ArtsWA: Fueling the Fire for Hot Shop Heroes

thumbnail_logo-artswa-washington-state-arts-commission-2Just as we were getting ready to close Museum of Glass to slow the spread of COVID-19 we received some great news from the Washington State Arts Commission (ArtsWA), an organization that has been promoting the value of arts in Washington communities since 1961.

The Washington State Arts Commission, through its partnership with Creative Forces*, has provided MOG’s Hot Shop Heroes™ program with a $1,400 grant to purchase tools, molds and glass for the Museum’s new Hot Shop Heroes Advanced Production Class, which launched in January 2020. Through this award, Hot Shop Heroes was also able to purchase a customized mold for signing glass art pieces created during the class. Members of the class are learning how to create salable glass art for the Museum of Glass store. The Advanced Production Class gives participants a chance to pay-it-forward. Proceeds generated from the sale of these items benefit the Hot Shop Heroes program.

Since 2013 MOG’s Hot Shop Heroes program has offered glassmaking classes for soldiers and veterans with post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury. Museum of Glass partners with the Warrior Transition Battalion and the Intrepid Spirit Center at Joint Base Lewis-McChord and the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs.

To learn more about ArtsWA visit: arts.wa.gov

thumbnail_th*Creative Forces: NEA Military Healing Arts Network is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with the U.S. Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs and the state and local arts agencies that seeks to improve the health, wellness, and quality of life for military and veteran populations exposed to trauma, as well as their families and caregivers.

GLASS BREAK: Sarah Gilbert

Pride month may be over, but for the month of July, Glass Break will be highlighting LGBTQ+ artists ALL MONTH LONG. If you don’t know what Glass Break is, here’s a little background. Glass Break is a new video series exploring topics related to all things glass. This series includes interviews with the MOG Hot Shop Team discussing their experience working with the featured Visiting Artists, past clips of live glassblowing, and much more.

This week MOG’s own Sarah Gilbert will be featured with some throwback footage from her most recent residency in the Hot Shop.

Tune in Friday, July 10 at 1pm and enjoy a Glass Break with MOG!

View the live stream at: museumofglass.org/the-hot-shop

About the artist: Sarah Gilbert received her BFA from the Rochester Institute of Technology in 2005. Utilizing glass to communicate a narrative, Gilbert catalogs and documents the stories of daily life. Her work has been shown around the world and she was recently a Hauberg Fellow at Pilchuck Glass School. Gilbert was also chosen as part of Young Glass, the competitively juried international exhibition featuring the work of emerging artists working in glass, held once a decade at Glasmuseet Ebeltoft in Denmark.

Learn more about Gilbert and follow her work at:

A New Kind of Community Garden #HOPEGROWSHERE

Whether you’ve been out of a walk or running errands through Downtown Tacoma, you may have noticed many newly installed window displays. Each containing floral artwork accompanied with a simple message, Hope Grows Here.

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Staying home in an effort to fight the current global health crisis is important, but isolation can be difficult for many individuals. This is why MOG and many other establishments have come together, with the support of MultiCare, to bring messages of hope during this unprecedented time.

MultiCare describes this initiative as:

“For the past several weeks, we have seen local artists and businesses create dozens of window gardens throughout our cities and neighborhoods in order to spread hope and remind each other that we’re all in this together. These window gardens are collages of flowers with words of hope and words of appreciation for health care and essential workers. Many community members have joined by decorating their own windows at home.

We hope these flowers remind you that although you may be experiencing physical or emotional isolation, you are not alone. We’re all in this together.”

Visit MultiCare’s page to view their gallery of #HOPEGROWSHERE window art, volunteer and donation opportunities, or how you can support healthcare workers with words of encouragement. Let the art lead the way to help those in need. We are in this together.

#TacomaStrong #HopeGrowsHere

 

Don’t call it a comeback….

That’s right folks, As the Pipe Turns, the one and only Museum of Glass blog is back to bring you all the glass-related information you didn’t know you needed. As the Museum adapts to these changing times the blog will become a place to continue exploring your passion for glass – including interviews with artists, behind the scenes details from the Curatorial team, community events, and more.

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Now more than ever, it is essential for MOG to continue igniting creativity, fueling discovery, and enriching lives through glass and glassmaking. While engagement with the Museum may look a little different, Museum of Glass remains a place to share and promote the importance of art in the community. So, please comment what YOU want to hear about and let’s get the conversation going.

Thank you for your continued support and be sure to follow As the Pipe Turns for upcoming post updates.

 

Lessons Learned Through Hot Shop Heroes

By Chad Widmer, Hot Shop Heroes student

In the Museum of Glass Hot Shop Heroes: Healing with Fire glassmaking classes, I’ve observed that there are a lot of life lessons in glassblowing. For example, always keep the glass turning and don’t let it get off center. If you keep turning when you are off center, you will get horribly out of shape! Let go of things that don’t go right—just make another one. Sometimes you just have to work with what you get. You can shape things when they are ready, but if they are not, you might break something if you force it. And, make gravity your friend—sound advice for any profession.

I suppose, what we veterans are doing in the Hot Shop Heroes program is art therapy. For me, it is making a difference. It’s been a long time since I’ve looked forward to anything. The civilian world is just different than the military world. I’ve been out for a while and it’s good to be around people who speak the same language again. I am genuinely happy to see everyone at the start of each Hot Shop Heroes session, and I am deeply disappointed if I miss one. We are working on teams again. We look out for each other by shielding with paddles, opening the furnace doors, and watching each other’s sculptures progress. Nothing beats seeing the genuine joy in someone’s eyes when they blow cap a bubble for the first time.

In my day job, I am a marine biologist at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium (I used the GI Bill and Army College fund to pay for college). I designed and curated the jellyfish exhibition, which exemplifies jellyfish as living art. The exhibit is filled with jellyfish, paintings, sculpture, and music. Glass is of course a natural fit. I’ve been adding pieces we have made in class inside of my jellyfish displays.

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As I progress, I hope to add some amazing substrates for deep-sea creatures to live on—stay tuned. The thing I love most about working with glass is that with enough practice you can make anything you want. I love that freedom.

People sometimes say, “Thank you for your service.” I don’t know how to respond to that… but I can now sincerely say to the Museum of Glass Hot Shop Heroes program, “Thank you for making it worth it.”