2011 Student Scholarship Recipients and Jurors

Getting Students to the Conference

These recipients were chosen from 58 applicants representing 33 different schools and 7 countries. The scholarships provided financial support to assist these eligible full-time student members of GAS in attending the 2011 Glass Art Society conference in Seattle, WA. GAS would like to extend thanks to the 2011 Jurors: Sally Prasch, David Reekie and Kait Rhoads.

Kelly McGarrigle - Winship Scholarship
Josh DeWall
Ben Johnson
Katelin Leidner
Christopher McElroy
Kathryn Wightman

2011 Becky Winship Flameworking Scholarship Recipient

Kelly McGarrigle

Tyler School of Art, Philadelphia, PA USA  


I am making a body of work that speaks of a macro- micro relationship between the parts of an object and the whole they create. I work primarily with clear glass at a flame working torch to create multiples that all work together to form a larger, cohesive piece in which repetition and lighting are essential aspects of the final installation. I am inspired by the notions of synchronicity and the transfer of energy that occurs during the natural life cycle of every living organism. The forms I make subtly reference natural systems such as roots, veins, trees, sea forms, streams, molecules, and organisms, yet, they are also ambiguous and easily interpreted by the viewer. The installations I create are deeply rooted in the notion that the whole can’t exist without its parts, however, my work goes beyond this to deal with the interactivity of the object and the viewer, and more importantly, the cause and effect relationship created between the light, the glass, and the wall; which in the end brings the piece to life.I use these types of visual references as a platform to work and expand off of in the process of creating subtle, illusionary glass installations. I use clear glass and light as my mode of expression because clear glass embodies honest and ephemeral qualities that do not exist in other materials, this combination allows me to draw the viewer’s attention away from the object and onto the “imperfect replication” of its shadow. By bringing attention to the shadow of an object one is able to step back from the work and question whether the glass object is the art, or if the transformative shadow created by the glass is in fact the art. By pushing this relationship between the glass and the shadow, as well as the relationship between the object and the viewer I am able to create a unique viewing experience that generates a more intimate connection between viewer, the space, and the work. Also, I find that using pure elements enables me to create seamless compositions on the wall in which the viewer’s shadow can enter at certain points.


2011 General Student Scholarship Recipients

Josh DeWall

Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY USA  


What is important for me in my work is the exploration and the discovery involved in creating art. I believe you should love what you do, and what I enjoy most is the visual comprehension of a work or project evolving. Sometimes I begin with a strict or focused idea and attempt to execute it. Other times I develop a piece with a very loose objective, allowing the idea and process to transform and evolve. By working somewhat intuitively allows a great possibility of new knowledge and discovery. With that being said, influences on my work have always been natural processes and phenomenon. I believe you can learn a lot about the world by observing nature. It is also interesting that it seems a lot of artists or crafts people utilize the concept of, or at least reference nature in their work. It does make sense to desire this connection in an ever growing digital world.

Ben Johnson

Ball State University, Muncie, IL


These contemporary sculptures come from my own fascinations with natural occurrences that control our environment and the way living organisms affect one another.  The pathological conditions of a part of an organism result from causes such as infection, genetic defects, or environmental stress, and are characterized by an identifiable group of signs and symptoms. Things like bacteria and disease grow and feed off of other living organisms to survive, leaving the host rotten and decayed.  The result is the organism being frail and weak, usually going unnoticed until the destruction of one thing invading another is apparent. As artists we have the ability to change the way that people perceive things in our environment, to make the invisible visible, and to visualize the unknown into reality.  I use glass to communicate the interconnections that we cannot always see.  The material speaks as a metaphor for natural occurrences with all of its contradiction and layers of fragility, sharpness, transparency, translucency, opacity and an interior visual surface.  It is process based abstraction. Glass flows and moves when it is hot but once it is cooled it is frozen in time.  This allows me to use natural forces such as gravity to influence my work.

Katelin Leidner

Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY


Over the course of my studies at RIT, I plan to develop a series of work that uses the unique properties of glass to create a new innovative way of portraying aspects of human biology and anatomy. I am extremely dedicated to learning this craft. My love for the medium has conquered all indecisiveness and fear about what I wish to pursue in my career and path in life. I initially came to RIT as a medical illustration major. I took a leap of faith when moving my life to RIT and choosing medical illustration. When I found glass, I knew I had to take that leap of faith again. I see my glass work as an extension of my medical illustration. Now, I aim to incorporate human anatomy in 3-D and 2-D applications in my work. I see bones, muscles, and organs as beautiful structures while others may be disgusted. As a junior in the glass department, I continually challenge myself and take risks in my work because I want to learn as much as I can and gain a broad range of experience. My strength is casting, but I do not limit myself with one technique in the medium. I refuse to take the easy route with anything I do. I always intend to push the limits of the capabilities of glass in my work. Also, I have realized the potential successes in failures. As an artist, I overcome challenges and work with the misshaps to create an original, successful piece.


Christopher McElroy

University of Washington, Seattle, WA


While trying to live in the present we are encumbered by our past and constantly looking to our future.  My process of art making keeps me grounded in the present.  I create sculptural forms, photographs, videos, actions, and environments that examine the interstices between ideas of domesticity and wilderness. One overarching theme in my work is an investigation of bodily function and awareness in relation to degrees of psychological comfort and sanctuary.  Being lost in the forest, and being lost in a daydream of the forest while driving in the city offer distinctly different sets of problems, yet both require an understanding of direction and focus to navigate. Another overarching theme in my work is human engagement with food sources.  Through gathering, cultivating, processing, and sharing food and food resources humans make vital connections with the organisms and elements of surrounding ecosystems, and other human beings.  My work celebrates and critiques these connections.

Kathryn Wightman

University of Sunderland, UK


Inspired by textiles, influenced by fashion.  Each piece is an expression of my own visual language.  I aim to push the boundaries, challenge the medium but ultimately make objects that delight.  Constantly building on what came before, my work infuses two of the artmaker’s essential ingredients: memory and visual language. In the work ‘Perpetual Pattern’ I digitally designed a range of patterns that were printed with powdered glass onto sheet glass.  The printed sheets were then layered and fused together giving the pattern a more three-dimensional feel.  To create the final three-dimensional object the pattern was rolled-up and blown into a cylindrical form. In the work ‘A Little Bit of Lace’ I aimed to give a familiar object a new and unexpected perspective.  The work was a technical challenge that involved the printing, fusing and slumping powdered glass.  The work pushes the boundaries of the application of the material and adds a delicate sensibility to the world of glass. In the work ‘Every picture tells a story’ I explored my own cultural roots through the eyes of my Grandma.   Extensive testing resulted in a kilnforming process, which allowed photographs from the fifties to be accurately reproduced in glass through the use of a printmaking process (photopolymer plates).   It is important to me understand culture and preserve experiences, family values and memories for future generations.  This series is accompanied by an audio-loop that tells the story of each picture and allows me the granddaughter to appreciate the life of my grandma.


Jurors for the 2011 Student Scholarship Awards

The Glass Art Society would like to thank this years jurors, Sally Prasch, David Reekie and Kait Rhoads, for their time and expertise. Below are their comments and biographies.

Sally Prasch

Artist residing in Massachusetts. www.praschglass.com

I was honored to be asked to be a juror for this year’s Glass Art Society Student Scholarships.  We had an excellent group of artists that gave us exceptional work to choose from.  It was difficult to pick with so many entries this year.  When I was judging I was looking for something new and unique, something that really made me stop.  It is very exciting to see so many different ways of working with glass.  I want to thank all the students that entered; you are what make things happen. -Sally Prasch

StuSchol_Juror_SallyPrasch.jpgSally Prasch began her career at the age of 13, with Lloyd Moore.  Received a BFA from the University of Kansas in Ceramics and Furnace Glass and degrees in Applied Science and Scientific Glass Technology from Salem.  Has taught at many schools including Urban Glass, NY, Niijima Glass School, Japan; Pilchuck Glass School, WA; Penland School of Crafts, NC; Pittsburgh Glass Center, PA;  Ingalena Klenell’s Studio, Sweden and many more.  Shows her work internationally and is in many collections around the world.





David Reekie

Artist and instructor residing in the United Kingdom. www.davidreekie.com

There was a vast range of talents to sift through in judging this years GAS Student Scholarship Awards which although an arduous task was also enjoyable with some very interesting work. The applications that immediately impressed me had good well photographed images, usually of work that had a theme or idea running through it. They had thoughtful statements that gave background to the work and good reasoning for attending the Seattle GAS Conference. The more professional the application the better your chances are.  -David Reekie

StuSchol_Juror_DavidReekie.jpgDavid Reekie is a glass artist living and working in Norfolk in the UK. He exhibits his work internationally. “My work is influenced by man’s reaction and adaptation to the society in which he lives.  We live in a world that grows more complex and difficult to comprehend, with its tensions and temptations that pulls us in different directions.  These conflicts provide ideas from which I create characters and situations and provide me with a constant source of material for my work.  I devise surreal settings showing how we try to cope with the very limited and purely imagined space that we have created for ourselves. My main medium is glass and over several years I have developed my own lost wax casting technique." He has been invited to lecture and teach through out the world including: Pilchuck Glass School, USA; National College of Art & Design, Dublin, Ireland; Wanganui Polytechnic in New Zealand; Sars Poteries, France; Ezra Glass Studios, Kanaz, Japan; Espace Verre, Montreal, Canada; Jacksonville University, Florida, USA; University of South Australia; North Lands Creative Glass, Scotland.


Kait Rhoads

Artist and instructor residing in Seattle, WA. www.kaitrhoads.com

This year’s applicant pool had broad range of work in it.  The students applying ranged from beginners to conceptual sculpture to polished production style artwork ready to spring out onto the swiftly disappearing studio glass scene.  It is heartening to see that across the board students are putting thought into their work.  I particularly liked the use of mixed materials in the work of Hitomi Takeuchi’s If you listen and Christopher McElroy’s Cross Section of Proclivities.  I was drawn to work that showed the search for a student’s voice though the experimentation with glass in different manners.  Specifically, I was truly impressed by the range of the lampworking techniques and sculptures that I saw.  Out of our original top five picks of the litter, several of them were from students who employed lampworking to make their sculpture. Congratulations to the winners and I hope all of you can make it to Seattle, perhaps I will see you there!
-Kait Rhoads


StuSchol_Juror_KaitRhoads.jpgKait Rhoads received her BFA from Rhode Island School of Design in 1993, her MFA from Alfred University in 2001 and a Fulbright grant to study sculpture in Murano, Italy in 2001. She uses traditional Italian techniques as a base to create sculpture and vessels. Her collections include the Seattle Art Museum, Carnegie Museum of Art, the Corning Museum of Glass, the Museum of Northwest Art, LaConner, WA and the Palm Springs Art Museum.  She has been an instructor at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, Pilchuck Glass School, Penland School of Crafts, Scuola del Vetro Abate Zanetti and Ox Bow.




The Glass Art Society reserves the right to deny applications for Technical Display, advertising participation, GAS membership or the conference from anyone for any reason.