Farewell to Our Miss Wilson!

The Washington Glass School hosted a farewell party for artist Audrey Wilson – heading off to get an MFA in glass at Ohio’s Kent State. We hold back tears as we wish Audrey all the best!

Trish Kent presents Audrey Wilson a chocolate cake modelled after  Audrey's pate de verre glass feathers.

Trish Kent presents Audrey Wilson a chocolate cake modelled after Audrey’s pate de verre glass feathers.

Debbi LoCicero tells her story of  Audrey Wilson's effect on her artwork.

Debbi LoCicero tells her story of Audrey Wilson’s effect on her artwork.


Artist, author & gallerist Lenny Campello offers his story of Audrey Wilson's adventures at the Art Basel Miami fairs.

Artist, author & gallerist Lenny Campello offers his story of Audrey Wilson’s adventures at the Art Basel Miami fairs.

Laurel Library’s Grand Opening Features Public Art Sculpture by Washington Glass Studio

Washington Glass Studio sculpture at the new Laurel Library.

Washington Glass Studio sculpture at the new Laurel Library. Photo by Pete Duvall.

The Washington Glass Studio (WGS) has recently completed installation of a community based site specific public art commission for Prince George’s County Laurel Library. The new building was designed by Grimm + Parker Architects, with the grand opening of the new library scheduled for November 28, 2016. Features of the spectacular new library include an inset floor area in the children’s section where kids will get to peer at a replica velociraptor skeleton through the glass floor. Just a few miles away from the library site is Dinosaur Park, where scientists work to excavate fossils from the early Cretaceous period. Dinosaur imagery was also included as a theme running through the glass artwork panels.

WGS design proposal sketch

WGS design proposal sketch.

WGS was awarded the commission to make the outdoor sculpture at the front of the new library by Maryland’s Prince George’s Arts and Humanities Council (PGAHC). The Art in Public Places Program RFQ sought out artwork that would provide world class artwork for Prince George’’s County residents and visitors. 

WGS proposal for the project was a 17′H internally illuminated glass and steel sculpture that incorporates glass panels made by the community,residents and stakeholders of the Laurel, MD community. The engineering of the steel framework involved detailed analysis of the structure and its components. WGS worked with structural engineer Holbert Apple to ensure the integrity of the design.

Detailed analysis of sculpture was part of the design development process.

Detailed analysis of sculpture was part of the design development process.

Over 100 glass inset panels were made during the series of workshops held at the Washington Glass School. The Baltimore Sun newspaper featured a story by reporter Lisa Philip about the process. 

A series of community glass quilting bees were held at the Washington Glass School for the library during the summer.

A series of community glass quilting bees were held at the Washington Glass School for the library during the summer. Photo by Lisa Philip/Baltimore Sun

 

 

The artwork’s title “Involve Me and I Learn”  is based on a phrase attributed to US Founding Father Benjamin Franklin (who also opened the first US public library). The name references the engagement of the community. The neighborhood and the Laurel Library supporters had joined in making the individual glass panels in workshops at the Washington Glass School.Laurel_Library.artists.washington_glass_school.studio.sculpture.public_art.project.american.great.commission.site_specific.fused.jpg

The resulting variations in each tile’s imagery and technique embody the artist’s concept in bringing the people from the diverse community together to create a cohesive and vibrant sculpture. 

 

 

The artwork inset kiln-formed glass panels express the personality and the  individuality of everyone involved in the project.

The artwork’s internally illuminated kiln-formed glass panels express the personality and the individuality of everyone involved in the project. Photo by Pete Duvall

Project  Information

Artist: Washington Glass Studio 

Design Team: Laurie Brown, Michael Janis, Tim Tate, Erwin Timmers, Audrey Wilson. With Josh Hershman and Pierre Browning.

Structural Engineer : Holbert Apple Assoc Inc 

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Photo by Pete Duvall

Laurel Library
507 7th Street, Laurel, MD 20707

Grand Opening / Dedication – 10:30 AM, Monday, November 28, 2016 – All are invited!

WGS & Virginia Glass Guild Collaborative Show @ Glass Art Society 2017 Conference

Washington Glass School and Virginia Glass Guild Collaborate for GAS Conference Exhibit

Washington Glass School and Virginia Glass Guild Collaborate for 2017 GAS Conference Exhibit in Norfolk, VA.

The Glass Art Society (GAS) is an international non-profit organization whose mission is to encourage excellence and development of the glass arts, and to support the worldwide community of artists who work with glass. GAS selected Norfolk, VA’s Chrysler Museum 

The Chrysler Museum of Art Perry Glass Studio in Norfolk, VA.

The Chrysler Museum of Art Perry Glass Studio in Norfolk, VA.

of Art and its Perry Glass Studio as host for the 46th annual conference in 2017.

Tying into the creativity that is part of the GAS conference, artists of the Washington Glass School and the Virginia Glass Guild are creating a joint exhibit at the nearby Portsmouth Art & Cultural Center (March 3- June 4, 2017)

Titled “EMBRACING NARRATIVE:  Artwork of the Washington Glass School and the Virginia Glass Guild”, the show will feature works by members of the Virginia Glass Guild and directors and studio artists at the Washington Glass School (WGS). 

Portsmouth Art Cultural Center

Portsmouth Art Cultural Center

Featured WGS artists include directors Michael Janis, Tim Tate, and Erwin Timmers, and studio artists Audrey Wilson, Diane Cabe, Sean Hennessey,  Allegra Marquart, Syl Mathis, Elizabeth Mears, Debra Ruzinsky, Nancy Weisser, Erin Antognoli, Steve Durow, Jennifer Lindstrom, Sherry Selevan, and Jeff Zimmer.

Embracing Narrative: Artwork of the Washington Glass School and the Virginia Glass Guild

Portsmouth Art & Cultural Center

400 High Street, Portsmouth, VA 23704

March 3 – June 4, 2017

Penland Mountain Comes To Washington, DC

Jean McLaughlin (center) Exec Director of Penland School of Craft visits Washington Glass School

Jean McLaughlin (center) Exec Director of Penland School of Craft visits Washington Glass School

A Penland School of Crafts contingency was in Washington, DC as Jean McLaughlin, Penland’s Executive Director is to be honored at the James Renwick Alliance (JRA)  ”Educator Award” this weekend. Others receiving the biennial award is Jamie Bennett, Chunghi Choo and Haystack Mountain School of Crafts Fab Lab.

The JRA presents the award to individuals or organizations in the craft world who have made significant and pioneering contributions in craft education.

Artist Vivian Beer - season 2 winner of the Ellen DeGeneres HGTV show "Design Challenge" joins the Penland crew at the glass school.

Artist Vivian Beer (center)- season 2 winner of the Ellen DeGeneres HGTV show “Design Challenge” joins the Penland crew at the glass school.

Michael Janis talks about his process to the Penland group.

Michael Janis talks about his process to the Penland group.

2015 Winter Sculpture Exhibit and Open Studios!

This Saturday, December 12, from noon-5pm is the Washington Glass School’s Winter  Holiday Open House!  Come in and see what the heck we’ve been doing this past year!

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Debra Ruzinsky, kilnformed recycled glass, 2015. Photo credit: Anything Photographic.

Artist Debra Ruzinsky was the only US artist invited to the international Glass Competition held this year in Sweden. Back home, Debra has continued her exploration of new and exciting sculptural forms made from recycled glass. Come see the new works and why she is so excited by this direction for her artwork.

Allegra Marquart "The Princess and the Pea", 2015, Cast, cut and painted glass shapes wall mounted over a sewn panel, 14"x 28"

Allegra Marquart “The Princess and the Pea”, 2015, Cast, cut and painted glass shapes wall mounted over a sewn panel, 14″x 28″. Photo Credit: Anything Photographic.

Artist Allegra Marquart will be showing her new Glass and Threads pieces where she is working textile into her narrative compositions. Allegra was one of the artists showcased by Maurine Littleton Gallery at the Chicago SOFA art expo. Allegra will be showing this new work as well as a number of sculptures.

Syl Mathis has had a great year – his work was the hit of many of the area exhibits. He has a number of new works that he made especially for the Winter Sculpture Show.

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Syl Mathis, kilnformed glass, mixed media, 2015

 

 

About Time

Erwin Timmers, “About Time”, blown and fused glass, found objects, steel, LED lighting. Photo credit: Anything Photographic

Artist Erwin Timmers has been busy with so many projects! Erwin has been heading up the Washington Glass Studio’s site specific artwork projects and finds the time to making incredibly thoughtful designs.  

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Audrey Wilson, “Mapping Intervals of Spacetime”, mixed media, glass, 2015. Photo credit: Anything Photographic.

Audrey Wilson has been going strong! After success in exhibiting at major art fairs like SOFA Chicago and Art Miami, Audrey has been kicking butts and taking names

Tim Tate; cast glass, video

Tim Tate; cast glass, video

Tim Tate has also been on a big winning streak! He is back from huge Art Basil Miami fairs – and has had some big developments at home – he  just moved into his new place in the city.

Tim and all the artists at Washington Glass School will be joined in the Winter Open House by all the surrounding Mt Rainier artist studios. Also open on Saturday will be Artbar, ReCreative Spaces, Otis Street Arts Project, White Point Studio, Orange Door Studios, Tanglewood Works, Blue Door Studios, and more! Nearby Brentwood Arts Exchange has their craft store and will have specialty beer tastings sponsored by Town Center Market.

Washington Glass School Winter Exhibit and Open House

December 12, 2015

Noon – 5pm

3700 Otis Street, Mount Rainier, MD 20712 

The Process: Public Art and Placemaking

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DC Ward 7 Green Community Arch sculpture located at the new Unity Healthcare Building.

One of the Washington Glass Studio’s most ambitious public art projects has just completed installation. The DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities commissioned the sculpture for the new Unity Healthcare facility in Washington, DC, and the glass-and-steel artwork was installed without a problem this week.

Michael Janis bolts the panels to the top of the public art sculpture before the work is hoisted into place.

Michael Janis bolts the panels to the top of the public art sculpture before the work is hoisted into place.

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Concept design for the Green Community Gateway Arch

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The public artwork concept was designed and engineered to a high level.

The design of the public artwork was intended to mark the symbolic entrance to the Kenilworth / Parkside section of DC’s Ward 7. This area (near Caeser Chavez charter school, the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens and the Anacostia Freeway) was recently identified as a DC Promise neighborhood – and its experiencing a renewed investment in neighborhood revitalization. After meeting with community representatives, the WGS team focused on themes that were strongly held. A “Community Gateway Arch” became the vision for the placemaking sculpture that would help identify the new environment. The glass panel insets in the 16′ tall sculpture would be made with the help of the neighborhood residents, students of the high school, and the staff of the new Unity Healthcare facility. The Washington Glass Studio worked with the DC Creates! Public Art Program selection committee, the DCCAH Council, Unity Parkside Health Care, the Ward 7 ANC and the community and held a series of glass “quilting-bees” and made a communal environment where community and art were not separate. 

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Artist Erwin Timmers oversaw the structural integration of support framework, LED lighting and glass panel insets.

The 16′ high x 14′ wide sculpture lit internally with LED lighting was one of the largest outdoor artworks installed to date for the Washington Glass Studio, and much went into the design, engineering and the fabrication of the steel framework. 

DCCAH invitation to Ward 7 to make glass at WGS

DCCAH invitation to Ward 7 to make glass at WGS

In early 2014, with the structural foundation for the artwork finished and the steel framework underway, the call went out to the community to come make glass. By directly involving the public in the creation of the new landmark, the space would resonate because the artwork would have meaning to all – as everyone had the chance to tell their story.  The glass workshops were packed. Many of the people that came to work in glass returned to each of the scheduled dates – they loved working in glass and wanted to see how the artwork changed once fired. 

DC ANC Commissioner Willie H. Woods, Jr and DCCAH Exec Director Lionell Thomas were among the community enlisted to interact with the glass artwork.

DC ANC Ward 7 Commissioner Willie H. Woods, Jr and DCCAH Exec Director Lionell Thomas were among the community enlisted to interact with the glass artwork.

By having many area residents making the glass art insets, the sculpture has an increased sense of local identity. The artwork arch stimulates curiosity, inspired some of the budding artists to consider new artistic avenues and on occasion, create a smile.

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Many voices told many stories in the inset panels that made up the glass quilt archway.

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Opposite view of Washington, DC’s Green Community Arch.

The formal opening ceremony of the Anacostia Arch with DC Mayor Gray is now being scheduled. We will update on the school’s FB page and on the blog!

Project Details

  • Location: Corner Hayes Street & Kenilworth Terrace, NE; Washington, DC 20019
  • Washington Glass Studio Public Art Team: Michael Janis, Tim Tate, Erwin Timmers, Audrey Wilson, Derek Thomas, Miles Lark, Cris Chaney and Robyn Townsend
  • Structural Engineers: Holbert Apple Associates, Inc and Wolfman and Associates
  • Structural Steel: Iron Kingdom
  • Number of Glass Tile Insets: Over 300
  • Weight of Sculpture: 2000 lbs