Features

American Craft Magazine Features Washington Glass School

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The Washington Glass School Team (L-R) Tim Tate, Sean Hennessey, Michael Janis, Audrey Wilson, Erwin Timmers.

The June/July issue of American Craft Magazine features one of the spectacular public art projects made by ECA artists – the Washington Glass School. The American Craft Council (ACC) is a national, nonprofit educational organization founded with a mission to promote understanding and appreciation of contemporary American craft. Their programs include the bimonthly magazine, American Craft, annual juried shows, various workshops, seminars and conferences, and more.

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Detail of one of the six cast glass pairs of doors now being installed in the Library of Congress Adams Building.

Julie K. Hanus – American Craft’s senior editor and Perry Price – the ACC’s director of education had come to the school in April and interviewed two of the Washington Glass School  directors to get the scoop on the process and the artists involved.

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The magazine article shows what goes into a complex public art project.

From the magazine: …The original doors were designed in 1939 by Lee Lawrie, the sculptor whose Atlas graces Rockefeller Center. They’re massive bronze works, depicting 13 mythological and historical figures of language and learning. Over time, they had begun to fail, straining at the hinges, and didn’t meet modern building codes. Rather than altering the historic doors to address these issues, the Architect of the Capitol made a bold decision; in addition to conserving the Lawrie doors, they would reinterpret these unique Adams Building features in glass.”

The glass panels for the doors had been cast in late 2012, and began installation in the Library of Congress Adams Building in early 2013. The article is available online – click HERE to jump to the American Craft article on the ACC website.

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Installation of the doors is scheduled to be completed in July 2013.

Michael Janis
Authored by: Michael Janis

Michael Janis developed a focus on glass after working for twenty years as an architect in the United States and Australia. Now as Co-Director of the Washington Glass School, Janis has taught at the UK’s National Glass Centre at the University of Sunderland, Penland School of Crafts, California’s Bay Area Glass Institute, Hot Glass Houston, and The Glass Furnace (Istanbul, Turkey). Awarded a Fulbright Scholarship in 2012, he became an Artist-in-Residence at the Institute for International Research in Glass (IIRG) at the University of Sunderland. Janis’ artwork has been shown at major galleries and international art fairs and is included in the permanent collection of the Art Institute of Chicago. In 2011, Janis had a solo exhibition of his artwork at the Fuller Craft Museum (Massachusetts), and was named a “Rising Star” by the Creative Glass Center of America. The James Renwick Alliance named him "Distinguished Artist 2013/2014 and had him present his work at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Janis was awarded the prestigious Mayor's Arts Award for Excellence in the Arts in 2016. Janis is also editor the Washington Glass School blog.