Tonight, the Pittsburgh Glass Center opens an exhibition entitled “ASPIRE: A Retrospective of Young Talent” that brings together a variety of glass works from former tech apprentices at this nonprofit glass center. The disparate works gathered for exhibit reflect the divergent paths artists pursue upon moving on from the training program as they seek out their individual artistic directions.
The exhibit will feature 45 pieces from 22 former tech apprentices, ranging from blown glass vessels, jewelry items, and a model airplane formed entirely of glass. Heather McElwee, executive director of PGC found the “diverse population” of these artists “exciting” as she said in an email exchange with the GLASS Quarterly Hot Sheet. Among the included artists are Jess Amarnek, Jason Bauer, Jon Capps, Zach Compton, Brian Engel, Daneal Ferraro Hansel, Kaley Finegan, Jason Forck, Elizabeth Fortunato, Jarrod Futscher, Billy Guilford, William Haynes, Everett Hirche, Chris Hofmann, Laura Konopinski, Janice Larko, Ashley McFarland, Scott Percival, Liz Potenza, Suzie Ririe, Travis Rohrbaugh, and Becky Smith.
Over the course of seven years, PGC’s tech apprentice program has taken in almost 25 artists to work and live in Pittsburgh. These apprenticeships last for a year. McElwee says that these apprentices learn mostly skills related to “studio management and maintenance” as they “work with the master glass artists PGC brings in from around the world to teach classes, create exhibitions, and be artists in residence.”