2017 WGS Year in Review

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A look back at some of our biggest moments of the year and what we’re looking forward to in 2018. This year brought us the first year of Trump’s presidency, a historic solar eclipse and some huge exhibits. Now, as the year draws to a close, WGS blog reflects on some of the happenings that rocked – and to some degree reshaped our place in the glass art world.

January 

The Women’s march held in Washington D.C. on Jan. 21, 2017 was organized after the election of Donald Trump as president of the U.S. to demonstrate solidarity among women, minorities, LGBT and other disenfranchised communities. Glass Art Magazine editor Shawn Waggoner visited the Washington Glass School while in town for the event.

Glass Art Magazine editor Shawn Waggoner was one of the participants in the Womens March in January.

Glass Art Magazine editor Shawn Waggoner (second from left) was one of the participants in the Women’s March in January.

WGS Instructor Debra Ruzinsky was named the new director of the Appalachian Center for Craft. The Appalachian Center for Craft is located in scenic Middle Tennessee near the town of Smithville. The facility was built in 1979 and has spacious studios, gallery, exhibitions, administrative offices, library, student housing and meeting/audio visual rooms.

The Appalachian Center for Craft in Tennessee.

The Appalachian Center for Craft in Tennessee.

Glass Art Magazine featured our Michael Janis in a profiled in their magazine and as part of their podcast series “Talking Out Your Glass“.

Glass Art Magazine featured Michael Janis in the Jan/Feb issue.

Glass Art Magazine featured Michael Janis in the Jan/Feb issue.

February

Washington Glass Studio completed installation of a two-part public art project in Florida. Palm Beach County‘s Art in Public Places awarded 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). The works were installed starting in January and completed in February 2017.

Public art at Florida's West Palm Beach International Airport

Public art at Florida’s West Palm Beach International Airport

March
March featured the opening of “Embracing Narrative” – the joint exhibition of glass works by artists from the Washington Glass School and the Virginia Glass Guild opened this weekend at Virginia’s Portsmouth Art & Cultural Center (PACC). Juried by Diane Wright, Curator of Glass, Chrysler Museum of Art and Sheila Giolitti, Mayer Fine Art Gallery, the exhibit kicked off the Glass Art Society’s (GAS) 46th annual conference that was held at the Chrysler Museum and the Perry Glass Studio in June, 2017. embracing_narrative.GAS_conference_norfolk.washington_new_post.studio.glass_.secession.art_.exploring.invite

April

Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) invited WGS’ Michael Janis in April to the museum to talk about his artwork that was featured in the exhibit “Mindful: Exploring Mental Health Through Art”. He talked about his glass process and the themes that run thru his work. MOCA_meet_the_artist_Janis_michael.museum.glass_.mental_health.mindful

In April, Habatat Galleries featured works by Washington Glass School artists Erwin Timmers, Tim Tate, Michael Janis and Sean Hennessey at the gallery’s 45th Glass International Award Exhibition.

Erwin Timmers' new cast glass and LED panels were featured at the 45th International.

Erwin Timmers’ new cast glass and LED panels were featured at the 45th International.

May

Washington Glass School co-founder Tim Tate was invited by Glenn Adamson, senior scholar at Yale, to speak at a symposium at Yale University. Tim talked about his work, as well as artists Roberto Lugo and Stephanie Syjuco. Tim Tate talked about how objects differ from other types of evidence, when it comes to histories of ideology and belief.

Tim Tate at Yale conference.

Tim Tate at Yale conference.

June 

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WheatonArts hot shop during Glass Weekend 2017

New Jersey’s WheatonArts opened GlassWeekend 2017– an International Symposium and Exhibition of Contemporary Glass. For 32 years, GlassWeekend brought together the world’s leading glass artists, collectors, galleries, and museum curators at Wheaton Arts and Cultural Center for a three-day weekend in June. This year’s demonstrating artists were Matthew Szosz, Rik Allen, and Shelley Muzylowski Allen. The keynote speaker featured Susie Silbert, the new Curator of Modern and Contemporary Glass at the Corning Museum of Glass.

Tim Tate was one of the featured LBGTQ artists in the Liberty Museum show.

Tim Tate was one of the featured LBGTQ artists in the Liberty Museum show.

The National Liberty Museum hosted the nation’s first museum exhibit of studio glass works produced exclusively by artists of the LGBTQ+ community. Each artist explored diverse subjects, methods, and styles using the artistic medium of glass making.

July

Teary-eyed farewell to Our Miss Wilson - artist Trish Kent baked a farewell cake in the shape of Audrey's favorite artistic element - a feather.

Teary-eyed farewell to our Ms Wilson – artist Trish Kent baked a farewell cake in the shape of Audrey’s favorite artistic element – a feather.

The Table-making class was great fun!

The glass table-making class was great fun!

Washington Glass School’s table making class ended with some happy artist/students! Erwin Timmers class made the glass for the tabletops and welded the steel for the table bases.

Audrey Wilson was recognized unstoppable force of nature! The Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass (AACG) awarded her with their Visionary Scholarship - with it, she was off to Penland for intensive workshops. Glass Art Magazine also featured Audrey with a great profile in the July/August issue! Ms Wilson had to say goodbye to WGS, as she began MFA classes at Ohio’s Kent State.

Glass Art Magazine featured Audrey Wilson in their July/August issue.

Glass Art Magazine featured Audrey Wilson in their July/August issue.

August

Tim Tate outlines the history of the American Studio Glass Movement to the class.

Tim Tate outlines the history of the American Studio Glass Movement to the class.

Baltimore’s Contemporary Glass Art class held at the CCBC visited the Washington Glass School as part of their studies. The group got to meet with many of the artists working from the studio, and were able to see how a school & studio functions.

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LBK gets to work making changes in the Glass School.

Laura Beth Konopinski joined the WGS crew as the new Studio Coordinator coming from the Pittsburgh Glass Center. LBK quickly updated our procedures and has taken over the workings of the busy studio. Ms Konopinski’s artwork has also been noticed, with her work being sought out for exhibition at the Miami Art Week.

“The Great American Eclipse” was the name given to the solar eclipse visible within a band across the entire contiguous United States, passing from the Pacific to the Atlantic coasts. WGS celebrated by having the community over to watch the event using the studio’s protective welding eyewear.

Said WGS Co-Director Michael Janis of the eclipse: "whoa".

Said WGS Co-Director Michael Janis of the eclipse: “whoa”.

September

sean.Hennessey.art.sculptureArtist Sean Hennessey became a proud papa, introducing his best work yet: Atlas Leif. Mazel tov!

The James Renwick Alliance’s (JRA) annual Distinguished Artist Series (DAS) brings notable craft artists from around the country – and in September, the season started off great with Alex Bernstein as the distinguished artist in Glass. Alex took the JRA workshop attendees along a journey from billet to awesome in about 3 hours! The  JRA Distinguished Artist walked the audience thru his signature process of “Bernstein-ing” his work, and everyone loved it!

DAS Alex Bernstein begins his workshop demo at the Washington Glass School. photo by Diane Charnov

DAS Alex Bernstein begins his workshop demo at the Washington Glass School. photo by Diane Charnov

October

Washington Glass School said farewell to Studio Artist Veta Carney as she retired from her law practice and headed out west with her husband to join her son Daniel Carney’s glass studio in Arizona.

Changes at the Glass Studio are best addressed with food.

Changes at the Glass Studio are best addressed with food.

November

The Sculpture Objects Functional Art and Design (SOFA) Fair in Chicago this past November was focused on three-dimensional art and design. Artists Tim Tate and Michael Janis were shown at Habatat Galleries space at Chicago’s Navy Pier.

Seen in Chicago SOFA 2017 at Navy Pier

Also in November, the Washington Glass Studio installed the site specific commission for the William Beanes Community Center in Suitland, MD. The internally illuminated 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.

The William Beanes Community Center in Suitland, MD.

The William Beanes Community Center in Suitland, MD.

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.

December 

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Tim Tate’s definitive profile by William Warmus in American Craft Magazine.

The December/January 2018 American Craft magazine issue features a story by author/critic William Warmus explores WGS co-founder Tim Tate’s history in the glass world. Titled “The Spaces Between“,  William writes about what drives Tim’s work, and about the development (and controversy) of the Facebook “Glass Secessionism” page.

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Miami Art Week 2017 featured works by WGS crew Michael Janis, Laura Beth Konopinsk, Tim Tate, Erwin Timmers & Alum Audrey Wilson.

December 2017 finished up with an amazing feat – ALL the principal staff of the Washington Glass School were featured as part of the worlds largest and most prestigious art fair – Art Basel/ Miami Art Week. The enormous art fair envelopes Miami and one cannot help but be inspired and encouraged.

Looking Ahead

2018 promises many new opportunities – looking ahead on the calendar:

New classes at the glass school! Michigan’s Habatat Galleries will again feature WGS artists in this year’s 46th International Glass Invitational in April. Michael Janis will be teaching an intensive session at Pittsburgh Glass Center in May. Tim Tate’s artwork  will be part of the LA activist art show “Into Action!curated by John Legend, Shepard Fairy, Rosario Dawson, Harry Belafonte and other notable activists, artists and museum curators. Never a dull moment!

Washington Glass School and Studio Wishes All the Best for the Holidays! May the New Year give wings to all of our dreams and let them come true in 2018!

Report from Miami Art Fairs

The view of the Atlantic Ocean from SCOPE Art Fair 2017

The view of the Atlantic Ocean from SCOPE Art Fair 2017

It may snow along the East Coast this weekend, but down at Art Basel Miami Beach, it was all sunshine and beach parties and artwork and music everywhere. A fun thing about Miami is you get to spend hours in Lyfts and cabs going across causeways to and from the beach exhibits. context.art.fair.miami.2017.alida_anderson

Washington Glass School artists were represented at a number of the incredible art fairs that took place during Art Basel / Miami Art Fair week.

Erwin Timmers new work was dazzling!

Erwin Timmers new work was dazzling!

At Context Art Miami – Alida Anderson Art Project showed artists Erwin Timmers, Laura Beth Konopinski and Audrey Wilson.

Audrey Wilson and Laura Beth Konopinski at Context

Audrey Wilson and Laura Beth Konopinski at Context

Congrats to our own Laura Beth Konopinski, who was selected by Julian Navarro, the fair director as one of the standout women artists at the fair!

Tim Tate's works shone brightly at SCOPE Miami

Tim Tate’s works shone brightly at SCOPE Miami

Tim Tate and Michael Janis were featured by Habatat Galleries at two art fairs – SCOPE Miami and Form Art Fair. Tim’s new wall pieces were a hit at SCOPE – with many reacting to the artwork’s content.jennifer.scanlan.scope.tim_tate.glass.miami.art.fair

Tim's work was the most photo'd works at Miami Beach.

Tim’s work was the most photo’d works at Miami Beach.

The newest art fair “Form” opened across the street from Art Basel. Run by the same group that presents SOFA Chicago, the artwork focused on media specific art.

Michael Janis' work at Habatat Galleries space at the FORM Art Fair.

Michael Janis’ work at Habatat Galleries space at the FORM Art Fair.

There was alot of glitz and glamour and celebrity-sightings during the week.

Artist Chuck Close came thru the show.

Artist Chuck Close came thru the show.

As did these glitterati.

As did these glitterati.

When Art Basel first came to Miami in 2002, it was a satellite art fair and an end-of-the-year anchor to the Basel, Switzerland main event held in the summer. But in a perfect storm of palm trees, parties, a surge of interest in art (or at least the lucrative art market), and an Instagram explosion, it’s now become the biggest annual art event in North America, attended by some 85,000 people. And as the fair morphs into two dozen satellite fairs and a weeklong full calendar of art and fashion happenings, it’s also a venue to show how the art by a new generation of artists is being made.

Washington Glass School Artists To Show @ Art Basel / Miami Art Fairs!

Art-Basel-Miami-Beach-logoDecember 4 – 10, 2017, Miami and Miami Beach becomes the epicenter of the art world with approximately 1200 art galleries from around the world showing thousands of artists. It’s also a week of fashion with gala openings and after parties. Music, Art & Design all combine with incredible Florida weather – it’s an incredible place for viewing contemporary art.

Washington Glass School artists are being represented in a big way this year, with all of the school’s Directors and the new Studio Coordinator having works being exhibited at the art fairs.

Tim Tate's work will be featured at Habatat Galleries space at both SCOPE art fair and FORM.

Tim Tate’s work will be featured at Habatat Galleries space at both SCOPE art fair and FORM.

Tim Tate and Michael Janis’ work will be shown at Habatat Galleries space at Scope Miami (space F35) and the inaugural show of Form Miami (located across the street from Art Basel at the Miami Beach Convention Center).

CONTEXT Art Miami will feature works by WGS artists Erwin Timmers, Laura Beth Konopinski and WGS alum Audrey Wilson.

CONTEXT Art Miami will feature works by WGS artists Erwin Timmers, Laura Beth Konopinski and WGS alum Audrey Wilson.

Alida Anderson Art Projects’ booth #C225 at Context Art Miami will feature some incredible new sculptural works by WGS Co-Director Erwin Timmers and Studio Coordinator Laura Beth Konopinski. Alum Audrey Wilson will be exhibiting her new body of work that shows the influence of the Kent Sate MFA that she is currently enrolled in.

For an overview of all the contemporary art fairs going on in the Miami/Miami Beach area – click HERE

Erwin Timmers prepares his latest cast glass works for the Miami Art Fairs.

Erwin Timmers prepares his latest cast glass works for the Miami Art Fairs.

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If you are heading to the sunny warm beaches of Miami, FLA, be sure to visit the premier showcase for international contemporary art!

Baltimore Sun Covers Washington Glass Studio’s Laurel Library Artwork Workshops

The Washington Glass Studio was awarded the commission to create the new landmark artwork sculpture for the Laurel Library (now under construction next to Emancipation Park in Laurel, MD). Baltimore Sun reporter Lisa Philip visited the Washington Glass Studio last week as the Library area residents and interested citizens collaborated in glass-making workshops to make the inset panels . Click HERE to jump to Lisa Philip’s article on how the artwork is engaging the community.

Baltimore Sun coverage of how the Washington Glass Studio engages community.

Baltimore Sun coverage of how the Washington Glass Studio engages community.

photo credit:Lisa Philip / Baltimore Sun Media Group Erwin Timmers, co-founder and -director of Washington Glass Studio, advises a Laurel resident on his creation of a glass tile for the public art sculpture that will stand in front of the new Laurel Library, set to open this fall.

photo credit:Lisa Philip / Baltimore Sun Media Group
Erwin Timmers, co-founder and -director of Washington Glass Studio, advises a Laurel resident on his creation of a glass tile for the public art sculpture that will stand in front of the new Laurel Library, set to open this fall.

Erwin Timmers New Sculpture Made from Cast Recycled Glass

Eco-artist Erwin Timmers newest sculpture made from cast recycled glass will be showcased at the Gateway Arts District’s Open Studio Tour (OST) – Saturday May 14, 2016 from Noon-5pm.

Erwin has been casting with recycled float (window) glass to create forms from and about discarded water bottles – and assembling the cast glass atop a salvaged mirror that has been backed with LED lighting. Its amazing how he can find harmony, balance and poetry in things discarded and never thought of again.

Erwin Timmers, cast recycled glass, salvaged  mirror, steel, LED, 2016

Erwin Timmers, cast recycled glass, salvaged mirror, steel, LED, 2016

No Dim Bulbs in Lighting Class!

Erwin Timmers instructs one of the lighting class students.

Erwin Timmers instructs one of the lighting class students.

Erwin Timmer’s artistic lighting class these past few weeks brought some serious color to the studio – really brightening up the studio!

Over the three week class, students completed a number of lighting designs, ranging from pendant to wall sconces and table lamps. Great to see how each created functional art that reflected the tastes and aesthetics of each of the artists. This was certainly a class that put forth the effort in the design!

Vibha's glass design was dazzling!

Vibha’s glass design was dazzling!

Students designed and made the glass as well as assembled the mounting hardware.

Students designed and made the glass as well as assembled the mounting hardware.

Louis Comfort Tiffany would have been jealous of the glass created for the light fixture.

Louis Comfort Tiffany would have been jealous of the glass created for the light fixture.

Jerrelee loves her light fixture that relates to her artwork.

Jerrelee loves her light fixture that relates to her artwork.

The Process: Site-Specific Art Project by Washington Glass Studio

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Design sketches of the two lobby areas were created.

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Sample showing glass colorways.

Washington Glass Studio recently completed commissions for artwork in a refurbished downtown Bethesda building lobby. Working with art consultants, Directions in Art, Washington Glass Studio began creating artwork options for two levels of an office building that was undergoing a major renovation. 

The proposed floor-to-ceiling glass artwork was designed to be fully backlit with LED panels, giving the artwork a strong visual punch.  The artwork proposals were presented to the client, and the direction on colors was approved. 

Crushed glass (frit) was used to make the large circles of glass color.

Crushed glass (frit) was used to make the large circles of glass color.

 

Working with the building architects, the design was modified to allow for a stainless steel surrounding frame. The framework would conceal the electrical transformers required for the LED wall. Timing and coordination issues for installation on two separate floors were addressed, as were wall structure concerns.

Artists Audrey Wilson and Erwin Timmers discuss the fabrication of the glass panels.

Artists Audrey Wilson and Erwin Timmers discuss the fabrication of the glass panels.

Layers of fused glass created the desired textures and colors.

Layers of fused glass created the desired textures and colors.

Installation of the main lobby artwork.

Installation of the main lobby artwork.

The finished artwork. WGS Project team: Tim Tate, Erwin Timmers, Michael Janis, Audrey Wilson

The finished artwork. WGS Project team: Tim Tate, Erwin Timmers, Michael Janis, Audrey Wilson

Washington Glass School Dances In the New Year!

Dance With Us The rhythm of the cosmos Is a waltz In three steps Dream Create Sustain

Dance With Us
The rhythm of the cosmos
Is a waltz
In three steps
Dream
Create
Sustain

The crew at Washington Glass School wish all a joyful, bright, healthy, prosperous and happiest new year ahead! May this new year bring all the crazy colors and fun in life!

“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.” — Albert Einstein 

Fancy a bit of SHAG talk? (Society of History & Graphics lecture that is!)

Please join Baltimore’s Case[werks] Gallery for the November SHAG lecture “Historical Sources of Design Inspiration.”SHAG (The Society for History and Graphics) presents a monthly program in Baltimore to further the knowledge of the history of graphic design and illustration. Programs are free and open to anyone.

12 artists and designers featured in the exhibit “Product Lines: Art & Function Delineated” (Case[werks] Gallery current show) will discuss the historical sources that influenced their designs.

“Product Lines” exhibition featured artists are: Inna Alesina, William John Gardner Design Studio, Majer Metal Works, Emmanuel Nicolaidis, Andrea Pippins, Sarah Templinn /Radica Textiles, Whitney Sherman, David Hess, Brian Kain, Lyle Kissack, Erwin Timmers & John Wise.

Lori Rubeling, Case[werks] curator-in-residence will lead the discussion.

Case[werks]Showroom & Gallery

1501 Saint Paul Street, Suite 116, Baltimore, Maryland 21202

For more info – click HERE to jump to the Facebook event page for more details.