PGC's Year in Review
Martha Stewart ♥ Penn + Fairmount
We launched our first line of glassware this year in collaboration with Monmade. Martha Stewart took notice at NY NOW, the leading trade show for the home, lifestyle and gift market, and included a handblown pitcher from the line in her magazine Martha Stewart Living as one of her holiday picks for the season. Sales of the Penn+Fairmount line continue through the holidays.
PGC Turns 16, Gets Driver’s License
Hot Wheels, our new mobile glass studio, hit the road this fall.
We had our first glassblowing demonstrations at the Erie Art Museum and the PAEA teachers’ conference. This spring we plan to be out and about all over the city.
Local Artists Earn Over $30k at SOFA
We were invited to SOFA, the Sculpture Objects Functional Art and Design expo in Chicago, to present Jason Forck and Seth Clark’s exhibition “Dissolution.” Visitors were thrilled by the work, expressing interest in future commissions and exhibitions. The artists sold artwork valued at $30k.
$100k Raised in an Extraordinary Outpouring of Support
We were sad to say goodbye to co-founder Ron Desmett. Thanks to the generosity of so many donors who also loved and admired him, we quickly surpassed our initial goal of $20,000 and then exceeded the $100,000 goal 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.
All for Glass and Glass for All
It is our goal to make the glass art community more diverse, vibrant and accessible. This year we received new funding from The Fine Foundation to offer scholarships specifically to veterans. We were also excited and challenged to offer private glassblowing instruction to a deaf and blind individual who wanted to attend a workshop with his family.
Making an Immediate Impact
We hired a new development manager, Rachel Niederberger, who brought significant experience and expertise to PGC from the Pittsburgh Symphony. PGC has not had a development professional in over 10 years. In her first six months Rachel has raised over $115,000, secured three new grants and introduced us to many new friends in the community.
Art on Fire’s Highest Gross in Penthouse Location
Art on Fire moved on up this year to the penthouse of the Frick Building. It was a grand celebration and nearly 400 friends and glass appreciators showed up to show their support and help us raise the most money to date—over $200,000.
Two Major Awards for One Special Artist
For the first time, we received two important grants for one visiting artist. Advancing Black Arts in Pittsburgh and the Investing in Professional Artists program directly support Sharif Bey, a ceramic artist and professor of art education who is currently in residence learning to make glass and incorporate it into his ceramic art for an upcoming spring exhibition at PGC.
PGC Artists Debut at Erie Art Museum
In a rare and important opportunity, Pittsburgh glass artists were invited to show their work at the Erie Art Museum this year. 17 artists participated in the exhibition “Making the Ordinary Extraordinary” that was dedicated to Ron Desmett. The exhibition will travel to PGC in 2018.
All Studio Upgrade
As a result of a facility evaluation and extensive feedback from our students and renters, we upgraded all of the glass studios. The studios were rearranged to be more efficient and allow more space for artists to create. New equipment was installed including a big saw, a new 220 grinder and two new kilns. Students and artists applaud the new additions and are booking rental time to try all of the new equipment.