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.

James Renwick Alliance Hosts Review Of Safeway Bethesda Public Art

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The James Renwick Alliance is hosting a presentation of how Safeway supermarkets support American Craft with their new public art project in Bethsda, MD. The process and inspirations of the artwork will be reviewed in the talk. Find out about tickets by clicking on the link!

The JRA is an independent national nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing scholarship and education on contemporary American craft, to supporting activities directed toward this purpose, 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 of artistic significance and superior workmanship, supports scholarly research in contemporary American craft, sponsors public educational activities, and pursues other activities in support of the studio craft movement.

More info on the event:
Ticket cost is a tax deductible nonrefundable contribution of $15 per person and space is limited. Please RSVP to the JRA office by phone or email (301.907.3888 or admin@jra.org) by 5 p.m. on Monday, December 5 by 5 p.m.

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.

Safeway Bethesda Public Art Sculpture From Recycled Glass

>Roche Constructor’s webcam located opposite the Bethesda Safeway site caught Evan Morgan and Erwin Timmers installing the cast recycled glass and metal framework into the facade of the new building.

The installation of Safeway Supermarket’s Bethesda store public art is nearing completion. WGS’ “green artist” Erwin Timmers has been putting the final touches on the outdoor sculpture with Evan Morgan as the contractors race to compete construction of the LEED certified building in time for the scheduled October 13, 2011 ribbon cutting. The public art project, using cast recycled glass – including glass salvaged from the original building and refrigeration displays – was designed to respond to the LEED certified architecture it is now integrated.

Susan Lomuto and Erwin Timmers salvage glass from the demolished Safeway freezer units.


The cast bas-relief glass motifs of fresh herbs were designed to meander organically across the building’s façade, working as a counterpoint to the rhythm of the strong stone piers, while relating to aspects of the building’s use.

Cast recycled glass inside the kiln. The glass has been fired into one-time molds at 1500° F and annealed. Next, the bas-relief panels will be cut and the glass tile edges polished.

The artglass color palate ranges between clear, amber and a blue-shift color. Areas of within the grids are left open to allow air and establish a connection between the interior and the busy streetscape.

Erwin Timmers touches up the steel frame finish.

The design and progress of the cast recycled glass has been mentioned in earlier postings on the school blog.

The Safeway architects, builders and design team admire the transformative quality the glass gives to the interior.


Other media outlets have been covering the Safeway supermarket design- including the DC area real estate blog
DCMud and NewsChannel 8′s TBD.com has covered the supermarket-as-art curator aspect.

Artist Erwin Timmers can be seen silhouetted thru the glass.

The supermarket is excited about their addition to both the Bethesda retail scene and their first foray into the art world. We will post pix and coverage of the store’s celebrity filled vernissage this October.

UPDATE: Click HERE to jump to photos of the finished project.

Installation of Safeway Supermarket Public Art Project

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Safeway Bethesda site construction photo August 22, 2011


Earlier
posts on the Washington Glass School Blog featured the design and fabrication of Safeway supermaket’s first public art project – located here in Bethesda and created by the Washington Glass Studio.
Installation of the public artwork has begun. The cast glass panels were made from recycled glass taken from the original supermarket during the demolition phase, and the salvaged glass was cast in a bas-relief method to create translucent panels that referenced fresh herbs – perfect for a new LEED Certified building that would house the trendy Safeway supermarket.

Erwin Timmers installs the cast glass & steel panels.

Evan Morgan affixes the glass panels to the steel framework.

Interior view of the artwork – looking out towards Bradley Ave. Bethesda, MD.

The concept of the panels was to have the artwork allow openings to allow the interior and exterior blur – approx 25% of each building bay is open to allow air flow.

Hardware still-life.

Roche Constructors are the builders of the project – and they have a Safeway webcam. Click on the link and at the top is a time-lapse feature that allows one to see the project’s demo-to-current construction status. Click HERE to jump to the Roche webcam site.

UPDATE: Click HERE to jump to finished project images.

Art and Architecture: Public Art Project

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Safeway Bethesda
Rounds VanDuzer Architects

Safeway has started construction of a new supermarket in Bethesda, MD. The new store will be a LEED certified supermarket as Safeway is committed to the greening of its stores. Besides going green, the supermarket will be built to what Safeway calls the urban “lifestyle” market, with high-quality urban design. Safeway is one of North America’s largest supermarket chains with more than 1,700 stores.

As part of the project, Safeway commissioned the Washington Glass Studio to integrate artwork into the architectural façade of the building. The wall of artwork will activate the street along the Bradley Street façade, and marks the first public artwork commission by the national supermarket chain for its stores.



The cast recycled glass and steel artwork is integrated into the architectural façade.


Over 30 feet long and 9 feet high, the glass and steel artwork will be a strong element located in Bethesda. The new building design will act as a “civic gateway” to Bethesda‘s Central Business District (CBD).

Responding to the architectural design by Rounds VanDuzer Architects the large scale artwork will feature colorful cast recycled glass made from glass salvaged from the original Safeway supermarket on the same site. Ecoartist Erwin Timmers had slogged thru the site demolition, removing glass for the artwork. Erwin’s integration of reconfigured and recycled components has made him a leader in sustainable design and he continues his work in multidisciplinary LEED projects.


Cast recycled window glass sample of custom “fresh herb” design for Safeway.

Above is the “bay leaf” pattern.


UPDATE: Click HERE to jump to images of finished project.