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

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

2022 Venice Biennale Showcases DC Area Artists

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“There’s A Big Hole In The Sky” – Collaborative sculpture by Tim Tate, Michael Janis, and Chris Shea. 

The Venice Biennale is an international art exhibition featuring architecture, visual arts, cinema, dance, music, and theatre that is held in the Castello district of VeniceItaly every two years during the summer. This year’s Venice Biennale includes a collateral event – ‘Glasstress’ – held at the historic Berengo Studios in Murano, Italy.

The 59th International Art Exhibition features a sculptural collaboration between DC glass artists Tim Tate, Michael Janis and Brandywine metal sculptor Chris Shea, representing the USA.

21st century glass sculpture art
Detail of Tate,Janis,Shea artwork showing cast glass and metalwork .

Chris Shea’s incredible metal work frames out Tim Tate’s lush fields of cast glass elements (detailed figures, flowers, insects) and in center, a glass sgraffito panel by Michael Janis.

A central concern in “There’s a Big Hole in The Sky” is that viewers need to abandon their apathy towards climate change. This monumental sculpture brings to light the effects of global warming on the earth as most areas will be facing frequent flooding. Despite the growing evidence of climate change, and humanity as the driver of that change, there remains a hardcore 20 percent or so that reject the whole notion of it and a healthy percentage that remain unconvinced that humans are causing it. And on top of those dismal statistics, many believe that climate change does not represent a threat to them. The artwork is an invitation to understand, to act, and to prepare. But if political solutions to climate change don’t materialize soon, it may also be an invitation to come to terms with loss.

washington glass school murano italy art sculpture
Image of installation at Berengo Studios in Murano, Italy.

From Biennale Press Release 

GLASSTRESS 2022

2 JUNE – 27 NOVEMBER 2022

BERENGO ART SPACE FOUNDATION

Venice, 2022 

At the same time as the 59th Venice Biennale, the seventh edition of GLASSTRESS, scheduled from June 2 to November 27, 2022, brings together a group of important contemporary artists from Europe, the United States, Latin America, Africa and China in an ambitious exhibition that explores the infinite creative possibilities of glass.

The works will be housed in the Berengo Art Space Foundation in Murano, an old abandoned furnace transformed a few years ago into an evocative exhibition space. On display will be works by artists who have already collaborated and exhibited at GLASSTRESS with Berengo Studio, such as Ai Weiwei, Jimmie Durham, Tony Cragg, Monira Al Qadiri, Thomas Schütte, as well as first-time attendees Vanessa Beecroft, María Magdalena Campos-Pons, Tim Tate, Paloma Varga Weisz and eL Seed, among others.

GLASSTRESS is a project by Adriano Berengo dedicated to promoting new connections between contemporary art and glass. Starting from its debut in 2009 as a side event of the Venice Biennale, over the years GLASSTRESS has made dozens of internationally renowned artists and designers passionate about the traditional craft of Murano glass blowing, who have tried their hand at creating suggestive and innovative works in glass with the support of the masters of Berengo Studio.

GLASSTRESS 2022 – ARTISTS

NEW ARTISTS

Vanessa Beecroft (Italy), María Magdalena Campos-Pons (Cuba), Judy Chicago (United States), Chiara Dynys (Italy), eL Seed (France), Leandro Erlich (Argentina), Ryan Gander (Great Britain), Michael Janis (United States), Alexander Evgenievich Ponomarev (Russia), Laurent Reypens (Belgium), Liam Scully (Great Britain), Chris Shea (United States), Paloma Varga Weisz (Germany), Osman Yousefzada (Great Britain).

RETURNING ARTISTS

Ai Weiwei (China), Monira Al Qadiri (Kuwait), Ayman Baalbaki (Lebanon), Tony Cragg (Great Britain), Jimmie Durham (United States), Jan Fabre (Belgium), Josepha Gasch-Muche (Germany), Kendell Geers ( South Africa), Marya Kazoun (Lebanon / Canada), Brigitte Kowanz (Austria), Karen LaMonte (United States), Tomáš Libertiny (Slovak Republic), Massimo Lunardon (Italy), Federica Marangoni (Italy), Prune Nourry (France), Anne Peabody (United States), Jaume Plensa (Spain), Laure Prouvost (France), Thomas Schütte (Germany), Sean Scully (United States), Wael Shawky (Egypt), Lino Tagliapietra (Italy), Tim Tate (United States) , Koen Vanmechelen (Belgium), Robert Wilson (United States), Rose Wylie (Great Britain), Erwin Wurm (Austria).

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

Erwin Timmers Solo Exhibit Opens Feb 5th, 2022

Reception : Saturday, February 5, 2022, from 6:00PM-8:00PM; 9 N Centre St, Cumberland, MD 21502

Maryland’s Allegany Arts Council and its Saville Gallery feature WGS Co-Director and eco-artist Erwin Timmers for his solo exhibition, Reflections in Glass, to take place February 5-26, 2022. A Public Opening will take place on Saturday, February 5, 2022, from 6:00PM-8:00PM

Reflections in Glass features the environmental themed glass artwork of Erwin Timmers, Co-founder and director of the Washington Glass School and one of the DC area’s leading eco-artists. Recycling, waste, and the environment are recurring themes in his work.

Saville Gallery; 9 N Centre St, Cumberland, MD 21502

The Future of Art: Glass Art Fair 2020

Many art fairs have been moved online due to the global pandemic. Now, as a way to provide access to the best of art glass – Glass Art Fair has been formed. This new online art fair provides a unique opportunity with virtual experience – where all are invited to learn and explore each artist featured and share on their personal social media. The future has “arrived so much sooner,” said the creator of Glass Art Fair,  “If galleries and fairs are closed, how can we sell art? Creating an online art fair platform is something we envisioned as an important part of what we do.”

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artist: Tim Tate. Image courtesy Habatat Galleries.

New for 2020, the Glass Art Fair online art fair features over 60 artists creating using glass as their art medium, opening online to the public on Sunday, November 1st, 2020. This art fair will be online the same time as the Sofa Chicago art fair (rebranded Intersect Art Fair).

GlassArtFair2020.michael_janis.glass.sgraffito.art.contemporary

artist: Michael Janis. Image courtesy Habatat Galleries.


Glass Art Fair hopes collectors on their laptops and iPads will take more time with the work than those darting through a Navy Pier or a Miami beachfront tent. 
“We have the ability to have multiple images and detail shots – When people are visiting the online platform, they aren’t walking through for 45 seconds. You’re going to have their attention for so much longer.”

GlassArtFair2020.wilfried.grootens

artist: Wilfried Grootens. Image courtesy Habatat Galleries.

This online presentation will continue for the month of November with more presentations as works become available. Each artist has the availability to edit and add artwork throughout the month so please check back in for updates often. The works on the site are available for purchase.

GlassArtFair2020.christina bothwell

artist: Christina Bothwell. Image courtesy Habatat Galleries.

Expect more of what you love at the Glass Art Fair.

artists:  Jennifer Caldwell and Jason Chakravarty. Image courtesy Habatat Galleries.

artists:
Jennifer Caldwell and Jason Chakravarty. Image courtesy Habatat Galleries.

UNBREAKABLE: Women in Glass

unbreakable.women.in.glass.washington.studio.school.art.contemporary.wgs.new

This Friday, Sept 4th at 3pm EST – Facebook group “21st Century Glass Conversations” page with the support of the Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass will be hosting an international zoom walk through of the new Glasstress edition, UNBREAKABLE: Women in Glass

Time: Sep 4, 2020 03:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join free Zoom Meeting by clicking link:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87395514631?pwd=dWhqTk5VRzFnVHJ2dU1TUWw4aXJ0UT09

This show truly marks the firm establishment of 21st century glass in so many ways. The curator of the show, Koen Vanmechelen will be showing us highlights of the show in the beautiful setting of an older factory in Murano, now the space of Berengo Studios and Glasstress.

The “Women In Glass ” show is the perfect counter-point to the “Venice and American Studio Glass” show at Le Stanza Del Vetro happening at the same time. One, revering the past and one showing a new present day possibility while predicting the future. Both together symbolize the full world of glass
This show include such well known US artists as Karen LaMonte, Joyce Scott and Judy Chicago, but also women artists from around the world working in glass. Some of the international artistist include Prune Nourry, Liliana Moro, Renate Bertlmann and Monica Bonvicini. New, perhaps, to American viewers, but hugely famous in their own countries and internationally.
This marks a rare moment in history, where because of Covid, we will get the chance to see the show from our own homes the day before it opens.

Please share!!

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.

American Glass Guild 2020 Conference in Baltimore, Hon!

The American Glass Guild 2020 Conference in Baltimore. MD.

The American Glass Guild 2020 Conference in Baltimore. MD.

The American Glass Guild (AGG) will be holding their 20th Anniversary Conference at the Maritime Conference Center in Baltimore, Maryland May 7-9.

The Baltimore conference is a great place to meet people in the glass arts, to share ideas, techniques and experiences, with the planned glass art auction, artwork exhibition and more. Demos and workshops by international artists including Narcissus Quagliata and Judith Schaechter!– Talks featuring Shawn Waggoner, Tim Carey, Judith Schaecter, Ken Leap and Nancy Gong! WGS Co-Director, Michael Janis, will be a keynote speaker!

The Annual Live AGG Auction raises funds for the James Whitney Memorial Scholarship. Since 2007 the Whitney Memorial Scholarship has handed out over 125 scholarships for glass education. Recipients receive full or partial scholarships for various glass educational opportunities, such as conferences and workshops, or ongoing educational efforts.

The American Glass Guild (AGG) is a non-profit organization whose core mission is to work toward building an environment within the craft that both cultivates novices and facilitates experienced craftspeople and artisans to attain a higher level of expertise. The AGG’s intention is to support and provide speakers for public lectures and seminars, encourage spirited debates, and initiate fact-based research.

Click HERE for more online information.