In addition to being a state-of-the-art glass study, the Pittsburgh Glass Center (PGC) is also an art gallery, non-profit education center, and community builder in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Their most recent vitreous exhibition, titled Proinfeatures three artists from Season 3 of Netflix’s reality TV series It explodes.
Opened in early 2001, PGC’s goal is to educate and inspire while demonstrating the power of the arts to positively impact the community. Their exhibition “Undefined” highlights the works of three glass artists, John Moran, Minhi England, and John Sharvin. In 2021, these three artists competed with seven other hopeful glass ghost artists in the Netflix hit series, “Taken Away” and the remaining three became finalists.
The title of the exhibition took on a different meaning for each artist, but the exhibition is linked by certain commonalities themessuch as “inconvenient conversations about the human condition”. Part of the show John Shavin depicts is themes of nostalgia and childhood wonder through his use of miniatures. The mixed media exhibition by artist John Moran uses classical movements and contemporary concepts to explore the blurred lines between perception and reality driven by social media. Finally, Minhi’s English work uses distorted and multiplied mirrors to illustrate the evolving perceptions involved in grief and mourning.
“My work explores the emotional process, the inexplicable feelings of the senses, and how it reflects outwardly. Private thoughts are exposed as they transform into our behavior. We use the mirror to refer to the collision between the world as we see it and the world as it exists. For me, the mirror is a tool to connect the internal point with the external interaction. Sometimes seeing is not always believing. Mirrors in our work are more than flat, true thoughts vaguely distorted, stretched and obscured enough to be believable. – My England
Although the three artists were originally competitors, their common use in the exhibition was mutual aid and companionship when working through the Pittsburgh Glass Center’s Artist in Residence program.
Founded by local glass artists Kathleen Mulcahy and the late Ron Desmett, the facility has attracted more than 375,000 people to take classes or workshops, attend exhibitions, and tour studios/equipment in the two decades since its opening. The facility also offers classes and workshops during its “Hot Jam” events, which take place on the first Friday of each month and include glass-making demonstrations and exhibitions of contemporary glass art.
The “indefinite” exhibition will also include the “Remake Learning Day Open House” event, which will be held on May 5, 2023. The event allows visitors to explore the “undefined” exhibition and create their own mixed media gallery inspired by the works of the planet. It also includes live narrated demonstrations in their studios where participants can practice with local artists.
Also committed to sustainability, the Pittsburgh Glass Center was designated as a green building according to the Leader in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified green design and received LEED Gold certification (which recognizes excellence in energy use, water use, and air quality) in 2006. Elements architecture such as garage doors, exposed walls, and glass floors are recycled and parts of the building’s energy come from wind power.