Sunday, March 30, 2014

TA's for Interactive Light

I pleased to introduce to you, Aaron Blendowski and Julie Conway, the two talented professional artists who will be my teaching assistants for Interactive Light at Pilchuck in May.  There were other very qualified artists who applied for this job making my choice difficult, I wish to thank them and hope that they will be joining our plasma neon class regardless.

Aaron Blendowski, Movement Barrier
Julie Conway, LINEAGE 
I first met Aaron Blendowski in my neon class at Pilchuck in 2004 as one of my students.  Aaron brought great imagination and enthusiasm to the class demonstrating the potential for neon to express a sculptural vision.  He was quick to understand that bending and filling neon tubes was only part of the way to a finished sculpture.  He recognized to complete a light sculpture requires an understanding of how to finish the artwork with a base to contain the transformer and other components necessary to present the completed work.  Aaron returned to Detroit’s College of Creative Studies to complete his BFA then entered the MFA program at Cranbrook Academy of Art.  Graduating from Cranbrook in 2006 with an emphasis in sustainability and furniture design, Aaron quickly found a home in Detroit’s emerging cutting edge design community.  He is a co-founder of OmniCorpDetroit, a hacker space in Detroit’s Eastern Market, and he works as a freelance artist/designer under the name of Real OK Design, building furniture, objects, and architecture. Cranbrook Academy of Art isn’t done with him yet, Aaron is currently the Fabrications Coordinator at Cranbrook where he oversees the Woodshop/CNC fabrication equipment and consults with students about professional art practices.

See Aaron Bendowski’s Artwork at:

Aaron Blendowski, Threat Manager 2
Aaron Blendowski, Partycles

Julie Conway, FIAMMA

The other TA for this summer’s class is Julie Conway of Seattle, where she operates her own glass studio Illuminata specializing in art glass and lighting design.  Julie brings an incredible amount of hands-on experience in glass working and design from furnace to flameworking.  She has worked at many glass schools both in the US and Europe, most notably on the island of Murano in Venice Italy for Abate Zanetti Scuola del Vetro.  For 8 years at the Abete Zanetti Glass School, Julie organized courses in glass and was a teaching assistant for many visiting international glass faculty.  Beside her extensive glass working experience Julie has a passion for the environment and feels we have a responsibility as glass artists to use our limited natural resources to their greatest effiency.  To realize this vision she founded in 2007 as a resource for glass artists to share best practices and methods for working energy efficient.  This year at Chicago GAS 2014, Julie and Chris Clark hosted a Green Forum to discuss practical ways glass artists can spare the planets resources and continue to use glass as an art medium.
See Julie Conway’s Artwork at: and

Julie Conway, PIOGGIA

I am so enthused these two skilled and experienced artists have agreed to join me and share our knowledge of art with this class in interactive light sculpture.
I know we’re going to discover together a bunch of new things about working with light and how that relates to the mission of making art.

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