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Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk, Va., recently announced that it is creating a new state-of-the-art glass studio, which is expected to open in the fall of 2011. The idea for the studio began to take shape during 2009's Art of Glass regional festival, when internationally renowned glassblower and honored guest Lino Tagliapietra could not demonstrate his skills due to the lack of an adequate workspace. Next year, however, visiting artists will be able to take advantage of the 7000-square-foot studio with a furnace capable of handling 500 lbs of glass at a time.
The new facility will be housed across the street from the museum in a former Wachovia bank building. Museum officials hope this project will increase attendance. "The Glass Studio will allow our visitors to experience glassmaking and be involved in every step of the process," said Bill Hennessey, director at the museum.
A $4 million endowment is helping to fund studio construction, but additional expenses will be covered by the implementation of new programs. The museum intends to offer workshops and educational courses to children and adults. There will also be opportunities to host glass artists-in-residence and collaborate with art programs in nearby schools. For more information about the Chrysler Museum Glass Studio project, visit www.chrysler.org/glass-studio.asp.