West Reading Avenues Spring 2021 - 19

Levi Landis, Executive Director. Landis cited the vitality of outdoor
programs such as the annual Iron Pour, Pumpkin Palooza, and
demonstrations at the Penn Street Market and elsewhere. " Since
we have such a dynamic campus experience, it's easy to become
overly-focused on pulling people into our doors, " Landis said.
" But we have engaged new people and met dynamic artists when
we simply moved programs outside of our walls. "
The temporary closure of GoggleWorks' on-campus hot glass
shop, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, led Compton and Hot
Glass Studio Manager Scott Krenitsky to consider creative, new
ways to serve the mission. The leaders reexamined a long-held
dream of taking one of their most popular creative processes
offsite.
" The potential and possibilities in having the smaller mobile
furnace are very exciting! " said Scott Krenitsky, Hot Glass Studio
Manager. " We can now do live glassblowing demonstrations in
any school parking lot, participate in many downtown events
and festivals, and even offer classes and workshops off-site to
reach a much broader audience. It will also allow us to continue
our usual operations in our studio on a smaller scale by running
a variety of programs with a limited capacity of students, as well
as catering to renters in our local glass community. "
Support from the Windgate Foundation and Wyomissing
Foundation helped realize the leaders' dream, which will provide
immediate assistance for working artists during the health crisis
and continued community programs post-pandemic.
" Our central goals are to meet those in the community where
they are, providing flexibility for health concerns in the near
future and broader access to high-quality education long-term, "
Compton said. " The GoggleWorks team hopes to continue
the momentum and build a broad mobile platform that will
offer other art mediums, methods and materials through similar
outdoor programs. "
The Hot Glass Studio is located in Building 5 on the GoggleWorks
campus, which is the former boiler room for the historic Willson
Goggle Factory. The studio boasts 3,000 square feet of communal,
state of the art studio space for teaching, public demonstrations,
and artist work. Classes are taught by professional artists and
educators over three terms per year - spring, summer, and fall.
The studio also offers public demonstrations and workshops for
the public; passport and residency programs to develop career
artists; and portfolio prep for Reading High School students.
Leaders plan to open the on-campus studio soon to facilitate
the summer slate of classes, artist rentals, and a prominent hot
glass artist as their 2021 summer artist-in-residence.

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West Reading Avenues Spring 2021

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