Michael Janis named "US Cultural Ambassador", Knighthood Next?

The British Council is a British organization specializing in international educational and cultural opportunities. It was founded in 1934 as the British Committee for Relations with Other Countries, and granted a royal charter by King George VI in 1940. Its “sponsoring department” within the UK Government is the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Recently, the British Council asked our Michael Janis to write about the sister city relationship between Sunderland, England and Washington, DC and how the Washington Glass School came to be one of the participants in the spectacular International Glass and Clay exhibit that opened March 1, 2013.

Click HERE to jump to British Council blog.

Michael was listed as a US Cultural Ambassador” and he is loving the title upgrade. He now insists on being called “honorable” and says he is planning to stage a “glass coup” at the UN and that he will begin issuing a list of non-binding resolutions. 

Michael Janis – the Dark Knight

After all his work with the British glass and ceramic artists, Knighthood surely is being planned.

This Saturday, March 9th, from noon- 1:00 pm, the International Glass and Clay Exhibit hosts a roundtable discussion about the Fulbright Scholar program. Come to the gallery and have a chat with Fulbright Scholars from area universities.

International Glass and Clay 2013
Pepco Edison Place Gallery  @ 702 8th Street, NW, Washington, DC
Gallery hours are Saturday and Tuesday, 12 p.m. to 4 p.m., and Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. The Gallery is closed on Sundays. The Gallery Place Metro station is within walking distance of the Gallery. The show is organized by Artomatic and the DCCAH.  

Never Mind The Bullseye – Here’s The Glass Pistols

“007 – Walther P99″, Light, Fused water jet cut BE glass, 2010, Dr Magareth Troli – artwork featured in the “International Glass + Clay 2013″ exhibit

A number of the UK artists exhibiting in the International Glass and Clay 2013 show (at Pepco Edison Place Gallery -702 8th Street, NW, Washington, DC) have come to the opening events and programs. The visiting UK artists have hit DC town running – there have been a number of Glass and Clay show events to keep them occupied!

UK Glass Artist Demo at Washington Glass School during International Glass & Clay
Robyn Townsend’s artwork incorporates glass and metal

Demos by UK Artists:
Criss Chaney and Robyn Townsend showed their techniques for metal inclusions and patinas in glass.

Criss Chaney shows how the patinas are formed
Robyn Townsend and Criss Chaney

Over at DC GlassWorks, Colin Rennie, Phil Vickery and Roger Tye wowed the fans of blown glass with a series of virtuoso feats in hot glass. 

UK artist Phil Vickery demonstrates the process for his beautiful glass forms
L-R Colin Rennie, Phil Vickery and Roger Tye at DC GlassWorks
Roger Tye makes a triple incalmo bowl in red, white and blue.

Colin Rennie ended the demos with a flourish!
Whee!
Artists in the exhibit have a get-together at Artomatic founder George Koch’s place. (Top row L-R: Anne Tye, Tom Hurst, Catherine Auld, Roger Tye. Bottom row L-R: Dr Magareth Troli, Phil Vickery, Robyn Townsend, Criss Chaney, Audrey Wilson, Philippa Whiteside, Colin Rennie)

The exhibit continues thru March 23 – make sure you come into the gallery to see this incredible showcase of art from the US and UK.
International Glass and Clay 2013
Pepco Edison Place Gallery  @ 702 8th Street, NW, Washington, DC
Gallery hours are Saturday and Tuesday, 12 p.m. to 4 p.m., and Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. The Gallery is closed on Sundays. The Gallery Place Metro station is within walking distance of the Gallery. The show is organized by Artomatic and the DCCAH.

US President George Washington Hearts England

Sunderland, England has had a long association with Washington, DC. General George Washington became the first President of the United States in 1789 and the United States Capitol City named ‘Washington” in his honor. George Washington was a descendant of the Washington family, which took its name from Wessyngton (now Washington) and resided at Washington Old Hall in Washington Village.



Washington Old Hall is a manor house in the Washington area of Tyne and Wear, in the North East of England.



Washington Old Hall incorporates parts of the original medieval home of George Washington’s direct ancestors. It was re-opened in 1955 by the US Ambassador, following restoration of the property which which was led by local schoolmaster and historian Frederick Hill. United States benefactors played a key role, donating funds and furniture to the project. Washington Old Hall is now managed by the National Trust with assistance from the Friends of Washington Old Hall.

Washington Glass School comes to Washington, England. Fulbrighters Tim Tate and Michael Janis at Washington Old Hall in March 2012.

The District of Columbia’s official “state” flag (adopted in 1938), is based on the shield from the Washington Coat of Arms. Early examples of the Washington Coat of Arms, dating back to the beginning of the 15th Century, can be seen on the cloister ceiling in Durham Cathedral.

US federal district (Washington, DC) flag consisting of a white field with two horizontal red stripes and three red stars above the stripes. The flag’s width-to-length ratio is 1 to 2.

It has often been said George Washington used his family coat of arms as the basis for the original American ‘Stars and Stripes’ flag.

Image from Library of Congress ‘An American Time Capsule: Three Centuries of Broadsides and Other Printed Ephemera.’

As a result of these historic ties, Washington, D.C., and City of Sunderland had formed a “friendship agreement,” (originally in 2006 and renewed in 2012) with the intent of  creating cultural and economic ties with one another. Sunderland City is the only non-capital in the world to have such an agreement with the US Capitol. Working with the DC Sister Cities, the DCCAH and Artomatic, the two cities are collaborating in presenting an international glass and clay artwork exhibit opening March 1, 2013.

International Glass and Clay2013 will be open from Friday, March 1 to Friday, March 22. It is free for the public to attend. Pepco Edison Place Gallery, 702 Eighth Street (between G and H Street) will house the artworks and many of the events. Gallery hours are 12 to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Tuesdays, and 12 to 8 p.m. on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. The gallery is closed on Sundays and Mondays. The Gallery Place Metro station servicing the green, red and yellow lines is within close walking distance to the gallery.

Glass BLAST! in London

>

Cate Watkinson
BLAST! 2012

COHESION GLASS NETWORK’S 10th ANNIVERSARY EXHIBITION

July 6 – August 8, 2012

Joanne Mitchell

London, England’s ZeST Contemporary Glass Gallery is hosting BLAST! 2012, the 10th anniversary exhibition of Cohesion Glass Network. Cohesion Glass Network is an initiative supported by the UK’s Sunderland City Council as a way to create a business network for glassmakers and artists. 


Tim Tate

To celebrate this landmark, ZeST Gallery has invited eight of Cohesion’s founding members to exhibit their latest artworks and provided the opportunity to select an artist to be a “partner” and show work alongside them.

Roger Tye

These eight artists are Criss Chaney, Dominic Fonde, Zoe Garner, Ruth Lyne, Joanne Mitchell, Claudia Phipps, Roger Tye and Cate Watkinson.  They have selected partners whose work they admire, or find complementary to their own, or in some cases they have joined forces to create unique collaborative work, exploring and developing themes and concepts held in common. Some, but not all, of the partner artists are Cohesion members, and all but one of the partners are artists working in glass.

Michael Janis

Cohesion artist Joanne Mitchell chose Washington Glass Studio artist Tim Tate. Cohesion’s Roger Tye is paired with WGS’ Michael Janis. Michael and Tim were both at Cohesion’s studios while in the UK on their Fulbright assignment.

The exhibition features a diverse selection of glass art, including wall-mounted and installation artwork, as well as vessels and sculpture, and embodies a broad spectrum of processes and techniques. The pairings within the show create an exciting dynamic of glass, artistic and otherworldly narratives.

Carrie Fertig

Artist pairings include:
Criss Chaney with Robyn Townsend

Dominic Fonde with Chua Teng Yeow

Zoe Garner with Carrie Fertig

Ruth Lyne with Rachel O’Dell

Joanne Mitchell with Tim Tate

Claudia Phipps with June Kingsbury

Roger Tye with Michael Janis

Cate Watkinson with Emma Hollins

Blast! 2012

July 6 – August 8, 2012

Zest Contemporary Glass Gallery

Roxby Place (end of Rickett Street)

London SW6 1RS

Fulbright Scholars Janis & Tate Final Report

>Final Report by Michael Janis and Tim Tate regarding their Fulbright Specialist Program at the University Of Sunderland and the National Glass Center.

The bonds that were forged years ago when The City of Washington & Washington Glass School hosted the UK artists from Cohesion Glass Network art Artomatic’s Glass 3 event in Georgetown have been strengthened. Our connection with Washington, DC’s UK Sister City, Sunderland, the National Glass Center and the University of Sunderland; will continue throughout our careers. While our mission as Fulbright Scholars was to impart information, we leave having learned many lessons.

Our time in England began with presentations of our artwork and discussions of on new directions the glass world was embracing, such as Glass Secessionism, where artists are looking to move from the aesthetic of pure technique, materials and process and are advancing glass as a medium of sculptural expression in the narrative realm. The participants in the audiences came from the student body of the University as well as working artists from Sunderland, Newcastle, even as far away as Edinburgh, Scotland. The audience stayed long after the talk, and topics from the discussion continued to come up during our entire Fulbright program stay (and indeed, afterwards via the internet) showing the strong relevance of the concepts.

We created workshops for both the National Glass Center and Sunderland’s Creative Cohesion studio; the city’s artist incubator (that, in fact, used the Washington Glass School as its educational and business model). The City of Sunderland invited us to speak with students at a local secondary school during our stay, where we talked about careers in art. We also worked with the Leaders of the University’s Glass and Ceramics program and outlined methods we could extend the cooperative agreement that exists between Sunderland and Washington, DC.

The British tertiary arts education system is different from the US university model. Their MA program blends an MFA and BFA into a very concentrated program. The amount of expertise, materials and techniques they make available to students seems staggering. Sunderland’s may be the finest glass program in the world. With the National Glass Center, the physical space alone dwarfs any facility in the US (or even if one combined the arts centers of Pilchuck, Penland, Corning into one place). The University of Sunderland also offer a doctorate in glass, which is similar to an MFA, though the focus is research, as this is one of the primary methods for the University to receive funds. At the end of a student’s time at Sunderland University, they have a much broader base of knowledge regarding glass and its parameters. In many ways the educational system in the UK is ahead of the US, especially in how they treat glass sculpturally.

Our talks with the students included observations on the differences between the art practices of the two countries. The gallery/collector focus on technique driven vessels that drove the US Studio Glass Movement for over 40 years did not occur to the same extent in England. Instead of being gallery driven, the UK arts education sector seems to be more exhibition and grant driven. University and museum -sponsored art shows are more common as the way an artist would establish themselves. With this as their foundation, artists do not find it as necessary to focus on a single form. They are able operate with the freedom of each installation being potentially a different medium, voice, direction (though many times I would have liked to see the directions pushed much further.) In the US, with the galleries / collector based system, there exists the perception that an artist’s work be recognized for a particular form and for the work be within a series format.

The courses we held at the University included a mix of graduate and undergraduate students, and the workshops allowed and encouraged students working in different modules to interact. We found the students of the University to be some of the most engaged and accomplished students we have ever worked with. They wanted to absorb as much information as possible. Their energy was refreshing, and we added another workshop and added one talk more into the schedule.

Our final discussion was on Artist Covenant’s and how artists can create a network using social media as a way to support each other as a group. This informal talk was packed, standing room only. The artists were voracious in seeking advice on how to get their work seen and recognized. We hope we have helped energize them and perhaps rally them to work together towards their common good. The interest and respect we received from the students was over-whelming. Many of the artists have connected to us online.

We would like to thank all those who made this academic interaction possible: The Fulbright Commission, the Council for International Exchange of Scholars (CIES), The University of Sunderland and the National Glass Center, The City of Sunderland and Creative Cohesion. Each in their own way has made our visit into a life changing experience.

Our mission is to now to reflect and contemplate on not only what we have achieved, but to think of ways on how best to extend our hand and continue our symbiotic and synergistic relationship so that it will not only survive but thrive.

Lets all bridge the Atlantic for many more decades.

Tim Tate & Michael Janis , Co-Directors, Washington Glass School

University of Sunderland Welcomes Fulbright Scholars Michael Janis & Tim Tate

>

Fulbright Travelers Check In

>

University of Sunderland poster for the visiting Fulbright Scholars.

Tim Tate and I have been powering through our stay here at the University of Sunderland in the beautiful northeast of England. This is a blog update of some of the adventure we have participated in whilst on our Fulbright Scholarship to the UK.

The University of Sunderland Glass Centre and the glass roof deck.

Kevin Petrie, Head of the Glass & Ceramics Department

We arrived on Thursday, met at the airport by the University’s head of the Glass and Ceramics Department, Kevin Petrie. Kevin took us on a whirlwind tour of the massive building complex. The centre, built in 1998, has a glass panel roof – where one is invited to walk across and watch the blowing facilities down below.

Tim Tate takes a walk on the glass.

The size, equipment and state-of-the-art facility was overwhelming. It was great to see some old friends that had come to DC in years past waving a welcoming hello from across the acreage of studio space. We would be coming back to the University after a couple workshops in town.

Some of the many huge kilns at the university.


Here I am wandering thru one the centre’s exhibition halls.

The beach in front of the hotel in Seaburn.

Our hotel could not have been better – sweeping views across the North Sea, with Seaburn beach in front of our hotel. Nice.

Creative Cohesion’s new studio and exhibition center in Sunderland.

The arts organization, Creative Cohesion, held a cocktail reception to welcome us and inaugurate the new hotshop at their new facility in Sunderland city centre . For those of you from DC, you might remember the organization and its many talented artists that participated in the 2006′s Glass 3 exhibit in Georgetown, organized by Artomatic. In 2009, many more artists from Sunderland participated in the Artomatic held near the Navy Yard/near the new Nationals Ballpark. The non-profit arts organization began over 10 years ago, initially designed as a way to help for glass artists coming from the university mature into professional artists. The success of the organization’s mission has expanded and now includes ceramic and visual arts, performance artists, and poets in its umbrella of services.

Our arrival coincided with the center’s celebration of the opening of their new hotshop – our workshop would be the first for the glass shop. Upon arrival – we see a familiar face – a poster of the UK artists working in Dave D’Orio’s DC Glasswork’s hotshop is in the window.

We saw some old friends in unexpected places…

Tim and I planned to do a few workshops to allow for collaboration between the DC & UK artists. The first up workshop was creating fused glass rollups.

The artists from Sunderland listen with intent.

The big burly electrician Richie tries fusing for the first time. And shows real talent.

The next day, the glass panels are placed onto the pastorellis and artist Roger Tye works the Bulls-eye glass into a rollup.

Roger Tye gets the glass into shape.

Click HERE to jump to video of the roll-up process by Jo Howell Photography and Maverickart

The next day, Tim Tate and I were welcomed at the University of Sunderland. We first gave a lecture about our work, the Washington Glass School & Studio and the Glass Secessionism movement.

Professor Tim Tate speaks about his work and influences.


Coming up soon – a posting or two about the workshops at the National Glass Center, touring around the area and the London Affordable Art Fair! Stay posted!