Nearly Half a Million Paid to Artists
An important part of our mission is to support artists. This year we directly supported artists by employing them as instructors to teach workshops and classes; hosting artist residencies; and selling their work in our retail space. By the end of the year we’re projected to pay artists over $450,000!
Over $1 Million in Earned Revenue
We’re projecting earnings of $1,063,000 this year from classes and workshops, studio rental, and retail sales—a 9% increase from 2022. We saw major growth in all three categories of earned revenue from 2022.
Class registration continues to excel even during construction, and is projected to reach $842,000 for 2023, breaking our previous records.
To date, we have 270 active memberships, about a 20% increase from 2022. Members attended private exhibition previews and artist lectures, toured artists’ studios, and visited Calvary United Methodist Church to view the Tiffany windows. Additionally, we added a new website feature to easily add memberships to your shopping cart and see your class registration discounted in real time.
Light Lab: An Illuminating Experience
With support from The Pittsburgh Foundation, we launched the Light Lab, a mobile neon and plasma demonstration station that electrifies learning about neon and plasma. PGC neon expert Percy Echols II, a Pittsburgh-based artist, alchemist, and educator, pioneered its development to shine a light on the artistic and scientific application of electrified gasses. The Light Lab has already traveled all over the city, from Obama Academy and Arsenal Elementary to Perry High School and more, lighting it up for more than 3,000 fascinated viewers.
Over 25,000 Email Subscribers
To increase visibility and outreach in the community, we actively worked to expand our email list by updating our website, hosting free events at PGC, and traveling into the community with our mobile glass studios for demonstrations and activities. This spring we checked off an important goal on our strategic plan when our email list exceeded 25,000 subscribers! Get on the list!
Teenage Double Feature
We’re keeping the pipeline full for the future by educating and exciting young people with glass art. Our middle school after-school program doubled in size this year, making it our largest middle school group ever. Plus, we held not 1 but 2 teen boot camps this summer with a total of 64 students (new and returning), which included a few who traveled from out of state. We celebrated the end of both programs with an art show that attracted lots of friends and family.
Collaboration with Crafting the Future
In May we had our second Mentorship Residency with Crafting the Future, an organization working to increase access to creative enrichment for BIPOC artists. In the Hot Shop, Leo Tecosky, an installation and glass artist, teamed up with LA Briggs from Firebird Community Arts (Chicago, IL) to work on hollow and solid sculptures. Sculptor and glass artist Kimberly Thomas worked alongside Emily Martin of Hilltop Artists (Tacoma, WA) on narrative assemblages in the flame shop.
Virtual Reality Is Real at PGC
We launched the first-of-its-kind virtual reality educational and creative glassblowing experience with Carnegie Mellon University Entertainment Technology Center (ETC). Over 15 weeks, a team of ETC graduate students called “Prism Beam” designed a virtual experience that educates, engages, and inspires middle and high students about the glassmaking process. The project was awarded a gold medal at the Serious Play Conference this year.
PGC Glass Collectors Travel to Murano
In March a group of glass art appreciators traveled from Pittsburgh to Italy for a special collectors’ tour of Venice and Murano. They experienced everything from 11th generation glass makers such as Lino Tagliapietra to incredible women like the sisters at Massimo Micheluzzi who are exciting the art world. The group had cocktails with curators, toured the Guggenheim and other museums, watched Bevilacqua weave velvet, and much more. “It was the experience of a lifetime,” said one attendee.
Groundbreaking to Construction—A Total Transformation
This top 10 list would not be complete without acknowledging the transformation that has occurred here at 5472 Penn Avenue.
We broke ground in March and now in December we have an 11,000 sq. ft. expansion enclosed and ready for the final touches to be installed in early 2024.