2022 Venice Biennale Showcases DC Area Artists

Michael Janis Tim Tate Chris Shea venice biennale 2022 glasstress
“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).

AACG Creates Baltimore Glass Exhibit for IYOG!

Artworks by : Dr Joyce Scott, Tim Tate, Michael Janis, Soledad Salamé & more!

2022 is the International Year of Glass (IYOG) AND the 60th Anniversary of American Studio Glass Movement. As part of the events celebrating glass, Howard Cohen of Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass has organized a spectacular exhibit of glass artwork during the Glass & Optical Materials Division (GOMD) conference in Baltimore at Coppin State University. This will be the first glass exhibit in Baltimore since 1996! The goals of the show are to showcase ways glass has matured into a sculptural medium, bring a diverse group of renown artists from the Baltimore/Washington region to the arts communities, and students in the area, and amplify artists voices including members of the BIPOC, Hispanic, LGBQT and immigrant communities. The exhibit will feature artwork by Dr Joyce Scott, Tim Tate, Soledad Salamé, Erwin Timmers, and Michael Janis. The exhibition is made possible through the support of the GOMD, the American Ceramic Society, Corning & Owens Corning for funding some of the exhibition costs and to fund the Baltimore scientific outreach to Baltimore City High schools.

The exhibit is scheduled to run from Mid-May through June 2022.

Glass Art Magazine Features Erwin Timmers

WGS Co-Director Erwin Timmers is interviewed by Vicki Schneider in the hot-off-the-press issue of Glass Art Magazine. Erwin talks about his unique technique and if he shares his intellectual property or if he guards his glass secrets. Read his interview in the March/April issue of Glass Art Magazine. Photos by Pete Duvall.

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.

Demystifying Public Art – Online presentation by the Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass

Artists Erwin Timmers & Michael Janis will present an online ‘zoom’ presentation that will be part of the Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass (AACG) Online Education in Art Series – “Demystifying Public Art.”

aacg.public.art.wgs.studio.glass.sculpture.education.arts.community.involvement.michael.janis.erwin.timmers.contemporary.public

Public art created by artists of the Washington Glass Studio both enrich and celebrate diverse communities. Successful projects include – The Monumental Doors for the Library of Congress, Laurel Library, the Washington DC Gateway Arch, and the West Palm Beach International Airport.
Michael Janis and Erwin Timmers will discuss how they navigate the complex processes from finding the projects to their ultimate creation and installation.

On Tuesday, September 15, at 2 p.m. Eastern time, AACG starts their Online Education Series called “FIRED UP” – click on the link to register for the free event:

https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYucemupz4jE9xI6GbpH6qoSHz7-iWuztOT?fbclid=IwAR0A-NoKAxTtkf6k12vBHvukn8IlUFRaY5uTfj97pj5yBBaA3-bsCO0abDc

The Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to further the development and appreciation of art made from glass.

The Alliance informs collectors, critics and curators by encouraging and supporting museum exhibitions, university glass departments and specialized teaching programs, regional collector groups, visits to private collections, and public seminars.

WGS Featured Artist: Joseph Ivacic

CLICK IT! Featured Artist: Joseph Ivacic

joseph.ivacic.glass.art.chicago.wgs.contemporary.shift

Joseph Ivacic is a Chicago based glass artist. Since receiving his BFA from the University of Illinois at Champaign, Urban, he has been showing in group and solo shows throughout the country. Joseph’s work challenges the viewer to see things differently, both from a subject and content point of view, as well as the fact that, while his work is made from glass, it certainly doesn’t look like traditional glass.  

Joseph started using the moniker PARADIGM SHIFT to experiment with different themes in his art. “The narratives of these pieces are inspired by contemporary life, inviting the viewers to place themselves within the work.  My compositions of faux installations are filled with text and imagery providing the viewer with subtle hints that the work is not what they perceive.  Our modern day truths are what we say they are and our sense of reality is skewed based on our perspective.”

In 2018, Ferd Hampson of Habatat Galleries declared Joseph to be a “Top Ten Trend in Contemporary Glass” for his recent street inspired work – where all elements are glass, including the labels on the cans.  

Washington Glass School blog catches up with Joseph as his work is part of the WGS Contemporary online exhibit “CLICK-IT!” and also in the “Artists For Racial Justice” exhibit/fundraiser.

Washington Glass School (WGS): Describe your artwork method/process.

Joseph Ivacic: I am a contemporary sculptor who uses glass as my primary medium. I combine a variety of techniques to create my groupings. The spray paint cans are blown and hot sculpted in the hot shop. Labels that are on the cans are Ceramic Decals and are applied to the glass cylinder prior to it being assembled hot. The elements that appear to be steel are created a by sifting powdered glass on to sheets of glass and then are slumped and fused at temperatures as high as 1450 degrees.

Joseph Ivacic, "Summit"; Glass; 12"x6"x4"

Joseph Ivacic, “Summit”; Glass; 12″x6″x4″

WGS: Describe your work in the show and highlight aspects that the viewers should understand about the work.

Joseph Ivacic: My work in these two shows vary and I am excited about both. The smaller pieces with the spray paint cans and the faux steel are continuations of my larger installations but are intended for newer collectors, people with small niches, or would like to own my work but it doesn’t work with there budget. This body of work is loaded with content and some of the topics are urban decay and the beauty in aging. I don’t want to share too much about the pieces because I want the viewer to come up with their own conclusion.

Joseph Ivacic, "Echoes", Glass, wood, 14"x15"x29", 2020. Featured in WGS Contemporary "Artists For Racial Justice" exhibit.

Joseph Ivacic, “Echoes”, Glass, wood, 14″x15″x29″, 2020. Featured in WGS Contemporary “Artists For Racial Justice” exhibit.

The piece in the Social Justice show titled “Echoes” is a narrative piece about protest and the long term benefits of standing up for your rights and beliefs. The Megaphone is made of glass and is assembled hot. The soap box is intended to look like a found object but I made that as well.

WGS: How have you handled the COVID-19 lockdown? How have you adapted?

Joseph Ivacic: The Covid lockdown has been tough. I really miss social interaction and engaging through a screen is not the same. I usually work at a public access glass studio for my blowing needs which has not been open to the public since the middle of march. During all of this craziness my family has also moved houses and I have moved studios. I am excited about my new studio, but it still has a long way to go before its operational. My creative outlets have been painting a working digitally on a tablet. I will be incorporating these new techniques in to the new pieces I am working on. As a glass artist, I feel we always need to adapt our vision with the properties of the material. As we evolve our relationship with glass, we understand what rules we can bend and what rules we can break.joeseph.ivacic.my.illusion.part.2.glass.art.sculpture.new.contemporary

WGS: What artwork/event has moved you and got you thinking about your own work?

Joseph Ivacic: During this time, I have been most moved by the social equality movement around the Black Lives Matter. I have spent a lot of time researching and trying to understand how be a better human and how to communicate this through my work. I think in the next year we are going to see a lot of art with this as the subject matter. 

Joseph Ivacic checks out the street art as the street art checks out Joe.

Joseph Ivacic checks out the street art as the street art checks out Joe.

WGS: if you were not an artist – what would you be?

Joseph Ivacic: I have a background in teaching and would probably work with high school students. I don’t know if it’s possible for me not to be an artist. 

WGS: Do you do a lot of planning in your work – or is there an element of chance while working?

Joseph Ivacic: YES! My work requires tons of planning. I usually start with message and move to imagery from there. At that point in need to figure out scale and how to break the piece up into shippable pieces. Each of my panels needs to be fired at a minimum of 3 times and usually if something is going to break it will happen on the 3rd firing. Also anytime I want to incorporate a new color I need to do a sample with every other color I use to make sure that the new color expands and contracts at the same rate as the other colors. If the new color doesn’t the entire piece breaks.

Joseph Ivacic, "Propoganda Spray Can" 24"H; glass. The cans of spray paint draw parallels, positive and negative, between spray paint as art and as one of the oldest forms of social communication while layers of vibrant colors and text provoke further examination of the subtle details.

Joseph Ivacic, “Propoganda Spray Can” 24″H; glass. The cans of spray paint draw parallels, positive and negative, between spray paint as art and as one of the oldest forms of social communication while layers of vibrant colors and text provoke further examination of the subtle details.

WGS: What is your rule of thumb in determining when a work is finished?

Joseph Ivacic: The rule of thumb on when the piece is finished… The piece is usually finished 2 days before the due date. :)

Joseph Ivacic at work in the hotshop.

Joseph Ivacic at work in the hotshop.

Click HERE to jump to Joseph Ivacic’s work in CLICK-IT!

 

Click Here to jump to the Artists For Racial Justice exhibit.

Final Week of CLICK-IT! Online Exhibition

Works by Jennifer Caldwell & Jason Chakravarty, Jeff Zimmer, F Lennox (Lenny) Campello, Teri Bailey and Steve Wanna.

Works by Jennifer Caldwell & Jason Chakravarty, Jeff Zimmer, F Lennox (Lenny) Campello, Teri Bailey and Steve Wanna.

We’re down to the final week the “CLICK-IT!” online exhibit!. Showing works by these talented artists (Teri Bailey, F. Lennox Campello, Jennifer Caldwell, Jason Chakravarty, Cheryl P. Derricotte, Sean Donlon, Sean Hennessey, Joseph Ivacic, Michael Janis, Carmen Lozar, Tim Tate, Erwin Timmers, Steve Wanna, & Jeff Zimmer) to the public and hearing the wonderful feedback has been so rewarding. It means a lot to us that we can share their world with the world and an appreciation for the works/sentiments/technical brilliance can be appreciated.

Works by Sean Donlon, Michael Janis, Jennifer Caldwell & Jason Chakravarty, Joseph Ivacic and Tim Tate.

Works by Sean Donlon, Michael Janis, Jennifer Caldwell & Jason Chakravarty, Joseph Ivacic and Tim Tate.

Those who have yet to visit the exhibition should grab the chance to see these truly wonderful works online – click HERE to jump to online exhibit!

Works by Cheryl Derricotte, Sean Hennessey, Erwin Timmers, Jennifer Caldwell & Jason Chakravarty and Carmen Lozar.

Works by Cheryl Derricotte, Sean Hennessey, Erwin Timmers, Jennifer Caldwell & Jason Chakravarty and Carmen Lozar.

Artists For Racial Justice” exhibit and fundraising for non-profits that can help with equality with art as a tool for healing and peace to help at this time.

Artists for racial.equality.justiceClick HERE to jump to the fundraiser arts page.  

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

WGS Featured Artist: Teri Swinhart

CLICK IT! Featured Artist: Teri Swinhart

Teri Bailey

Teri Swinhart

Teri Swinhart is a multimedia artist holding a BFA in Glass from The University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point and an MFA from The Ohio State University. She thrives in learning, pursuing opportunities to expand her understanding of material at institutions such as Penland School of Crafts, the Corning Museum of Glass, Pilchuck Glass School and the Chrysler Museum of Art. Teri currently lives and works in Washington D.C. as the Studio Coordinator for the Washington Glass School and the Director of WGS Contemporary.

Teri Bailey teaching pâte de verre technique at the Washington Glass School.

Teri Swinhart teaching pâte de verre technique at the Washington Glass School.

Washington Glass School blog catches up with Teri as her work is part of the WGS Contemporary online exhibit “CLICK-IT!”.

Washington Glass School (WGS): Describe your artwork method/process.

Teri Swinhart: The forms for the Sanctuary Series are constructed by precisely layering thin glass strands to imitate weaved textile patterns. The glass strands are lightly melted together and then heated until they slump over a hand-made mold.  Each mold is uniquely carved out of a soft plaster mixture that is removed after firing, creating a negative space within the glass sculpture. I also create a charcoal drawing of my inspiration (a child hiding under a blanket) to help guide the viewer and add visual variety.  

Teri Bailey, "Sanctuary Among Fragility"; Kilnworked Glass, Flat Glass; 6”x7”x4”

Teri Swinhart, “Sanctuary Among Fragility”; Kilnworked Glass, Flat Glass; 6”x7”x4”; concept sketch above finished work.

I combined an assortment of processes to create Seeking Home. This piece includes a hand sculpted figure as well as a glass quilt square. I made the square by sifting ground up glass powder (called frit) through a stencil onto a larger sheet of flat glass. I then fired the sheet and fused the pattern onto the surface. 

Teri Bailey, "Seeking Home"; Glass, Poly-Vitro, Wood; 18”x20”x6”

Teri Swinhart, detail, “Seeking Home”; Glass, Poly-Vitro, Wood; 18”x20”x6”

Delicate Revolution is an installation of over 400 eyehooks that have been corseted together with layers of silk ribbon. This installation changes every time it is presented and is dependent on the space around it.

Teri Bailey: Detail "Delicate Revolution"; Stainless Steel Eyehooks, Ribbon, Wood; 2'x8'x1'

Teri Swinhart, Detail “Delicate Revolution”; Stainless Steel Eyehooks, Ribbon, Wood; 2’x8’x1′

Defiance (in Artists for Racial Justice Fundraiser) is a deep red glass casting of a human neck with its chin raised. The chin proudly jutting out, even though it is fractured and worn. The mold for the piece was made by painting body safe rubber mold material onto my model’s neck, waiting for it to try, then removing the mold and pouring wax into it to create a reproduction. The wax neck is then covered in plaster-silica to create a kilnproof mold. The wax is melted of out the mold and the negative space that it leaves is filled with cold chunks of glass and heated up in a kiln until they melt.

WGS: Describe your work in the show and highlight aspects that the viewers should understand about the work.

Teri Swinhart: The work in this show highlights many of the different processes and materials that I enjoy working with. All of these works highlight my fascination with textiles and their role in the home. Similar to artists like Mary Cassatt, I am drawn to exploring the beautiful intimacy within the home and the personal.

WGS: What artwork/event has moved you and got you thinking about your own work?

Teri Swinhart: The two biggest things influencing my work (and much of the world) right now are COVID and the BLM Movement. So much of the inspiration for my work comes from the emotion and vulnerability of the extremely personal. I am painfully empathetic, so to watch this many people die so brutally leaves me fluctuating between heartbroken, terrified, and enraged. I don’t think I could keep emotions this intense out of my artwork even if I really tried. It has shown me that I need to take a stance on things I have been privileged enough to avoid in the past and use my voice to spread love and promote change. No pressure…

Here's your coffee - & thank-you for wearing a mask!

Here’s your coffee… & thank-you for wearing a mask!

WGS: if you were not an artist – what would you be?

Teri Swinhart: A psychologist… or a barista.

WGS: Do you do a lot of planning in your work – or is there an element of chance while working?

Teri Swinhart: Definitely a little bit of both. I feel like I spend 75% of the time in my sketchbook working through each element of an idea before I begin making, then when I feel comfortable with the plan I begin bringing it to life. I am flexible throughout the process and lots of things change as I lay the materials next to each other and work through the installation… it keeps me on my toes!

Click here to jump to Teri Swinhart’s work in CLICK-IT!

Teri’s work is part of the companion exhibit/fundraiser – “Artists for Racial Justice” Click HERE to jump to the show.

WGS Featured Artist: Steve Wanna

CLICK IT! Featured Artist: Steve Wanna

steve.wanna.artist.wgs.contemporary

Steve Wanna is a multi-disciplinary sound and visual artist whose work includes music, sound design for dance collaborations, sculpture, installation, photography, and works for mixed media. Born and raised in Lebanon, he immigrated to the United States with his family as a teenager, eventually receiving a doctorate in Music Composition from the University of Maryland in 2004.

Steve’s work is driven by his belief that under the right conditions beauty can emerge without the need for direct intervention. He creates abstract, experimental fixed works and installations in a variety of mediums and formats that include sound, 2-D work, sculpture, video, and photography. His work is informed by the principle of emergence as defined in systems theory and Buddhism. His process often involves an element of controlled randomness, taking great care to prepare the initial conditions for a process whose final results are largely out of his control.

As a composer and sound artist by training, the perception of the passage of time is a strongly recurring theme in Steve’s work.  Whether sonic or visual. he creates fixed works and installations that deal with mainly three different manifestations of this concept: fixed works that represent or capture a single moment in time, fixed works that are the result of a long process, and works that are themselves processes in perpetual unfolding.

Washington Glass School blog catches up with Steve as his work is part of the WGS Contemporary online exhibit “CLICK-IT!

Washington Glass School (WGS): Describe your artwork method/process.

Steve Wanna: As an experimental artist, I don’t have one set process in place. My work and process depend on the idea underlying a project and the materials in use. My inspirations vary from the literary to the scientific. I often have to invent new techniques for using materials in unconventional ways to realize my ideas, and I like the work to embody that process. My approach can be described as contained chaos, and most of my work hovers at the boundary between control and disorder: I carefully create containers or frameworks in which I then allow some process to unfold, almost completely unhindered. There’s an element of controlled randomness that allows processes and materials to come together to directly shape the final work, without constant intervention from me.

Steve Wanna, "Myth of Creation - CE181231.1036", Acrylic, powder pigment, resin, plaster, mixed media; 12" x 6" x 1.5"

Steve Wanna, “Myth of Creation – CE181231.1036″, Acrylic, powder pigment, resin, plaster, mixed media; 12″ x 6″ x 1.5”

I can describe the process of one of the works currently on offer. It comes from an ongoing series called Myths of Creation. Each work in the series is a record of a unique event, an instant of time, forever frozen. The idea was inspired by images from NASA’s Hubble Telescope of cosmic events like supernovae: what we see are records of ancient events that occurred eons ago but still have impact and immediacy. I wanted to capture that feeling. Each work is made by exploding various materials onto a prepared board. The resulting explosion becomes the work—each piece is a record of the very instant of its creation. The titles, which bear the date and time of the event, reflect this. The works are fixed finally in clear cast resin, which adds a depth and enhances the sense of these works as frozen moments of time, records of specific, cataclysmic events.

WGS: Describe your work in the show and highlight aspects that the viewers should understand about the work.

Steve Wanna: I have four works in this show that come from three different series, including, Myths of Creation, which I describe above. One thing that is difficult to convey in photographs is the depth and impact these pieces have. There’s a three-dimensional, sculptural quality that isn’t immediately obvious—the materials aren’t flat on the board but have texture and depth, and the cast resin enhances that. It’s also important to understand that when I create these works, I experience them as a viewer: each time I make a drop I don’t know what the result will be exactly and the work is being created anew for me. I find this an incredibly exciting and addictive feeling. 

Steve Wanna "...she who makes the moon the moon" - Scape #4", synthetic wax blend, paint, LED light, mixed media;6.25" x 6.25" x 3"

Steve Wanna “…she who makes the moon the moon” – Scape #4″, synthetic wax blend, paint, LED light, mixed media;6.25″ x 6.25″ x 3″

 

WGS: How have you handled the COVID-19 lockdown? How have you adapted?

Steve Wanna: I ended up catching the virus very early on, around mid-March, when very little was known. I struggled to get information and a test, but was lucky in that I didn’t require hospitalization. I had a range of symptoms that all cleared up eventually, except for two that lingered—some persistent weakness in smell and taste.

Like many artists, I wasn’t able to do much creatively. Free time isn’t helpful when it’s filled with anxiety and uncertainty on a global, national, and personal level. I’m hoping to get back into the swing of things soon, even though we still don’t have a clear path forward with this pandemic. But I do feel a sense of urgency to move one with life and try to figure out what things might look like in the future.

 steve.wanna.mix

WGS: If you were not an artist – what would you be?

Steve Wanna: I’m a composer by training and only recently went into visual art full time. I almost went into architecture, which I suppose is close to art. I also have a fascination with material sciences, physics, and philosophy. I still fantasize about being in a filed that somehow combines all those. Art comes pretty close. If I weren’t an artist I would still have to be involved in some creative activity. I don’t think I would know how to exist without that. I cook a lot and I relate to cooking in very much the same way: I like to experiment and see what happens. I think I’m addicted to discovering new things through play and experimentation and to making stuff.

WGS: Do you do a lot of planning in your work – or is there an element of chance while working?

Steve Wanna: Both. All my work has an element of chance or controlled randomness, but I’m also a very careful and meticulous planner. My personality is not impulsive and I’m even a bit of a control freak and that spills into my art practice. I use randomness as an antidote to being overbearing when it comes to making art—it helps get me out of the way of the work.

WGS: What is your rule of thumb in determining when a work is finished?

Steve Wanna: Most of my work relies on a process that I carefully put in place specifically to get me out of the way of having to make decisions like that. It’s a different way of thinking but I’ve found it to be more relaxed and open. It creates enough space to allow me and the work to coexist happily. The work is usually finished when the process is complete. I may have to make additional adjustments or modifications, but I try to stay true to the work and not insert unnecessary distractions into the work or my thinking.

Click here to jump to Steve Wanna’s artwork in CLICK-IT!

WGS Featured Artist: Carmen Lozar

CLICK IT! Featured Artist: Carmen Lozar

Carmen Lozar‘s glass sculptures inspires and provoke imagination. Telling stories has always been her primary objective. Some narratives are sad, funny, or thoughtful but artworks are always about celebrating life. Carmen lives in Bloomington-Normal, Illinois where she maintains a studio and is a member of the art faculty at Illinois Wesleyan University. She has taught at Pilchuck Glass School, Penland School of Craft, Pittsburgh Glass School, Appalachian Center for Crafts, The Chrysler Museum, and the Glass Furnace in Istanbul, Turkey. She has had residencies at the Corning Museum of Glass and Penland School of Craft. Although she travels abroad to teach and share her love for glass – most recently to Turkey, Italy, and New Zealand – she always returns to her Midwestern roots. 

Washington Glass School blog catches up with Carmen as her work is part of the WGS Contemporary online exhibit “CLICK-IT!” 

Carmen Lozar

Carmen Lozar

Washington Glass School (WGS): Describe your artwork method/process.

Carmen Lozar: I work with rods and tubes of borosilicate glass at a torch.  Flameworking lends itself to small intimate pieces, the type I most enjoy making. The process requires concentration, years of skill building and many, many generous mentors who are willing to share their knowledge. 

Caremen Lozar, "Bubble Gum", 2019, Flameworked glass, found object, 3"x 2"x 6"

Caremen Lozar, “Bubble Gum”, 2019, Flameworked glass, found object, 3″x 2″x 6″

WGS: Describe your work in the show and highlight aspects that the viewers should understand about the work.

Carmen Lozar: The work is the show is meant to be intimate and accessible, highlighting human follies in a lighthearted way. The bubble gum pieces are about the sticky messes we continually put ourselves in but also the ridiculous and stretchy nature of glass as a material. To me, much of the work is both funny and sad. 

The ketchup and mustard piece, Fight, is about the continual small spats that my daughters engage in daily. I know that they love each other and work well together but this does not stop them from ongoing sibling rivalry. This piece makes light of their arguments knowing they will pass and, in a way, preserving my sanity.

Carmen Lozar, "Fight", Flameworked glass and found object. 3"H x 8"L x 2"D

Carmen Lozar, “Fight”, Flameworked glass and found object. 3″H x 8″L x 2″D

WGS: How have you handled the Covid lockdown?

Carmen Lozar: I have been oscillating between enjoying a quiet summer and completely freaking out. There is so much to process and digest that I am sure the landscape of what we make will change as a result. I believe an entirely new aesthetic will result as a product of the pandemic and unrest.

Image from Carmen Lozar's sketchbook.

Image from Carmen Lozar’s sketchbook.

WGS: Do you do a lot of planning in your work – or is there an element of chance while working?

Carmen Lozar:  I do a lot of planning before I begin a new artwork, usually beginning with several drawings in my sketchbook. I usually stick to the drawing/idea pretty closely although if there are too many repetitive parts in the piece I will simplify. I have a short attention span and making the same objects over and over, while I love the way it looks, is difficult for me.

WGS: if you were not an artist – what would you be?

Carmen Lozar: An allergist.

WGS: What is your rule of thumb in determining when a work is finished?

Carmen Lozar: You get a crazy wonderful rush of adrenaline that you cannot find anywhere else!

Click here to jump to Carmen Lozar’s work in CLICK-IT!
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