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Public Glass Report: Light a Spark Youth Outreach Program Exhibition

[Nate Watson, Executive Director, Public Glass SF]

Our latest Light a Spark youth outreach program exhibition, was made possible by a generous donation from GLANC and was on display to nearly 1000 people during multiple events between July 16 to Sept. 17. This summer youth project was an amazing experience for the students and for our instructors. The donation from GLANC allowed us to take the students to the De Young Museum so that they could study the different methods and materials that artists use to express ideas and to evoke reactions from viewers.

The GLANC donation also provided all of the molding materials for fusing and slumping, and materials for the final install and exhibition. Public Glass made available the entire facility throughout the summer and the instructors donated 100% of their time until the project was finished. The student's project was completely conceived of by them and executed with some guidance from the artists at Public Glass and a little help at the end from our metal fabricator neighbors at Brian Martin Metals. Our entire community of artists, Board members, staff, and neighbors are all so grateful for the contribution from GLANC, and on their behalf I thank you for helping to make an impact in the lives of the youth we serve in the Bayview neighborhood of San Francisco. We look forward to working more closely with GLANC in the future.

Artist statement from student artist Khailla Paranga

I am interested in the mystery that glass holds. Glass is limitless and the pieces that you can make are perpetual. Experimenting with glass gives me a sense of excitement. Through the help of my mentors, Kat Kazlauskas, James Freidberg, Nate Watson, and Brynn Hurlstone, I am able to execute my ideas. When I joined the Light A Spark program, the first project was to create a mobile for College Track; the organization that introduced me to Public Glass. The mobile was a collection of individual pieces made by thirteen students. We each used our personal interests and experiences as inspiration so that the mobile became a collection of all our personalities. The mobile still hangs in the foyer of College Track as an inspiration to new students. I was also part of a group of four students that collaborated with the MACLA students to create an installation for our project, The Glass Ceiling. We flame worked hundreds of borosilicate glass rods into sound waves that were installed in the MACLA gallery for the exhibition. I have participated in the San Francisco Artspan Open Studios for two years. I made pieces that I thought were eye catching and sellable. We had our own booth which was a great experience because I got to talk to many people who are also interested in glass art. I am currently working on a collaboration with Tiffani Wong. We have a very similar aesthetic and ideas about having smaller components to create a larger installation in the Public Glass Gallery. We are using hot shop techniques and kiln forming to create the components. We are also experimenting with light, shadow and movement. It is enabling us to express ourselves through glass in new ways. I am grateful for all of my wonderful and caring mentors: Kat, James, Nate, and Brynn because they have introduced me to numerous opportunities and continue to support me in my journey of understanding myself as an artist.

Artist statement from student artist Tiffani Wong

Glass art appeared in my life in the summer of 2014 and almost immediately became my favorite medium due to its flexibility, range and beauty. There is always an ease and sense of serenity when reflecting upon my finished work knowing that I am represented in it. When producing pieces, I attempt to incorporate light play, movement, illumination and convey a simple and clean aesthetic. Dancing is a very influential aspect of my life and by expressing that through my work, fluidity and structure are the two of the main focal features I look to add to the environment provided by my art.