Americans For The Arts Convention 2016

2016 Americans for the Arts Leadership Award

2016 Americans for the Arts Leadership Award

For nearly 60 years, Americans for the Arts has convened an annual convention for arts and community leaders to network and discuss strategies for building stronger towns, counties, and cities through the arts. The Americans for the Arts annual convention opens June 17 – 19, 2016 in Boston, MA and this year’s convention explores the role of the arts in creating and sustaining healthy, vibrant, equitable communities.  The Washington Glass Studio is proud to have made the awards for the 2016 Annual Leadership Awards.

The Americans For The Arts awards are prepared for shipping.

The Americans For The Arts awards are prepared for shipping.

These awards recognize the achievements of individuals and organizations committed to enriching their communities through the arts. Honorees, including this year’s Robert E. Gard awardee, will be presented with their awards at the 2016 Annual Convention in Boston, MA.

This year’s recipients are: 

  • Brad Erickson: Alene Valkanas State Arts Advocacy Award
  • Flora Maria Garcia: Michael Newton Award
  • Barbara Goldstein: Public Art Network Award
  • Laura Perille: Arts Education Award
  • Michael Spring: Selina Roberts Ottum Award
  • Octavia Yearwood: American Express Emerging Leaders Award

“Our Leadership Award honorees have distinguished themselves as tremendous leaders and passionate advocates for the arts and arts education,” said Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts. “These leaders have implemented innovative and transformative programs to strengthen the communities they serve, and their unwavering commitment to local, state, and national support for the arts is deserving of this recognition.”

Congrats to all in advance!

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For info on the Americans For the Arts Convention – click here.

To jump to the Americans for the Arts webpage – click here.

WPA Alice Denney Award for Support of Contemporary Art

Washington Project for the Arts (WPA) serves as a catalyst for the creation, critique, and collection of contemporary art. With more than 800 artist members, the WPA is the only DC-area organization to support visual artists at all stages of their careers.

2016 Washington Project for the Arts new custom creative glass art award

2016 Washington Project for the Arts (WPA) Alice Denney Award for Support of Contemporary Art

Initiated in 2006, the Washington Project for the Arts Alice Denney Award for Support of Contemporary Art is named for Alice Denney, the founder of the Washington Project for the Arts, and is presented annually to honor an individual who has supported the organization for a period of many years and has made a sustained commitment to the greater DC art’s community.

WPA has announced that Fred Ognibene will be the 2016 recipient of the Alice Denney Award for Support of Contemporary Art, and the award has been made by the Washington Glass School.

The award will presented by Andres Tremols at the opening reception of the WPA Auction Exhibition, March 31, 2016 at 8pm.

WPA AUCTION WEEK will kick off with an opening reception on Thursday, March 31, from 7 – 9 pm. 

Click HERE to jump to WPA Gala online page.

Jack Johnson & Glass

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Jack Johnson’s got the whole (glass) world, in his hands.


This past summer we had a blog posting about National Geographic‘s newly created “Arts Ambassador for the Environment Award” – given to entertainers that are leaders in environmental and cultural conservation. The award was designed and made by the Washington Glass Studio from recycled glass. The winner for the inaugural award was singer Jack Johnson. We just received a photo of Jack holding his award.

The creation of the National Geographic Society award was covered in the first of the series called “The Process“. Click HERE to jump to the posting of how the recycled glass award was made using the “lost wax” process.

USCRI Uses Art Glass for Centennial Awards

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The U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI) celebrated their 100th anniversary at the Andrew Mellon Auditorium. Their mission is to protect the rights and address the needs of persons in forced or voluntary migration worldwide by advancing fair and humane public policy, facilitating and providing direct professional services, and promoting the full participation of migrants in community life.

In light of its milestone 100th birthday, USCRI commissioned Michael Janis of the Washington Glass Studio to create commemorative artwork for the family of President Dwight Eisenhower and the family of Senator Edward Kennedy. The USCRI event committee worked with the studio, asking that the artwork represent the respective parts of the world helped by the respective honorees. The design was envisioned to have the central figure “wrapped” by glass powder images of refugees. The glass images would be created using glass powder on flat glass, that would be kiln-formed into sculptural shapes.


Concept sketch showing President Eisenhower with refugees.

Concept outline of Senator Kennedy with refugees.

Michael Janis created imagery using his ‘sgraffito’ technique.

President Eisenhower and Senator Kennedy were celebrated for their work assisting refugees and immigrants in artwork made by Michael Janis of Washington Glass Studio.

To highlight the award presentation, video images of the glass artwork were broadcast on the stage during the dinner. Filmed by Lucky Dog Productions, the glass artwork was shown rotating to capture all sides of the works.

above video is the raw footage shot by Lucky Dog Productions – a bit spinny for some – it gives an idea of the artwork in 360 degrees. The final video was slowed down for the broadcast presentation.

Hosted by Cynee Simpson and Chris Spencer, the centennial gala was held at the Andrew Mellon Auditorium October 19, 2011. The black-tie event included celebrity guests and auctions to raise money for the charity organization.

Susan Eisenhower accepted USCRI’s Centennial Award for her grandfather, President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Ken Leung – from our favorite TV show LOST, was a guest at the gala. Ken was a co-star on LOST, along with the USCRI Global Ambassador, Jeff Fahey.
Susan Eisenhower & Cynne Simpson posing with the Centennial Awards for President Eisenhower & Senator Kennedy.

Wyclef Jean provided entertainment for the night at the Mellon Auditorium.

Wyclef Jean attended to support and encourage the work done by the USCRI. Mr. Jean autographed memorabilia, then energized the crowd with his singing and dancing. However, the highlight of the evening was his display of an unusual talent. Wyclef Jean played his guitar with his tongue, and didn’t miss a beat.

Soon, everyone joined in the fun – including Ken Leung showing his break-dancing finesse.


Ken Leung (aka LOST’s Miles Straume) busting a move… that or he is doing his version of the spinning awards.

WGS joins all in congratulating and celebrating the USCRI’s 100 years.

The Award Goes to…

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Helping Hands Award

Glass art made by the Washington Glass Studio can be many things to many people – including working as creative trophies, awards and gifts. The unique artwork can be a great way to recognize achievement and honor events. A number of large and small awards have been made by the studio, ranging from a keepsake gifts to commemorative glass artwork presented by the Mayor of Washington, DC to the King of the Ashanti Nation in Africa and also to the Mayor of Paris.


Below are some sample images from previous projects:

In 2006, the Washington, DC Trade and Cultural Mission presented the President of Senegal with WGS’ commemorative glass artwork.
The cast bas-relief artwork sculpture was designed to symbolize Washington, DC as the (then) Mayor Williams and the DC Trade Mission went through parts of Europe and Africa. Made of cast float glass, the color shifts between amber and a milky-blue.


L to R Washington, DC Mayor Anthony Williams; President of Senegal, Abdoulaye Wade; Chair DC Commision on the Arts & Humanities, Dorothy McSweeny,

The Black Reel Awards annually recognize and celebrate the achievements of black people in feature, independent and television films.The Foundation for the Advancement of African Americans in Film (FAAAF) commissioned the Washington Glass Studio to make a unique glass reference to the film industry.

Black Reel Award

Jamie Foxx holding the Black Reel award for his work in the movie “Ray”.

The Glass Packaging Institute (GPI) sought out the Washington Glass Studio to make its ‘Clear Choice Awards’, designed to honor manufacturers who expand the frontiers of glass packaging design by using glass containers in innovative ways. The award incorporates an interpretation of the GPI logo into the piece.


GPI Clear Choice Award 2007

Forbes magazine and the BearingPoint consultancy honored visionary executives with their ‘Compass Award’. Designed and made by WGS, the award works both as corporate recognition and also as a branding initiative.

Forbes/BearingPoint Compass Award

Other awards by the Washington Glass Studio:

International Film Festival


Howard University Middle School Mathematics and Science award


University of Maryland Smith School of Business

If you or your organization are interested in having a unique, custom made glass award, call the Washington Glass Studio (202)744.8222, and look at the studio’s website.