SmART Burnsville Implementation Begins!

The Burnsville SmART Initiative I’ve previously described here has reached its next stage – fundraising and implementation. The community is busily working on wealthy and not-so-wealthy locals as well as foundations: area, regional, state and national for funding. An Our Town grant is in the big hopper at the National Endowment for the Arts. Next an ArtPlace grant application.

But implementation is much more fun! A big part of the Burnsville Art Vision Plan is the use of glass towers in town gateways. Here’s an example.

An image for Jack Mackie’s Burnsville Vision Plan

All of the globes are being blown by local glassmakers. Below are the artist Jack Mackie’s comments about the glass blowing going on at the Penland School of Crafts just a few miles from Burnsville.

Here are a few pics from what’s been going on this week at Penland with glass production. Thus far we are are very excited about progress and are being amazed at what’s coming out of the ends of these long tubes my glassblasters are wielding. The colors are exceeding my expectations as well as the volume the blasters are working! I do hope you can find time to find your way up here, the trip will send you home with your eyeballs twirling!

We’ve assembled one prototype “basket” which are the units we’ll use to build both the Telescopes and the Wall Columns. This first photo is of that basket filled with some of the first day’s production. Additional photos are the glass generated Monday & Tuesday.

Version 4
The first test “glass basket”
GlassGlobes - 4
Some of the glass globes

If you are ever in western North Carolina you must stop by Penland. It’s in one of the most beautiful spots on the planet and is filled with and surrounded by world-class artists. Glass is a particular specialty in the area and was really brought to the world stage by Harvey Littleton, the founder of Studio Glass. For more read this obituary of Harvey from the New York Times published on January 4, 2014.

Below is a video of Harvey talking about studio glass.



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