Thanks Vanessa and Jennifer!

Blog Author: Chris Alexander

Glass Gathering recently received the following email from Vanessa and Jennifer, who used our website to find information about the world of glass art. Jennifer even shared links to other info on the web back to us. We are so excited because this is what we want Glass Gathering to be about - supporting our community of glass-lovers and spreading the word! Here is what Vanessa wrote:

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“I wanted to give you some feedback and let you know how much a young woman in our after school program enjoyed your page, http://glassgathering.org/cool-links . Jennifer and her parents took a trip up to Vermont recently, and they stopped at a glass blowing and hand made ceramics store- Jennifer became very interested and is going to start spending more time in the art room at school- they have a kiln and she has already done some pottery in classes, now she has more interest! 

Jennifer has been spending some time on the computers at our program, learning more about the history of working with glass, pottery, and ceramics- She called me over a few times to show me some things she was learning on your page- I was really impressed with her enthusiasm, and suggested to her we send you some quick feedback- Jenny thought it'd be cool to share another article about glass blowing- She found this one, https://www.bottlestore.com/a-guide-to-glass-blowing . I thought it was a neat article for anyone else who might be interested in glass blowing and ceramics- I was hoping you might be able to include it with your other articles? I'd love to show her that she was able to contribute another cool one for your page's visitors!

Thanks again for encouraging Jenny's interest in glass blowing and ceramics!! I always enjoy seeing kids find new hobbies and start exploring them- I can't wait to see what she starts creating! Hope you enjoy the article she wanted to share- if you end up being able to include it, would love to share with her!”

Good luck Jennifer!

GG Member Renee Armstrong at the Conroe Art League

Conroe Art League is a nonprofit organization of vibrant artists and art lovers. The art league began in 1963 with seven local artists and has grown to over 250 members. Art education is a top priority for CAL and classes are offered in a variety of mediums. We offer monthly shows featuring the work of our members. In addition to the shows, the League holds competitions throughout the year. CAL is active in the community, participating in numerous outreach programs. 

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From March 6 - March 30 the CAL will host their 4th National Invitational Art Show. Glass Gathering member Rene Armstrong was accepted and will be exhibiting. Her work “Once in a Blue Moon” was chosen as one of 72 out of 371 entries from across the United States. The piece represents elements of fused glass and polymer clay mounted on acrylic painted canvas.  It was the only hanging piece associated with glass.

Rene - congratulations and good luck in the show!

Empty Bowls Houston 2019

Blog Author: Anne Hallman-Perez

Call for Bowl Donations: Empty Bowls Houston 2019

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Empty Bowls is a grassroots effort by artists and craftspeople in cities and towns across the country to feed the hungry in their communities. Empty Bowls Houston is implemented locally by Houston-area artists working in various media, the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft and the Houston Food Bank.

For a minimum $25 donation, attendees of the fund-raising event have the pleasure of selecting a bowl from hundreds of one-of-a-kind, hand-crafted bowls donated by Houston area artists, then receive a simple lunch of soup and bread freshly prepared by the Houston Food Bank. Pottery and woodturning demonstrations and live music will be featured at the event. The empty bowls serve as a reminder of all the empty bowls in our community and around the world. 

Make and donate bowls to help feed the hungry in our community! Last year, more than 1,500 bowls in clay, wood, fiber, glass, metal and other media were donated by local artists at colleges, K-12 schools and group or individual studios. HFB is asking for your time, talent and generosity to help match that incredible number this year.

 Here are the details:

1. The Event is held on May 18th from 11:00 am - 3:00 pm, so Houston Food Bank will be setting up in the morning on May 17th. Glass Gathering members are welcome to drop off bowl donations at the May 11th meeting. These will be delivered by Anne Hallman-Perez. If you can't make that deadline, then drop off your bowls before close of business May 16th at either HCCC or the Ceramic Store.

2. Bowls need not be food safe, but if you could please include signage on the bottom or to be included with each bowl to ensure buyers are well informed of their purchase. Also, please attach any of this type of information securely to your donation. 

3. They sell soup size bowls for $25 (equals 75 meals), anything larger is priced accordingly and sold in the Select Bowl area of the event. That being said, they usually still price the glass bowls higher because these sell really well and the detail is usually worth the bump in price. If you have suggestions for pricing, please label your items clearly so that HFB can best respect your wishes with the donated items. 

4. The Glass Gathering March meeting activity (on 3/9) will include time for members and visitors to assemble a bowl to be donated. Participants will need to bring their glass or purchase it from Harmony Stained Glass. Harmony will be donating all firing costs for the bowls. If you do not have fusing experience, there will be members there who can give you guidance.

Some Thoughts on Glass Art

Blog Author: Chris Alexander

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An interesting discussion in the UrbanGlass publication Glass Quarterly Hot Sheet Caught my attention today. It is about a gallery show featuring art made with or connected to glass at the Heller Gallery in New York. Curated by John Drury they show is titled “The Other Glass: An Alternative History”. I found it provoked thought on what it is the art world expects of glass artists and a call to stay true to one’s motivations within the creative spectrum.

Drury sums up thus: “I hope to educate and share the works, personally deemed of importance, incorporating the properties and applications of the versatile material glass. As practitioners and supporters of the studio glass movement, an unequal portion of what we have historically supported is that of commercial value; sales. I continue to strive in effort to see that changed. While the artist must certainly share in the responsibility this conundrum, it is the perfect storm - a trifecta - also including museums and the glass gallery system as points of fault. Too often works of mimicry (sometimes outright thievery), colonization and the benign decorative find support in replacement, that work with strong conceptual foundation – those works worthy recognition. I use often the comparison of the daily newspaper, produced in an effort for broad appeal and to sell as many copies as is possible, thus geared to the reading level of an eighth-grade education; dumbed down to the detriment of us all. In glass - the result, that enjoying brisk sales is rarely that same work of the highest and lasting quality. We confuse capitalist potential (success?) with true aesthetic value. “

Check out the article here.

Glass Gallery in Savannah, Georgia!

On a recent trip to Savannah, Georgia, Glass Gathering members Anne & Tim Perez discovered the Liquid Sands Glass Gallery while walking about the picturesque downtown. 

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This charming little gallery nestled in the tourist district of Savannah offers a wide variety of American made art glass. The tabletop stingrays are particularly fascinating. Several varieties of uniques lighting fixtures are also on view there. Their website offers a great selection of what can be seen in the gallery: Liquid Sands.

Keep on looking out for interesting glass art and artists!

GG Member Rene Armstrong on Display!

Blog Author: Rene Armstrong

Being represented in a gallery was one of my dreams as I started my journey to become a serious artist. Somehow, I thought it would signify that I “had made it”! It is one thing to show and compete in your local art leagues/guilds or your local organizations, but it is another thing for a serious art gallery to think your work was worthy of their representation.

I think the key word in my last sentence is “representation” as a good gallery really does represent your work to their patrons. The gallery owner really needs to get to know you – what makes you “tick” as an artist. Why are you producing art, what motivates you to produce the work you make, what do you want to communicate to the admirer. I have found there are truly differences in the type of representation you might experience when you place your artwork into a gallery. If you are lucky, you will find an amazing owner/curator who does represent you and your work – yes YOU and then your work.

I casually approached Deborah Johnson of Art Connections Gallery (at that time the gallery was located in Bastrop) while I was on a Girls of ’67 fun weekend with a bunch of my high school classmates. While walking down Main Street, I saw an art gallery and slipped in the door. I was graciously greeted by Deb and was told a little about her gallery. Seeing the amazing artwork and hearing that she represented over 400 artists from all over the Unites States, I mentioned that I was an artist and found her gallery to be amazing since it was really located in a small town.

Deb questioned me about the kind of artwork I produced and of course, I whipped out my phone and showed her photographs of my Canvas & Glass series. She was interested in my work as she had never seen anyone work in both canvas and glass and thought I had an interesting angle to art. She also explained that she could not accept any new work at that time, but if an opening could come about, she would remember me.

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Follow up is always important, so when I returned home after a fun weekend, I sent Deb an email, thanking her for viewing my work. Then, a month later I received a call from Deb – her scheduled feature artist had to back out of her opening and would I be able to bring around 15 pieces of my work to her shop the following week, help her hang it, and be present for the opening. I SAID YES – and the opening was a success with me selling several pieces at the opening.

That was several years ago. I have continuously had my work in Art Connections Gallery since then with many sells and several commissions. Last year Deb moved her gallery from Bastrop to La Grange, to an amazing shop right on the historic courthouse square. Then, last summer Deb asked if I would like to be a featured artist for January 2019. Of course, I said yes and begin to think of new work that could be debuted at her gallery.

Well, sometimes things don’t work out as planned, and a little thing like surgery derailed my efforts for a solo show. Deb, being the resourceful person she is, decided to bring the three glass artists she represented into one show and call it TRIPLE PLAY IN GLASS. The resulting effort was to bring us together to show how one medium can be interpreted in different ways. I didn’t get to be there, but I understand the show was successful, and she communicated to me that the other glass artists applauded my creative use of glass in my artwork. Needless to say, I am most appreciative of their kind comments because the work these ladies do is really amazing to me.

TRIPLE PLAY IN GLASS will hang until February 2, 2019. If you are near La Grange, please stop in and view the show! Featuring works by RENE PALMER ARMSTRONG, LESLIE FRIEDMAN and DONNA SARAFIS

RENE PALMER ARMSTRONG Rene works primarily in fused glass but is not bound by traditional designs or applications. Instead she combines the glass with canvas, polymer clay, and even found objects such as carved wooden faces or art deco treasures to bring a concept to a final destiny accomplished only through the merging of various materials. Several pieces feature the carved wooden faces of woodcarver Mike Duhon.

LESLIE FRIEDMAN Worked in hot-fused glass, Friedman's pieces range from contemporary and expressionistic graphics to landscape design. "Glass allows me the flexibility to create the crisp, bold, expressive splashes of color of my contemporary pieces and the muted, naturalistic hues of my landscape forms." She develops works that are both representational and strongly emotive.

DONNA SARAFIS This Fayetteville artist is known both for her award-winning glass representations of birds, flowers, and landscapes as well as for her teaching of special techniques in glass. Falling in love with fused glass in 2001 while living in Seattle, she began to "paint with light". This has led to numerous awards for her works. She has developed innovatove new techniques in the kiln which have been featured in national magazines on glass art and are taught at her Dancing Light Fused Glass Studio.

Glass Gathering Members at the First Saturday Arts Market

Deborah Ellington of D. Ellington Art Studio and Robbie MacIver and Ron Page of Heights Art Glass showed and sold their collective work at the December First Saturday Arts Market located in Historic Houston Heights.

We had a great time! Mitch Cohen does a great job organizing the event. December was a big show with around 50 artists exhibiting their work (and selling it too). We had lots of people (and a surprising number of dogs) through our booth and enojyed talking with everyone. (We petted and got nipped at by all the dogs too.) Many people were interested to learn more about the process of making our fused glass artwork, a topic on which we could talk for days! We also noticed that almost everyone commented on and picked up the same two pieces; coral sea bowls and the woven fused bowls. We look forward to the February and March 2019 markets where we hope to have some new eyecatchers. Come out and enjoy the great art and great food!

Resources for Writing Your Artist Statement

At our April 2018 meeting we had a great discussion about writing an artist statement and bio in preparation for the annual Glass Gathering Art Show.  This year entry to the juried section of the show requires these items.  If you don't currently have an artist statement it can seem a formidable task, but it doesn't need to be.  Advice from the meeting: keep it simple, keep it short, not too much "artist speak", give a hint of why you do what you do and let your personality shine.  Below are a few articles and links to examples to get you started - good luck and we'll see you in the show!

Interesting Opportunities - Need a Travel Buddy?

There are a couple of interesting events listed on our calendar and we have some members looking for a travel / event buddy.  The first is an exhibit of work by Dale Chihuly at the Tyler Museum of Art here in Texas.  The exhibition opened in February and will close May 15th. (Look on our February calendar for more info.)

The other is the Glass Experience Madison which is four days of classes being hosted by the Vinery Stained Glass Studio in Wisconsin in support of the Kay Bain Weiner Foundation.  Again, check the June calendar page for more information.

Use the GG contact form found under the "About Us" tab if you are interested in these events and we will connect you with like-minded members!

GG Member Studio Crawl

This past weekend members of the Glass Gathering enjoyed a studio crawl and visited four different workspaces created by our glass enthusiasts and artists.  It was a really informative and helpful process to see the creative solutions our members come up with in making a space for their art.  Great discussion and great lunch afterwards!  Thanks to all who opened their doors and shared their studios.

March Meeting

We had a smaller than usual but very interesting meeting this month which centered on our show and tell session.  We often get to see finished work at show and tell, but this meeting a number of interesting projects were presented that were in-progress and experimental!  Lots of great discussion and brainstorming ensued supported by the varied experience and creativity of our members and guests - what a great resource!  Thanks to all who participated!

Congratulations!

Congratulations to member Cindy Cherrington who won second and third place with her entries at the Tomball Art League open show on March 7th in the category of fine craft!