UNK Glass Blowing Open House, Demonstrations and Sale Set for Saturday, Nov. 6, at UNK.

Chad Fonfara
Department of Art, 308.865.8253 OR fonfarac1@unk.edu

UNK– The University of Nebraska at Kearney Glass and Sculpture Club will present their annual open house, glass blowing demonstrations and glass sale Saturday, Nov. 6, on the campus.

The open house, which is free and open to the public, will take place from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., in the UNK Otto Olsen Building, Room 137. UNK advanced glass students will sell their unique works and demonstrate the art of glass blowing throughout the day.

“The benefit of the open house and glass sale is to open up the glass program for one day a year inviting everyone in the Kearney community to come see what glass blowing at UNK is about,” said Chad Fonfara, UNK assistant professor of art. “The glass blowing process by its very nature is immediate and exciting to watch, and hot shops are not that common, so it’s a chance for everyone to come be entertained.”

Thom McMahon, a glass artist from Smithville, Tenn., will also be giving demonstrations during the open house. McMahon has been at UNK as a visiting artist and guest lecturer.

“My goal, simply, is to execute well-crafted, blown and sculptural glass objects, while assisting other artists or fabricating my own designs,” McMahon said.

“The week-long glass workshop Thom McMahon is conducting will benefit the glass students by exposing them to a professional glass artist in a region of the country where there is a scarcity of working professional glass artists,” Fonfara said.

New to the open house will be examples of Venetian goblet-building techniques. Venetian goblet making was integrated into the UNK fall curriculum this year, after Fonfara had the opportunity to study under internationally acclaimed glass master William Gudenrath at Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, N.Y.

According to Fonfara, the cost range for items in the glass sale will be $5-$100+, with the average cost being around $20 for the hand-blown ornaments.

“The big seller at the open house is the ornaments, and this year we have new colors and shapes available for sale,” said Fonfara.
According to Fonfara, a portion of the proceeds will go to the UNK Glass and Sculpture Club, while the remainder will go to the individual artists, so they may purchase new color and equipment to further their studies.

The UNK Glass and Sculpture Club is a non-profit student organization, whose mission is to build connections among student artists and create opportunities to advance their learning.