New DC Public Art Design!

Concept 1 design by Michael Janis for DC’s OP & CAH TAP project in Ward 5

WGS Co-Director Michael Janis’ public art design (concept 1 & 2) for DC’s memorial to the Enslaved People that built the US Capitol has many steps before the Mayor’s approval. One can see -and vote! – on the two concepts online :

The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities (CAH), in collaboration with the DC Office of Planning (OP), awarded Janis the commission create the significant project that aims to shed light on the often overlooked role of over 200 enslaved people whose labor laid the foundation for one of the most iconic symbols of democracy.

public art sculpture from fused glass made at Washington Glass Studio in Washington DC by Michael Janis
TAP DC OP CAH Commemorate DC
Photo of first community input event in Ward 5 site, April 20, 2024

Washington Post on the DC Glass Scene Seen at Artomatic

Washington Post article on 2024 Artomatic exhibit

Great review of Artomatic culture event in the Washington Post. Art critic Mark Jenkins enjoys the all-sorts arts experience and singles out the glass art for comment, including using WGS artist Michael Janis’ artwork titled “Waiting for the Moments that Never Come” as the illustrative work for the show. Writes Mark:

“…Among the various business and governmental sponsors of this year’s Artomatic is a small but internationally renowned arts group, the Washington Glass School. The Mount Rainier, Md., studio has taken a large chunk of the building’s fifth floor to showcase the elegant creations of co-founders Tim Tate and Erwin Timmers and several other glass virtuosos. Tate, who credits Artomatic with playing a significant role in his career, is showing a sculpture that riffs on Leonardo da Vinci’s “Vitruvian Man.” The provocatively androgynous update positions eight glass figures — male, female and combined — in a circle surrounded by mirrors and lights that simulate a sense of endless replication…”

In the galleries: Artomatic: Unpretentious, approachable, convivial – Review by Mark Jenkins, Washington Post, April 5, 2024

By contrast – have a read about how the Washington Post art critic Blake Gopnik thought of the 2004 Artomatic exhibit:

…”The result is the second-worst display of art I’ve ever seen. The only one to beat it out, by the thinnest of split hairs, was the 2002 Artomatic, which was worse only by virtue of being even bigger and in an even more atrocious space, down by the waterfront in a vacant modern office building. I won’t dwell on the art. And I certainly won’t name names…There may just be a few decent things hidden in the mix — with so many thousands of objects on display, the law of averages says there must be. But three hours’ worth of looking didn’t spot too many. 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.)

Artomatic 2004: Hanging Is Too Good for It by Blake Gopnik

November 10, 2004

Artomatic runs thru April 28th. 2100 M Street, NW, Washington, DC.

Washington’s Innovative Glass Scene Seen at Artomatic 2024

trish kent, patricia de poel wilberg, nancy kronstadt, april shelford, graciela granek, kate barfield
Washington Glass School Co Founder Erwin Timmers outlines the Studio Glass Movement timeline to audience at Artomatic 2024.

In the 1960s, The American Studio Glass movement transformed glass from craft into fine art.

Artomatic helped create the movement, as after the 2000 Artomatic, the Smithsonian Museum acquired artist Tim Tate’s glass sculpture that was on display. Artist Erwin Timmers’ artwork was also on exhibit at that Artomatic, and after that show, the two began to collaborate, later teaming up to start the Washington Glass School & Studio with the funds from the sale of Tate’s glass artwork to the Renwick.

Washington Glass School Co-Founder Tim Tate’s work at Artomatic 2024.

In 2008, Artomatic organized an exhibit at the Washington Glass School, showcasing the unique approaches to glass sculpture in three “glass” cities: Washington, DC; Toledo, Ohio; and Sunderland, England, fostering international partnerships and collaborative ventures.

Glass works by VA-based artist Griffon Dillon on exhibit at Artomatic 2024.

As the 21st century unfolded, artists across various media have shown growing interest in glass as a creative medium, despite its technical challenges. The Washington Glass Scene has emerged as a hub of innovation, elevating glass to a significant position in contemporary art. The Washington Glass School encourages artists to push boundaries and redefine the possibilities of glass as a fine art medium.

There is a great example of works by DC glass creatives on display at Artomatic 2024, open now thru April 28th. Although the glass works are on many of the 8 floors of art, the 5th floor is the central spot to get ones glass fix. Some photos of Washington Glass School’s reception are featured in this post.

Glass artwork by artist Michael Janis seen at Artomatic 2024 on M Street.

The James Renwick Alliance will hold a craft tour of works on display at Artomatic 2024, March 24th, at 1-3PM More info here on the free tour: James Renwick Alliance Craft Tour – 5th Floor Washington Glass School Installation – Artomatic.

patricia de poel wilberg, kate barfield, april shelford
Curator Howard Cohen reviewing glass art on exhibit at Artomatic 2024.

Baltimore based art curator Howard Cohen came this past weekend to Artomatic to handpick glass artists from the DC area for a contemporary glass showcase exhibit at Montpelier Art Center this June. Howard was able to talk with many of the artists and get insight to their narratives and process. Looking forward to the upcoming show!

artomatic 2024

Artomatic, 2100 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20037

A Look Into Museum of Glass’ “A Two-Way Mirror”

The Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass (AACG) online First Friday Fired Up! program on Friday, March 1, at 1 p.m. ET presents a virtual tour and panel discussion with artists in the current exhibition at the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, A Two-Way Mirror: Double Consciousness in Contemporary Glass by Black Artists. See the works and hear from several of the artists who have used glass to create work that deconstructs social, cultural, gender, and racial identity concerns. The artists range in background from African American, to British, to Puerto Rican. Each artist uses glass to reflect thoughts and bodies that have historically been fraught with exploitation. Due to its reflectivity and translucence, glass is an apt medium to interrogate identity constructs such as the theory of double consciousness presented by W.E.B. Du Bois in his seminal work, The Souls of Black Folk. Artists from the exhibition participating in the panel are Layo BrightCrystal CampbellChris Day, and Leo Tecosky. The panel’s moderator is Jabari Owens-Bailey, Museum of Glass Curatorial Education Program Manager.Layo Bright, from Nigeria, explores migration, legacy, and identity through hybrid portraits, textiles, and mixed media. She has participated in Art Basel Hong Kong, and is the recipient of Pittsburgh Glass Center’s Ron Desmett Award and Urban Glass’ Visiting Artist Fellowship.Crystal Campbell is a 2021 Guggenheim Fellow in Fine Arts, and she uses underlined archival material to consider historical gaps. She received the 2022 Creative Capital award and the Pollock-Krasner Award.Chris Day is a biracial glass and ceramic artist who uses the beauty of glass to make comments on issues of race. He received a special commendation at last year’s British Glass Biennale, and was selected to participate in the prestigious Artrooms Awards in London.Leo Tecosky deconstructs iconography through an impressive range of glass-making techniques. He juxtaposes the complexity of visual language with the fluidity and transparency of glass. He is the recipient of the 36th annual Corning Museum Rakow Commission as well as the 2023 Maxwell/Hanrahan Award in Craft. The AACG FIRED UP program is free and open to the public, so please spread the word and join this engaging and important discussion!

Exhibiting Artists: Anthony Amoako-Attah, Radcliffe Bailey, Layo Bright, Crystal Z. Campbell, Chris Day, Cheryl Derricotte, Alejandro Guzman, Mildred Howard, Jason McDonald, Parfums de Vigny, Ebony G. Patterson, Pellatt & Green, Related Tactics, Salviati and Company, Joyce J. Scott, Shikeith, Therman Statom, Renée Stout, Barbara Earl Thomas, Hank Willis Thomas, Leo Tecosky, Kara Walker, Fred Wilson.

Click here to register for Fired Up!


This week, glass universe goes south – to Florida! The Glass Art Fair takes place in Sarasota, FL from Feb 1st – 4th Ringling College of Art + Design Studio A. Habatat Galleries‘ 4-day glass art experience “Glass Coast Weekend” features six special exhibits of contemporary glass.

The event includes a pop-up exhibit of over 150 pieces at the Ringling College of Art + Design’s Studio Labs Sound Stage A. Explore four themed curated exhibitions, two solo exhibits, and visit the newly opened Sarasota Art Museum and the Basch Gallery on the Ringling College campus. Additional highlights include a Masterworks Auction, a demonstration by artist John Kiley, artist talks, a Ringling Museum mystery, Habatat-Zoom Live, the Imagine Museum’s Annual Fire and Light Gala

Hope to see you at the first HUGE glass event of the year!

Habatat Detroit Fine Art Q & A with Michael Janis

RSVP now for a Habatat-Zoom event taking place this Saturday, November 16th, at 1:00 p.m. ET.

Join Aaron Schey (aka Mr Glass) Owner and partner of Habatat Detroit Fine Art, for an engaging update on the WGS Director Michael Janis, an innovative member of the esteemed Habatat Family. Janis, who showcased his work at Habatat’s Scope Art Miami booth this year, will provide insights into the latest developments in his career and sculpture.

Ok. what the what is going on?

Notably involved in the arts community near Washington D.C., Janis has been actively creating public sculptures and exploring new artistic endeavors incorporating video technology.

Save the date for March 2024, as Janis will be showcased as a distinguished artist at the Lowe Art Museum in Miami. Additionally, experience his exceptional work during the Glass Coast Weekend in Sarasota, Florida, where he will be personally present to share his artistic journey. Your presence is highly anticipated!

RSVP (free online presentation) link: Meeting Registration – Zoom

Gateway Open Studios Venue Map

December 9, 2023 from Noon til 5PM – Holiday Open Studios! See some of the best art and design by the area’s most talented makers! A special exhibit of sculpture made by Military Veterans in Washington Glass School’s “Hot Shop Heroes” workshop held in collaboration with the Museum of Glass will be fetured at the WGS Contemporary Gallery, 3700 Otis Street, Mt Rainier, MD 20712. Artist Talk at 1PM.

Tip: Start your tour in the numerical order listed!

Life in Layers Exhibit at Brentwood Arts

Please join us at the 35th Annual Prince George’s County Juried Exhibition: Life in Layers. November 13, 2023, through January 6, 2024. Works by WGS Directors Erwin Timmers and Michael Janis are in the show! The theme of the exhibit was for artists to convey aspects of life and the current times through their work. Each moment layers on the previous ones and they create narratives and meaning through all media forms.

The Life in Layers Exhibition draws on the vast core of visual artists that live, work, or maintain a studio in Prince George’s County and fosters an inclusive spirit among the participating artists as well as showcasing their talents, skills, and diverse use of media.

Opening reception Saturday, November 18, from 5-8 pm. The juror, Phil Hutinet, will speak about the exhibition and refreshments will be served.
Brentwood Arts Exchange, 3901 Rhode Island Ave, Brentwood, MD 20722

9th Annual Glass National

Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton, VA present the 9th Annual Glass National, an exhibition highlighting the depth and breadth of contemporary functional and sculptural glass artworks being created throughout the country. The Glass National is a unique opportunity to view and experience a variety of styles and techniques encompassing the glass artwork field today.

Kate Barfield, “Tribute to Ms Ms. Mailou Jones”.

Made as a tribute to the Black DC painter, Ms. Mailou Jones, Kate Barfield said…” I wanted to capture her angular shapes, curves & POW! of color into glass”.

This year’s juror, Kristina Logan, reviewed over 80 artworks and selected 34 which incorporate a combination of a contemporary spirit and technical mastery of the material. Glass National is a unique opportunity to view and experience a variety of styles and techniques encompassing the glass artwork field today.

April Shelford, “Gravity’s Loom”

Congratulations to WGS Artists Kate Barfield and April Shelford! Your works are amazing!

9th Annual Workhouse Glass National
November 4, 2023 to January 14, 2024

Workhouse Arts Center, 9518 Workhouse Way
Lorton, VA

Ribbon Cutting at Bladensburg Library

Bladensburg Library – Architect: Gant Brunnett Architects

The official ribbon citation ceremony of the new Prince George’s County Memorial Library Bladensburg Branch (4820 Annapolis Rd, Bladensburg, MD, at 11 am). The ceremony featured remarks from PGCMLS Interim CEO Richard AmRhein, County Executive Angela D. Alsobrooks, Prince George’s County Councilwoman Jolene Ivey (District 5), Bladensburg Mayor Takisha James, PGCMLS Board of Library Trustees President Angela D. Smith, and PGCMLS Chief Operating Officer for Support Services Michael Gannon.

The glass mural, titled “Reading the Water” by Washington Glass School is the centerpiece of the new library.

At the heart of this artwork is a message about the importance of environmental stewardship and the need to protect our natural resources. Much of the glass mural is made using recycled glass and components. By drawing attention to the beauty and fragility of water, “Reading The Water” encourages viewers to reflect on their own relationship with the natural world and to consider how they can contribute to a more sustainable future.

Kisha Mason, PG Arts & Humanities Council at the lectern enthuses about the artwork. WGS artists Erwin Timmers and Michael Janis.
recycled glass, sustainable design for public art in Maryland Bladensburg Library
View to artwork from balcony at Bladensburg Library, Bladensburg, MD.
WGS artists/Co-Directors Michael Janis and Erwin Timmers at Bladensburg Library