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World-class glass artist set to visit UT Arlington

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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

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Media Contact: Sue Stevens

ARLINGTON - Seattle artist James Mongrain will be a visiting artist in The University of Texas at Arlington's Department of Art and Arts History Feb. 14 though 21. He will work daily in the glass studio, 810 S. Davis Drive.

photo of glass artMongrain, a Minnesota native, moved to Seattle in 1995 at the invitation of internationally acclaimed glass artist Dale Chihuly to work on the "Chihuly over Venice" installation. The project took Mongrain to glass factories in Ireland, Mexico and France and culminated with the installation of 14 chandeliers over the Venetian canals and piazza. Mongrain was also a lead figure in a team of glassblowers working on Chihuly's "Fiore Di Como" in the Bellagio Hotel, Las Vegas. In 1997, Mongrain opened Mongrain Glass Studio in Seattle, which he continues to own and operate.

"He is a world class glass artist, and this is rare opportunity to host him here in Arlington," said Professor David Keens, who directs UT Arlington's glass art program.

Mongrain was introduced to glass while enrolled at Moorhead Minnesota State University. He later studied glassblowing at Massachusetts College of Art and the Appalachian Center for Crafts in Smithville, Tenn. At the onset of his career, Mongrain worked throughout the county in hot shops, where molten glass is formed into art objects, gaining technically proficiency in the Venetian tradition of goblet making.

photo of glass artHis work has been exhibited nation-wide in galleries including the American Craft Museum in New York City; William Traver, Foster White and Vetri in Seattle; Jenkins Johnson Gallery in San Francisco; Louisville Museum of Art in Kentucky; Marta Hewitt in Cincinnati; Grohe Glass Gallery in Boston and The Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh. He continues to work for Chihuly and other artists on special projects, but has primarily focused on designing and crafting Venetian goblets, Veronese vases and a variety of custom work including sculptural chandeliers.

Mongrain has been a visiting artist at numerous universities in the United States and Europe, and his work has been published in such as House and Garden and Elle Décor, as well as various glass magazines.

Contact David Keens at 817-272-2804 or dkeens@uta.edu to schedule an interview and photographs.

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The University of Texas at Arlington is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.

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