhoods and local officials to increase crime and drug prevention and to strengthen police-community partnerships.

Then & Today
Left inset: Engraving (ca. 1860) of battlefield site where Joshua Barney fell by Benson Lossing in “Field Book of the War of 1812
  ; Right: Washington Glass School on the same site. Over the past 200 years, the topography has been modified and changed tremendously – the creek now flows under the concrete pathway opposite the Glass School.

Connections to American history was exposed in the August post about how the Glass School’s Mount Rainier building site was part of a key battle in the War of 1812 – in the Battle of Bladensburg. With the US loss at this battle, British forces swept into Capitol Hill and burned the White House, the Capitol and the Treasury. 

Penland School of Craft Auction Tent, 2012

Michael Sherrill’s incredible studio

An ardent support of the Penland School of Craft, Tim Tate took a group of collectors from the James Renwick Alliance to the annual Penland Auction and as part of the “Tim Tate Tour“.
The group visited the artist studios of Hoss Haley, Michael Sherrill, Dan Essig, Christina Cordova & Pablo De Soto and Stoney Lamar.

Glass artist Beth Lipman with Susan and Fred Sanders at Penland.

The excursion also included an art tour of Asheville, NC with a visit to the Glass Secessionism show at Blue Spiral Gallery.
_____________________________________________ 

September

Carol Trawick, David D’Orio & Catherine Leggett. Photo: Bethesda Urban Partnership

September opened big for artist Dave D’Orio, as he was one of this year’s winner of the Trawick Prize.- a visual art prize produced by the Bethesda Arts & Entertainment District that honors artists from Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Virginia. The annual juried competition awards prize money to selected artists and features the work of the finalists in a group exhibition. Dave is the executive director of DC GlassWorks, a glass blowing facility (and sister school to the Washington Glass School) in Hyattsville, MD. At the 2012 Artomatic, the James Renwick Alliance gave Dave’s installation sculpture its ‘Award of Recognition’.

Toots Zynsky, William Warmus, Matthew Szösz at Smithsonian Renwick lecture.
William Warmus takes photos of Erwin Timmers’ artwork.

The 40 Under 40 exhibit at the Renwick Gallery continued its run, with author, independent curator and glass expert William Warmus moderating a conversation about the past, present, and future of studio glass between veteran glass artist Toots Zynsky and artist Matthew Szösz. After the talk, William visited the Glass School – of which he said: “It’s better than I thought it’d be…it’s not as bad as it could’ve been“. Hmmm.

The month of September is usually the start of the exhibition season – and this one did not disappoint.  

Detail from Sean Hennessey’s “Finding The Right Key

Sean Hennessey opened his solo show at the District’s 410Goodbuddy Gallery.  

Based on Alice In Wonderland, Sean’s work in the show: Reimagining Alice incorporates cast glass that was painted with concrete and integrates videos, LEDs, EL panels and other media that pulls traditional glass into new realms.
Tim Tate and Marc Petrovic also had openings in September – at Arizona’s Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum. Under the title “Glass Secessionism”, the show opened to record crowds.

_____________________________________________

October

Nancy Donnelly‘s solo show at Foundry Gallery included her “Glass Bouquets” that art critic Lenny Campello described as an update to the Washington Color School saying “… [Nancy's] new work takes the color stripes from the canvas of the 1960s giants of DMV painting and re-invents it in a  fresh new approach to a 21st century dialogue in glass and concrete”.


Tim Tate teaching at Penland School of Craft

Tim Tate returned to North Carolina’s Penland School of Craft in October, this time teaching with Sean Hennessey and Robert Kincheloe.

Sean Hennessey explains the dry plaster casting process.

The class was 21st Century Reliquaries, and the students incorporated techniques that included Rubber Mold Making, Wax Casting, Plaster/Silica Mold Making, Lost wax, Dry Plaster Casting, Painting Glass, Cutting Glass, Glass etching and Flameworking.
_____________________________________________

November
November started with the big show in ChicagoSOFA

SOFA Opening Night at Chicago’s Navy Pier
Allegra Marquart’s panels on exhibit at Maurine Littleton.

Michael Janis and Allegra Marquart were shown at Maurine Littleton Gallery and Tim Tate was shown thru Habatat Galleries. As the focus on both craft and art  at SOFA is so high, this show is where the artists have stretched a bit to show they have game.  

Michael Janis’ works were huge!

Michael’s new colorful works involved optical distortion and the resolution of the imagery.

Tim Tate’s works at Habatat Galleries space.

Tim’s new works were a larger scale – and he was thinking outside the dome. 

Upon return to Washington, DC – the setup of shows continued, as artists from the Washington Glass School were featured in the special exhibit on the 50th Anniversary of Studio Glass at the Washington Craft Show. 

Visitors gather around Joan Falconer Byrd, author of the new book “Harvey K Littleton: A Life in Glass“. Ms Byrd was one of the show’s speakers at the event. She was one of the first students in the Toledo workshops and was Professor of Art at Western Carolina University.

Maurine Littleton Gallery’s show-within-a-show was the centerpiece to the Washington Convention Center. 

Historical works by some of the Studio Glass Pioneers were featured.

Works by Tim Tate, Allegra Marquart, Sean Hennessey, Erwin Timmers, Alison Sigethy and Michael Janis were shown as where the next generation of glass artists are heading.

______________________________________________ 

December

Art Miami’s Aqua show brought throngs.

Miami became the focus of the art world with the Art Basel/Art Miami juggernaut as the world seems to head south for the huge art extravaganza. Washington Glass School artists were well represented, with Tim Tate, Erwin Timmers, Sean Hennessey and Audrey Wilson’s works at a number of international galleries. 

Audrey Wilson showing at Alida Anderson Art Projects space at Aqua

Audrey did very well, selling a major work to a NYC collector and a museum has asked about having her work for an upcoming art exhibit – awesome!

Everyone at the Washington Glass School sends a big THANK-YOU to all for the love & support this past year… 
______________________________________________ 

So – should one survive the Zombie Mayan Long Count Armageddon -

Whats coming up in 2013?
We can divulge some news scoops for the coming year - 
Michael Janis will be the Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass (AACG) calender boy for the month of January, as the “Artist of the Month”. January… starts the year off right…

Artomatic is planning to host a variation of the Glass 3 (the international exhibition US & UK artists) however, this year, it will be an international Glass + Ceramics showcase at downtown DC’s Edison Gallery – the month of March is being blocked out for the opening, gallery talks, workshops, and events.  

Glassweekend will take place at New Jersey’s WheatonArts this coming June 7,8,9, 2013. The international symposium of contemporary glass will have demos by Beth Lipman, Davide Salvadore, Hiroshi Yamano; the keynote speaker will be Judith Schaecter.  

Best Wishes to all for the Coming New Year!


Washington Glass School and the War of 1812

>How the Washington Glass School is Tied to the War of 1812, The Brits Sacking the White House & The Star Spangled Banner.

The British burn the President’s Mansion 1814

One of the beauties of being in Washington, DC is the sense of history that surrounds the place. Growing up in northwest suburban Chicago, history seemed to have started after WWII, with suburban subdivisions overtaking farmland. Here, the area is so steeped with the history that appears in grade school books, that important – but deemed lesser – sites can be forgotten; the scurf of yesterdays. As the Maryland area celebrates the Bicentennial of the War of 1812, it is interesting to note that the Washington Glass School building sits atop an important battlefield – one of the key parts in the Battle of Bladensburg. With the US loss at this battle, British forces swept into Capitol Hill and burned the White House, the Capitol and the Treasury.
Since there are no signs on the site – this blog will act as a virtual ‘historical marker”.

Historical Overview
The War of 1812 was a military conflict fought between the United States of America and the British Empire. In these battles, the British set off their new weapon – the Congreve rocket – a rocket carrying about one pound of powder that could travel almost 1,000 yards and their success had a tremendous impact on modern warfare. 

After the defeat and exile of Napoleon in April 1814, the British were able to send newly available troops and ships to the war with the United States. On August 20, 1814, over 4,500 seasoned British troops landed at the little town of Benedict, MD and marched fifty miles towards Capitol Hill.

Artists Rendering of the Battle of Bladensburg
(Gerry Embleton-Courtesy NPS/Star Spangled Banner National Historic Trail)

What Went Wrong

Incorrect deductions that were drawn gave the Americans the impression that Baltimore was their destination. General Armstrong could not be convinced that Washington would be the target of the invasion and not Baltimore, an important center of commerce. There was much confusion trying to outguess the British.  In Bladensburg, MD, American troops began to be assembled by Brigadier General William Winder, the Secretary of War, John Armstrong, as well as the Secretary of State, James Monroe. General Smith, another American commander, used his aide – Francis Scott Key – to assemble his troops. Calvary units were positioned to the right of the main road (now called Bladensburg Ave.), while the first and second American lines were positioned nearly a 1/2 mile apart from each other. The organization (and constant second guessing by commanders) of the troops, the general concern about the size of the British army, and the lack of preparation by the rag-tag militia would eventually lead to the undoing of the hastily assembled group.

Current day map showing US troop positions in Battle of Bladensburg

As the British entered the town, they were greeted by the American troops firing the first volleys across the Eastern Branch of the Potomac (now called Anacostia River). The British initially fell back and moved behind the masonry buildings in Bladensburg. Soon though, the British set off their new weapon – the Congreve rocket. These rockets would eventually become the famous “rocket’s red glare.” British troops began to return fire as the rockets burst above the Americans. American leaders on the first line, unclear on their support from the second line, ordered retreat. American soldiers began to fall back and leave the field via the Georgetown Pike (now Bunker Hill Road). The second line, (positioned approximately at the modern 40th - 38th Avenue) and the members of the Cabinet left the field of battle at or before this point. Cannons were left behind, soldiers moved in haphazard movements responding to the need to fight and the orders for retreat. General chaos reigned across the field of battle.

Commodore Joshua Barney – painted by Charles Willson Peale (1741–1827) 

The strongest attack against the British was made by Commodore Joshua Barney and his seasoned Floatillamen. At Dueling Creek, Kramer’s Militia (troops from Montgomery and Prince George’s County) fought hard against the British but eventually retreated up the hill past Commodore Barney’s men.  Barney’s men were valiant fighters, however, the authorities in Washington “forgot” Barney for several days. Without orders, he and his men arrived in the midst of the battle. Combined with Captain Miller’s Marines, Barney fired down the hill toward the British, causing significant British casualties. British troops were ordered into a single file line, flanking  Barney’s troop placement and overtaking them. Commodore Barney, after having had his horse killed under him in battle, was severely wounded by a musket ball “near a living fountain of water on the estate of the late Mr. Rives, which was later known as Barney’s SpringBenson Lossing, Field-book of the War 0f 1812, Chapter 39, 1869

General Winder ordered a general retreat. The retreat order was never passed to Barney’s command, but with no ammunition, flanked on the right and deserted on the left, the Commodore knew that the end had come. He ordered the guns spiked and the men to retreat. The officers and men who were able to march effected the retreat; but the Commodore’s wound rendered him unable to move, and he was made prisoner. He died shortly after; but not before he was able to have influence on Francis Scott Key in his efforts to compose the Star Spangled Banner. 

The building that houses the Washington Glass School is located on the site (now near the intersection of Oak and Otis Street).

Then & Today
Left inset: Engraving (ca. 1860) of battlefield site where Joshua Barney fell by Benson Lossing in “Field Book of the War of 1812
  ; Right: Washington Glass School on the same site. Over the past 200 years, the topography has been modified and changed tremendously – the creek now flows under the concrete pathway opposite the Glass School. 

Immediately after the battle, the British sent an advance guard of soldiers to Capitol Hill. The President’s house was burned, and the British raised their Union Flag over Washington

The Brits pillage the White House.

The First Lady Dolley Madison remained behind to organize the slaves and staff to save valuables from the British.  The buildings housing the Senate and House of Representatives were set ablaze not long after. The interiors of both buildings, which held the Library of Congress, were destroyed, although their thick walls and a torrential rainfall that was caused by a hurricane the following day preserved the exteriors. 

During the war of 1812 when the British attacked Washington DC, The First Lady, Dolley Madison stayed behind in the White House to save the artifacts and symbols of America. The engraving above shows her saving the Declaration of Independence.

With their mission accomplished, the British feared the Americans would reassemble their forces and attack while they were in the vulnerable position of being a long distance from their fleet. The men were miserable in the sweltering temperatures. They were tired, ill and wounded. At dusk the troops quietly withdrew from the city. The troops were so exhausted that many died of fatigue on the four day march back to the ships, several deserted, but the body of men marched on.

Several of the British stragglers and deserters were arrested by citizens in Maryland. When the British commanders learned of the incident, they sent a small force back to arrest William Beanes, a well respected doctor and town elder. Following his arrest, Georgetown lawyer Francis Scott Key and U.S. Agent for Prisoner Exchange John S. Skinner went to secure Bean’s release from the British. They brought with them letters from British troops who testified as to the compassion that they received while in Bladensburg after the battle.  Brought on board one of the British vessels, Francis Scott Key would see the battle in Baltimore raging on and the flag standing at the end of the battle, leading to the writing of the Star Spangled Banner.

Times have changed, and we now rely on the Brits as an important and trusted ally – however -the next time representatives from DC Sister City – Sunderland, England comes for a visit to the Glass School, they have some ‘splaining to do.

For more info – check out the book A Travel Guide to the War of 1812 in the Chesapeake 
And also – a link to website that shows the archaeology of the Bladensburg battle site.