Washington Post Reviews Michael Janis Solo @ Littleton Gallery

The Washington Post published the following review of Michael Janis’ solo show “Echoes of Leaves and Shadows” being exhibited at the Maurine Littleton Gallery through Oct 15. Art critic Mark Jenkins  describes Michael’s skill as “extraordinary. Jenkins also enthuses that Janis’ glass artwork combines “the stateliness of stained-glass windows with the vivacity of pop art”. Have a read of the full text below:

Michael Janis. "Radiance," 2016, glass, glass powder imagery, steel; on view at Maurine Littleton Gallery. (Michael Janis/Maurine Littleton Gallery)

Michael Janis. “Radiance,” 2016, glass, glass powder imagery, steel; on view at Maurine Littleton Gallery. (Michael Janis/Maurine Littleton Gallery)

By Mark Jenkins October 8, 2016

Michael Janis

If Michael Janis worked with pencil or charcoal, his draftsmanship would be impressive. But the D.C. artist draws photorealist portraits with pulverized glass, placing the powder exactly with tiny tools. Which is extraordinary.

Most of the pieces in “Echoes of Leaves and Shadows,” at Maurine Littleton Gallery, include depictions of pretty young women. These gamines, who might be ballerinas or French New Wave stars, are rendered in granulated black glass fused by heat to clear glass sheets. The pieces aren’t just black-and-clear, though. Janis overlays and underlies patches of translucent colored glass, and often adds such 3-D glass elements as butterflies or flower petals. Aqua and orange are common in this array, among other hues. In one picture, an abstract yellow-green swirl contrasts the subject’s slightly darker green eyes.

Janis employs many variations, slicing faces into three equal parts or contrasting them with panels of textured glass. There are ceramic busts garlanded with glass leaves, and portraits embellished with near-opaque peacock- or dark-blue circles. The latter combine the stateliness of stained-glass windows with the vivacity of pop art — half medieval cathedral, half 1960s Vogue.

Michael Janis: Echoes of Leaves and Shadows On view through Oct. 15 at Maurine Littleton Gallery, 1667 Wisconsin Ave. NW. 202-333-9307. littletongallery.com.

Washington Post on Zenith Gallery:Fresh

Washington Post’s Sunday Arts section featured Tim Tate’s artwork on exhibit at Zenith Gallery.

This weekend, the Washington Post newspaper’s Arts Section had a great review of the Zenith Gallery anniversary show “Fresh” – which features our Professor Tim Tate. The review, written by Mark Jenkins, includes a mention of Tim’s recent show at American University Museum – so it’s a bit of a two-fer! 

Click HERE to jump to the Post’s review online .

Zenith Gallery : Fresh
Through Aug. 31 at Zenith Salon, 1429 Iris St. NW; 202-783-2963; www.zenithgallery.com

Nancy Donnelly in the Washington Post

Glass artist Nancy Donnelly has a solo show of her latest glass artwork on exhibit at VisArt’s “Common Ground Gallery” in Rockville, MD. (Through March 24, 2013). Nancy’s kiln-shaped glass sculpture and wall reliefs reference natural forms in glass, glass enamel, steel, concrete and transparent color. The Washington Post newspaper has a review of her show in today’s (Friday 15 March) paper – what a great review!  Excerpt below is from WaPo art critic Mark Jenkins’ article.

From The Washington Post, Friday, March 15, 2013:

Nancy Donnelly

D.C. artist Nancy Donnelly does landscapes, still lifes and figure studies, all traditional genres. But hers have an added aspect, because they’re translucent. Six years ago, Donnelly began working in glass, which makes even the thinnest of her works sculptural. “Transmission,” her show at VisArts at Rockville’s Common Ground Gallery, encompasses rectangular compositions with just a hint of depth, pieces in which certain elements protrude from the plane and works that are fully three-dimensional.

The last category includes flower arrangements such as “Bouquets,” whose simplified forms suggest pop art’s directness but whose colors subtly shift along the length of the glass fronds. Among the near-flat objects are nature scenes such as “Sea and Sky I” and the more abstract “Tribute to William Morris,” a homage to the Victorian-era designer and theorist that employs a subtle black and green palette. Perhaps the most striking sculptures are those in which well-rounded female nudes, rendered in bluish or greenish glass, emerge from contrastingly hued blocks. They’re metaphors for creation and liberation, making them pertinent not just to one artist who has found her medium.

Transmission

on view through March 24 at Common Ground Gallery, VisArts at Rockville, 155 Gibbs St., Rockville; 301-315-8200; visartsatrockville.org.”

Look at the Post online – click HERE.

Breaking Headline News… Washington Glass School in Washington Post

>The Friday Washington Post  newspaper had a couple of articles that featured Washington Glass School instructors – Mark Jenkins gives a review of Rockville’s VisArts 25th anniversary exhibit “Review, Review” that featured two of Professor Tim Tate’s glass artwork sculptures. 

The Dec 21st Washington Post uses Tim Tate’s “Lexicon Primer” (inset and detail of glass) as the teaser for the VisArts exhibit review.

The Weekend Section also featured Washington Glass Artists – Sean Hennessey and his lovely wife, Rania Hassan.  

Rania & Sean – together they are one of DC’s power arts couples

Sean and Rania were judges of the Washington Posts’ Holiday Wrapping paper contest for kids, and the winning design, by Carolin Vorona was featured in the section, along with a pull-out printing of the paper.
From the Post article about the selection of the Carolin’s work:Each of the entries had something I liked,” Hennessey says. “Some had a great use of patterns, others had a sophisticated use of color and many had a fun sense of imagination. The glittery snowmen had a balanced sense of all of the above.”

10 yr old Carolin Vorona’s snowman entry. The judges particularly liked the Western snowman, complete with mustache, hat and horseshoe, but the sensitive and insightful use of the glitter medium cinched the win.

 Click Here to jump to the article and photo gallery of the honorable mentions.

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 :

Cast Glass Sweeties

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Debra Ruzinsky

Sugar Bomb #3; Cast glass, 2011


Debra Ruzinsky
Bombshell
, 2011

Debra Ruzinsky‘s cast glass artwork was recently praised by the Washington Post Art Critic Michael O’Sullivan in a review of glass sculpture that was on exhibit at Long View Gallery. In the review, Michael wrote: “My guilty pleasure sits all the way in the back of the 5,000-square-foot gallery… There you’ll find two small sculptural works by artist Deborah Ruzinsky, mounted on pedestals in front of large glass doors that, on sunny days, suffuse the room with light. The works’ titles, “Sugar Bomb #2″ and “Sugar Bomb #3,” are apt. Cast in green and orange glass using Jell-O molds and artillery shell casings, they’re pure, explosive eye candy.

Staring at it, I feel like a monkey in front of a ball of shiny, shiny tin foil. Isn’t contemporary art supposed to be ugly — or at least less superficial?…

On the one hand, glass is pretty. It’s hard not to like the way it looks: the luminous color, the way it plays with light. On the other hand, maybe glass is only pretty. How do we know that the beauty is also capable of brains? The rest of the show is proof that it is.”

Debra was in the glass school this weekend coldworking her pieces of cast glass sculpture for a show at Vermont’s Brattleboro Art Museum this July 15-Oct 23. The group show “Glass in All Senses” promises to be an amazing collection of pieces by diverse artists. Debra’s work is from her sculpture series “Sweet Escape”. The work will feature cast glass sweets and rockets.

Debra checks her cast glass wafer ramp for smoothness.


Check back later for links to the Brattleboro Museum show.

Washington Post asks "Is Glass Only Pretty?"

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Washington Post reviews Washington Glass School 10th Anniversary Show at Long View Gallery

The Washington Post newspaper arts critic Michael O’Sullivan has a lengthy review of the Long View Gallery 10th Anniversary exhibition : Artists of the Washington Glass School – The First 10 Years. Michael finds artworks that move him and question if contemporary art must be ugly – if only to be less superficial.

In his review of the retrospective show, Michael O’Sullivan writes: “On the one hand, glass is pretty. It’s hard not to like the way it looks: the luminous color, the way it plays with light. On the other hand, maybe glass is only pretty. How do we know that the beauty is also capable of brains? The rest of the show is proof that it is”…For the artists of the Washington Glass School, the embrace of glass’s very materiality — in essence, its glassiness — is a tentative one. There are stories to be told, and glass is just one way to tell them.”…

Debra Ruzinsky Sugar Bomb #3

Jeff Zimmer “Fog Of Communication III” photo by anythingphoto.net


And of artist Jeff Zimmer’s work, Michael writes:

One of the quietest, least assuming works in the show is “Fog of Communication III” by Jeff Zimmer. A moody, fog-bound landscape, it’s also mounted on a light box, and features multiple, sandwiched layers of sandblasted and enamelled glass to create something halfway between a vintage black-and-white photo and a 3D shoebox diorama. It isn’t especially pretty, or even eye-catching.
But it catches — and fires up — something else. And that’s the imagination. “

Click HERE to jump to the full Washington Post article.

The Washington Post also goes into the background story of one of the largest works in the show – “The Three” by Elizabeth Ryland Mears and William “Tex” Forrest.

Elizabeth Ryland Mears with William Forrest “The Three” photo by anythingphoto.net

Michael writes “But the vaguely anthropomorphic thing could just as easily be read as an allusion to another example of cinematic horticulture (not to mention a tribute to the strangely powerful influence of Janis, Tate and Timmers on the art-glass scene). To my eye, it looks like one of the pod plants from “Invasion of the Body Snatchers.”

Click HERE to jump to the full Washington Post description of the Liz Mears / Tex Forrest work


Jennifer Lindstrom What is Home?


Click HERE to jump to the Washington Post’s photo gallery of some of the works in the show.

The WGS 10th anniversary show at Long View Gallery will be on exhibit until June 19, 2011.

Featured artists include: Tim Tate, Michael Janis, Erwin Timmers, Elizabeth Mears, Syl Mathis, Lea Topping, Robert Kincheloe, Alison Sigethy, Dave D’Orio, Anne Plant, Jeffery Zimmer, Teddie Hathaway, Jackie Greeves, Kirk Waldroff, Debra Ruzinsky, Tex Forrest, Diane Cabe, Robert Wiener, Nancy Donnelly, Sean Hennessey, Cheryl Derricotte, Jennifer Lindstrom, Michael Mangiafico, Allegra Marquart and m.l.duffy.

There is an artist talk on Sunday, June 05, from 3-4 pm.
There is a 10 Year Anniversary celebration that will be held at the Long View Gallery, Sunday, June 19, from 2-5 pm.

Washington Glass School: The First 10 Years
LongView Gallery
1234 9th Street, NW, Washington, DC

Washington Post on Renwick Craft Invitational

>The Post arts critic Michael O’Sullivan has a very insightful review of the Renwick Craft Invitational.

Of the work shown by Judith Schaecter, Michael writes: “… I stood at that midpoint for several minutes, listening to the reaction of random visitors as they crossed the unseen threshold.

“Now this is disturbing” was a typical comment. “It’s a nightmare” was another. Both statements, I would like to believe, were intended as compliments.

The artwork inspiring such strong sentiments is by Schaechter, whose postmodern twist on the stained-glass window has more in common with comic books — albeit darkly subversive, R-rated ones — than ecclesiastical decoration.

Death, arson and lust are just a few of the themes of Schaechter’s bold and striking, if ambiguously narrative, works. Mounted in softly luminous lightboxes, Schaechter’s pictures transform the part of the Renwick where they’re hung into a church of the weird and wonderful. They’re easily the most powerful, and disturbing, things in the show…”

Click here to read the full review.

The Craft Invitational exhibition (March 25 thru July 31, 2011) features works by four extraordinary artists, who are creating works of superior craftsmanship that address the classic craft notion of function without sacrificing a contemporary aesthetic:

  • Cliff Lee (b. 1951), a former neurosurgeon who works in Stevens, Pennsylvania, creates elegant porcelain vessels with the exactitude of a doctor, often using his knowledge of chemistry to re-create medieval Chinese glazes long thought lost to history.
  • Matthias Pliessnig (b. 1978), a furniture maker in Philadelphia, uses boat-building techniques in new ways to create graceful forms with curved wood strips that may have up to 5,000 points of contact without the aid of hardware.
  • Judith Schaechter (b. 1961), a glass artist based in Philadelphia, brings a wealth of knowledge about traditional stained-glass practice to her moody windows.
  • Ubaldo Vitali (b. 1944), a fourth-generation silversmith and master conservator of historic silver working in Maplewood, New Jersey, uses classical techniques he learned in Rome to create luminous works for popes, kings, and presidents.

The Renwick Craft Invitational is a biennial exhibition series established in 2000 to honor the creativity and talent of craft artists working today.

Extra! Extra! Read All About It!

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Kris Coronado interviews Erwin Timmers

The Washington Post Magazine columnist Kris Coronado spent the day in the Washington Glass School this week, interviewing Erwin Timmers for an upcoming article on recycling and environmentally conscious artwork.

Above & Below: Washington Post photographer Benjamin Tankersley photos artwork made from recycled glass components.

Erwin talked wth Kris about his background in sustainable design, and how the growing awareness of the limits to our natural resources has led to a greater appreciation and interest in work made with environmentally responsible materials. Post photographer Benjamin Tankersley set up a full photo backdrop to properly document Erwin’s eco-artwork. The Washington Post article is due out in the paper in early June.

About "Artists Spaces"

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Kirk Waldroff sings the praises about living in the Mather Bldg.


The Posts’ Washington Express had a nice article about artist living spaces, featuring photos of painter Dana Ellyn‘s place
. Other artists are mentioned, including the glass school’s next-door neighbor, ceramic artist Margaret Boozer and the Washington Glass School’s own Kirk Waldroff.

“For Kirk Waldroff, 36, who lives at the other end of the third-floor Mather hallway from painter Ellyn, the built-in artist community was a huge draw.

“I knew living here would be a really big deal in terms of making connections,” says Waldroff, who was living with his parents previously. “It’s kind of the other side of the universe from living in your parents’ basement, in terms of getting into the art world.” His art has benefited, too: Thanks to help from a neighbor who runs the Washington Glass School, Waldroff introduced glass casting to his printmaking.”

For the rest of the article – click HERE.