The Year That Was – 2013 Review

2013 Year In Review

From beginning to end (and we’re not done yet), everyone at the Washington Glass School has been extremely busy throughout this year. We are excited to share a snapshot of what’s been going on and hope it will inspire you as much as it has inspired us!


AACG website

2013 Started off right – the Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass (AACG) featured WGS’ Michael Janis as the “Artist of the Month“. 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.
 Erwin Timmer’s sculpture made from recycled glass was selected as part of the Arlington Arts Center ‘s national exhibit INTERWOVEN: Art. Craft. Design.

Architect of the Capitol inspects the cast glass.
Erwin Timmers provides thrills for visiting UK artists.

The Washington Glass Studio project of designing and creating cast glass doors for the Library of Congress continued, with an inspection and review of the glass by the Architect of the Capitol. Arrangements for the International Glass & Clay exhibit – the third collaborative exhibition organized by Artomatic and the DCCAH between Washington, DC artists and artists from DC’s Sister City of Sunderland, England took place in February, with the visiting artists arriving late in the month. Erwin Timmers made sure the Brits staying with him had a taste of American adventure, being caught up in a too-fast police car chase that included the escaping fugitive ramming Erwin’s van. The UK artists were told that car chases and gun shootings are as common as they appear in any Bruce Willis movie.
Sister Cities Washington, DC and Sunderland, England collaborated to create an exhibition of artwork in the mediums both cities are renown for – glass and ceramics.

The International Glass & Clay opened March 1, and the show featured exhibits, lectures, workshops and talks that integrated artists from the UK and the USA.

Intl Glass & Clay opening night at Pepco Edison Gallery

This was the third collaborative exhibition organized by Artomatic, the DCCAH, Sunderland City, the University of Sunderland and the UK National Glass Centre. 

The show garnered a lot of interest from international sources. The British Council USA enlisted Michael Janis as a its US Cultural Ambassador, providing stories to the UK’s blog about artist Phil Vickery and how the relationship between the two glass centers enabled Tim Tate and Michael Janis to fulfill their Fulbright Scholar assignments.

UK glass artists demo at DC GlassWorks.

Workshops by visiting artists Robyn Townsend and Criss Chaney at the glass school and hot glass demos by Roger The, Phil Vickery and Colin Rennie gave the DC glass scene lots to see and think about.

Many of the visiting artists enjoyed brunch at Artomatic’s George Koch’s place.


The James Renwick Alliance (JRA) also participated in the international show,  holding a High Tea event at the Edison Place Gallery. 

Tea with the Brits and the JRA formed the closing events. Photo by Miriam Rosenthal.

The UK organizations that showed in the USA arranged to show works by the DC artists in the UK, and featured the artwork at the Sunderland Museum and the Edinburgh Art Fair later in the year. Nancy Donnelly had created
The James Renwick Alliance’s Spring Craft Weekend theme was The Stars of Today and Tomorrow. Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Renwick Gallery had master artists Bruce Metcalf and Adrian Saxe, along with Hunt Clark and Sean Hennessey, and moderator Cindi Strauss, curator of Modern and Contemporary Decorative Arts of Houston’s Museum of Fine Arts in a panel discussion about the direction of contemporary craft. 

JRA Spring Craft Weekend panel discusion at the Smithsonian. Photo by Miriam Rosenthal.
Audrey Wilson

The JRA Weekend also had the Glass Fashion Show, MC’d by glass superstar Laura Donefer. Glass artists from around the country participated and modeled the sartorial splendor, including our Audrey Wilson and Susan Taylor Glasgow. 

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Susan Taylor Glasgow teaches Michael Janis a thing or two about glass.

Susan Taylor Glasgow lashes out at Michael Janis.


Nancy Donnelly completed a commissioned artwork piece for the Lewinsville Presbyterian Church in McLean, VA.

Nancy Donnelly’s Baptismal Font.

Tim Tate and Sean Hennessey were included in Michigan’s Habatat Gallery’s International Invitational. The exhibition had over 300 works of glass art and 2 separate exhibitions.

“Radar” Tim Tate and Sean Hennessey

Erwin Timmers’ colorful eco-friendly glass sculpture was on display in the Brentwood Arts Exchange gallery’s Front Window Gallery in May. Thoughtful and ingenious, Erwin’s sculpture calls attention to contemporary issues through a creative re-engineering of often-overlooked forms and concepts, often focusing on industrial salvage and recycling.

Erwin Timmers sculptures in the Front Window Gallery. Photo by Krista Schlyer.

In May, Duncan McClellan Gallery in St. Petersburg, Florida opened an exhibit centered on works by artists of the Washington Glass School.

Duncan McClellan Gallery

Called DC-5′ – Works by Artists of the Washington Glass School, the show had works by Sean Hennessey, Michael Janis, Allegra Marquart, Tim Tate and Erwin Timmers. St Petersburg Museum of Fine Art hosted a talk by Sean and Tim about their works and process.

Sean Hennessey at St. Petersburg’s MFA.

The American Craft Council’s magazine – American Craft featured Michael Janis with a profile on his glass artwork. The huge 8 page story gave insights to his imagery and process. This issue also included work by Tim Tate, and we have learned that the April/May issue won a national publishing award – no doubt due to the WGS stories.

American Craft April/May magazine can’t fit Michael’s head on one page. Photo by Robert Severi.

Jumping from Sunny Florida to Glamorous Venice, Italy is a daunting task – but Tim Tate’s artwork can handle the leap easily. Tangents, a show featuring works by artists Christopher Baer and Tim Tate opened on the 4th floor of the Palazzo Bembo during the Venice Biennale. June
The biennial International Symposium and Exhibition of Contemporary Glass – GlassWeekend – was hosted in June by the Creative Glass Center of America at WheatonArts and the Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass.

Amy Morgan – talks about the glass sculpture in Morgan Contemporary Glass booth during GlassWeekend.


So much went on

Keke Cribbs @ GlassWeekend.


during the long weekend; a compelling keynote talk by Judith Schaechter; introduction of the 2014 “Rising Stars of Glass”; fantastic demos; looking at the candy storeof glass art, up close and personal; seeing friends, collectors and artists – it was a great time.

American University Museum‘s Katzen Arts Center opened Tim Tate’s show “Sleepwalker”. Tim’s latest work has moved toward video installations. Rich in symbol, metaphor, movement, and mystery, videos, enable us to participate in another reality. The record-breaking show featured collaborations with artists Pete Duvall and Richard Schellenberg. 

“Sleepwalker” installation at American University Museum.

Washington Glass Studio was kept busy in June – creating and installing a new commissioned artwork for Kaiser Permanente‘s refurbished and expanded Largo, MD. medical facility.

Erwin and Audrey install Kaiser Permanente

The Washington Glass Studio was also awarded the DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities’ Public Art commission for an outdoor sculpture to be located at DC’s new Unity Parkside Health Care center. The new health center is located just down the road from the Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens, a National Park Service site.

American Craft Magazine featured the collaborative team approach for the Library of Congress cast glass doors.

American Craft Magazine June/July 2013 issue re: Library of Congress cast glass.

Big congrats went out to our expat alum Jeff Zimmer. London’s  Victoria and Albert Museum, one of the world’s largest museum of decorative arts and design, acquired one of Jeff’s artworks for its permanent collection. Speaking of Brits – Susan Ratliff – a glass artist from the University of Sunderland – came to the Washington Glass School for a summer residency.

Susan Ratliff helps Audrey Wilson create the 2013 DC Shorts film awards.



Penland, NC

Sean Hennessey and Tim Tate led a tour for the Penland Auction at North Carolina’s Penland School of Crafts. The guys took the James Renwick Alliance (JRA) group to many of the the artist studios that surround Penland, some of the galleries of Asheville, and then to the beautiful setting in the Blue Ridge Mountains that surrounds Penland for the auction. Accompanying the group was Jennifer Scanlan, independent curator and craft scholar.

Aqualino Cancer Center


 August, the Washington Glass Studio installed art glass made for the the chapel in Shady Grove Hospital‘s new Aqualino Cancer Care center.
UK ceramic artist Philippa Whiteside came to next door Flux Studios to do an artist residency. UK Sunderland City Council reps came to DC to discuss future collaborative proposals and brought Philippa to the meetings with DC and UK agencies. 

Public Art talk with DCCAH

Mt Rainier’s Joes’ Movement Emporium hosted an exhibit and talk about how public art comes into being. “Public Art Concepts” gave the public a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to create artwork for a public space. The exhibit featured scale models and proposals for public art works and opening night featured a lively panel of participating artists and reps from funding agencies that have diverse experience in the public art arena.

Sean Hennessey


Sean Hennessy had a solo show at The Dunes Gallery in Washington, DC. His show, titled “The Luxury of Dreamswas a series of artworks based on interpretations of dreams submitted to Sean by friends, colleagues, strangers, and social media connections. Using bas-relief cast glass, painting, drawing, and photography, Sean created a strong and surreal body of works that takes his work to a new level. 

School was back in session with Professor Debra Ruzinsky’s lecture on the history of the studio glass movement. Students, including a class from Salisbury University, enjoyed Deb’s talk that included pre-’60s and ’70s works, works by women, European glass artists, kiln casters, and narrative works – all the alternate viewpoints.

Audrey Wilson’s artwork was selected as the best from the Midwest, 28 glass artworks from 21 glass artists have been selected for this year’s Indiana Glass Arts Alliance (IGAA) annual exhibition.  Titled “GATHERING: Contemporary Glass from the Heartland,” the exhibition at the Indiana University Kokomo Art Gallery. Nearly 150 applications, from 48 glass artists in six states, were reviewed by a two-member jury panel.  Tom Riley, who for 30 years has owned Riley Galleries, in Cleveland, Ohio along with glass artist and director of the glass program at Kent State University, Sean Mercer, collaborated on selecting artwork for the exhibition.

Audrey Wilson

Audrey – who will be having a solo exhibition at the Washington Glass School Gallery – opening Jan. 11, 2014 – had two works selected for the Indiana show.

Baltimore’s gallery and showroom Case[werks] opened its October Group ExhibitProduct Lines: Art & Function Delineated, featuring works of our eco-artist,  Erwin Timmers. Ceramics, furniture, glass, prints, textiles, and design samples were displayed in tableaus.
The pitter-patter of little feet could be heard in the studio – a part-time studio dog, Faygo, arrived. A gentle soul, the pup has been marking his territory in earnest, much to Erwin’s dismay.

Tim Tate at SOFA.

The 20th year anniversary of the big S.O.F.A. Chicago Art show proved to be a good one for the Washington Glass School artists. The show always promises to be an overload of art, ideas, artists and extravagance, and it delivered.

Susan Taylor Glasgow’s mobile chandeliers were stunning.

Also this year, a number of talks about the future of the glass movement were held;

Glass Secessionism had a round-table talk hosted by William Warmus and Tim Tate centered on Post-Studio Glass and Glass Secessionism. This talk generated a tremendous amount of buzz during the art fair, and is the ideas generated sure to continue to reverberate thru the glass world. Clearly, this is a topic that has the ability to stir passions – expect more to come. Articles about the evolving nature of studio glass and Glass Secessionism have since been published in Urban Glass’ Art Quarterly winter magazine.

Glass Secessionism panel talk at SOFA Chicago 2013. L-R Tim Tate, Perry Price, William Warmus and Jennifer Scanlan.
Audrey Wilson at CONTEXT/ Art Miami.

The winter got hot quickly – with many of the WGS artists showing at the Art Basel/Art Miami fairs. Audrey Wilson worked the fair at Alida Anderson Art Project gallery, and her artwork was among the standout pieces.

In December, we congratulated alum Jeff Zimmer on being awarded the 2014 Stephen Procter Fellowship. The international award will be taking Jeff to Australia for a residency at The Australian National University. 

Harvey Littleton, c. 1978, working at his studio in Spruce Pine, NC

December also brought the passing of the man credited with defining the start of the American Studio Glass Movement, Harvey K. Littleton. His work, his legacy of taking glass to the university, and his concepts still define much of modern glass. 

Time moves us forward, and we don’t always see the end result to which our paths lead. As we look to the future, here’s to keeping our ‘bug eyed’ sense of wonder to the medium in which we work and the people in our lives.

Best Wishes for a Great 2014 from Washington Glass School!


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