Artists To Watch – Jeff Wallin

Jeff Wallin “Improvised Mirror” detail, kilnformed glass. Photo:
Michael Schmitt.

Our second profile in the “Artists To Watch” series is Jeff Wallin.

Jeff has spent his life in the Pacific Northwest. He studied under Professor Keiko Hara at Whitman College, graduating in 1995 with a B.A. in Studio Art. Jeff continued to pursue drawing and painting after moving to Portland, OR. 

Jeff began working directly on glass using live models, eliminating the intermediary step of charcoal/conte drawings which he’d previously used, working directly with glass powders on a glass sheet surface. No preliminary drawings are used, no tests or experiments. Each new work is itself the test, the experiment, the first impression developed and pushed to a final form.

Jeff Wallin’s  introduction to glass came in 1999 at Ray Ahlgren’s FireArt Glass studio, where Jeff continues to work, gaining new understandings in how to apply the challenging medium of glass to his ongoing exploration of the human form. Jeff’s work has been reviewed in the Urban Glass Quarterly, and his work was selected for publication in the Corning New Glass Review. In 2013, he was a teaching assistant for Jessica Loughlin and Kirstie Rea at the Pilchuck School of Glass.

Jeff Wallin and Ray Ahlgren of FireArt Glass create the glass door panels for the US Library of Congress. Photo: Charlie Liebermann. Click HERE to jump to American Craft article on the historic architectural artwork project.

Says Jeff of his work in an architectural glass studio: ” I feel my work [with Ray Ahlgren's Fire Art Glass Studio] impacts my personal art work, and vice versa.  I often say that working with Ray and being constantly exposed to new projects (even though the work may not apparently have a direct bearing on my approach to art) leads to a level of familiarity with the material that allows me to work more intuitively without getting hung up on the highly technical nature of glass. It helps to understand when being precise is critical to success, and when it’s just getting in the way.  Plus, I think it keeps me looking with fresh eyes at both the projects at Fire Art and my own studio artwork.” 

Jeff Wallin, “Lucretia – After Rembrandt”, kilnformed glass. Photo: Michael Schmitt.

Taking inspiration from emotionally and psychologically complex figure painters such as Francis Bacon and Lucien Frued, Jeff’s portraits have the marks of a painter’s perspective and a painter’s intuition, the relaying of an idea by brush– all that expressed in the language of glass. 

Jeff Wallin, “Judgement (Study from Gentileschi)”, kilnformed glass. Photo: Michael Schmitt.

Talking about how he uses glass to create painterly works of art, Jeff said: “For my investigation of the human form, glass offers an incredible medium for exploring my relationship to this subject. My methods of kiln forming purposefully ignore most of the strict adherence to process normally associated with the medium. The work is driven to completion as part of a dialogue, which begins as a response to the model and then develops in unexpected ways as the work matures over multiple firings in the kiln. My intent is to maintain an attitude of spontaneity and preserve the raw moment when the piece first began…There are no conclusions, only possibilities.”

Jeff Wallin, “Classical Study”, kilnformed glass. Photo: Michael Schmidtt

Jeff has a solo show that opens at Stewart Fine Art in Boca Raton, Florida that opens this week. 
Gallery owner Sonny Stewart said of Jeff’s work: ” [Jeff] is a classically trained artist – the compositions of his work show his knowledge and sensitives… His artwork explores many of the concerns of contemporary painting, but does this exploration with glass. Painting exists in a continuum with centuries of tradition while simultaneously embracing aspects of sculpture, installation and collage… [Jeff's art] goes beyond pigment on a surface; it’s an approach to making imagery that encompasses the ways in which a material is used to construct the work, how the subject is approached, and even how the idea of the subject is concieved.”

Stewart Fine Art
608 Banyan Trail, Boca Raton, FL 
Jeff Wallin “Glass in the Classical Sense
November 14 – December 11
Opening Reception November 14, 2013

American Craft Magazine Features Washington Glass School

American Craft magazine June/July 2013

The American Craft Council(ACC) is a national, nonprofit educational organization founded with a mission to promote understanding and appreciation of contemporary American craft. Their programs include the bimonthly magazine, American Craft, annual juried shows, various workshops, seminars and conferences, and more.

The June/July 2013 issue of American Craft Magazine showcases the cast glass work being made for the U.S. Library of Congress Adams Building. Julie K. Hanus – American Craft’s senior editor and Perry A. Price  -  the ACC’s director of education had come to the school in April and made a report on the process and the artists involved. 

From the magazine: The original doors were designed in 1939 by Lee Lawrie, the sculptor whose Atlas graces Rockefeller Center. They’re massive bronze works, depicting 13 mythological and historical figures of language and learning. Over time, they had begun to fail, straining at the hinges, and didn’t meet modern building codes. Rather than altering the historic doors to address these issues, the Architect of the Capitol made a bold decision; in addition to conserving the Lawrie doors, they would reinterpret these unique Adams Building features in glass.

Jeff Wallin and Ray Ahlgren of Fireart Glass in Portland, OR casting the glass panels. Photo by Charlie Lieberman

Review of each of the LOC cast glass panels with the Architect of the Capitol. L-R Paul Zimmerman/HITT Contracting, William Warmus/Art critic, Tim Tate, Michael Janis, Kevin Hildebrand/AOC, Erwin Timmers.

The doors began installation in the spring of 2013 and the entry areas began to transform.

From the interior of East facing building lobby.
The exterior of the first set of six pairs of doors.

The magazine will be on the stands soon – and is online right now! – Click HERE to jump to the American Craft Council website.

Washington Glass Studio team L-R Tim Tate, Sean Hennessey, Michael Janis, Audrey Wilson, Erwin Timmers

Bullseye RCBA Gallery Opens Painterly Glass Exhibit

>Bullseye Glass had earlier this year opened their new facility in the California’s Bay area near the Silicon Valley/Berkely/San Francisco corridor of Emeryville, CA. The place is called Resource Center Bay Area (RCBA) and this facility (the third of BE owned centers) offers workshops, supplies and a gallery.

RCBA, Bullseye Glass’ new home in California. 4514 Hollis Street, Emeryville, CA

One of the upcoming exhibits at the RCBA Gallery opens this coming Saturday, Aug 4, 2012. Titled: Facture: Artists on the Forefront of Painterly Glass, a number of the works were shown at BE’s Portland gallery early this year in a show of the same name. The exhibit will showcase kilnformed glass paintings (mostly frit on sheet glass) from the artists Abi Spring, Kari Minnick, Martha Pfanschmidt, Ted Sawyer, Jeff Wallin, and WGS’ Michael Janis.

Jeff Wallin Residue of a Figure Study

kilnformed glass

from the BE website:

Facture: Artists at the Forefront of Painterly Glass is a group exhibition that explores many of the concerns of contemporary painting, but does this exploration with glass. Painting exists in a continuum with centuries of tradition while simultaneously embracing aspects of sculpture, installation and collage. Painting today goes beyond pigment on a surface; it is an approach to image making that encompasses the ways in which a material is used to construct a work, how an artist approaches a subject, and even how an image is conceived. The artists included in Facture are constructing paintings using glass.

Michael Janis Observation of Signals

kilnformed glass and steel 

Glass, unlike traditional painting materials, is both surface and solid. Value and intensity can be created on the suface as well as volumetrically. Paintings made from glass are image and object; illusion and reality, and these artists, at the forefront of this young method, are scratching at the boundaries of both.

Martha Pfanschmidt Last Year

kilnformed and coldworked glass

View the exhibition: Bullseye Resource Center Bay Area Gallery, August 4 – October 20, 2012.

Opening Reception: Saturday, August 4, 3–5pm. 4514 Hollis Street, Emeryville, CA 94608
Go to map & driving directions