Celebrating the Life of Ron Desmett August 11, 6pm Join us on Friday, August 11 for a reception to celebrate the life of Ron Desmett. We’ll share memories and stories about Ron and…
We reached our goal!
Thanks to the generosity of the donors listed below, we met our goal of raising $100,000 to establish an endowed award fund that will honor Ron's spirit and legacy in perpetuity through the annual distribution of the Ron Desmett Memorial Award for Imagination with Glass. The Ron Desmett Artist Fund was established to foster continued growth of artists and provide access to glass for artists who would otherwise not have that opportunity. The annual award from this fund will cultivate, nurture and support diverse, passionate and creative glass artists, sustaining them and honoring Ron's legacy far into the future.
Making the ordinary extraordinary
Kathleen Mulcahy and her husband Ron Desmett shared a vision in the early 1990s—to create an innovative glass art center that would transform our city. They had seen how the power of art drove economic revitalization in decaying neighborhoods and they wanted that for Pittsburgh. They envisioned a place where master artists and novices would work shoulder-to-shoulder. With the support of so many organizations and people like you, Pittsburgh Glass Center opened its doors to the public in 2001 and today educates over 20,000 people annually.
Ron is the perfect example of what happens when an artist is introduced to glass.
He was amazed, inspired, and transformed.
Not many artists have that opportunity.
He was a passionate painter and ceramicist. When he was introduced to glass, it changed his art and his life. He reinvented the process of making glass, producing black lidded trunk vessels that contrasted with the transparent and pristine qualities of most glass work. He left behind an extraordinary and beautiful legacy, utterly unique in the world of glass. His work is in the Smithsonian, Corning Museum, Tacoma Museum of Glass and Pittsburgh's own Carnegie Museum of Art! He called what he did, "Making the ordinary extraordinary."
Artists don’t often have the time and resources to experiment and try new techniques. This is what your contribution means to artists:
- Time to explore, experiment, and try new things
- Exposure to glass, for many a new and exciting artistic medium
- Expertise and assistance from talented glass artists
- State of the art facilities to create world class art
- An environment that is encouraging, nurturing, and inspiring.
The Ron Desmett Memorial Award for Imagination with Glass
This award will benefit artists who think outside of the box, practice curiosity, and take risks to create unique, imaginative works in glass or incorporating glass. In order to foster these characteristics in the next generations of glass artists, a minimum of $5,000 will be awarded annually to an artist(s) in one of four categories: Youth, Emerging Artists, the Idea Furnace, or Critical Writing.
- Youth: a student of high school age whose work embodies Ron’s spirit and shows rare talent. An awardee in this category will receive a year of free classes and private instruction at PGC.
- Emerging Artists: an artist just beginning their professional life as an artist working with glass, whose work embodies Ron’s spirit in an experimental nature and who shows great promise. This cash award will enable the artist to set aside time to spend in residency and create new works in the studios at PGC.
- Idea Furnace: an artist whose medium of choice may not be glass, but over their creative lifetime has embodied the experiential and experimental qualities that Ron held dear.. This award will support the artists time in the studio to explore glass alone or in concert with other media.
- Critical Writing: Writers are an important key to understanding and educating our region and beyond about glass art. This cash award will encourage critical thinking that best exemplifies Ron’s vision for how the “me” of an artist is translated into the work.
Details on how to apply coming soon
Heartfelt thanks to the following individuals and institutions who have generously supported the Ron Desmett Artist Fund:
Carole Bailey & Andrew Stewart
John & Karen Baillie
Judy Barie & Frank Cservak
Sam & Debbie Berkovitz
The Jack Buncher Foundation
William & Carolyn Byham
John Carson & Mary-Lou Arscott
William & Cynthia Cooley
Lu & Syl Damianos
Don Desmett & Angela Graham
John & Patricia Desmett
Kim & John Dingess
Thomas Dingo & Coleen McKay Dingo
Phil & Jill Dinuoscio
Cathy & Dan Droz
James Duesing & Ed Motznik
Constance & James Egan
Lynn & Steve Forman
The Foster Charitable Trust
Doug & Mary Louise Fowkes
Edward & Julie Gelman
Susan Taylor Glasgow
Bill & Ellen Hamilton
The Heinz Endowments
Gwen & Jeff Hilger
Dennis Huber & Faye Sampson
Karey Kluesner & Pietro Bajona
Rick & Ann Landesberg
Terry & Michael Laskowski
Glen & Pamela Limbruner
Dutch MacDonald & Becky Mingo
Joe Mannino & Jo Recht
John McSorley, MD
Marilyn & Allan Meltzer
Sharon Trocki Miller
Karen & Eugene Monti
Lorelli Moser & John Wojtyna
Susan Murray & Don Harvey
Dick & Betty Nimtz
Joan & Peter Nofsinger
Paul & Alison Oehler
The Opportunity Fund
Mark Perrott & Joan Britten
Michael & Linda Plummer
Mark & Dawn Pozuc
Frank & Jean Robinson
Caryn Rubinoff & Craig Dunham
Karl & Jennifer Salatka
The Sampson Foundation
Janet Sarbaugh & Bill McAllister
Brian & Susan Sesack
Nellie Lou Slagle
Alex Speyer III
Ann & Peter Steenkiste
Elizabeth Wainwright & Russ Kemerer
Lou & Amy Weiss
Updated as of 11/13/17. If your name is missing or listed incorrectly, please contact Rachel Niederberger at email@example.com.
SUPPORT THE RON DESMETT ARTIST FUND
Log-in and create an account to donate