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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chicago S.O.F.A. & Habatat Prime Art Fairs Opens Oct 31st!

The Sculpture Objects Functional Art and Design (SOFA) Fair in Chicago is the premier gallery-presented art fair dedicated to three-dimensional art and design. SOFA Expo returns to Chicago’s Navy Pier for its 26th Edition from Thursday, October 31st through Sunday, November 3rd.

SOFA Expo at Chicago's Navy Pier

SOFA Expo at Chicago’s Navy Pier

Habatat Prime location: 1023 S. Delano Court East, Chicago, IL 60605

Habatat Prime location: 1023 S. Delano Court East, Chicago, IL 60605

For the 2019 event, something different and exciting will be happening, and all are invited! Michigan’s Habatat Galleries will have a presence at the Sofa Expo at Navy Pier (Habatat Sofa Booth: A34 & A32) and also will have a separate exhibit titles “Habatat Prime” – a pop-up gallery located nearby in Chicago’s Printer’s Row neighborhood in the South Loop. (About 3 miles from Navy Pier). The gallery will have 7500 square feet of display spacing offering incredible contemporary glass. Habatat will also have a live auction of masterworks at the space as well on Friday night! The popup space will be free & open to the public during the week – from 10am til 6pm Thursday, Oct 31, 2019 to Sunday, Nov 3, 2019. The auction

WGS artists Tim Tate and Michael Janis will have work at the art fairs – both as individual artists and as collaborative artists for works that blend the artistic oeuvres.  

Tim Tate has been busy for the past few months! 

Tim Tate's narrative kiln-cast glass is always incredible.

Tim Tate’s narrative kiln-cast glass is always incredible.

Tim has a number of works at both Navy Pier SOFA and at Habatat Prime pop-up space in Printers Row. Besides his own work, Tim has created collaborative work with artist Lucy Lyon and with WGS’ Michael Janis.

Tim and Lucy created “Neo”- a sculpture that combines Lucy Lyon’s figurative work with Tim’s evocative endless mirror sculptures – resulting in sculpture that has an exquisite haunting quality – referencing the Magic Realism artwork by George Tooker and Paul Cadmus.

Tim Tate & Lucy Lyon collaborative sculpture work "Neo" calls to mind highly detailed, realistic settings invaded by something too strange to believe - the definition of "Magic Realism".

Tim Tate & Lucy Lyon collaborative sculpture work “Neo” calls to mind highly detailed, realistic settings invaded by something too strange to believe – the definition of “Magic Realism”.

Michael Janis has new works in his signature “sgrafftio” (frit powder drawing) technique. His works are much more expressive and colorful – and sure to command attention at Habatat Prime.

Michael Janis, "Inner Dimensions", kilnformed glass powder imagery; at Habatat Prime popup exhibit. Photo by Anything Photographic

Michael Janis, “Inner Dimensions”, kilnformed glass powder imagery; at Habatat Prime popup exhibit. Photo by Anything Photographic

Michael and Tim collaborated on a commanding artwork installation titledAll That Is Solid Melts Into Air” – a 9 foot wide by 6 foot high wall sculpture – consisting of 42 separate bas-relief plaster molds, 12 sgraffito glass powder drawings, 12 lost wax glass castings and 4 months to produce this spectacular and monumental work. 

Michael Janis creates imagery from crushed glass powder in his signature "sgraffito" technique.

Michael Janis creates imagery from crushed glass powder in his signature “sgraffito” technique.

Tim Tate & Michael Janis, "All That Is Solid Melts Into Air"

Tim Tate & Michael Janis, “All That Is Solid Melts Into Air”

Detail of "All That Is Solid..." showing the dimensional qualities of the narrative glass installation by Janis & Tate.

Detail of “All That Is Solid…” showing the dimensional qualities of the narrative glass installation by Janis & Tate.

The pop-up show will also feature a special auction event - habatat.master.auction.prime.sofa

HABATAT’s 24th MASTERWORKS AUCTION – An auction of 42 studio glass works

November 1st, 2019 7:15 pm

Auction Preview 11:00am Thursday October 31st and Friday November 1st from 6:30 – 7:15 pm at Habatat Prime.

Hope to see you there!

 

Baltimore Sun Covers Washington Glass Studio’s Laurel Library Artwork Workshops

The Washington Glass Studio was awarded the commission to create the new landmark artwork sculpture for the Laurel Library (now under construction next to Emancipation Park in Laurel, MD). Baltimore Sun reporter Lisa Philip visited the Washington Glass Studio last week as the Library area residents and interested citizens collaborated in glass-making workshops to make the inset panels . Click HERE to jump to Lisa Philip’s article on how the artwork is engaging the community.

Baltimore Sun coverage of how the Washington Glass Studio engages community.

Baltimore Sun coverage of how the Washington Glass Studio engages community.

photo credit:Lisa Philip / Baltimore Sun Media Group Erwin Timmers, co-founder and -director of Washington Glass Studio, advises a Laurel resident on his creation of a glass tile for the public art sculpture that will stand in front of the new Laurel Library, set to open this fall.

photo credit:Lisa Philip / Baltimore Sun Media Group
Erwin Timmers, co-founder and -director of Washington Glass Studio, advises a Laurel resident on his creation of a glass tile for the public art sculpture that will stand in front of the new Laurel Library, set to open this fall.

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

glass.public_art.architecture.Gateway-Arch.DC.mayor_gray

   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

Prince George’s County Buys Artomatic Artwork

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This past Saturday at Artomatic, Prince George’s County announced their acquisitions of artwork on exhibit by Prince George’s County artists. The Department of Parks & Recreation said that the purchase of artwork comes as “recognition of our artists’ role in the regional art community and is an attempt to highlight, showcase and promote their accomplishments as well as demonstrate the long-term positive impact of the arts within our communities”.

Ronnie Gathers, Director, Prince Georges County Department of Parks and Recreation announces the artwork selection.

Below lists the 11 works purchased – the artists below deserve well-earned congratulations! Prince George’s County deserves a huge thank you! from the DMV arts community for its support.

2012 Prince George’s County Artomatic Purchases

Ellen Cornett                     “No Puppets”                      Pastel on paper

Matt Deal                          “Machinery”                       Blown glass

Eric Eldritch                     “Elementals I”                      Acrylic on sandpaper

Eric Eldritch                     “Elementals II”                     Acrylic on sandpaper

Rania Hassan                   6 Panels from “Knit Dress”  Acrylic & Fiber on Canvas

Sean Hennessey              “Hopes and Dreams”            Glass, Concrete, Paint, Steel, LED

Jessica Murray                “Untitled”                             Mixed media on paper

Bert Pasquale                  “Final March”                       Photograph

Bert Pasquale                  “Final Flight”                        Photograph

Ishmail Reaves                 “Microphone”                      Acrylic on canvas

Ronnie Spiewak               “Landfall”                            Collage

Washington Glass Studio  “Fractal Panel”                    Glass, paint, light

Curtis G. Woody              “Just Beyond the Sunset”     Mixed media collage

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.

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.

DCMud Covers Washington Glass Studio

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(…well get a hose then!)

The Washington DC Real Estate and Architecture blog, DC Mud has an insightful review of the architectural design and applications of glass by the Washington Glass Studio. The article provides a synopsis on a number of WGS design projects – their history and some great photos of the finished works.

Design writer Beth Herman reveals the origins of some of the glass techniques and process used by WGS: “…But he revealed their signature prowess evolved from an Erwin Timmers experiment, and has essentially been a work in progress over the last decade.

“Someone had mentioned they’d heard if you push something into dry plaster, you can melt things into it,” Tate recounted of the process, adding it just didn’t seem right. “You’d think the thing would fall apart, or smoosh, with no detail.”

m.l. duffy working on cast glass made from recycled glass for Safeway Inc project.

Over what Tate called a very strong objection (“it’s how we do things”) on his part, colleague Timmers tried it, placing his hand into the plaster to make an impression, adding a piece of glass on top which was melted down. Technically, “the heat went on to expand the molecules of the dry plaster, hardening it just enough so that when the glass melts in, it doesn’t move out of the way,” Tate explained, adding they pulled out a piece of glass with Timmers’ fingerprints on it, as it was that detailed. Realizing they had something in this process, Tate said they’ve spent years refining it because they’re using both glass and plaster in ways they were not intended, and formulaic changes need to be made to accommodate seasons and other variables.”

..Of the perpetuation of WGS’s work, and specifically of his students at the school, Tate said “…a rising tide floats all boats. We try to help everyone achieve their next goal. We came together to make an impact on Washington.”

For the link to the entire DCMud article link – click HERE.

Glass Studio Intern Position Available

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Intern Sought: A terrific opportunity to work with and learn from one of the leading area glass art studios!

Intern position is open at the Washington Glass School & Studio. We have been in operation for 8 ½ years, and have grown into one of the largest warm class studios on the country. We offer classes in a variety of unusual techniques in glass and metal; we work on many large scale public sculptures and have many internationally known artists working out of this studio.

We are seeking a motivated someone to help out 2 days during the (M-F) week. This is a great opportunity to get free classes and learn the basics of glass casting/fusing and running a large scale art studio. The studio and school is a very busy place – the ideal candidate would be able to come by one or two days a week and can help with the studio coordination, cleaning and office work.

In exchange we offer the chance to become a member of an award winning team, to learn some of the cutting edge techniques……to grow as an artist. It’s a chance to get the experience for work/exchange rather than paying for it.



If interested, please call Tim Tate at 202-744-8222.

Food & Friends ‘Friendship Wall’

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The charity organization Food & Friends had commissioned the Washington Glass Studio to create its outdoor donor wall, located in the park adjacent to its Northeast Washington, DC facility. The wall is made of bas-relief cast glass, made in muted autumnal Bullseye glass colors, and set in a steel framework. The donor names are engraved on metal inset panels. The translucent panels allow for light and color to pass thru the memorial.

Food & Friends was founded to serve a distinct need in the community — feeding those who are sick. This need persists and continues to grow. For more than twenty years, Food & Friends has been the only organization in the Washington metropolitan area to provide life-sustaining nutrition to our neighbors in need. For more information on Food & Friends and how you can help out – click HERE .
To order a delicious Thanksgiving Pie from Food & Friends – click HERE


photos by: Anything Photograhic

The Friendship Donor Wall opened this past September. Check out some of the architectural projects by the Washington Glass Studio – click HERE.