US/UK Collaborative Art Precedents : Glass 3 and Artomatic

As the arrangements for the UK artists are being finalized, the Washington Glass School blog takes a look back to the first two collaborative exhibitions and their outcome.

GLASS 3__________________________
In 2008, Artomatic organized an exhibit that showcased glass art, focusing on how three “glass” cities approach the medium. The collaborative show was titled “Glass 3″ referencing the invited glass centers of Washington, DC, Toledo, Ohio and Sunderland, England. 

  • Sunderland is home to the UK’s National Glass Centre at the University of Sunderland. The North East of England has a long tradition of glassmaking – since the 7th century as glassmakers from France were brought in to make the stained glass windows. The numerous glass factories of the 17th and 18th century have now closed, and in its place a number of studio glass artists working in smaller studios. 
  • Toledo, Ohio is known as “Glass City” – where in 1962, Harvey Littleton and Dominick Labino presented the seminal glass workshop with the Toledo Museum of Art. This workshop profoundly influenced the American Studio Glass Movement. 
  • Washington, DC glass artists work at using glass as an expressive component in a larger whole, mastering technique in order to express content. The “post-craft” artists strive to make works that transcend words and discrete disciplines – therein lies their beauty.
Design of the Glass 3 exhibit graphics and catalog by Jon Gann.

Artomatic had secured an exhibition space in the Georgetown Mall, and in February, artwork and artists from the UK and Ohio came into DC setting up the multi-level space. 

2008 “Glass 3″ Exhibit. Photo by Tracy Lee.
2008 “Glass 3″ Exhibit. Photo by Tracy Lee.
Artist Vanessa Cutler (R) talks about the UK artwork with Sunderland City Council’s Anne Tye (C) and DCist’s Heather Goss (L) on opening night.

DCist city blog writer Heather Goss wrote of the 2008 collaborative show “Glass 3″:
“But does all of this lovey-dovey, hands-around-the-world stuff translate into a good art show? In this case, definitely. Glass work has always faced a tough challenge being accepted as “fine art” and not “a bunch of bowls and vases you find at the craft fair.” And if anyone can make you change your mind, its the artists from Sunderland. Some of the artists are actually experts in glass theory with Ph.Ds and have developed techniques that not only create beautiful art, but have revolutionized architecture and other uses for the medium.”
Click HERE to jump to full DCist article.

A catalog of the works in the show was published, a copy is in the Corning Museum of Glass’ Rakow Library.

Click HERE to jump to the Glass 3 catalog pdf.
The Brits returned charged up with the success of the interaction with the Americans, and based on the Washington Glass School model, created a not-for-profit artist run studio facility in Sunderland; Creative Cohesion. The new organization is home to professional artists working in glass, ceramics, fine art and mixed media, with a gallery, arts workshops and a glass hot-shop.

UK’s Stephen Reveley’s fused glass forms at 2009 Artomatic.

Artomatic 2009__________________________ 
In 2009, Artomatic held the 10th anniversary of its unjuried art fair in DC’s Southeast, near the Navy Yard. 38 artists from the UK were able to participate in the event via Creative Cohesion joining with Artomatic in the planning of the exchange.  A number of the visiting artists were part of the University of Sunderland and the UK’s National Glass Centre and held workshops where they demonstrated their techniques.

UK glass casting workshop by Stephen Beardsell held at Washington Glass School, May 2009.
Sarah Blood’s neon artwork at Artomatic.

The Artomatic was a great success, and the visiting artists were able to connect to the US artscene. Glass artist Phil Vickery’s artwork was selected by the James Renwick Alliance to receive their Craft Award of Distinction.

Award winning glass by Phil Vickery.
2009 UK / US Artomatic artist reception

The connection between the sister city artists had been strengthened, and Professor Peter Fidler, Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive of the University of Sunderland was impressed with the artists at Washington Glass School, and sought out ways to continue the interaction.

Later, after Tim Tate and Michael Janis were successful Fulbright Scholar candidates, the connection to the University of Sunderland continued; in 2012, they both were Fulbright Scholars at the University and held workshops at Creative Cohesion. 

The Brits are back this year, and the exhibit has broadened to include ceramic artwork. To complement the artwork, International Glass and Clay 2013 will host panels at Pepco Edison Place Gallery all month long meant to inspire in depth conversation about cultural diplomacy, Fulbright exchanges and international artists residencies and the arts. The events will include representatives from cultural institutions in the nation’s capital, including embassies, government entities, think tanks and local arts organizations.

“This year, the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities launched a program encouraging District artists and arts organizations to develop cultural partnerships with our sister cities, which we are proud to implement,” said Lionell Thomas, Executive Director of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. “International Glass and Clay 2013 is an excellent example of how cities with differing cultures can approach diplomacy through their respective creative heritage.”

International Glass and Clay2013 will open from Friday, March 1 to Friday, March 22. It is free for the public to attend. At Pepco Edison Place Gallery, 702 Eighth Street (between G and H Street). 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.

London Affordable Art Fair & Imagery In Glass

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2012 London Affordable Art Fair held at London’s Battersea Park.


The first big workshop, Bas-Relief dry plaster casting at the UK’s National Glass Center had gone well (phew!) The Sunderland arts organization, Creative Cohesion, was participating in the London Affordable Art Fair and had invited Tim Tate and I to exhibit our work in the contemporary art show. Which we readily agreed. Tim, my wife Kay & I jumped on a train down to London, and joined the exhibitors at the fair that had opened a couple of days earlier.


Kay Janis watches the North Sea whizz by on the train to London.

Crowd watching is part of the fun of an art fair and at London AAF it included celebrity-sightings of Johnny Depp and Joanna Lumley (Joanna looks loverly, BTW)


Tim Tate’s artwork was featured in the Creative Cohesion Booth.

L-R Dinner with the Creative Cohesion artists Kay Janis, Tim Tate, Robyn Townsend, Joanne Mitchell, Roger Tye, Anne Tye


Tim Tate tuckered out on return train trip.

Our time in London was too short, soon we were back on the train to Sunderland, and preparing for my multi-day class “Imagery in Glass” that was held in the Architectural Glass Studio of the National Glass Center.


Outlining the basics for getting detailed imagery into fused glass.

Showing the different glass powder tools and how an artist can manipulate imagery.

The master level class is tasked with creating a number of sample panels.

Students drew inspiration from the view over the river.

The first firing of glass powder imagery.

Reviewing fused glass samples with class.


Discussing options for creating effects within the layered imagery.

Jeffrey Sarmiento created a component layer for the class demo project – the artwork suggests creating bridges between the art communities.

University of Sunderland Artists Part 2:

Jeffrey Sarmiento

Jeffrey Sarmiento was recently appointed Reader in Glass at the National Glass Center at the University of Sunderland. A Filipino-American artist, he holds an MFA in Glass from the Rhode Island School of Design. His research has led him to work widely in the US and Europe, having been awarded a Fulbright Scholarship Denmark. He was also a finalist for the Louis Comfort Tiffany Award and the Bombay Sapphire Prize. His most recent project is a 600kg glass map, permanently housed in the new Museum of Liverpool.

Liverpool Map Jeffrey Sarmiento and Inge Panneels, 2010

Bombay Encyclopedia

Jeffery Sarmiento talks about his work “Ossify”

Ossify 2010 British Glass Biennale Award Runner up


Emotional Leak Jeffrey Sarmiento & Erin Dickson, 2011

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Cate Watkinson

Cate Watkinson trained in 3-D Design, Glass with Ceramics at Sunderland Polytechnic.After leaving college Cate worked in Cambridge and the Channel Islands before returning to the North East to set up her architectural glass studio. Cate continues to run her business, Watkinson Glass Associates, while teaching at the University of Sunderland.

Over the years Cate has built on her experience, optimizing developments in new technologies, including new developments and techniques in construction. She has successfully completed a varied range of commissioned projects from glass public seating in city centers to a 22’ high sculpture for a shopping mall. From a stained glass window for Newcastle Cathedral to a laminated glass screen for the Arrivals Hall at Newcastle International Airport in the UK.

Other research activities include exploring the use of text and light through the public art commission entitled `Total Policing’, a glass and stainless steel sculpture situated at the front of the new head quarters for Northumbria Police in North Tyneside.


Total Policing


Baltic Business Quarter Public art/seating made with recycled glass.


Lookout

Next Up – Creative Cohesion artist development talk, dinner with the Uni Board, and more great UK artists!

Fulbright Travelers Check In

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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!

Tim Tate & Michael Janis – Fulbright Recipients

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Professor Janis

This March, WGS Professors Janis and Tate will be heading over the pond to Ye Olde England as Fulbright Scholars – heading to University Of Sunderland and the The Institute for International Research in Glass (IIRG).

Professor Tate

Sponsored by the US Department of State, the Fulbright Program is a program of competitive, merit-based grants for international educational exchange for students, scholars, professionals, scientists and artists, founded by US Senator J. William Fulbright. The Fulbright Program is one of the most prestigious awards programs worldwide, operating in over 155 countries. Forty-three Fulbright alumni have won Nobel Prizes, including two in 2010.

IIRG‘s Centre

The University of Sunderland has the largest glass and ceramics department in Europe. The Glass & Ceramic department is housed in the National Glass Centre’s landmark £17million building, adjacent to St.Peter’s Campus.

The UK National Glass Centre has interesting glass shop procedures. Above is photo by Anna Liukas from Sunderland’s 2010 calendar featuring shots of students at work in the hot shop.
Above, a flamework studio student pictured hard at work. photo: Anna Liukas
Apparently, the North East of England is much hotter than we were led to believe. Traveling light should be the bywords for our two intrepid scholars.

Tim and Michael will be teaching special courses at the University starting in the month of March, 2012. We are looking forward to their stories and blog photo updates of their escapades!

Glass Sparks: Tim Tate

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Tim Tate photograph by Tom Wolff

When Tim Tate started out as a glass artist there was almost no place locally that he could study glass sculpture. A third generation Washingtonian, Tim had to leave the region to be able to interact with the medium he fell in love with.


Tim works “off pipe” at Penland, NC

For 10 years, he spent every vacation, every free moment, at various arts facilities throughout the country learning as much as possible about every aspect of the medium.


After a personal event sent him to Penland School of Craft for several months, Tim left the concept of technique driven vessels behind, and began his decade long passion for narrative, content driven sculpture. By working with content, Tim had found his voice. With this clarity of focus Tim sought to enhance the position of glass as a sculptural medium to the Washington, DC art scene. Tim’s first step: he founded the Washington Glass School.

Working with Erwin Timmers and a dedicated group of volunteers, they began by clearing space out of one of DC’s abandoned school buildings that was converted to artist studios. That task was a hard enough start, but after a summer of preparation of the studios, the school was challenged by situations outside if its control. The first class occurred just days after 9/11. Thinking the students would want to cancel after so disturbing an event, Tim called all the students – who unanimously asked for the class to go on. In frightening and unstable times, Tim discovered that people like to work through pressures by creating artwork. The glass school has sought to become the refuge for those seeking artwork as a way to help define and express themselves.

Tim advises a student about a casting technique.

Over the past ten years, the school has grown greatly – crossing the threshold of 4000 students since its opening. The glass school has been host to dozens of nationally recognized instructors and students from 4 continents and many countries.

Tim has worked at having the medium of glass evolve in the last decade; taking it from a technique driven vessel approach to the mixed media sculptural material it has become.
His pioneering work at integrating contemporary electronics and video medias into traditional craft has brought much attention to his artwork. In 2009, National Public Radio (NPR) had segment about Tim’s work in their “All Tech Considered”

Click HERE to jump to the NPR segment “Tim Tate’s Hi-Tech Art”.


Tim has become an enthusiastic promoter of the medium, finding new ways to have artists of other media integrate glass into their works. He also works with other glass artists on collaborative works that takes both artists to new levels that they could not achieve on their own. Most notable are the series that Marc Petrovic and Tim Tate worked on together – the Apothecarium Moderne and the Seven Deadly Sins – which was recently featured in American Craft Magazine.

Tim has shown nationally and beyond, including exhibitions in the Museum of Arts and Design in New York; SOFA New York and Chicago; Art Basel Scope in Switzerland; Red Dot at Art Basel-Miami; the Luce Foundation Center for American Art at the Smithsonian; the Renwick Gallery and commercial galleries from Washington, DC to London and Berlin.


Tim Tate & Marc Petrovic

Apothecarium Moderne
photo: Anything Photographic

Ken Trapp, the former Curator-in-Charge of the Smithsonian American Art Museum said this of Tim’s work, “by taking on the clichés of our culture, Tate lays down a challenge for himself, a challenge he is up to…it is impossible to see such figures and not be reminded of how much the discovery of self is a daily exercise of uncovering layers we have assumed or imposed on ourselves.”

His awards include “Rising Star ” from the American, the Virginia Groot Foundation Award for Sculpture, three Artists Fellowship awards from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities and the Mayor’s Art Award. His work is in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Renwick Gallery, the Mint Museum, the Fuller Museum, the Katzen Art Center of American University, the Milwaukee Art Museum and Vanderbilt University. Tim Tate was just awarded a Fulbright, and in 2012, he will be at the UK’s University of Sunderland and the National Glass Centre. He has an upcoming solo show at the Taubman Museum in Roanoke, Va.

The Taubman Museum in Roanoke, VA

Click HERE to jump to the Taubman’s website information on the museum’s solo show “Tim Tate: The Waking Dreams of Magdalena Molière”


Tim will be one of the featured artists at Long View Gallery ‘s exhibition in honor of Washington Glass School’s 10 year anniversary:

Washington Glass School: The First 10 Years
LongView Gallery
1234 9th Street, NW, Washington, DC
May 19 – June 19, Opening Reception, May 19th, 6:30-8:30 PM

For other glass artist profiles:

Diane Cabe
Sean Hennessey
Teddie Hathaway
Elizabeth Mears
Erwin Timmers
Michael Janis
Robert Kincheloe
Jackie Greeves
Jeff Zimmer
Allegra Marquart