Reality television might seem like an unlikely way to be introduced to a phenomenal cultural attraction, but the Pittsburgh Glass Center is celebrating its attachments to Blown Away, Netflix’s popular series showcasing glass-blowing sculpture challenges.
Heather McElwee, the executive director of the nonprofit public-access education center, glass studio, and art gallery, was a judge on Season 2. And studio manager John Sharvin made it all the way to the top three contestants during his time competing on Season 3 of the hit show.
Visitors can view Sharvin’s work, along with the other two finalists, at the contemporary gallery’s current exhibition, Undefined, through July 2023. It’s just the latest exhibit from one of the city’s best galleries, an intimate space that allows art lovers to get up close and personal with progressive glassworks. Past exhibits have included themes touching on the diverse range of light art, as well as an exhibit that focused on the refugee crisis.
The nonprofit also makes the art of glasswork accessible, with live hot-glass demonstrations and classes available to the public. It’s also about to expand: In March, the Center broke ground on a new $15 million renovation of its current 16,000-square-foot facility.
Pittsburgh Glass Center
5472 Penn Avenue
Story by Lisa Cunningham