WGS Installs Art At Prince Georges William Beanes Community Center

Installation of Suitland's William Beanes Center new public art sculpture.

Installation of Suitland’s William Beanes Center new public art sculpture.

Washington Glass Studio recently installed the site specific commission for the William Beanes Community Center in Suitland, MD. As mentioned in an earlier post, the 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. If not for Dr. Beanes, Francis Scott Key would not have been on a ship in Baltimore’s Harbor, and he would never have written the poem which became our National Anthem. 

The original design was modified to allow for installation on the center's special exterior cladding.

The original design was modified to allow for installation on the center’s special exterior cladding.

The design by Washington Glass Studio is characterized by abstracted fireworks “Bursting In Air” to connect the National Anthem and to reference imagery inspired by Suitland’s residents and heritage, the community, its history and goals. 

Each circle medallion is internally illuminated with LED lighting.

Each circle medallion is internally illuminated with LED lighting.

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. 

The completed site specific work helps draw visitors to the new community center.

The completed artwork helps draw visitors to the new community center.

On the day, all the preplanning and preparation paid off, as installation went smoothly.
Soon, WGS will take professional photos of the finished project and we will publish them online!

The Process: WGS Creates Public Art For West Palm Beach Intl Airport

2 Agencies + 2 Unique Identities = 1 Integrated Artwork Solution

Detail from public art sculptures by Washington Glass Studio for West Palm Beach International Airport

Details from sculptures by Washington Glass Studio for West Palm Beach International Airport

Palm Beach County‘s Art in Public Places awarded Washington Glass Studio (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) after a Call for Artists held in 2014. The building – a five story 61,000 square foot facility is located at one the most visible intersections in Palm Beach County, adjacent to the Palm Beach International Airport and can be seen from departing and arriving flights. 

Site for public art at West Palm Beach Airport

Sites for public art sculptures outlined in Call for Artists @ Florida’s West Palm Beach Airport

Agency 1 – Tourist Development Council (TDC)

The Tourist Development Council asked that their site-specific sculpture reinforce their brand and help show that Palm Beach is a prime tourism destination in one of the top tourism states in the country. The TDC includes Discover Palm Beach County, the Film and Television Commission and the Sports Commission. The TDC also provides oversight to the Palm Beach County Convention Center and the Palm Beach County Environmental Resources Management Department and their Beach Re-nourishment Program.

Agency 2 – Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office (PBSO)

The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office has approximately 4,000 dedicated and professional staff that are committed to protecting the public, and enhancing the quality of life in the community while administering agency operations. The project site will house PBSO Admin services include Central Records, Human Resources, Labor Relations, Risk Management and Graphics.

WGS Director Erwin Timmers reviews the sites with representatives from PBSO and TDC in October 2014.

WGS Director Erwin Timmers reviews the sites with representatives from PBSO and TDC in October 2014.

After consulting with the different agencies, WGS began schematic design of the sculpture works and the integration of the work with the architecture of the building. WGS sought to utilize color as a strong identification element that would help define the building’s new entry sequences.

Design concepts for the site are presented and reviewed with the end users.

Preliminary design concepts for the site were reviewed with the end users.

The artwork was reviewed and modified as the project team were consulted and fabrication details were outlined. Structural details of the aluminum framework were integrated into the design. Florida has very high wind design loads that had an impact on the artwork design and working again with structural engineer Holbert Apple Associates ensured that the hurricane loads would pose no problem for the artworks. Additionally, the designs would have to allow for shipping from the Washington, DC area glass studio down to sunny Palm Beach Florida and thus the design incorporated modular aspects to allow for fabrication and shipping.

structural analysis of art

Design of the artwork included detailed structural engineering analysis.

An additional aspect for the project design was the inclusion and integration of artwork and the building’s architectural re-design. Building signage, lighting, paving, and landscaping aspects were to be part of the artist’s proposal. The original building dates from the 1980′s and offered the ideal blank slate background, and allowed for some experimentation with blocks of color that would tie the art with the architecture.

Palm Beach building façade color test study.

West Palm Beach building façade color test study.

The building artwork design contract included elements of landscape design, and WGS artists liked creating new places to have glass incorporated. Color-coordinated glass “pebbles” (surface-seeded aggregate) were mixed into the concrete paving surrounding the artwork at the base of each. With great power comes with great responsibility.

Concrete paving sample

Tourism Office concrete paving sample. The glass chips were color coordinated to the artwork.

Paving slip resistance, hurricane wind loads on glass and steel, in-ground lighting values – all were part of the artist’s control and the studio was challenged to grow and develop our knowledge base. 

Design: Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office (PBSO)

The design of the PBSO artwork had to showcase how the Sheriff’s office was an important partner to the community and reflect the values of the department. Aspects of the Sheriff would be presented in bas-relief cast glass panels mounted in sturdy structural aluminum framework. The colors of the PBSO were to form the basis of the sculpted glass artwork. The greens and golds would include a stripe of blue glass that would represent the “thin blue line” that symbolizes the relationship of law enforcement in the community.

Sheriff department concept sketch.

Sheriff department concept sketch.

The location of the sculpture was important – the artwork would help define the entry to the new Sheriff’s office, and the artwork would also help shield views down along the building that are more private outdoor spaces. 

Detail of one of the cast glass panels for the PBSO artwork. The clasped hands represent helping community.

Detail of one of the cast glass panels for the PBSO artwork. The clasped hands represent helping community.

The finished work has some incredibly detailed cast panels that are works of art in and by themselves.

View of the new Sheriff Office artwork - titled "Guardian" by WGS.

View of the new Sheriff Office artwork – titled “Guardian” by WGS.

Design: Tourist Development Council (TDC)

DPB-TOURISM-RGB

Palm Beach’s Tourist Development Council (TDC) has oversight responsibility for the marketing agencies which include Discover The Palm Beaches, the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County, the Palm Beach County Film & Television Commission and the Palm Beach County Sports Commission along with the Palm Beach County Convention Center. A number of proposals were presented to the TDC and the selected version was for an illuminated 17′-0″ tower – ultimately to be located on a new plaza area at the building entry. The color palatte of the “Discover the Palm Beaches” campaign would be the basis of the artwork color direction.  The glass design direction taken by the artist team was to abstract elements from each of the agencies that make up the TDC.

The TDC artwork, titled "Guidepost" is situated on a new plaza created at the building entry.

The TDC artwork, titled “Guidepost” is situated on a new plaza created at the building entry.

The structural requirements for the artwork framework (to be made in aluminum) required a substantial cross section for the members. The strong wind loads in coastal Florida required a close supervision of the metal design and fabrication. 

Artist Michael Janis begins creation of the colorful glass inset panels.

Artist Michael Janis begins creation of the colorful glass inset panels.

 

Erwin Timmers works on the TDC art while Patricia and Audrey supervise.

Erwin Timmers works on the TDC art while Patricia and Audrey supervise.

Dave Dolan of Palm Beach County is part of the review process of the structural metal at the shop.

Dave Dolan of Palm Beach County is part of the review process of the structural metal at the shop.

The glass artwork integrated into the metal structure began in the summer of 2016. Each glass inset was coated with a special coating to protect the structure in hurricane force winds. The installation of the artwork began in late 2016 and was completed in early 2017, giving the WGS crew some time in the beautiful Florida sunshine.

Audrey Wilson and Erwin Timmers install the public art in Palm Beach, FL.

Audrey Wilson and Erwin Timmers install the public art in Palm Beach, FL.

TDC artwork reflects beautifully in the building in sunny Florida.

The artwork “Guidepost” is beautifully reflected in the building that houses Florida’s TDC.

Project Information

Address: 2195 Southern Boulevard, West Palm Beach, FL 33406

Artist: Washington Glass Studio

Design Team: Laurie Brown, Michael Janis, Tim Tate, Erwin Timmers, Audrey Wilson. With Patricia de Poel Wilberg and Ricky Barton.

Structural Engineer : Holbert Apple Assoc Inc

Washington Glass Studio Engages Community With Laurel Library’s Public Art

Washington Glass School & Studio

Prince George’s County’s Art in Public Places promotes community interaction in the creation of the new artwork sculpture at the Laurel Library. Residents of the area are invited to the Glass School to create the glass panels in the sculpture.

Prince George’s County, MD, recently awarded Washington Glass Studio the commission to create of one of the public art sculptures destined to become a landmark at the new Laurel Library, currently completing construction.

WGS is working with Arts in Public Places (AIPP) -  Prince George’s County Government’s public art program that contributes to the place-making and aesthetic significance of Capital Improvement Projects. AIPP creates percent-for-art initiatives that integrate works-of-art into new and (substantially) renovated County buildings as part of construction costs of the facility.

Proposal sketch by Washington Glass Studio.

Proposal sketch by Washington Glass Studio.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Laurel Library public art process involves community and facility stakeholders, artists, construction professionals and local government officials. Community glass making workshops have been held, and a there has been a great start on the artwork! 

The new glass artists lay out their designs.

The new glass artists lay out their designs.

The first batch of fused glass artworks is reviewed in the studio.

The first batch of fused glass artworks is reviewed in the studio.

One of the artworks references the new library’s lighted dinosaur footprints leading to the Discovery Island children’s room that will have a glass floor exposing a full-size velociraptor skeleton replica. The room will hold two children’s seating areas, one within a large dinosaur rib cage and the other decorated with volcano lava and light effects.

Washington Glass Studio Projects

Most of you know about the Washington Glass School’s extensive glass classes and the artwork, but many of you don’t know the third component of the Washington Glass Studio.  The Washington Glass Studio was established in 2001 to deliver artwork to the public realm by creating site specific art for architectural and landscape environments. Here is a highlight of a few recent projects to give a scope of what we are capable of producing.

"Gateway To Community"   Glass and steel arch for Washington, DC Ward 7. Under Construction

“Gateway To Community” Glass and steel arch for Washington, DC Ward 7. Under Construction

We are currently finishing a commissioned public art sculpture in Washington, DC’s Ward 7 - in front of the Unity Parkside Health Clinic and across the street from Caesar Chavez High School. This sculpture will be one of the first public art projects in Ward 7. Consisting of a 16 foot high tri-sided glass covered arch, the entire concept was derived from meeting with the community in the Kenilworth neighborhood.

The residents of the community participated in the creation of the glass elements for the public artwork sculpture.

The residents of the community participated in the creation of the glass elements for the public artwork sculpture.

Made up from steel tube sections the steel framework is clad in covered in colorful kilncast glass panels bolted to the structure. Over 300 tiles were required to complete the structure. These 300 tiles we all hand made by volunteers in the community surrounding the arch. The artwork will be internally illuminated with LED lighting throughout the sculpture. Installation is set for end of May/early June.

The Architect of the Capitol provides design direction for the historic Library of Congress Adams Building.

The Architect of the Capitol provides design direction for the historic Library of Congress Adams Building.

Of our recent public art works, the most acclaimed is our cast glass doors for the Library of Congress’ Adams Building. The original doors were cast bronze from the early WPA days. They were designed by Lee Lawrie, who is most known for his designs at Rockefeller Center in NYC. The original bronze bas-relief doors had ceased to be functional years ago, and the entrances were not up to current safety and security code. In a moment of courage and insight, one of the architects of the Architect Of The Capital’s office realized that if the bronze doors were redesigned with glass replicas of the original bronze bas-relief, then he could bring them up to code and increase safety, for much less money.  We then took on this multi-year project, with spectacular results.

LOC.photo.1 good.finished

There were 6 sets of these doors, facing the east and west sides of the Adams Building. American Craft Magazine did a feature story on our work for the Library of Congress and its process – click here to jump to the magazine’s article online.

A smaller scale work was created for the charity organization “Food and Friends” new outdoor park. We made a cast glass Donor Wall that was to honor those who have passed away, to support to charitable work of the organization and to encourage donors to participate. Bas-relief cast glass panels in complementary colors set into a steel framework allows light to pass thru the memorial wall and create colors and patterns on the surrounding plaza. The nature of the glass panels encourages tactile investigation and contemplative interaction.

Food and Friends organization commissioned an outdoor donor wall for their park alongside their Riggs Road facility.

Food and Friends organization commissioned an outdoor donor wall for their park alongside the charity’s Washington, DC facility.

Lastly, one of our most distinguished works was for the Safeway supermarket Bethesda, Maryland. The original store was to be demolished to make way for a much larger structure with parking on the ground floor. As the grocer was committed to Green building, the new structure was to be the first LEED certified grocery store in Montgomery County, and we integrated eco-friendly materials, using recycled glass from the demolished store and re-purposing them to make the new glass and steel ground level building façade. The ground floor building skin was designed to conceal the parking garage function without completely enclosing it.  Here is the result:

Glass recycled from the original site's building was incorporated into Safeway supermarket's first LEED certified building in Montgomery County, MD.

Glass recycled from the original site’s building was incorporated into Safeway supermarket’s first LEED certified building in Montgomery County, MD.

This is only a fraction of what we have competed and what we are capable of doing. No job is too large or too complex. Our architectural design and technical team work well with architects and designers. We are currently looking for additional projects, so let us know in case you know of any, or know someone who might!

The Process: Shady Grove Hospital Glass Artwork

Earlier, the blog had posted about the commission of artwork from Washington Glass Studio to be installed in the chapel in Shady Grove Hospital’s new Aqualino Cancer Care center. The artwork was recently installed – here is a look at the process:

Original design sketch

After the concept design, dimensions and glass techniques proposed was approved, the Washington Glass Studio team worked at getting the glass underway.
First, glass of the right size was needed. The glass triptych panels were 5′-0″ long, much larger than the glass we had in the studio. Getting large shipments of glass and then (successfully) cutting the glass would be a project into themselves!

Erwin Timmers and Tim Tate receiving the large pane of sheet glass.

The process of cutting such a large sheet of glass involved many from the studio – just to keep the score line straight.

The glass is larger than the pair of work tables.


Erwin Timmers preps the glass for cutting.
The cutting crew: L-R Erwin Timmers, Michael Janis, Audrey Wilson.

After the glass is cut and cleaned, work inside the kilns proceeds. Audrey Wilson set beds of dry sifted plaster within the large kilns, and began creating the molds the glass would be melted into.

Audrey working on the glass mold that is set up in the kiln.

After firing, annealing and cooling the glass panels, the edges needed to be ground and polished smooth – a noisy messy job. 

Audrey takes to working outdoors to do the wet grinding.

Now the glass is ready for the site. Tim and Erwin traveled to the new cancer facility to install the glass panels into the steel slots that were previously set into a concrete plinth. The surrounding area to the glass panels will incorporate a rock garden.

Erwin Timmers and Tim Tate being installing the panels into the steel framework.
Artists Tim Tate and Erwin Timmers stop for a chat about the glass artwork.
The finished work from inside the Aqualino Cancer Center chapel.

 Adventist Healthcare’s executive director of Cancer Care Services sent a note about the just installed artwork – she wrote to the Shady Grove Art Consultant Lillian Fitzgerald: “… I was in the ACC today and the whole stone and glass took my breath.  The glass is the most beautiful work I have ever seen.  Thank you for your vision...

A great note to end the story of the process of the artwork!

Glass Artwork for Shady Grove Hospital

The Washington Glass Studio was commissioned to make cast glass artwork for the chapel at the Shady Grove Hospital. Working with the art consultant – Fitzgerald Fine Arts – the artwork involves integration of glass with a large stone boulder. The artwork anchors and defines the interior chapel of the new Aquilino Cancer Center, now under construction in Rockville, MD.

The stonework required a setting bed and the glass framework was mounted into the concrete. The 5′-0″ H glass panels will cantilever out of steel frame behind the stonework, creating a dimensional screen to the meditative room.  The artwork team comes to the Glass Studio for a final review of the dimensions, process and schedule.

(L-R) Don Sebastian, Erwin Timmers, Lillian Fitzgerald and Erica Kemper review the design documents of the 5′-0″H cast glass panels.
Erwin Timmers describes the cast glass process, and discusses color options.
The design calls for bas-relief leaves cascading around the stone element.

Erwin Timmers said of the artwork concept: “The flowing cast glass leaves create a calming vista and reinforce a sense of transformation. Aided by the almost meditative quality of translucent cast glass, the viewer might contemplate healing visions of nature.”

More will be posted as the glass panels start being set up in the kilns!

Internet, Images and You

>The internet is an interesting place – one the enables commissions to happen between artists, designers and clients from across the country – or even the entire world. As an example – a cast glass-and-steel work by Washington Glass Studio artist/director Michael Janis was seen by an Atlanta-based art consultant looking for artwork for a new hotel being designed by a Hollywood based interiors firm.


The original work “Liar Paradox” – Fred & Susan Sanders collection.
Photo credit: anythingphoto.net



Original schematic architectural lobby design by Cheryl Rowley Design.

In 2006, an Atlanta based art consultancy sourced Michael’s work from the internet and approached him to make a 6′-0″ version of the work to be the central work in the new Kimpton Hotel that was under construction in the Dupont Circle section of Washington, DC. The new hotel was to be designed and embellished to reflect the hotel’s theme of “Art In Motion” The finished three section cast glass-and-steel work titled “The Gravity Between Us” was built and installed in the lobby. The artwork was named Boutique Hotels Magazine’s “Best Artwork” in 2007.


“The Gravity Between Us” glass and steel sculpture by Michael Janis.


Detail of “The Gravity Between Us” by Michael Janis.
Washington, DC Palomar Hotel.



Viewing through the slabs of cast glass to the hotel lobby.

The internet was integral to the commission of the original work. After being made, the digital images of the large scale sculpture continue onwards – online.

A new GOOGLE image search function allows one to search online for specific or similar images. By dropping an image into the search box and it not only finds all “similar” images around the Internets, but also all the websites where that image is being used.

Using that function, it was discovered that many of the images of the Palomar Hotel glass artwork are referenced or are reproduced all over…the world! Below is an image of where the artwork was used as the cover of a Hong Kong book on international boutique hotels. This highlights the importance of having good digital images of any art made – they become the strongest selling card for other work.