Historic Gallery of Glass @ Washington Craft Show 2012

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Maurine Littleton Gallery Exhibit at Washington Convention Center.

The Washington Craft Show was just held this past weekend. The juried event brings nearly 200 Contemporary Craft Artists (glass; furniture; ceramics; silver, bronze, and copper; mixed media; decorative and wearable textiles; jewelry; paper; and wood) to the Washington Convention Center, with an emphasis on quality and originality. 

The Washington Craft Show 2012 included a special 50th Anniversary glass exhibit.

This year, Washington, DC’s celebrated glass gallery – the Maurine Littleton Gallery held a special exhibit that was dedicated to the 50th Anniversary of the American Studio Glass Movement. 

Dale Chihuly glass artwork next to a Thermon Statom ladder.

As a show-within-the-show, the center of the Convention center featured seminal works by the man considered to be the father of the studio glass movement,  Harvey Littleton. The show included works from the famed 1962 Toledo Workshop, where artists were invited to look at glass as a viable sculpture medium. 

Michael Janis examines one of the 1962 Harvey Littleton original blown glass pieces from the Toledo Museum workshop – shown in period photo (inset). 

Some pix from the show: 

William Morris glass artwork foreground.
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.
Contemporary works by the artists of the Washington Glass School were included in the Maurine Littleton exhibit. L-R in above photo, works by Tim Tate, Erwin Timmers & Allegra Marquart.

Alison Sigethy’s glass sculpture.

The show also had some favorite DC craft based media artists exhibiting, like Ani Kasten showing her great ceramics, or Alison Sigethy’s recycled glass sculptures. 

Ani Kasten’s ceramic works.

Click HERE to jump to a photo gallery of artwork seen at the 2012 Washington Craft Show. 

Craft Will Save The World: Renwick Gallery’s 40 Under 40

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Stephanie Liner, Momentos of a Doomed Construct (installation detail), 2012, plywood, foam, Dacron, cotton, adhesive, live model

The Smithsonian Renwick Gallery’s Craft Futures: 40 Under 40 exhibit has just opened this week (on exhibit now thru February 3, 2013), and it is a must-see show! Nicholas Bell, the Curator of American Craft organized the exhibition which features forty artists born since 1972 – the year the Smithsonian established the Renwick Gallery. Evolving notions of craft within traditional media such as ceramics and glass, as well as in fields such as industrial design, installation art, fashion design, and mathematics are explored.

General view of gallery space – Artwork in foreground: Marc Maiorana, Renwick Gate, 2011, iron

Artwork in the exhibition was created since Sept. 11, 2001 and this new work reflects the changed world that exists today, one which poses new challenges and considerations for artists. Nicholas Bell talked about the work and the selection process at a noon lecture on Friday, July 20, outlining some concepts that included  underlying themes that could be seen within the works – including postmodernism, environmental and economic issues, and how the explosion in craft is based on a desire by artisans to try and fix the world via the process of creation. There was also mention of a topic at Nicolas’ talk that I want to investigate more: the ‘sloppy craft movement’ (!) – but that is for a later blog posting.

Some of the standout works seen at the opening nite include:

Stephanie Liner, Momentos of a Doomed Construct (installation detail), 2012, plywood, foam, Dacron, cotton, adhesive, live model.

Stephanie combines clothing and furniture forms into Fabergé egg-like armatures that are as fascinating as they are unnerving. It’s a rare opportunity to see them as they’re intended, with living, breathing (beautiful) woman inside of the bubble, gazing back at you.

Andy Paiko, Spinning Wheel, 2007, blown glass, cocobolo, steel, brass, leather

Great to see Matt Szösz and his inflated fused glass. Matt was recently awarded the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Grant. 

Korean born Bohyun Yoondescribes his work titled “Glass Tube”.

Opening nights are about networking. Above left image in center: Chris Rifkin, Fuller Craft Museum’s board chairman and Right rear image: Perry Price, Director of Education at American Craft Council.

Cristina Córdova, Dulce, 2011, ceramic, paper

Mia Pearlman’s paper works dominate one of the gallery spaces with massive installations and a video.

Olek, Knitting is for Pussies,2005-2011, mixed media, 100% acrylic yarn, live models

Detail from Olek’s ‘Knitting is For Pussies’ installation and of ‘yarn-bombed’ tricycle parked in front of Renwick Museum on Opening Nite.
The opening night gala was a spectacular event – very much with a retro art-happening vibe.

The fun, audacity, interesting & provoking attitudes of the show make it a winner and it should be added to one’s list of gallery/museum to-do lists for Washington, DC this year. Click HERE to jump to the Smithsonian Renwick Gallery website.

Sunderland, England Visits Washington, DC

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clockwise from left: Novie Trump, Tim Tate, George Koch, Oliver “Skip” Dulle, Tom Hurst, Catherine Auld and Erwin Timmers talk about the prospects for an international exhibition of glass and clay. 

Based on the aftermath of Tim Tate & Michael Janis’ successful Fulbright Scholarship assignment to the University of Sunderland, representatives from DC’s sister city (which is Sunderland, England) popped in for proverbial “spot of tea and a bit of a chat” – re: the possibility of another international glass exhibition to be held in DC in Spring 2013. (One may remember the fabulous Glass 3 exhibit hosted by Artomatic in 2008.)  

George Koch, founder and board member of DC’s Cultural Development Corporation, chats with WGS’ Tim Tate 

This time the arts organization is proposing to expand the format to include ceramics and possibly another international partner; all together exhibiting at a downtown DC gallery space. Discussions included international workshops, marketplace events and how cultural tourism could be integrated. The representatives from the UK met at the Washington Glass School and at Flux Studios.

Artist Novie Trump explains the process of a commissioned ceramic installation to the Sunderland delegation.
Dr David Smith, Chief Executive, Sunderland City Council and DC Mayor Vincent Gray sign the Sunderland, UK / Washington, DC Sister City Agreement, February 22, 2012, 

We don’t want to jinx the procedures and process at this early stage, but we are excited at the prospect of such an event! 

DC Artists: DCCAH Announces 2013 Grant Programs

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The DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities offers several funding programs for individuals and nonprofit organizations located in the District of Columbia. Individuals are not required to provide matching funds. Organizations are only required to provide matching funds as indicated

Commission staff conducts general workshops where participants learn useful information about the Commission and the steps to take to submit a grant application. At these workshops, staff and applicants discuss each grant-making opportunity. Workshop dates, times and locations are subject to change.

For more info – click HERE to jump to the DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities online Grants page.

Washington, DC’s Newest Art Gallery Opens

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Gallery 555 Opening Night
photos by Painterly Visions /Anne Marchand


Gallery 555 opened with a flourish this past weekend, with a fantastic exhibition of paintings by Michelle Cormier. Also on exhibit are some great glass pieces by Erwin Timmers, wood pieces by Bruce Fransen, and encaustic works by Ellyn Weiss, amongst other works.

Ellyn Weiss chats up the opening night crowd.

Erwin Timmers works the crowds.

Gallerista Jodi Walsh.


Gallery 555 is located in the lobby of 555 12th Street, NW, Washington, DC
202.393.1409