Michael Janis Finalist in 2022 Contemporary Craft Prize

Michael Janis, “Allowing Our Past to Become Part of Ourselves” detail, 2022, fused glass, glass powder imagery. Photo by Pete Duvall.

17 national and international finalists have been selected for this biennial exhibition in glass art, featuring newly created, innovative works.

Michael Janis glass art - title "Allowing Our Past to Become Part of Ourselves" 60"H x 40' W fused glass, glass powder imagery aluminum

Glass is itself a transformation: created when ordinary sand encounters extreme heat. In this breathtaking exhibition, glass is transformed again, this time by 17 contemporary artists from across the globe. The resulting work pushes the boundary of traditional craft techniques and takes glass from the realm of the ordinary to the extraordinary.

Transformation 11: Contemporary Works in Glass is Contemporary Craft’s 2022 Elizabeth R. Raphael Founder’s Prize juried exhibition. The winning artist and their work will be announced and presented at the public opening of the exhibition on Friday, September 9, 2022, where they will receive a cash prize. The 2022 prize will be awarded in the category of glass, and must meet the requirement that it has been made within the last 12 months and addresses the theme of “transformation.” Seventeen contemporary artists from across the globe explore creative concepts and innovative approaches in their use of the glass medium, with the winning artist sending additional works to demonstrate the breadth of their work.

The 2022 Raphael Prize finalists are: Dean Allison, Pittsburgh, PA; Eunsuh Choi, Rochester, WI; Donald Friedlich, Madison, WI; Michael Janis, Washington, DC; Lauren Kalman, Detroit, MI; David King, Danville, KY; Eriko Kobayashi, Carbondale, IL; Weston Lambert, Tacoma, WA; Patrick Martin, Emporia, KS; Hisayoshi Muto, Yatomi, Aichi, Japan; Aya Oki, San Bernardino, CA; Miroslava Ptackova, Zlín, Zlínský kraj, Czech Republic; David Schnuckel, Rochester, NY; Michaela Spruzinova, Ústí Nad Labem, brná, Czech Republic; Ben Wright, Stanwood, WA; Ayano Yoshizumi, Everard Park, SA, Australia; and Hoseok Youn, Toledo, OH.

The jury for the 2022 prize includes Anna Rothfuss, Project Development Manager, Derix Art Glass Consultants, LLC U.S., Portland, OR; Heather McElwee, Randi & L. Van V. Dauler, Jr. Executive Director, Pittsburgh Glass Center, Pittsburgh, PA; Alexandra Raphael, enameller, London, England; Catherine Raphael, metalsmith and writer, Pittsburgh, PA; Rachel Saul Rearick, Executive Director, and Kate Lydon, Director of Exhibitions (retired), Contemporary Craft, Pittsburgh, PA

Contemporary Craft, 5645 Butler Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15201

Contemporary Craft hours: Mon-Sat: 10 AM – 4 PM

September 9, 2022 – March 18, 2023

This opening is free and open to the public.

ABOUT CONTEMPORARY CRAFT

Contemporary Craft presents contemporary art in craft media by regional, national, and international artists. Contemporary Craft offers cutting edge exhibitions focusing on multicultural diversity and contemporary art, as well as a range of artist-led studio workshops, community engagement programs, and a store. Located at 5645 Butler Street in the Upper Lawrenceville neighborhood of Pittsburgh, PA. For more information, visit www.contemporarycraft.org

Janis & Tate @ Toronto’s Sandra Ainsley Gallery

Michael Janis & Tim Tate at Toronto’s Sandra Ainsley Gallery June 4 – July 30, 2022

Toronto, Canada’s famed Sandra Ainsley Gallery present the narrative glass artworks by WGS Co-Directors Tim Tate and Michael Janis. The show, titled “One Story is Not Enough” featured works by each artist as a solo, and a number of their collaborative wall murals.

Michael Janis’ imagery in frit powder is reflected in the gallery’s piano surface.

When Michael Janis and Tim Tate met, almost 20 years ago, they discovered a shared fascination of narrative sculpture- one that seeks to arrive at an image that is both unflinchingly candid in physical representation and psychologically evasive. Working together, they are interested in the simultaneous read of an immediately recognizable image that asks the viewer to linger over history and meanings that unfurl more slowly. Mark, line and material become an extension of touch in the act of representation. The relationship of hand to subject, negotiated through the material, can elicit a response of both visual and tactile.

“The Poetry of Everyday Objects” by Michael Janis & Tim Tate, 2021; Size:6H x 6W’; Cast Glass

With these confines they create work in many techniques, but if you stand slightly back and see their history a huge thread of interconnected stories weave through their work from day one. The beauty comes into focus and the viewer sees the edges of a world not dissimilar to this one, but so much more thoughtful.

Detail – “The Poetry of Everyday Objects”, Michael Janis & Tim Tate

They present this glimpse into that alternative world, seemingly unstuck in time somewhere between past and future.

Tim Tate, Lenticular series, 2022, each panel 41″H x 41″W, lenticular prints

Sandra Ainsley Gallery
The Warehouse
100 Sunrise Avenue, Unit 150
Toronto, Ontario Canada M4A 1B3

Michael Janis on Art Clinic Online Saturday, June 25th.

On Saturday, June 25th, WGS Co-Director Michael Janis is the guest artist presenting on online talk for the Art Clinic Online @ Glen Echo’s Stone Tower Studio.

sgraffito glass imagery of figure
Michael Janis; “Current State”, 2020. Kilnformed glass, glass powder imagery, 4 panels – each 20” x 30”

The Art Clinic Online (ACO) community aims to create a supportive arts environment in an online setting. The ACO features online presentations where members can ask them questions about their vision and create a forum for the equal exchange of art ideas and art information as well as opportunities.

If you are interested in joining the online presentation, email Mariana for the zoomlink- mkastrin@gmail.com

One Story Is Not Enough – Tim Tate & Michael Janis in Toronto’s Sandra Ainsley Gallery

Sandra Ainsley Gallery, Canada’s leading glass art gallery, presents a collaborative exhibition from Washington Glass School artists Tim Tate and Michael Janis titled “One Story is Not Enough“. The exhibition will feature their individual works along with joint pieces that highlight the narrative sculpture.

L-R: Tim Tate, Sandra Ainsley, Daniel Ainsley at the opening of “One Story Is Not Enough”.

Mark, line and material become an extension of touch in the act of representation. The relationship of hand to subject, negotiated through the material, can elicit a response of both visual and tactile.

Michael Janis’ kilncast glass L-R “The Color of Shadows” & “The Place Between Memories”

With these confines, Tim and Michael create works in many techniques, but if you stand slightly back and see their history, a huge thread of interconnected stories weave through their work from day one. The beauty comes into focus and the viewer sees the edges of a world not dissimilar to this one, but so much more thoughtful. They present this glimpse into that alternative world, seemingly unstuck in time somewhere between past and future.

On Friday, June 17, at 1 PM (Eastern time), the Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass (AACG) will hold an online zoom MeetUp and Tim Tate and Michael Janis will tour exhibition and talk about their careers and process. Join the AACG to watch it live, or else catch it on YouTube after Friday.

Click Here to register.

Sandra Ainsley Gallery, 100 Sunrise Ave, North York, ON M4A 1B3, Canada

DC’s MLK Jr Library Features Washington Glass Studio on Public Art

View of Green Community Gateway by Washington Glass Studio

The District of Columbia Public Library (DCPL) is a dynamic source of information, programs, books and services, among them is their Makers Program, that includes a Fabrication Lab. The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library’s “Fab Lab”, complete with 3D printers, a laser cutter, soldering equipment, other machines is part of a new movement of public libraries embracing the “maker movement.” DCPL’s maker program is the largest of its kind in a public library, as they see the program as a force to bring together makers, artists, and creative people of all types and from all fields and backgrounds, encouraging cross-disciplinary cooperation. As part of the public engagement, the DCPL Makers & DIY Program is hosting a series of artists lectures at the newly refurbished MLK Memorial Library auditorium.

Image of Community workshop at Washington Glass School.

On Saturday, May 21, 2022, from 1:00pm – 2:00pm, Michael Janis, co-director of the Washington Glass School, will give a lecture on how the Washington Glass Studio created the “Green Community Gateway” with art made with the help of the community in Ward 7.

The “Green Community Gateway”, public art sculpture marks the symbolic entrance to the Kenilworth/Parkside section of DC’s Ward 7. Through a series of glass “quilting bees”, Washington Glass Studio brought together neighborhood residents, students of the high school, and the staff of the newly constructed Unity Healthcare facility to make glass art that would become an integral part of the arch.

This lecture program will take place in the auditorium at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, 901 G St. NW, Washington, DC 20001. Register at bit.ly/labsclasses

The renovated Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library in Washington, DC, originally designed by Mies van der Rohe, the landmark library was rejuvenated by Mecanoo and OTJ Architects.

Public Art: Rockville Town Center “Compositions In Light”

“Compositions In Light” public artwork sculpture at Maryland’s Town Center Phase 2.

Washington Glass Studio was commissioned to make a new, two-part public art sculpture installation for the new mixed use residential development, Ansel, in Rockville, MD. Working with the project’s art consultant Artists Circle Fine Arts, the outlined goals were to enhance the location and the urban environment, as well as creating welcoming and colorful place markers that enlivens Rockville Town Center. The client – Duball, LLC – asked that the street placemaking artwork allow for a sense of fun and discovery.

The site – Ansel, 33 Monroe Street, Rockville, MD

The development was named “Ansel”, as spiritual nod to incredible American photographer Ansel Adams. Adams was considered a master of his craft and his experimentation with light gradations, degrees of exposure, and new techniques. Best known for his dramatic photographs of the American West, Adams achieved a popularity that few other photographers have known. Dedicated to wilderness preservation, he succeeded in changing the way Americans perceived their natural environment.

Creating a strong visual element for the streetscape – while maintaining clear pedestrian circulation – Washington Glass Studio focused on creating an internally illuminated vertical tower – approx 11′ high.

Named “Compositions In Light”, the sculpture is made of cast glass and powdercoated metal. The inset glass panels in the artwork incorporates artistic references to renowned photographer Ansel Adams – with artistic takes on his photos of still lifes, architecture, and landscapes; his love of nature, and sculptural interpretations of Adams main instrument – cameras.

The powder coated metal structure is arranged in triangular format to reference the classic photographers camera tripod. The shape also gives greater strength both structurally and in profile. The vertical structure supports the LED lighting and allows an even light to the glass wall panel opposite. The glass panels are inset into a removable grid section that is bolted to the structural frame. Each cast glass panel is set into silicone within metal angle surrounds. The metal base has a removable section to allow access to electrical source to tower.

Dimensional inset panels made of handmade cast glass presents tactile images of nature and objects that refer to Ansel Adams work and career. The varied nature of the artwork mounted in separate panels would invite investigation and exploration.

Shay Summers coldworks one of the artwork inset panels.

The gorgeous, illuminated tower is made up of colorful, tactile cast glass that defines each corner of the site. The inset glass panels are varied, but color coordinated with accent color panels to give a vibrancy to the design. The tapering form leads viewers eyes upward to a unique finial endcap, a cast sculpture that makes a fun, witty and distinctive statement. Dimensional inset panels made of handmade cast glass presents tactile images of nature and objects that refer to Ansel Adams work and career. The varied nature of the artwork mounted in separate panels would invite investigation and exploration.

Sparkling in the daytime and backlit with energy efficient LED, the glass artwork in “Compositions in Light” will always be a visible presence on the street. The metalwork and thickness of each glass panel make the artwork strong for a streetscape environment. In the history of American conservation, few have worked as long and as effectively to preserve wilderness and to articulate the “wilderness idea” as Ansel Adams. He spent decades in the battle to protect the environment. Helping reinforce the background of Ansel Adams as an environmental activist are the color directions for the artwork. Blues and greens are the colors most associated with nature and the environment.

The interplay of sculpture, the colors & quality of cast glass and the prominent location makes this an integrated urban design that brings focus to the site. The freestanding nature of the installed artwork encourages visitors and residents to walk around the artwork and experience a dynamic sense of place. A sense of playful fun caps each sculpture and helps define the paired artworks. United by form, colorful towers reinforce their connection to the artwork of Ansel Adams with finials inspired by the master photographer’s artwork.

“Compositions In Light”

Project Address: 33 Monroe St, Rockville, MD 20850

Client: Duball, LLC

Maryland’s Rockville Town Center Phase II includes 400 apartment units; 250 market-rate luxury apartments and 150 senior affordable apartments to be owned and managed by the Housing Opportunities Commission.

Artwork Project Team: Erwin Timmers, Christina Helowicz, Tim Tate, Michael Janis, Shay Summers

Art Consultant: Artists Circle Fine Arts

National Guard At Post For President-Elect Biden Inauguration

National Guard Soldiers stand guard at the John Adams Building, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. National Guard Soldiers and Airmen have traveled to the National Capital Region to provide support leading up to the 59th Presidential Inauguration. (photo: Tech. Sgt. Lucretia Cunningham)

National Guard Soldiers stand guard at the John Adams Building, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. National Guard Soldiers and Airmen have traveled to the National Capital Region to provide support leading up to the 59th Presidential Inauguration. (photo: Tech. Sgt. Lucretia Cunningham)

15,000 National Guard troops are now in DC for the scheduled Jan. 20 inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden. But with so many troops in a city that has become a maze of black fencing, cement barriers and dozens of checkpoints, there is an eerie calm in Washington DC, ahead of a feared storm of supporters of President Donald Trump, who don’t believe their candidate lost and are willing to continue the violence.

Photos of the Guard protecting the Library of Congress Adams Building shows the soldiers in front of the cast glass panels made by Washington Glass Studio with Portland’s Fireart Studio. Click Here to jump to the 2012 American Craft interview and photos of the cast glass made and the process to make the architectural artwork.

We are happy that  the military is taking no chances with who was coming to protect the inauguration.

On a normal day, it takes about an hour to walk the 2.5 miles down Pennsylvania Avenue to Capitol Hill.

But these are no normal days. 

These precautions come a week after a mob of supporters of Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol to try to overturn the results of the presidential election. 

WGS Featured Artist: Erwin Timmers

CLICK IT! Featured Artist: Erwin Timmers

Erwin Timmers is the co-founder of the Washington Glass Studio and Washington Glass School. Originally from Amsterdam, he moved to California and graduated from Santa Monica College for Design Arts and Architecture. In 1999 he moved to the Washington DC area and since then his sculptural artwork has been on display in Zenith Gallery, Fraser Gallery, and Gallery Neptune. Erwin was named the Montgomery County, MD Executive’s Award Outstanding Artist of the Year in 2018.

His approach to art is multifaceted, incorporating metalwork, innovative lighting and glass design. He teaches glass, lighting, sculpture, and metal work. Industrial salvage and recycling are recurring themes in his work, which he sees as crucial parts to the interaction with one’s surroundings. Recently, the Artisan 4100 – an apartment community opening along Route 1 in Brentwood, MD – commissioned Erwin Timmers to create a major glass and light installation for the new building lobby.

Artist Erwin Timmers installs Artisan 4100 Building artwork commission.

Artist Erwin Timmers installs Artisan 4100 Building artwork commission.

Washington Glass School blog catches up with Erwin as his work is part of the WGS Contemporary online exhibit “CLICK-IT!”.

Washington Glass School (WGS): Describe your artwork method/process.
Erwin Timmers: I cast objects in recycled glass. For this series I have used discarded packaging material, from which I take molds in plaster. The glass then heats up in an electric kiln, melts and takes on the shape of this mold. To finish I chop, and trim the glass and weld the metal frame.

Erwin Timmers, "Patterns of Containment V" cast recycled glass

Erwin Timmers, “Patterns of Containment V” cast recycled glass

WGS: Describe your work in the show and highlight aspects that the viewers should understand about the work.

Erwin Timmers: The work features single-use plastic wrappings that viewers may recognize. The grid format formalizes the display of “trash” as art and then I use grids within each frame as well. I hope to give viewers a moment of pause while contemplating the shapes and patterns.

Erwin Timmer: detail "Patterns of Containment"

Erwin Timmer: detail “Patterns of Containment”

WGS: How have you handled the Covid lockdown?

Erwin Timmers: Initially COVID was like snow days we hadn’t had, but with great weather. That was before any financial pressure came into play. It was motivating to see the air pollution worldwide go down, I wish it could stay like that. But at the same time the single use plastic pollution is increasing, giving me even more art base materials…

WGS: What artwork/event has moved you and got you thinking about your own work?
Erwin Timmers: The current civil crisis has been deeply moving. It caused me to rethink and redevelop the direction of my hands symbol series.

WGS: if you were not an artist – what would you be?
Erwin Timmers: Epidemiologist 

Erwin Timmers suits up in his PPE gear to work in the studio.

Erwin Timmers suits up in his PPE gear to work in the studio. Or tend the studio bee-hives.

WGS: Do you do a lot of planning in your work – or is there an element of chance while working?
Erwin Timmers: I plan the general idea, but often new ideas and aspects emerge as I work. I try to incorporate these, and I can then evaluate whether they work or not.

WGS: What is your rule of thumb in determining when a work is finished?
Erwin Timmers: When I sign it, it is done…

Click here to jump to Erwin Timmers work in CLICK-IT!
Erwin’s work is part of the companion exhibit/fundraiser – “Artists for Racial Justice” Click HERE to jump to the show.

Peppermill Village at Night – The City of Lights!

Peppermill Community Center public art by Washington Glass Studio and the Peppermill/Landover community.

Peppermill Community Center public art by Washington Glass Studio and the Peppermill/Landover community.

Cassi Hayden, the Senior Visual Media Photographer for The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) was at Peppermill Village Community Center covering an event recently and found the artwork (made by Washington Glass Studio) in front to be exceptionally beautiful!

Detail of the internally illuminated glass panels made with the Peppermill community as part of the public artwork.

Detail of the internally illuminated glass panels made with the Peppermill community as part of the public artwork.

Cassi took some shots attached high-res files for your use.  All photos in this posting by: M-NCPPC/Cassi Hayden

The artwork reflects well in the glass of the new center - and on the community that inspired the creation!

The artwork reflects well in the glass of the new center – and on the community that inspired the creation!

Click HERE to see the public art sculpture in the daytime and how the work came to be!

Peppermill Community Center Public Art

Peppermill Community Center

Peppermill Community Center with the internally illuminated artwork “Telling Our Story…” by Washington Glass Studio.

The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) commissioned Washington Glass Studio (WGS) to create a public art sculpture for the new addition to the Peppermill Community Center in Landover, MD.

Shop drawing of sculpture by WGS.

Shop drawing of sculpture by WGS.

Some communities see public art as a way of enhancing or personalizing otherwise impersonal spaces. Others view it as a means to activate civic dialogue or provide a vehicle for the community to express its identity.

These landmarks and special events enhance our experience of a place and our quality of life. They engender a sense of pride and community identity. They reach audiences outside museums, galleries, and theaters, and they add to the beauty of everyday life. They declare the worth of a place and a time in our shared culture.

Erwin Timmers leads a community glass making workshop at the Washington Glass School.

Erwin Timmers leads a community glass making workshop at the Washington Glass School.

As such, the design of the site-specific sculpture by WGS was centered on finding ways to get the community excited and engaged with the convergence of art, history and community. The proposal for the art was based on a 15’H tower of glass and steel that would be internally illuminated with over 100 glass inset panels. The artwork of the insets were to be created by involving the community via a series of glass-making workshops held at the Washington Glass School

A great cross section of community came out to be part of the creation of the new public art for Peppermill Community Center.

A great cross section of community came out to be part of the creation of the new public art for Peppermill Community Center.

The residents and stakeholders were tasked with showing what they felt important to them and what inspired them were made. Images of family, nature, the environment, their neighborhoods, their sports teams were rendered in glass.

All sorts of imagery and glass techniques were employed to great effect.

All sorts of imagery and glass techniques were employed to great effect.

Cast glass images of the social groups – the sewing groups, the cheer squads, the state flag – even a Maryland blue crab were crafted. Historical references to the nearby horse farms and the old roller rink were included in the mix of glass panels. Part of the fun of the artwork is seeing how this mix of images and references all somehow work together.

The tower, titled :"Telling Our Story..." adds a powerfull and dramitic artistic element at the new entry at the community center.

The tower, titled :”Telling Our Story…” adds a powerful and dramatic artistic element at the new entry at the community center.

Shaping places—with landmarks and landscapes, events and ideologies—sets the stage for a critical part of our existence: our connection with our environment; with our past, present, and future; and with other human beings.

The mix of images and stories told create a compelling and inclusive mixture - each distinctive and unique - yet cohesive as a whole.

The mix of images and stories told create a compelling and inclusive mixture – each distinctive and unique – yet cohesive as a whole.

“Telling Our Story…”
Artist: Washington Glass Studio
Project Team: Teri Bailey, Michael Janis, Erwin Timmers, Tim Tate and Lee Kind.
Media: Cast and fused glass, steel, LED lighting, concrete.
Location: Peppermill Community Center, 610 Hill Rd, Landover, MD 20785
Client: The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission