International Exhibit of Glass + Clay : Shared History

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Queen Victoria strolls thru the grounds of the Washington Glass School and Flux Studios.

The British Are Coming!

US/UK exhibit of glass and ceramics, March 1 – 23, in Washington, DC.

Using an art exhibition as a bridge between two countries, the Sister City  program will be bringing together Sunderland, England and Washington, DC in a show that celebrates the medias of glass and clay, as well as celebrating the relationships between the two cities.

USA / Syl Mathis / Glass 

Opening March 1, 2013, at Washington, DC’s Edison Place Gallery will be an exhibit of expressive glass and ceramic artwork, as well as narrative sculptures that blend craft materials with digital technologies and, in turn remove the boundaries between the traditional categories of craft, art, and design.

USA / Novie Trump / Ceramic

Artists and artwork will soon be arriving from the UK’s Creative Cohesion and University of Sunderland, and DC – based artists represented by the Washington Glass School and Flux Studios will be acting as “cultural ambassadors” facilitating the exchange of ideas and images. In addition to a spectacular exhibit, a number of demos and workshops are planned during the month at the gallery and the DC area studios.

UK / Roger Tye / Glass

This will be the third collaboration with DC’s Sister City of Sunderland – in 2008 “Glass 3” was held in Georgetown; in 2009, 38 artists from Sunderland participated in the 10th Artomatic, held near the Navy Yard.  
Washington Glass School’s Fulbright Scholars Michael Janis and Tim Tate taught at both the University of Sunderland and at Creative Cohesion studios during their Fulbright assignment in 2012, and look forward to renewing the close relationship created by these collaborations.

US Fulbrighters Janis & Tate 2012 workshop at Creative Cohesion studios in Sunderland, England

The International Glass + Clay show opens March 1st and will run through Friday, March 23, The exhibit is free and open to the public.  The Gallery Place Metro station is within walking distance of the Gallery


The Downtown Business Improvement District (Downtown BID), in partnership with Artomatic, Inc., the Office of the Secretary for the District of Columbia, and Sunderland City Council, have together organized the international exhibit, hosted at Pepco’s Edison Gallery. 

International Glass and Clay 2013
Edison Place Gallery
702 Eighth Street (between G & H Streets)
Washington, DC 

2012 Year In Review

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Before we throw away the 2012 calender, we are looking thru the pages of the Washington Glass School dates and blog postings – noting that events from a few months ago seem like ages ago. The strange phenomena of time flying by is observed once again. Many of the years past events were months – or years- in planning and preparation, and seemed like they would never happen, now seem faraway, and the impact, both good and bad will be here for a while. Month by month – here is a quick review of Washington Glass School’s 2012:
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January 2012

“Facture” exhibit at Bullseye Gallery, Portland.

Michael Janis started the year out west, showing at Bullseye Gallery in Portland, OR.  The show Facture was centered on artists that use glass as a canvas with artists Michael Janis, Kari Minnick, Martha Pfanschmidt, Ted Sawyer, Abi Spring, and Jeff Wallin; moderated by Michael Endo. The show ran thru February, and later traveled to Bullseye’s RCBA Gallery
in Emeryville, CA. 
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February

Rob Kincheloe gets close to the critter.

Italian flameworker Simone Crestani was here teaching workshops at the new Chrysler Museum of Art Glass Workshop. While here in the area, Simone was working at Rob Kincheloe’s new torch studio out in Virginia.

After annealing, the bug was filled with plasma and charged.
The installed sculpture at Smith Farm

The “Science of Art Laboratory” (SOFALab) project was created to initiate the spark of communication that can bring out new understanding and develop new tools of interactions from both the sciences and arts. Developed as a collaborative effort from the Executive Director of Smith Center for Healing and the Arts, Shanti Norris; the Director of Printmaking at George Mason University, Helen Fredrick; and the Founder of Hamiltonian Artists and physics professor of George Mason University, Paul So, a SOFAlab project was held with Dr. Caroline Wellberry and Erwin Timmers using glass diverted from the waste stream. 

The students were from Georgetown University and Residents from the Fort Lincoln Clinic. The resulting glass and steel sculpture was exhibited at Smith Center Gallery.

Michael & Christina Bothwell: TLF.

February is also the month of Love – with American Craft Magazine included Michael Janis in its survey on who was “Craft Crushing”. Michael was all about sculptor Christina Bothwell.

The Washington British Embassy hosted the signing of the US/UK Friendship Agreement. L-R Chief Executive of Sunderland City Council Dr David Smith and Washington, DC Mayor Vincent C. Gray

The cities of Washington, DC and Sunderland, England renewed their Friendship Agreement in February, and the formal connection between the two cities were strengthened. The unique connection has allowed for international exchanges that played out in the year and beyond.
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March

Professors Tate and Janis at UK’s Washington Old Hall, ancestral home of US President George Washington.
Sunderland Uni has a world class glass facility.

Fulbright Scholars Michael Janis and Tim Tate were off to England’s North East, teaching at the University of Sunderland.  Joined by Michael’s wife, Kay Janis, acting as chaperone for the lads, the boys were teaching at the National Glass Centre in the expansive glass facilities at the University.

DC’s Fulbright duo teach at Creative Cohesion.

Creative Cohesion, a Sunderland, England artist collaborative was initiated by artists that had participated in one of DC’s Artomatic events. Inspired by and modeling themselves on the Washington Glass School model, the City of Sunderland helped create a non-profit organization which specializes in arts based activities, and provides space, facilities and services to local creative practitioners and the local community. Creative Cohesion’s facilities include a glass hot-shop, which was set to open, and Michael and Tim were invited to teach at the inaugural glass workshops. The gallery component of Creative Cohesion was one of the exhibitors at London’s Affordable Art Fair in March. Michael and Tim were invited to show their artwork at the huge international art fair, and the lads were off to the big city. 

The artists celebrate at London’s Affordable Art Fair.
Jeffrey Sarmiento, Kevin Petrie and Michael Janis

Back to the University of Sunderland, for a big wrap up of more workshops. Professor and glass artist Jeffrey Sarmiento – showed Michael how the University’s waterjet machine worked with glass panels, creating a class demo piece. 

Hugs to all as the Fulbrighters returned home to Washington, DC, determined to reinforce the connections made. Right after the boys left Sunderland, Creative Cohesion’s artist facility was damaged as the adjacent building partially collapsed during a strong windstorm, closing the artist center until later in the year.

Click HERE to jump to video link

Upon Tim’s return to DC, he appeared as one of the speakers in a TED Talk about “The Creative City”.
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April

“Jazz Man” tops the refurbished Howard Theater.

Sean Hennessey was in the news as Washington’s historic Howard Theater re-opened to fanfare. Working with Brower Hatcher and Mid-Ocean Studios, Sean created the concrete and glass trumpet form for the team. 
At the opening, Sean was interviewed by National Public Radio (NPR).
Erwin Timmers was one of the 121 featured artists at the 30th Annual Smithsonian Craft Fair

Erwin Timmers and Mick Coughlin set up at the National Building Museum.

His cast recycled glass sculptures were a strong point of the show at the National Building Museum.

Space Shuttle Discovery does a low flyover the Washington Glass School in April.

NASA’s Space Shuttle program was retired, and the shuttle “Discovery” flew over the glass school as it headed out across the country. We ate “astronaut freeze dried ice cream” in its honor.

Tim Tate’s glass and video sculptures received the “Critics Award” at Habatat Galleries 40th Annual International exhibit in Michigan.

Habatat Galleries held its 40th Annual International invitational, and exhibited Tim Tate’s video reliquaries. Tim’s work won the Critic’s Award at the show.
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May

May started off running with Glass Art Magazine having an article about Erwin Timmers eco-glass and a cover story about Michael Janis’ frit powder drawings – creating a publishing two-fer! The magazine also late ran a special online feature about Tim Tate & Michael Janis’ Fulbright adventures.
Some great photos by Pete Duvall of Anything Photographic filled the 10 pages of articles about Erwin and Michael.

The design concept for the LOC Adams building doors.
Rubber mold from one of the LOC sculptures.

The Washington Glass Studio began working on the Library of Congress Adams Building doors in May, working to recreate the historic sculpted bronze doors in cast glass. The project  integrates a number of artists from the Washington Glass School and connects craft artisans from FireArt Glass in Portland, OR. Sean Hennessey started the process by creating a test panel taken from the original doors. There would be a full size sample made of the cast /laminated artwork panel, submitted to the US Architect of the Capitol for approval.


Dave D’Orio’s artwork awarded by the JRA.

Artomatic 2012 – the month long, non-juried, anything-goes exhibit opened in May. This year, the setting was a soon-to-be-demolished office building in Crystal City. The James Renwick Alliance (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. At this Artomatic, the JRA sponsored activities and programs, and had reviewed the 10 floors of artwork, selecting winners in different media.

Sean Hennessey’s artwork awarded by the JRA

Dave D’Orio, Sean Hennessey and Michael Janis were each selected for their works in glass. The JRA also sponsored receptions and artist talks during the event. (FYI- The not-for-profit organization Artomatic.org has been instrumental in organizing international exhibits that brought together Sunderland artists and the Washington Glass School, and some new plans are being developed for the coming year.)
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June
2012 was anniversary year marking the start of the American Studio Glass Movement in 1962. A number of shows were held this summer to give some insight into how the art form has changed during the past 50 years. In the arty city of Asheville, NC, Bender Gallery showcased Erwin Timmers, and Asheville’s Blue Spiral 1 hosted a show about the next generation of glass artists (including Christina Bothwell, Thor & Jennifer Bueno, Susan Taylor Glasgow, Sean Hennessey, Michael Janis, Marc Petrovic, Tim Tate and others). 

Marc Petrovic demo’s at GAS
Laura Donefer works the runway.

The Glass Arts Society (GAS) held its annual conference in the nominal birthplace of the studio glass movement – Toledo, OH.  Said Tim Tate of the Toledo GAS – “
[Outgoing GAS President] Jeremy Lepisto’s gang did a spectacular job! and Laura Donefer’s fashion show blew me away!”
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July

Sean Hennessey gets serious at the LOC.
The panel molds are cleaned in the studio.

 The month of July was a scorcher! Work continued on the US Library of Congress bronze doors in the sun with temps in the mid ’90′s F (mid 30′s C!). The “rockets red glare” refers to how hot it feels. Sean and crew worked in the brutal heat taking rubber molds from the Lee Lawrie bronze sculpted doors. 

The Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian Museum opened its spectacular “Craft Futures – 40 Under 40” exhibit. 40 under 40:Craft Futures features forty artists born since 1972, the year the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s contemporary craft and decorative arts program was established at the Renwick.

Matt Szosz at the opening of 40 Under 40.

The show, curated by Nicholas Bell, showed how the youngsters in craft are remaking the world of craft. 
This show generated many discussions on how craft is no longer a part of the “apprentice to a master” world, and is one where the young students wish not to be tied to any one craft media.

Audrey Wilson models the latest in cold shop fashion.

Speaking of kids today, in July, Audrey Wilson joined the Washington Glass School as the new studio coordinator. Audrey had met Tim Tate when he was teaching a workshop at the Chrylser Museum of Glass in June, and applied for the position.

Elegance comes to the Glass School.


Audrey soon was teaching classes at the Glass School, and her accessible and welcoming teaching style won over many of the artists at the studio.
 
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August
In August, the Brentwood Arts Exchange (part of Maryland’s Prince George’s Parks and Recreation) held part of its summer Creative Expressions Camp encouraging the kids to explore a variety of artistic media as well as contemporary reading and writing activities around such themes as animals, nature, and adventure. 

The studio was overrun with kids, all eager to try working in glass. Some showed an intuitive knack for the craft – Who knows where these young artists will take the medium and artworld as they grow up!

Ceramic artist Novie Trump worked in the studio, working to incorporate glass into a commissioned artwork piece. Novie wanted to make an illuminated hive for an installation of ceramic bees. Novie made a number of fused glass alternates and presented to the client – a trendy restaurant in Georgetown.
Ultimately, however, the architect selected a ceramic version for the installation. We will get her to glass somehow, we will not surrender. 

An impressive steed. And a handsome horse too. Michael Janis as a Beltway Cowboy.

The London Olympics were celebrated here as the Washington Glass School hosted the equestrians dressage events along Otis Street. In Mt Rainier, MD.  Ok, the 2012 Summer Olympics did not take place at the Washington Glass School, but the 2012 National Night Out (NNO) did. The NNO is a campaign that involves citizens, police, neighborhoods and local officials to increase crime and drug prevention and to strengthen police-community partnerships.

Then & Today
Left inset: Engraving (ca. 1860) of battlefield site where Joshua Barney fell by Benson Lossing in “Field Book of the War of 1812
  ; Right: Washington Glass School on the same site. Over the past 200 years, the topography has been modified and changed tremendously – the creek now flows under the concrete pathway opposite the Glass School.

Connections to American history was exposed in the August post about how the Glass School’s Mount Rainier building site was part of a key battle in the War of 1812 – in the Battle of Bladensburg. With the US loss at this battle, British forces swept into Capitol Hill and burned the White House, the Capitol and the Treasury. 

Penland School of Craft Auction Tent, 2012

Michael Sherrill’s incredible studio

An ardent support of the Penland School of Craft, Tim Tate took a group of collectors from the James Renwick Alliance to the annual Penland Auction and as part of the “Tim Tate Tour“.
The group visited the artist studios of Hoss Haley, Michael Sherrill, Dan Essig, Christina Cordova & Pablo De Soto and Stoney Lamar.

Glass artist Beth Lipman with Susan and Fred Sanders at Penland.

The excursion also included an art tour of Asheville, NC with a visit to the Glass Secessionism show at Blue Spiral Gallery.
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September

Carol Trawick, David D’Orio & Catherine Leggett. Photo: Bethesda Urban Partnership

September opened big for artist Dave D’Orio, as he was one of this year’s winner of the Trawick Prize.- a visual art prize produced by the Bethesda Arts & Entertainment District that honors artists from Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Virginia. The annual juried competition awards prize money to selected artists and features the work of the finalists in a group exhibition. Dave is the executive director of DC GlassWorks, a glass blowing facility (and sister school to the Washington Glass School) in Hyattsville, MD. At the 2012 Artomatic, the James Renwick Alliance gave Dave’s installation sculpture its ‘Award of Recognition’.

Toots Zynsky, William Warmus, Matthew Szösz at Smithsonian Renwick lecture.
William Warmus takes photos of Erwin Timmers’ artwork.

The 40 Under 40 exhibit at the Renwick Gallery continued its run, with author, independent curator and glass expert William Warmus moderating a conversation about the past, present, and future of studio glass between veteran glass artist Toots Zynsky and artist Matthew Szösz. After the talk, William visited the Glass School – of which he said: “It’s better than I thought it’d be…it’s not as bad as it could’ve been“. Hmmm.

The month of September is usually the start of the exhibition season – and this one did not disappoint.  

Detail from Sean Hennessey’s “Finding The Right Key

Sean Hennessey opened his solo show at the District’s 410Goodbuddy Gallery.  

Based on Alice In Wonderland, Sean’s work in the show: Reimagining Alice incorporates cast glass that was painted with concrete and integrates videos, LEDs, EL panels and other media that pulls traditional glass into new realms.
Tim Tate and Marc Petrovic also had openings in September – at Arizona’s Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum. Under the title “Glass Secessionism”, the show opened to record crowds.

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October

Nancy Donnelly‘s solo show at Foundry Gallery included her “Glass Bouquets” that art critic Lenny Campello described as an update to the Washington Color School saying “… [Nancy's] new work takes the color stripes from the canvas of the 1960s giants of DMV painting and re-invents it in a  fresh new approach to a 21st century dialogue in glass and concrete”.


Tim Tate teaching at Penland School of Craft

Tim Tate returned to North Carolina’s Penland School of Craft in October, this time teaching with Sean Hennessey and Robert Kincheloe.

Sean Hennessey explains the dry plaster casting process.

The class was 21st Century Reliquaries, and the students incorporated techniques that included Rubber Mold Making, Wax Casting, Plaster/Silica Mold Making, Lost wax, Dry Plaster Casting, Painting Glass, Cutting Glass, Glass etching and Flameworking.
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November
November started with the big show in ChicagoSOFA

SOFA Opening Night at Chicago’s Navy Pier
Allegra Marquart’s panels on exhibit at Maurine Littleton.

Michael Janis and Allegra Marquart were shown at Maurine Littleton Gallery and Tim Tate was shown thru Habatat Galleries. As the focus on both craft and art  at SOFA is so high, this show is where the artists have stretched a bit to show they have game.  

Michael Janis’ works were huge!

Michael’s new colorful works involved optical distortion and the resolution of the imagery.

Tim Tate’s works at Habatat Galleries space.

Tim’s new works were a larger scale – and he was thinking outside the dome. 

Upon return to Washington, DC – the setup of shows continued, as artists from the Washington Glass School were featured in the special exhibit on the 50th Anniversary of Studio Glass at the Washington Craft Show. 

Visitors gather around Joan Falconer Byrd, author of the new book “Harvey K Littleton: A Life in Glass“. Ms Byrd was one of the show’s speakers at the event. She was one of the first students in the Toledo workshops and was Professor of Art at Western Carolina University.

Maurine Littleton Gallery’s show-within-a-show was the centerpiece to the Washington Convention Center. 

Historical works by some of the Studio Glass Pioneers were featured.

Works by Tim Tate, Allegra Marquart, Sean Hennessey, Erwin Timmers, Alison Sigethy and Michael Janis were shown as where the next generation of glass artists are heading.

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December

Art Miami’s Aqua show brought throngs.

Miami became the focus of the art world with the Art Basel/Art Miami juggernaut as the world seems to head south for the huge art extravaganza. Washington Glass School artists were well represented, with Tim Tate, Erwin Timmers, Sean Hennessey and Audrey Wilson’s works at a number of international galleries. 

Audrey Wilson showing at Alida Anderson Art Projects space at Aqua

Audrey did very well, selling a major work to a NYC collector and a museum has asked about having her work for an upcoming art exhibit – awesome!

Everyone at the Washington Glass School sends a big THANK-YOU to all for the love & support this past year… 
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So – should one survive the Zombie Mayan Long Count Armageddon -

Whats coming up in 2013?
We can divulge some news scoops for the coming year - 
Michael Janis will be the Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass (AACG) calender boy for the month of January, as the “Artist of the Month”. January… starts the year off right…

Artomatic is planning to host a variation of the Glass 3 (the international exhibition US & UK artists) however, this year, it will be an international Glass + Ceramics showcase at downtown DC’s Edison Gallery – the month of March is being blocked out for the opening, gallery talks, workshops, and events.  

Glassweekend will take place at New Jersey’s WheatonArts this coming June 7,8,9, 2013. The international symposium of contemporary glass will have demos by Beth Lipman, Davide Salvadore, Hiroshi Yamano; the keynote speaker will be Judith Schaecter.  

Best Wishes to all for the Coming New Year!


Congrats on Creative Cohesion Relaunch

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Artists Phil Vickery and Roger Tye work in Creative Cohesion’s hotshop.

Last spring, Washington Glass School Co-Directors Michael Janis and Tim Tate were in the UK on their Fulbright assignment to the University of Sunderland and the National Glass Centre. The guys also held workshops at the City of Sunderland’s professional artist center “Creative Cohesion”.

Fulbright Scholar Michael Janis introduces the Bullseye Roll-up technique to artists at Creative Cohesion.
UK artists gather for a talk with Fulbright Scholar Tim Tate at the Cohesion Center in March.

 Creative Cohesion is a center for creativity in Sunniside, Sunderland, providing not only studios for artists, but provision for community, arts and business activities, as well as a retail outlet for art. Creative Cohesion runs monthly workshops for professional creative practitioners and is home to graduates from the University of Sunderland who are recipients of the ‘Sunniside Graduate Scheme’.

The Creative Cohesion building was damaged by high winds that caused the adjacent building to collapse onto the center’s roof  in April . 

Last Spring, high winds caused their neighboring building to collapse onto the center’s roof, resulting in a lot of damage. After months of disruption for the non-profit center and its tenants as the repair work was implemented, they are happy to be finally back in full working order, and are holding a Relaunch of the Center on Oct 18!

Artist Frank Styles was commissioned to create the visual graphics on the center’s exterior shutters.

Their celebrations continue in welcoming new tenants, a new logo for the center, the launch of their new website and completion of the center’s shutter artwork by graffiti artist Frank Styles.

There will be happy faces all round on the opening launch day with the building’s face lift, the opening of a new exhibition titled ‘Reconnection’ and entertainment with local glass blowers having a play day in the glass hotshop.

Congratulations to Creative Cohesion on making Sunderland a hotbed of creativity again!

Click HERE to jump Creative Cohesion’s website.

In Memoriam: UK Glass Artist Charles Bray (1922 – 2012)

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Charles Bray at the unveiling of his glass and slate sculpture work at Lancaster University, 2009.

It is with great sadness that we learned that UK glass artist Charles Bray passed away suddenly, but peacefully, Sunday afternoon. Charles was the instigator of the Glass & Ceramics course at Sunderland University and supportive founder member of Cohesion Glass network, as well as being a member of the Society of Glass Technologists. In 1976, he attended the Hot Glass Conference at the Royal College of Art which proved a major watershed in the development of Studio Glass in England

Charles also authored glass 
art & technology reference books.

Subsequently, he was instrumental in setting up British Artists in Glass (now the Contemporary Glass Society) to promote and support the work of glass artists in the UK


Charles’ glass sculptures were featured in the Glass 3 exhibit that featured glass artwork by Sunderland, Washington, DC and Toldedo artists held in Georgetownin 2008.  

Charles Bray’s glass & stone works were strongly represented in the historic 2008 US/UK joint glass show “Glass 3″.

Sunderland, England Visits Washington, DC

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clockwise from left: Novie Trump, Tim Tate, George Koch, Oliver “Skip” Dulle, Tom Hurst, Catherine Auld and Erwin Timmers talk about the prospects for an international exhibition of glass and clay. 

Based on the aftermath of Tim Tate & Michael Janis’ successful Fulbright Scholarship assignment to the University of Sunderland, representatives from DC’s sister city (which is Sunderland, England) popped in for proverbial “spot of tea and a bit of a chat” – re: the possibility of another international glass exhibition to be held in DC in Spring 2013. (One may remember the fabulous Glass 3 exhibit hosted by Artomatic in 2008.)  

George Koch, founder and board member of DC’s Cultural Development Corporation, chats with WGS’ Tim Tate 

This time the arts organization is proposing to expand the format to include ceramics and possibly another international partner; all together exhibiting at a downtown DC gallery space. Discussions included international workshops, marketplace events and how cultural tourism could be integrated. The representatives from the UK met at the Washington Glass School and at Flux Studios.

Artist Novie Trump explains the process of a commissioned ceramic installation to the Sunderland delegation.
Dr David Smith, Chief Executive, Sunderland City Council and DC Mayor Vincent Gray sign the Sunderland, UK / Washington, DC Sister City Agreement, February 22, 2012, 

We don’t want to jinx the procedures and process at this early stage, but we are excited at the prospect of such an event! 

Glass BLAST! in London

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Cate Watkinson
BLAST! 2012

COHESION GLASS NETWORK’S 10th ANNIVERSARY EXHIBITION

July 6 – August 8, 2012

Joanne Mitchell

London, England’s ZeST Contemporary Glass Gallery is hosting BLAST! 2012, the 10th anniversary exhibition of Cohesion Glass Network. Cohesion Glass Network is an initiative supported by the UK’s Sunderland City Council as a way to create a business network for glassmakers and artists. 


Tim Tate

To celebrate this landmark, ZeST Gallery has invited eight of Cohesion’s founding members to exhibit their latest artworks and provided the opportunity to select an artist to be a “partner” and show work alongside them.

Roger Tye

These eight artists are Criss Chaney, Dominic Fonde, Zoe Garner, Ruth Lyne, Joanne Mitchell, Claudia Phipps, Roger Tye and Cate Watkinson.  They have selected partners whose work they admire, or find complementary to their own, or in some cases they have joined forces to create unique collaborative work, exploring and developing themes and concepts held in common. Some, but not all, of the partner artists are Cohesion members, and all but one of the partners are artists working in glass.

Michael Janis

Cohesion artist Joanne Mitchell chose Washington Glass Studio artist Tim Tate. Cohesion’s Roger Tye is paired with WGS’ Michael Janis. Michael and Tim were both at Cohesion’s studios while in the UK on their Fulbright assignment.

The exhibition features a diverse selection of glass art, including wall-mounted and installation artwork, as well as vessels and sculpture, and embodies a broad spectrum of processes and techniques. The pairings within the show create an exciting dynamic of glass, artistic and otherworldly narratives.

Carrie Fertig

Artist pairings include:
Criss Chaney with Robyn Townsend

Dominic Fonde with Chua Teng Yeow

Zoe Garner with Carrie Fertig

Ruth Lyne with Rachel O’Dell

Joanne Mitchell with Tim Tate

Claudia Phipps with June Kingsbury

Roger Tye with Michael Janis

Cate Watkinson with Emma Hollins

Blast! 2012

July 6 – August 8, 2012

Zest Contemporary Glass Gallery

Roxby Place (end of Rickett Street)

London SW6 1RS

Glass Art Magazine features Fulbright Scholars Michael Janis & Tim Tate’s UK Assignment

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The recent issue of Glass Art Magazine features all of the Washington Glass School’s co- directors in the latest issue and online. 

Michael Janis’ work on the cover and his profile as the centerfold story, and the same issue also features Erwin Timmers work across a five page story on his work in ecologically sustainable artwork. The magazine’s online website now features a new story on Michael and Tim Tate’s work as Fulbright Scholars in England, while at the University of Sunderland, the National Glass Centre, the London AAF, and Creative Cohesion studios. 

The article has a great synopsis of the differences between the US & UK approach to the artistic medium of glass and also has some photos of Jeffrey Sarmiento joining Michael’s sgraffito class. Click HERE to jump to Glass Art Magazine’s downloadable pdf of the article.

The Fulbright program has announced its new awards – have a read!

The Fulbright Commission US Scholar Awards for 2013-14 are now open. The US Scholar Awards offer US academics and professionals the chance to undertake research and/or teaching at any accredited UK higher education institution. Opportunities are available for college and university faculty as well as for professionals, artists, journalists, scientists, lawyers, independent scholars and many others. As well as an All-disciplines award they also have specific partner awards. 

If you in going to a UK university through the Fulbright programme to contribute to research and/or teaching then please take a look at the awards on offer – or if you know of any US scholars or professionals that would be interested then pass this information on to them.

Fulbright Awards offer generous financial support for academic projects in the UK. Additionally, Fulbright scholars in the UK are invited to participate in a wide range of events, and benefit from a variety of additional opportunities and support provided by the Fulbright Commission. Fulbright scholars also benefit from an extensive range of alumni and global networking opportunities after their exchange.

Artomatic Gets Ready = Get Ready for Artomatic!

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Artomatic is a multi-week, multimedia arts event held in the Washington, DC area since 1999. 
Washington Glass School has a long relationship with the DC-area arts showcase of visual art, music, film, performance, poetry and fashion. Tim Tate’s artwork at Artomatic 2000 was seen by the curator of the Smithsonian’s Renwick Museum, and that show both got his work into the Museum’s permanent collection, and his sales at the show provided the seed money that started the Washington Glass School. Artomatic at Tenleytown’s old Hechinger’s space is where Tim Tate first saw the sculpture work of Erwin Timmers and they later teamed up to start the School & Studio. 
Michael Janis’ first showing of his glass artwork was at the glass room at Artomatic 2004, where the Washington Post’s art critic Blake Gopnick slammed the show in his review “Hanging is too Good For It” – but noted about the glass: “Some of the glasswork looked all right. (Glass is such a gorgeous medium it’s hard to screw it up, and you need some basic training even to begin to work in it.)”  High praise indeed. 
In 2007, the show was held in Crystal City, VA, in the old Patent Office. As a result of this Artomatic, Maurine Littleton Gallery began showing Michael’s artwork.

Photographer Tracy Lee captured the essence of the Artomatic mystery.

At that Artomatic, drama ensued after Tim Tate’s artwork “The Rapture” disappeared under mysterious circumstances. After the Washington Post “Reliable Source” reported the disappearance of the artwork, and newspaper reporter Amy Argetsiner, was sent a ransom demand ($10,000 in monopoly money) from someone named “The Collector ” – along with a “proof of life” photo of the rocket from the artwork in front of the previous day’s newspaper. The reporter went to the late night ransom drop in a city park and tried to catch the perpetrator as it all went down.  In the next day Washington Post, the story was almost full front page of the Style section, along with their prime suspects.

The Artomatic ransom note sent to the Washington Post’s Reliable Source

The Post cast dispersions (along with thumbnail mug shots) onto : Tim Tate glass sculptor, original victim 

Why him?: With a well-known flair for publicity, Tate was suspected by many at Artomatic of faking his own sculpture’s disappearance. 

He says:”I categorically deny it.”

Alibi: Tate was by our side when we met The Collector at the ransom drop last year, so unless he’s part of a broader conspiracy . . .

 Michael Janis glass sculptor, friend of Tate’s

Why him?: Artomatic gossips theorize that Tate’s Washington Glass School colleague may have helped pull off the stunt.

He says:”I’m denying any kind of involvement.”

Alibi:”Michael is too serious” for pranks, says DCArtNews blogger Lenny Campello.

 Jesse Cohen art photographer, overseer of the Artdc.org forum

Why him?: Like the author of The Collector’s manifestos, a big booster of the local arts scene; resembles the man at the ransom drop (young white guy, dark hair).

He says:”No . . . I thought it was really crappy of anyone [to take Tate's art].”

Alibi: Skinnier than the man we saw.

 Kirk Waldroff  printmaker and glass artist, colleague of Tate ‘s

Why him?: Has The Collector’s build, coloring; his voice mail sounds like the man we talked to on the phone; Tate is a little too insistent that Waldroff can’t be The Collector.

He says:[In a voice mail message] “No, I’m not The Collector”; says he’d be glad to talk more but he’s leaving town in a few minutes. (Hmm, getting too hot around here?)

Alibi:”He seems too cool to be pulling stuff like that,” says a fellow artist. “He’s in a band.”" 

Tim Tate created a new sculpture from the returned component, and the work was auctioned  for the benefit of Artomatic.

Tim Tate later created a new sculpture made from the remains of the old, and it was auctioned for the benefit of Artomatic; the drama of “The Collector” was never solved.

UK artist Stephen Reveley’s fused glass, photo by Caroline Angelo

In 2009 the Artomatic was held at a new building near the new Nationals Baseball Statdium near Navy Yard Metro. This exhibition featured many glass artists from England. That year the Sunderland City Council had sponsored artists represented by Creative Cohesion to show glass, ceramics, paintings, bands and more, as part of the Sunderland, UK / Washington, DC Sister City agreement.

Artomatic 2012 is set to open May 18 – who knows what will be the result of this year’s show!

Have a look a the great video made by 2012 Artomatic :

London Affordable Art Fair & Imagery In Glass

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2012 London Affordable Art Fair held at London’s Battersea Park.


The first big workshop, Bas-Relief dry plaster casting at the UK’s National Glass Center had gone well (phew!) The Sunderland arts organization, Creative Cohesion, was participating in the London Affordable Art Fair and had invited Tim Tate and I to exhibit our work in the contemporary art show. Which we readily agreed. Tim, my wife Kay & I jumped on a train down to London, and joined the exhibitors at the fair that had opened a couple of days earlier.


Kay Janis watches the North Sea whizz by on the train to London.

Crowd watching is part of the fun of an art fair and at London AAF it included celebrity-sightings of Johnny Depp and Joanna Lumley (Joanna looks loverly, BTW)


Tim Tate’s artwork was featured in the Creative Cohesion Booth.

L-R Dinner with the Creative Cohesion artists Kay Janis, Tim Tate, Robyn Townsend, Joanne Mitchell, Roger Tye, Anne Tye


Tim Tate tuckered out on return train trip.

Our time in London was too short, soon we were back on the train to Sunderland, and preparing for my multi-day class “Imagery in Glass” that was held in the Architectural Glass Studio of the National Glass Center.


Outlining the basics for getting detailed imagery into fused glass.

Showing the different glass powder tools and how an artist can manipulate imagery.

The master level class is tasked with creating a number of sample panels.

Students drew inspiration from the view over the river.

The first firing of glass powder imagery.

Reviewing fused glass samples with class.


Discussing options for creating effects within the layered imagery.

Jeffrey Sarmiento created a component layer for the class demo project – the artwork suggests creating bridges between the art communities.

University of Sunderland Artists Part 2:

Jeffrey Sarmiento

Jeffrey Sarmiento was recently appointed Reader in Glass at the National Glass Center at the University of Sunderland. A Filipino-American artist, he holds an MFA in Glass from the Rhode Island School of Design. His research has led him to work widely in the US and Europe, having been awarded a Fulbright Scholarship Denmark. He was also a finalist for the Louis Comfort Tiffany Award and the Bombay Sapphire Prize. His most recent project is a 600kg glass map, permanently housed in the new Museum of Liverpool.

Liverpool Map Jeffrey Sarmiento and Inge Panneels, 2010

Bombay Encyclopedia

Jeffery Sarmiento talks about his work “Ossify”

Ossify 2010 British Glass Biennale Award Runner up


Emotional Leak Jeffrey Sarmiento & Erin Dickson, 2011

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Cate Watkinson

Cate Watkinson trained in 3-D Design, Glass with Ceramics at Sunderland Polytechnic.After leaving college Cate worked in Cambridge and the Channel Islands before returning to the North East to set up her architectural glass studio. Cate continues to run her business, Watkinson Glass Associates, while teaching at the University of Sunderland.

Over the years Cate has built on her experience, optimizing developments in new technologies, including new developments and techniques in construction. She has successfully completed a varied range of commissioned projects from glass public seating in city centers to a 22’ high sculpture for a shopping mall. From a stained glass window for Newcastle Cathedral to a laminated glass screen for the Arrivals Hall at Newcastle International Airport in the UK.

Other research activities include exploring the use of text and light through the public art commission entitled `Total Policing’, a glass and stainless steel sculpture situated at the front of the new head quarters for Northumbria Police in North Tyneside.


Total Policing


Baltic Business Quarter Public art/seating made with recycled glass.


Lookout

Next Up – Creative Cohesion artist development talk, dinner with the Uni Board, and more great UK artists!

University of Sunderland Welcomes Fulbright Scholars Michael Janis & Tim Tate

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