The Process: Public Art – “Essential Connections” in Arlington, VA

“Essential Connections” by Washington Glass Studio, 18’L x 4’H, cast glass, LED. 2021

The Process: Public Art – “Essential Connections”
Washington Glass Studio (WGS) –J-Sol Apartment Complex, 4000 Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA

Daytime view of “Essential Connections” sculpture in Arlington, VA.

Jefferson Apartment Group with Mitsui Fudosan America developed the Arlington, VA corner site formerly home to the sports bar CarPool into a 22-story, LEED Gold-certified high-rise called J-Sol, with residential units atop ground-floor retail and parking. Working with Toronto, Canada art consultant Oni-One Sourcing owner Paula Fleck, the preliminary designs were initiated in April of 2019, well before the pandemic lockdowns. Different concepts for both design and location of artwork to enhance the new J-Sol residential development were presented to the client.

Original concept sketch
Erwin Timmers and Michael Janis review the structural steel.


Framing the corner location of the new plaza at Fairfax Drive and North Quincy St. in Arlington, VA, the sculpture is made of almost 100 individual hand cast glass panels set into a bold geometric framework of acute angles that references the sculptural qualities of the new J-Sol building. The sculpture defines the location and creates a new sense of place with the layering of color, light and shadow. Merging architecture and design with their signature material, glass, the overall presentation of the sculpture is aimed to reflect our modern society and urban space.

Meticulously fitting glass into framework.

The varieties of techniques and layers of colors provide complex visual experiences is part of the works’ aesthetic pleasure.

Public art detail
An exploration of color, texture and pattern overlay.

The inspiration for the Arlington public artwork, “Essential Connections” is how much our world has changed. The artwork draws inspiration from our attempt to find new and innovative ways to reach out and connect with each other.

Night view of “Essential Connections” sculpture by Washington Glass Studio.

As WGS Co-Director Tim Tate noted of the work: “…Our goal was to create something memorable out of daily patterns of coming and going home.” The rainbow mix of colors – each a strength unto itself – is much more powerful in combined with others. The color palette itself references nature in its yellows, blues and greens, the sun, the water and sky, the grass and trees. Stylized elements of nature will be incorporated into several the crafted glass panels – emphasizing our renewed awareness of our environment.

The colors and patterns define this public space in Arlington, VA.

The artwork’s dynamic shape forms a translucent cornerstone of sorts – inviting all into the plaza for walking, sitting, and all manner of activities conducted in the park. The new artwork help create a place for people to enjoy, feel connected and remember. Using the timeless fundamentals of light and color to define the space we made a vibrant backdrop to define the area with exuberance and life.

The public response has been immediate – during installation many passerbys came up excitedly to the sculpture – wanting to take “selfie shots” at Arlington’s newest landmark.

The artworks’ youngest fan points out their favorite glass panel inset.
DC art enthusiast Anthony Adero strikes a casual pose at the new sculpture.

Project Details:

Location: 4000 Fairfax Dr, Arlington, VA 22203 (N Quincy St & Fairfax Dr)
Washington Glass Studio Public Art Team: Michael Janis, Tim Tate, Erwin Timmers, Christina Helowicz.

Erwin Timmers and Christina Helowicz the sculpture’s internal LED lighting.

Structural Steel: Criss Brothers
Number of Glass Tile Insets: 97

WGS installation team L-R: Michael Janis, Ryan Henderson, Christina Helowicz, Erwin Timmers

Habatat Galleries Celebrates 50 Years

This Friday, September 3rd, Michigan’s Habatat Galleries presents the opening of Glass Art Fair exhibition at 11:00 a.m. ET. This will be the VIP preview day for the online art fair as it opens to the public virtually the next day. This presentation includes many of available works that will be featured in the Habatat Galleries 50th in-person celebration.

Michael Janis’ kilncast glass is featured in Habatat Galleries 50th Anniversary exhibit.

Artists from around the world have been invited to this event and the gallery expects a large turnout since all have been apart for so long. During the pandemic Habatat has been pioneering the world of virtual glass art events including Glass49, GlassArtFair, the new annual Not Grandma’s Glass exhibition, and the highly apropos Viral Glass exhibition. Director Aaron Schey has created a treasure trove of digital presentations over the last year via Habatat Now programs which are viewable on YouTube.

Gallery founder Ferdinand Hampson shares his thoughts about Habatat’s Legacy: Founded in 1971, Habatat has promoted, legitimized, and elevated a new art material to a point of recognition by the art community. Fifty years later we evolved with glass. We continue our efforts towards the mainstream though we are no longer outsiders. Fine art collectors, museums, and noted art publications have in many cases recognized the medium and shared in the excitement of what this material can do and be, in the hands of creative artists worldwide.

Tim Tate and Michael Janis’ collaborative work – “The Poetry of Everyday Objects” is featured.

Get Ready to CLICK-IT! WGS Contemporary Art Gallery Presents New Virtual Exhibition

Want it?  Click-it!  Get It!

Click It Opens June 16th

Click It Opens Online June 16th, 2020

 

The COVID-19 epidemic has been an unprecedented challenge to the art worldWGS Contemporary art gallery is working thru the issues that have stopped the gallery from being open bring artwork made by some of the hottest glass, mixed media sculptors, painters and ceramic artists to the world.

The WGS Contemporary gallery is excited to bring lots of fine art sculpture right to your living room!  Be sure to check out CLICK IT! – a virtual gallery experience that will be made live – opening June 16th on our website!

Look for (very affordable!) by artists that include: Teri Bailey, J. Jordan Bruns, F. Lennox Campello, Jason Chakravarty & Jennifer Caldwell, Cheryl P. Derricotte, Sean Dolon, Sean Hennessey, Joesph Ivacic, Michael Janis, Carmen Lozar, Tim Tate, Erwin Timmers, Jodi Walsh, Steve Wanna, and Jeff Zimmer!

WGS Contemporary’s mission is to contribute to thinking about art, new media, technology, and social issues through an open access forum which we hope will facilitate contemporary and innovative projects worldwide. In that process, WGSC will expose the cutting edge work of artists pushing the new media frontiers of art.

Want more than just visual …stimulation? click on link below and get the official “Click It” themesong – music by Donovan Lessard.

Washington Glass School Origins

The 9/11 anniversary always puts everyone in the Washington Glass School in a reflective mood.

Washington Glass School was originally named Meltdown

Originally named “Meltdown” an original class schedule.

Washington Glass School started in 2001 (the original name of the school was “Meltdown”) with its first class scheduled for September 13th, 2001, at the Millennium Arts Center in SW Washington, DC.

After the tragedy of 9/11, Director Tim Tate and Erwin Timmers contacted the students – sure that no-one was going to go to a glass class in Washington, DC. All the students asked that the class continue – as they wanted some sense of normalcy and wanted to work at creating something. 

Artist Diane Cooper Cabe was a student in the first class. Said Diane : "Being at Meltdown during that stressful, sad time with warm-hearted folks and creative work to do helped us all heal."

Artist Diane Cooper Cabe was a student in the first class. Said Diane : “Being at Meltdown during that stressful, sad time with warm-hearted folks and creative work to do helped us all heal.” Photo circa 2002.

 

The School started strong – with early student exhibitions covered by the Washington Post and Washington Times. Classes continued thru the years with some great glass and art instructors: Liz Mears, Lucartha Kohler, Sean HennesseyJoseph Cavalieri, Allegra Marquart, Bert Weiss and Debra Ruzinsky. Workshops by glass superstars Judith Schaechter and Therman Statom.  

Tim Tate (L), Erwin Timmers (Center L) talk with a student about glass and steel sculpture. Circa 2001.

Tim Tate (L), Erwin Timmers (Center L) talk with a student about glass and steel sculpture. Photo circa 2001.

Many of the students and teaching assistants have went on to open their own studios and become renown artists in their own right – including Cheryl Derricotte, Jeff Zimmer, Teddie Hathaway, Audrey Wilson, Laura Beth Konopinski and (later a Co-Director of WGS) Michael Janis.

In 2003, the school was reorganized and moved to the Washington Sculpture on Half Street in SE. Renamed “The Washington Glass School” remained at that location until the city used eminent domain to clear the area (and demolish the building) to make room for the new Nationals baseball stadium.

Washington Glass School circa 2004.

Washington Glass School circa 2004.

In 2006, The Washington Glass School moved to Mount Rainier, MD, and to its current facility in 2007.

We look back on the memories of the past 18 years with a bittersweet mixture of pride, sentiment, and fondness for those days and love for those who have passed on. 

And then take a deep breath and get back on to work.

A 2002 Washington Post newspaper article about the glass program - features Cheryl Derricotte and Erwin Timmers.

A 2002 Washington Post newspaper article about the glass program – features Cheryl Derricotte and Erwin Timmers.

Report from Miami Art Fairs

The view of the Atlantic Ocean from SCOPE Art Fair 2017

The view of the Atlantic Ocean from SCOPE Art Fair 2017

It may snow along the East Coast this weekend, but down at Art Basel Miami Beach, it was all sunshine and beach parties and artwork and music everywhere. A fun thing about Miami is you get to spend hours in Lyfts and cabs going across causeways to and from the beach exhibits. context.art.fair.miami.2017.alida_anderson

Washington Glass School artists were represented at a number of the incredible art fairs that took place during Art Basel / Miami Art Fair week.

Erwin Timmers new work was dazzling!

Erwin Timmers new work was dazzling!

At Context Art Miami – Alida Anderson Art Project showed artists Erwin Timmers, Laura Beth Konopinski and Audrey Wilson.

Audrey Wilson and Laura Beth Konopinski at Context

Audrey Wilson and Laura Beth Konopinski at Context

Congrats to our own Laura Beth Konopinski, who was selected by Julian Navarro, the fair director as one of the standout women artists at the fair!

Tim Tate's works shone brightly at SCOPE Miami

Tim Tate’s works shone brightly at SCOPE Miami

Tim Tate and Michael Janis were featured by Habatat Galleries at two art fairs – SCOPE Miami and Form Art Fair. Tim’s new wall pieces were a hit at SCOPE – with many reacting to the artwork’s content.jennifer.scanlan.scope.tim_tate.glass.miami.art.fair

Tim's work was the most photo'd works at Miami Beach.

Tim’s work was the most photo’d works at Miami Beach.

The newest art fair “Form” opened across the street from Art Basel. Run by the same group that presents SOFA Chicago, the artwork focused on media specific art.

Michael Janis' work at Habatat Galleries space at the FORM Art Fair.

Michael Janis’ work at Habatat Galleries space at the FORM Art Fair.

There was alot of glitz and glamour and celebrity-sightings during the week.

Artist Chuck Close came thru the show.

Artist Chuck Close came thru the show.

As did these glitterati.

As did these glitterati.

When Art Basel first came to Miami in 2002, it was a satellite art fair and an end-of-the-year anchor to the Basel, Switzerland main event held in the summer. But in a perfect storm of palm trees, parties, a surge of interest in art (or at least the lucrative art market), and an Instagram explosion, it’s now become the biggest annual art event in North America, attended by some 85,000 people. And as the fair morphs into two dozen satellite fairs and a weeklong full calendar of art and fashion happenings, it’s also a venue to show how the art by a new generation of artists is being made.

US Library of Congress’ New Cast Sculptural Glass Doors

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Aerial view of US Capitol on the Mall, Washington, DC. Library of Congress is center bottom of photo.

The Washington Glass Studio (WGS) has started the creation of the new cast sculptural glass doors for the Library of Congress (LOC) in Washington, DC. The design of the project started in 2004, when the Architect of the Capitol (AOC) first asked WGS about advise on their initial proposal to replace the original historic bronze doors of the LOC Adams Building, as the doors required security and changes to be code-compliant. The AOC also sought to reference the artistic heritage of the original doors in this important United States building.

One of the original bronze door pairs by sculptor Lee Lawrie

The original (11′-0″H) bronze doors had functional issues and will be retained in their present hold-open position, recessed into architectural niches. The 16 sculpted bronze doors feature high-relief sculptures by American artist Lee Lawrie, whose best known work is the architectural sculpture on and around New York’s Rockefeller Center. Lawrie’s bronze doors were designed to commemorate the history of the written word, depicting gods of writing as well as real-life Native American Sequoyah. 

Lee Lawrie,  1877-1963,  American sculptor, best known for his architectural work at NY’s Rockefeller Center, especially for the free-standing “Atlas” sculpture.
Ogma and Sequoyah, sculpted bronze figures by Lee Lawrie. Door detail, Library of Congress John Adams Building, Washington, DC.
The original bronze figures depict:

The new door design incorporates cast glass panels mounted within a bronze framework,  incorporating current egress and security requirements. The kilnformed sculptural glass will be made from molds taken off the original door sculptures. Using clear Bullseye glass to cast, the sculpted glass panels will then be laminated to tempered glass for safety. The new glass doors will create a contemporary luminosity to the building entrances, while keeping the character of the historic landmark structure.

original bronze doors – east side  (top)
Design of new bronze and cast glass doors – west side (bottom)

The scale of the project has prompted a collaboration between Washington Glass Studio and Fireart Glass Studio in Portland, OR. The project “dream-team” includes (Bullseye Glass co-founder) Ray Ahlgren, Erwin Timmers, Michael Janis, Tim Tate and Sean Hennessey. 
Master mold caster, Sean Hennessey, has started the project, creating the molds from the existing bronze doors in-situ. Some photos of that process will be posted later.