DC Mayor Gray to Dedicate WGS Public Art Sculpture

The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities invites all to a Public Art Dedication of : The Community Gateway Arch

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   On Friday, July 18, 2014 come to the Unity Health Care’s Parkside Health Center, 7:00 – 9:00 PM at 765 Kenilworth Terrace, NE Washington, DC 20019

For more information contactThe DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities:

202-724-5613 or tonya.jordan@dc.gov

Light refreshments will be served

Happy 4th of July!

The Washington Glass School and Studio Wishes a Happy & Safe Independence Day to All!

One of the glass elements in DC's "Community Gateway" arch public art sculpture made by Washington Glass Studio and the Ward 7 community is a green Stars & Stripes

One of the glass elements in DC’s “Community Gateway” arch public art sculpture made by Washington Glass Studio and the Ward 7 community is a green Stars & Stripes

Washington DC Mayor Gray will be dedicating the new arch public artwork at the site: Corner of Hayes Street & Kenilworth Terrace, NE, Washington, DC 20019.

UPDATE! Power outtages at the healthcare facility have postponed the dedication ceremony. New date for dedication ceremony:Friday, 18 July, 2014; 7-9 pm.

The Process: Public Art and Placemaking

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DC Ward 7 Green Community Arch sculpture located at the new Unity Healthcare Building.

One of the Washington Glass Studio’s most ambitious public art projects has just completed installation. The DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities commissioned the sculpture for the new Unity Healthcare facility in Washington, DC, and the glass-and-steel artwork was installed without a problem this week.

Michael Janis bolts the panels to the top of the public art sculpture before the work is hoisted into place.

Michael Janis bolts the panels to the top of the public art sculpture before the work is hoisted into place.

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Concept design for the Green Community Gateway Arch

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The public artwork concept was designed and engineered to a high level.

The design of the public artwork was intended to mark the symbolic entrance to the Kenilworth / Parkside section of DC’s Ward 7. This area (near Caeser Chavez charter school, the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens and the Anacostia Freeway) was recently identified as a DC Promise neighborhood – and its experiencing a renewed investment in neighborhood revitalization. After meeting with community representatives, the WGS team focused on themes that were strongly held. A “Community Gateway Arch” became the vision for the placemaking sculpture that would help identify the new environment. The glass panel insets in the 16′ tall sculpture would be made with the help of the neighborhood residents, students of the high school, and the staff of the new Unity Healthcare facility. The Washington Glass Studio worked with the DC Creates! Public Art Program selection committee, the DCCAH Council, Unity Parkside Health Care, the Ward 7 ANC and the community and held a series of glass “quilting-bees” and made a communal environment where community and art were not separate. 

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Artist Erwin Timmers oversaw the structural integration of support framework, LED lighting and glass panel insets.

The 16′ high x 14′ wide sculpture lit internally with LED lighting was one of the largest outdoor artworks installed to date for the Washington Glass Studio, and much went into the design, engineering and the fabrication of the steel framework. 

DCCAH invitation to Ward 7 to make glass at WGS

DCCAH invitation to Ward 7 to make glass at WGS

In early 2014, with the structural foundation for the artwork finished and the steel framework underway, the call went out to the community to come make glass. By directly involving the public in the creation of the new landmark, the space would resonate because the artwork would have meaning to all – as everyone had the chance to tell their story.  The glass workshops were packed. Many of the people that came to work in glass returned to each of the scheduled dates – they loved working in glass and wanted to see how the artwork changed once fired. 

DC ANC Commissioner Willie H. Woods, Jr and DCCAH Exec Director Lionell Thomas were among the community enlisted to interact with the glass artwork.

DC ANC Ward 7 Commissioner Willie H. Woods, Jr and DCCAH Exec Director Lionell Thomas were among the community enlisted to interact with the glass artwork.

By having many area residents making the glass art insets, the sculpture has an increased sense of local identity. The artwork arch stimulates curiosity, inspired some of the budding artists to consider new artistic avenues and on occasion, create a smile.

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Many voices told many stories in the inset panels that made up the glass quilt archway.

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Opposite view of Washington, DC’s Green Community Arch.

The formal opening ceremony of the Anacostia Arch with DC Mayor Gray is now being scheduled. We will update on the school’s FB page and on the blog!

Project Details

  • Location: Corner Hayes Street & Kenilworth Terrace, NE; Washington, DC 20019
  • Washington Glass Studio Public Art Team: Michael Janis, Tim Tate, Erwin Timmers, Audrey Wilson, Derek Thomas, Miles Lark, Cris Chaney and Robyn Townsend
  • Structural Engineers: Holbert Apple Associates, Inc and Wolfman and Associates
  • Structural Steel: Iron Kingdom
  • Number of Glass Tile Insets: Over 300
  • Weight of Sculpture: 2000 lbs

Washington Glass Studio Projects

Most of you know about the Washington Glass School’s extensive glass classes and the artwork, but many of you don’t know the third component of the Washington Glass Studio.  The Washington Glass Studio was established in 2001 to deliver artwork to the public realm by creating site specific art for architectural and landscape environments. Here is a highlight of a few recent projects to give a scope of what we are capable of producing.

"Gateway To Community"   Glass and steel arch for Washington, DC Ward 7. Under Construction

“Gateway To Community” Glass and steel arch for Washington, DC Ward 7. Under Construction

We are currently finishing a commissioned public art sculpture in Washington, DC’s Ward 7 - in front of the Unity Parkside Health Clinic and across the street from Caesar Chavez High School. This sculpture will be one of the first public art projects in Ward 7. Consisting of a 16 foot high tri-sided glass covered arch, the entire concept was derived from meeting with the community in the Kenilworth neighborhood.

The residents of the community participated in the creation of the glass elements for the public artwork sculpture.

The residents of the community participated in the creation of the glass elements for the public artwork sculpture.

Made up from steel tube sections the steel framework is clad in covered in colorful kilncast glass panels bolted to the structure. Over 300 tiles were required to complete the structure. These 300 tiles we all hand made by volunteers in the community surrounding the arch. The artwork will be internally illuminated with LED lighting throughout the sculpture. Installation is set for end of May/early June.

The Architect of the Capitol provides design direction for the historic Library of Congress Adams Building.

The Architect of the Capitol provides design direction for the historic Library of Congress Adams Building.

Of our recent public art works, the most acclaimed is our cast glass doors for the Library of Congress’ Adams Building. The original doors were cast bronze from the early WPA days. They were designed by Lee Lawrie, who is most known for his designs at Rockefeller Center in NYC. The original bronze bas-relief doors had ceased to be functional years ago, and the entrances were not up to current safety and security code. In a moment of courage and insight, one of the architects of the Architect Of The Capital’s office realized that if the bronze doors were redesigned with glass replicas of the original bronze bas-relief, then he could bring them up to code and increase safety, for much less money.  We then took on this multi-year project, with spectacular results.

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There were 6 sets of these doors, facing the east and west sides of the Adams Building. American Craft Magazine did a feature story on our work for the Library of Congress and its process – click here to jump to the magazine’s article online.

A smaller scale work was created for the charity organization “Food and Friends” new outdoor park. We made a cast glass Donor Wall that was to honor those who have passed away, to support to charitable work of the organization and to encourage donors to participate. Bas-relief cast glass panels in complementary colors set into a steel framework allows light to pass thru the memorial wall and create colors and patterns on the surrounding plaza. The nature of the glass panels encourages tactile investigation and contemplative interaction.

Food and Friends organization commissioned an outdoor donor wall for their park alongside their Riggs Road facility.

Food and Friends organization commissioned an outdoor donor wall for their park alongside the charity’s Washington, DC facility.

Lastly, one of our most distinguished works was for the Safeway supermarket Bethesda, Maryland. The original store was to be demolished to make way for a much larger structure with parking on the ground floor. As the grocer was committed to Green building, the new structure was to be the first LEED certified grocery store in Montgomery County, and we integrated eco-friendly materials, using recycled glass from the demolished store and re-purposing them to make the new glass and steel ground level building façade. The ground floor building skin was designed to conceal the parking garage function without completely enclosing it.  Here is the result:

Glass recycled from the original site's building was incorporated into Safeway supermarket's first LEED certified building in Montgomery County, MD.

Glass recycled from the original site’s building was incorporated into Safeway supermarket’s first LEED certified building in Montgomery County, MD.

This is only a fraction of what we have competed and what we are capable of doing. No job is too large or too complex. Our architectural design and technical team work well with architects and designers. We are currently looking for additional projects, so let us know in case you know of any, or know someone who might!

Public Art – Panel Discussion with National and DC Area Agencies Tonight

“Public Art Concepts: An Exhibit of Proposals” Opening and Panel Discussion @ Joe’s Movement Emporium

“Public Art Concepts” gives the public an opportunity to engage with the artist in a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to create artwork for a public space. Given the growing interest in and number of street murals and 3-D public artworks, “Public Art Concepts” paves the way for a focused dialogue about what it means to create an arts district and how this change begins with the artist. The exhibit features scale models and proposals for public art works by regional and national artists who have applied for grants and commissions, some of which were awarded and others not. Opening night features a lively panel of participating artists and reps from funding agencies that have diverse experience in the public art arena.

Opening: (Tonight)Friday September 27, 2013 at 7:00 pm. Closing November 22, 2013
Coordinated by Alonzo Davis | Curated by Nehemiah Dixon III

Opening night features a lively panel of participating artists and reps from funding agencies that have diverse experience in the public art arena. Panel Coordinated by Anne L’Ecuyer, Arts Management faculty at American University.


Panel:

Joes Movement Emporium, 3309 Bunker Hill Rd, Mt Rainier, MD 20712


Artist Featured:
Alan Binstock 
Joanna Blake 
Margaret Boozer
Howard Michael Connelly 
Alonzo Davis
Melissa Anne Glasser
Martha Jackson Jarvis
Luis Peralta
Ann Stoddard 
Valerie Theberge
&
Washington Glass Studio 
Michael Janis, Tim TateErwin Timmers 


RSVP via Facebook link HERE

Unbuilt Public Art Projects Exhibition – What Could Have Been.

Joe’s Movement EmporiumHosts “Public Art Concepts: An Exhibit Of Proposals”

Opening: Friday September 27, 2013 at 7:00 pm. Closing November 22, 2013

Coordinated by Alonzo Davis | Curated by Nehemiah Dixon III 


“Public Art Concepts” gives the public an opportunity to engage with the artist in a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to create artwork for a public space. Given the growing interest in and number of street murals and 3-D works along the arts district corridor “Public Art Concepts” paves the way for a focused dialogue about what it means to create an arts district and how this change begins with the artist. The exhibit features scale models and proposals for public art works by regional and national artists who have applied for grants and commissions, some of which were awarded and others not. 

Opening night features a lively panel of participating artists and reps from funding agencies that have diverse experience in the public art arena.

Featured Artists:

Alan Binstock

Joanna Blake

Margaret Boozer

Howard Connelly

Alonzo Davis

Melissa Glasser

Martha Jarvis Jackson

Luis Peralta

Valerie Theberge

Washington Glass Studio (Erwin Timmers, Tim Tate, Michael Janis)


Joe’s Movement Emporium, 3309 Bunker Hill Road, Mt Rainier, MD 20712

New DC Public Art Project Announced!

Glass archway proposed by Washington Glass Studio for DC’s new Unity Parkside Health Care Center.

The Washington Glass Studio was recently awarded the DC Commission on the Arts& Humanities’ Public Art commission for an outdoor sculpture located at DC’s new Unity Parkside Health Care center, now under construction. The new health center is located just down the road from the Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens, a National Park Service site that boasts some of the most beautiful water lilies and lotus flowers in the months of June and July. 


Architectural rendering of the finished Unity Parkside health care center in Ward 7.

The Washington Glass Studio proposed making a 16 foot high arch of colorful glass and images of healing. 

Inspired by the comments from the community meeting and site review– our objective was to create a sense of place for DC’s Kenilworth – Parkside community.

The design and documentation of the artwork was to be outlined in detail in the presentation.
The site in early May, 2013. The mound of dirt is the artwork location.

The fabrication work for both the glass and the steel framework will soon start. Completion is targeted for early 2014.

Audrey Wilson works on constructing the half-scale maquette created for the presentation to the Council.

Washington Glass Studio sends a big thank-you to the DC Creates! Public Art Program selection committee, the DCCAH Council, Unity Parkside Health Care, and the Ward 7 community!

Washington Glass Presents to James Renwick Alliance

Clemmer Montague – President of the James Renwick Alliance introduces the panel of speakers to the audience.

The James Renwick Alliance (JRA) is dedicated to advancing scholarship and education on contemporary American craft and to encouraging connoisseurship and collecting. The Alliance assists the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Renwick Gallery in adding to its permanent collection of American craft, supports scholarly research in contemporary American craft and pursues other activities in support of the studio craft movement. As part if this goal, the JRA held a talk on the process and inspirations that made up Washington Glass Studio’s recently completed Safeway Bethesda public art project. The talk was much more popular than the organizers had anticipated, as there was standing room only. Readers of the Glass School blog are familiar with the development of the project. Here are some shots of the event – photos by Miriam Rosenthal of ThirdEyePhotography.


Safeway’s Renee Montgomery, Safeway’s Eastern Division, Area Real Estate Manager outlines the Safeway’s approach towards supporting and integrating American craft artwork in its buildings.


Michael Janis outlines the concepts employed by the glass studio.


The audience is transfixed by the sheer poetry of the project .


Here Michael describes how eco-artist Erwin Timmers is planning to save the planet with his sustainable design artwork – one piece at a time.

This is the part where Erwin sings ♪ Here I Come To Save The Day! ♫

The talk continued with a tour of the Safeway public art project onsite, hosted by Tim Tate and Erwin Timmers. For more information about the James Renwick Alliance events – click HERE.

Safeway Bethesda Opens In Grand Style

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Safeway Bethesda located at Bradley Boulevard and Arlington Road on Wednesday night.


The Safeway Bethesda supermarket – that features Safeway’s first public art project – celebrated its grand opening with a lavish gala that featured bands, celebrity chefs, public officials, television celebrities, and most importantly, artwork.


Safeway Bethesda Bradley Avenue façade. Comments on the building artwork include one that “Safeway’s kundalini has risen”


The process the Washington Glass Studio employed for the creation of the bas-relief artwork walls made from glass salvaged from the original supermarket building (1956- 2010) has been documented in a number of previous
postings, including the installation of the artwork (and time-lapse imagery of the building construction).


Special lighting emphasizes the dry stack stonework.

The opening was a great vernissage – in a supermarket. (By the way, walking thru the freezer section of a supermarket, while listening to a live jazz combo performing one aisle over & gourmet appetizers made by guest celebrity chefs, and being offered fine champagne by waiters is a surreal experience – all cool, but very unusual.)

Champagne?… why yes, thanks…


Why is that an ICE sculpture?… It should be glass.

Jazz performed amongst the seasonal goods.

One of the cool event accouterments was the carved pumpkin displays. The artist based the pumpkin carvings on the building’s cast glass panels – a nice switch on the traditional glass pumpkins.
The night also featured artwork displays; the work by sculptor Judy Sutton Moore was exhibited on the staircase, and work by the Washington Glass School was featured in the rotunda.


Featured artists: Washington Glass School


WUSA – channel 9 news anchor Andrea Roane was the master of ceremonies.

Andrea received a gift of one of the WGS cast glass tile squares, and showed the artwork the next morning during her broadcast.

Project data:
Client: Safeway Inc.
Architect: Rounds Vanduzer
Builder: Roche Constructors
Completion: Oct 2011
Artwork team: Erwin Timmers, Michael Janis, Tim Tate, M L Duffy, Chris Duffy, Robert Kincheloe, Evan Morgan, Susan Lomuto, George Anderton.

A Bunch Of Einsteins Grow Up

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A bas-relief casting of Albert Einstein is integrated with images of students in “A New World View”.

The American Physical Society commissioned the Washington Glass Studio to create artwork as a tribute to Albert Einstein as part of 2005′s ‘World Year of Physics’ celebration. Working with scientists from the APS and with educators and students from around the country, Erwin Timmers, Tim Tate and Michael Janis created a cast glass series of panels that integrated imagery and symbols based on Albert Einsteins life and theories. The work was intended to become a traveling educational public art piece – going from museums, to physics lab centers to schools across the nation. As part of the art project, the World Year of Physics team collected over 300 pictures of children from families around the country. From these images, a number were incorporated into the cast glass artwork.

Michael Janis creates imagery in plaster and places glass atop in preparation of the kiln firing – December 2005.


Erwin Timmers and Michael Janis review castings based on Einstein’s theories – December 2005.

The artwork, titled A New World View was segmented into four columns. Three columns focus on Einstein’s revolutionary ideas of 1905—the composition of matter, the quantum nature of light, and the Special Theory of Relativity. The fourth column illustrates Einstein’s life.

A New World View
2005
photo by anythingphoto.net

The early public art commission by the studio was intended to challenge and inspire school children to build on the science of the past and be a part of the science of the future.


Children liked to explore the tactile nature of the cast bas-relief glass.

The finished artwork piece was photographed and a poster of the finished artwork was created and sent to the school systems across the country, promoting science and the tribute to Einstein.


Many of the cast glass images are explained in the artwork legend:
Einstein once said “God does not play dice with the universe,” but in this case Einstein was wrong. Much of nature is guided by the dice-like randomness of quantum mechanics.

The artwork traveled from its original home at Baltimore’s Maryland Science Center, to a number of other locations, including the American Physical Society’s New York office, Brookhaven Labs and other schools.

American Physical Society’s glass sculpture featuring images of North Adams High School students, was delivered to North Adams High School Tuesday to be displayed for six months. Pictured are Becky Thompson-Flagg, APS Public Outreach, who delivered the sculpture from New York; Olga Cruzelaya, NAHS teacher who photographed the students for the project; Randall Dunkin, NAHS science teacher who was instrumental in bringing the sculpture display to the school; Stephen Caraway, field representative for Congresswoman Jean Schmidt; and Principal Greg Grooms. – Carleta Weyrich/The People’s Defender

Recently, the educational glass artwork came to Ohio’s North Adams High School, where, six years ago, teacher Olga Cruzelaya had organized to submit photos of their students. A number of the original students , now graduated, were indeed inspired by the sculpture, and were interviewed by Carleta Weyrich in an article in “The People’s Defender” newspaper.

Chase Burns, a 2009 graduate of North Adams High School, is the face behind the first square of the glass sculpture, “A New World View,” a 2005 project of the American Physical Society. – Carleta Weyrich/The People’s Defender

The American Physical Society’s project showcases how successful a public art project can be – one that educates and inspires; where both the students and the school systems that participated in the creation of the art work are each excelling and advancing.Congrats to all involved!

Click HERE to jump to the APS website description of the original work, legend and process.

Click HERE to jump to the reunion of the artwork and the students at North Adams High School in the People’s Defender newspaper.