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UTA shines spotlight on creative art education during annual Glass Art exhibit

Friday, March 4, 2016 • Media Contact: Bridget Lewis

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The University of Texas at Arlington will fire up the furnace and fuse together melted glass and brilliant color when it hosts its annual Glass Art Sale and Show Saturday, April 2 at the Studio Arts Center, 810 S. Davis St.

Hundreds of items delicately handcrafted by students and staff in the College of Liberal Arts Glass Art program will be available to the public at a fraction of the cost of similar items in professional art galleries.

Prices for the vases, paperweights, platters and other art pieces range from $5 into the thousands. The sale runs from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (or sooner, if items sell out quickly). A silent auction will take place at 2 p.m., with silent auction bids taken from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., also at the Studio Arts Center.

Another popular feature of the highly anticipated event includes live demonstrations of glass-casting, glass-blowing and other techniques used to make the art.

“We are excited and also honored to show what our group has accomplished this year,” said Justin Ginsberg, artist, glass program coordinator and assistant professor in the Department of Art and Art History. “This work is their passion and it really comes through in the art that is presented-- and in their commitment to helping the artists that will come behind them here at UTA.”

Ray Queen, an Army veteran and glass art major at UTA, says the program has helped him to better handle life after war. He hopes to teach glass art one day and own a studio.

Among this year’s standout artists are Monic Reynoso, one of the first paralyzed glassblowers in the nation. Ginsberg said his colleagues spent the past three years building specialized equipment to accommodate Reynoso and her wheelchair. Her efforts have helped to raise nearly $8,000 in the past year to help support student travel and visiting artists.

Another featured student artist is Ray Queen, a wounded Army veteran who served in Iraq. He has been using glass to help battle Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

“Coming home from combat and into the civilian world was a very large and very difficult transition, and dealing with PTSD, hallucinations and other issues didn’t make things easier for me,” said Queen. “When I found the glass department at UTA, it was like coming home. It’s helped me to deal with issues and to feel human again. I’ve found my voice through art and I am forever thankful for the program.”

The annual Glass Art Sale and Show draws enthusiasts from across Texas and from neighboring states, which attests to the uniqueness and strong demand for work of this caliber.

The annual Glass Art Sale and Show is such a popular event that crowds line up before the doors open, with fans coming from across Texas and nearby states.

“We are fortunate to have in UTA, a creative art program that is both educating and preparing artists for the global marketplace,” said Tarrant Co. Judge Glen Whitley, a UTA Distinguished Alumni and glass art enthusiast. “UTA’s glass art program is an amazing point of pride and accomplishment for the University as its students and their work continue to gain national and international attention.”

In recent years, several of the program’s faculty members, staff and students have earned prominent recognition. Ginsberg won acclaim for curating work in Berlin. Jean Fernandes, an adjunct professor of art, exhibited award-winning work in Prague. In 2012, ABC’s Good Morning America featured UTA students after they helped with the installation of a glass art exhibit by renowned Seattle glass artist Dale Chihuly at the Dallas Arboretum.  

Funds raised through the one-day only glass art sale help to purchase or maintain the facility, materials, equipment, tools and scholarships. The event and the work of the glass art students, faculty and staff are representative of how UTA is helping to build more sustainable urban communities, one of the four main themes under the University’s Strategic Plan 2020: Bold Solutions | Global Impact.

Call the Studio Arts Center at 817-272-2891 for more information about the April 2 show and sale. Free parking is available near the building. View a campus map here.

About The University of Texas at Arlington

The University of Texas at Arlington is a Carnegie “highest research activity” institution of more than 50,000 students in campus-based and online degree programs and is the second-largest institution in The University of Texas System. The Chronicle of Higher Education ranked UTA as one of the 20 fastest-growing public research universities in the nation in 2014. U.S. News & World Report ranks UTA fifth in the nation for undergraduate diversity. The University is a Hispanic-Serving Institution and is ranked as the top four-year college in Texas for veterans on Military Times’ 2016 Best for Vets list. Visit to learn more, and find UTA rankings and recognition at