The Process: Public Art 900 Thayer in Silver Spring, MD – “Social Fabric”

Public art can strengthen social bonds, especially for culturally diverse neighborhoods.

Corner installation of "Social Fabric" public art at Fenton Apartments in Silver Spring, MD.

Corner installation of “Social Fabric” public art at Fenton Apartments in Silver Spring, MD.

Washington Glass Studio recently completed a public art project in Silver Spring, MD, for a new mixed use development at 900 Thayer Ave

The original 2005 design concept - cast glass panels helped define the architectural entrance to the development.

The original 2005 design concept – cast glass panels helped define the architectural entrance to the “Adele” development.

Washington Glass Studio began creating artwork options for developments on the site, starting in 2005, when the site first was being developed as a residential development called “The Adele”. After a review and approval by Montgomery County Arts Council, the project languished as the real estate market changed.

In 2013, WGS Studio began working with the developers that purchased that project site, Redbrick LMD. Working with the design team, WGS artists were inspired by the rich mixture of ethnic groups in Silver Spring. Imagery and patterns that were based on the cultural fabric and textiles, as well as indigenous weaving and embroidery patterns for tapestries, wraps, blankets and garments.

Fabrics & textiles of the cultures that make up the Silver Spring neighborhoods was the inspiration of the new artwork design for 900 Thayer.

Fabrics & textiles of the cultures that make up the Silver Spring neighborhoods was the inspiration of the new artwork design for 900 Thayer.

 

Artwork on the corner column made up of backlit glass panels would be a colorful reference to the cultures, and add a bright pop of color on the site.

The corner location of the artwork would also frame out the proposed future planned arts development that would be up the road from 900 Thayer, and the Montgomery County Review committee was keen on having the artwork go further – asking if the artwork could be extended all along the ground level of the new development. Happily, Redbrick Developers agreed, and the scope of the artwork was extended along the entire street level and apartment outdoor spaces.

The corner column at 900 Thayer was to have an 11 foot high tower of backlit panels mounted to the surfaces.

The corner column at 900 Thayer was to have an 11 foot high tower of backlit panels mounted to the surfaces.

The project stalled in 2015. In 2017, Chesapeake Realty Partners joined with Redbrick Developer and the Housing Opportunities Commission of Montgomery County in moving forward with the property  proceeded with groundbreaking and construction of the development in June of 2018.

WGS Studio was contacted and engaged to fully develop the design. WGS revisited the idea of incorporating cultural textile and fabric patterns would encourage viewers to appreciate the colorful patterns enlivening the streetscape, as well as promoting a message of open-mindedness, promote tolerance and curiosity about other cultures.

The brightly colored hand-screened glass features patterns were artistically based on Ethiopian textiles, African mudcoths, Central American weavings, European folkloric fabric prints, intricate and colorful ancestral weaving designs from Asia, Native American blankets, and Colonial American quilt patterns. Using identity and culture as the main theme of the building’s public artwork, WGS sought to inspire self-reflection, human connection, and conversation.

Teri Bailey and Patricia De Poel Wilberg work on silkscreening the enamel patterns on glass, to be fired in the kilns after.

Teri Bailey and Patricia De Poel Wilberg work on silkscreening the enamel patterns on glass, to be fired in the kilns after.

The Washington Glass Studio team worked on the production of the glass artwork starting in early 2019. Large silkscreen panels were made to allow the patterns to be enameled and fired in the WGS kilns. WGS Co-Director Erwin Timmers worked on the LED design and integration of the glass artwork.

The enameled glass was fired to keep the high contrast color selections vibrant.

The enameled glass was fired to keep the high contrast color selections vibrant.

Over 60 18″ x 18″ panels were made – and were to be mounted in a variety of multi-panel arrangements.

The installation on site began in October of 2019, and as the building occupancy needed the artwork to be completed to allow for certification, a focused WGS team made short work of the outdoor artwork installation. 

Detail of one of the LED illuminated glass panels at 900 Thayer Ave.

Detail of one of the LED illuminated glass panels at 900 Thayer Ave.

WGS Co-Director Michael Janis is a vision in orange as he preps the LED mounts for the glass.

WGS Co-Director Michael Janis is a vision in orange as he preps the LED mounts for the glass.

WGS Co-Director Erwin Timmers sets the final glass artwork panels in the corner column at the 900 Thayer site.

WGS Co-Director Erwin Timmers sets the final glass artwork panels in the corner column at the 900 Thayer site.

The Fenton Apartment corner column artwork has a strong presence in the daytime, with the LED illumination.

The Fenton Apartment corner column artwork has a strong presence in the daytime, with the LED illumination.

Project Details
Location: 900 Thayer Avenue, Silver Spring MD, 20910
Washington Glass Studio Public Art Team: Michael Janis, Tim Tate, Erwin Timmers, Teri Bailey and Patricia De Poel Wilberg.

Sent to the Workhouse! – 5th Annual Glass National 2019

5th Annual Glass National
On view October 26, 2019 – January 12, 2020
Vulcan Gallery, Building W-16

The Workhouse Arts Center
9518 Workhouse Way
Lorton, VA 22079
Reception: Saturday, November 9, 6 – 8 p.m.

Lorton’s Workhouse Arts Center (WAF) will have its 5th Annual Workhouse Glass National Exhibition 2019. This annual Workhouse Glass National Exhibition is a juried exhibit of functional and/or sculptural glass artworks.  The Workhouse Arts Center wants to promote and display the breadth of contemporary glass artwork being created throughout the USA and Canada. The juror, Wesley Fleming, selected over 110 images of glass art to select 44 pieces of art which incorporate a contemporary spirit as well as a technical mastery of the material.  The show is a rare opportunity to see a variety of styles and techniques which encompass the field of contemporary glass arts.

Patricia De Poel Wilberg; "Envelop"

Patricia De Poel Wilberg; “Envelop” The artist said of the work: “It deals with how we are part of Nature – in it and enveloped by it. How being part of the beauty of nature is nurturing and empowering”

Glass National Juror : Wesley Fleming
Wesley Fleming has received international recognition for his intricate glasswork which brings fantastic realism of the microcosmos to life. As an ambassador for smaller denizens of the earth, his passion for nature sparks awe and curiosity in others. He has taught in Japan, Germany, England and domestically at Penland and Corning, among others. In addition to numerous shows, he has work in the permanent collections of Corning Museum of Glass, Kobe Lampwork Museum and the Racine Art Museum.

Juror Statement

When viewing entries of competitions and group exhibits, I often wonder how the juror(s) possibly selected such work.  The process of choosing accepted entries and particularly selecting the prize-winners was both interesting and educational!

I come from a craft-centric background with no art school experience, so this forms my foundational understanding and appreciation of glass objects.  I sincerely appreciate idea and narrative behind the making of a piece, but a piece must be well-made and well-presented first and foremost. Otherwise it can be hard to look past issues to see the bigger picture, especially when a tiny photo (rarely with a second image or detail view) was all I could see when jurying. I wish I could view the actual exhibit to see how different the selected pieces are in-person – hence my reason for asking Best of Show award to be by audience choice.

It was a real honor to jury the 5th Annual Workhouse Glass National competition, and my congratulations to the makers of the selected entries! Many I viewed were very close to winning an award, but only four entries could be selected. Great work!!!

Diane Cooper Cabe

Diane Cooper Cabe

 

Workhouse Glass National 2019

Exhibition Dates: October 26, 2019-January 12, 2020
Opening Reception: November 9, 2019 from 6pm.

The Workhouse Arts Center
9518 Workhouse Way
Lorton, VA 22079

WV’s Morgan Arts Council Connects Glass!

The Ice House is the center for the visual, music, media and performing arts in West Virginia’s Morgan County. The Morgan Arts Council (MAC) will present “Connections Shaping Glass”, opening July 20th, 2018. The exhibit, curated by Maureen Storey, will feature glass works by Elizabeth Braun, Mark Hill, Sharon Moffitt, Sheila Rose, Maureen Storey, Nancy Weisser and Patricia de Poel Wilberg.

Patricia De Poel Wilberg, "Childhood", 2018, fused glass, 18" x 18"

Patricia De Poel Wilberg, “Childhood”, 2018, fused glass, 18″ x 18″

Connections Shaping Glass
July 20th – September 9th, 2018
Opening Reception July 21st, 7:30 pm
Ice House Gallery
138 Independence St, Berkeley Springs, WV 25411

 

Go Wild! NCAGG Juried Show “Wild Things” Opens April 7, 2018

Patricia De Poel Wilberg, "Roiling"; fused glass, 18" x 18"

Patricia De Poel Wilberg, “Roiling”; fused glass, 18″ x 18″

The National Capitol Art Glass Guild (NCAGG) will have their juried glass art exhibition at Glen Echo Park’s Popcorn Gallery March 31 through April 29, Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 6pm. The art is created by thirty one artists who use a variety of methods to create art to fascinate and entertain. 

Patricia Kent, "Crying ullets"; fused glass

Patricia Kent, “Crying Bullets”; fused glass

 

 

 

Works by Washington Glass School resident artists Trish Kent and Patricia De Poel Wilberg are featured in the show! ncagg