By Chip Chandler — Digital Content Producer
A pair of glass artists who work with the acclaimed Dale Chihuly will demonstrate their art at Night Blow on Friday and Saturday.
Jason Christian and Jay Thrash will heat up the evening both Friday and Saturday at the West Texas A&M University glass studio, outside Mary Moody Northen Recital Hall on the Canyon campus. Both events begin at 6:30 p.m., but Friday's is an invitation-only party for supporters of The Arts at WTAMU, while Saturday's is free and open to the public.
"We really wanted to hold onto that public night because we want to reach the general population," said Chad Holliday, a WT art professor who runs the glass studio. "One of the great things about the studio glass movement was that the whole thing was built on ... collaboration, not competition. ... When you see somebody doing something, you want to do it, too. We get inspired by it."
Christian has been a glassworker for nearly 20 years, inspired by a visit to a glass studio in his hometown of Seattle.
"I guess, initially, (I was drawn to) the movement in the fire, to be honest," Christian said. "The movement of the material and the capabilities of the material — how they're basically to infinity and beyond.
"Those were the initial things that inspired me, and they still do continue to motivate me on a daily basis, for sure."
Thrash first encountered glassblowing at an event that's similar to Night Blow.
"They made it a party scene. The lights were low, and it was really super-mesmerizing," he said.
That could, the artists hope, inspire future glassworkers.
"I know it can be difficult to find places where live glassblowing is going on," Christian said. "It's really cool to be traveling to places like here, where everybody is excited about the material and what you're making."
Though both work with glass daily, they said they'll emphasize the entertainment factor at Night Blow.
"Some of it is so routine, and we can even amp that up," Thrash said. "With this event, Jason is going to make a lot of intricate things that are pretty delicate and mesmerizing at the same time. There will be some flash."
While in Canyon, the artists will serve as guest instructors for students in Holliday's classes and studio.
Night Blow also will feature performances by WT dancers and music coordinated by Darrell Bledsoe, a WT faculty member. Other artists, including ceramicist Chloe Rizzo of Amarillo College, also will demonstrate and sell work.
Also on view is an exhibition by glass artist Patrick Martin in the Mary Moody Northen Gallery.