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UT Arlington's annual glass art event offers something new for student artists, art enthusiasts

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Media Contact: Bridget Lewis

News Topics: Arlington, liberal arts, visual arts

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Intricately crafted, stunning works of glass art will go on sale to the public Friday, March 29, at UT Arlington’s annual Glass Art Show and Sale at the Studio Arts Center, 810 S. Davis Drive.

glass art

The work, designed by students, faculty and staff, will range from paperweights and vases to sculptures and other wide-ranging functional items. The sale runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with silent auction bids accepted from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

David Keens, professor and founder of UT Arlington’s glass art program, said this year’s event features glass-casting demonstrations as well as the always popular glass-blowing demonstrations. The sale also will include a lot more fused glass art pieces.

“Fused-glass art is an exciting and different type of art than we’ve normally displayed. It is growing in popularity as our mix of students grows,” Keens said. “We have students from across the country and they are eager to display their unique perspectives.”

One of those promising artists is Christine Heimerman, a graduate student from Missouri.

“I moved to Arlington years ago and raised a family,” she said. “Then a year ago, I decided to try something that I’d been interested in since age 14 – glass art. I enrolled in this program to develop my love of color and all the properties of glass.”

Steve Pecha, a retired hairstylist and undergraduate student in the program, always considered himself somewhat of an artist. It was after attending the 2012 glass art sale that he decided to enroll at UT Arlington.

“I was simply amazed at the artistry and wanted to learn more,” he said. “The instructors are able to pull things out of you that you didn’t even know you had.”

During the art sale, those students that participate in the event will have their biographies scrolled across a new flat screen television inside the studio. The television was purchased with money raised from last year’s sale.

Every year, half the proceeds from students’ work goes to the student artists. The rest of the money benefits the glass art program and is used to purchase or build equipment and to repair existing equipment. Faculty and staff build and maintain all of the program’s state-of-the-art equipment.

After nearly 16 years of hosting the shows, Keens said the bottom line for him is about the activity between the students and supporters. Though his work has been exhibited in major museums and galleries nationally and internationally, he is always eager to use his experiences as a teaching tool.

That occurred last May when renowned Seattle glass artist Dale Chihuly opened an exhibit at the Dallas Arboretum. Keens and his students were asked to assist with the installation of the glass pieces. They were then invited to appear on national television when ABC’s Good Morning America broadcast live from the Arboretum.     

Call the Studio Arts Center at 817-272-2891 for more information about the March 29 show and sale. Free parking will be available. A map is available here.

The University of Texas at Arlington is a comprehensive research institution of more than 33,800 students and more than 2,200 faculty members in the heart of North Texas. Visit to learn more.


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