Glass Hammer

This piece was chosen for the 2016 CCS Student Exhibition in Detroit and sold on opening night. It included a glass hammer inside a case I constructed to emulate a “In case of emergency, break glass” box. The photos atop the display showed the glass hammer getting ready to hit a nail. It created a sense of discomfort for the viewer.

Chicago Architecture Biennial

I assisted as this 16 foot tall glass tower was created in our CCS glass lab. The work is part of Vertical City, a central installation at the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial, where sixteen “towers” respond to one of architectural history’s most significant competitions: the 1922 Chicago Tribune Tower. Curated by Sharon Johnston and Mark Lee, the towers will remain on exhibit in the Sidney R. Yates Hall of the Chicago Cultural Center through January 7, 2018.

(Michael Vahrenwald)

Detroit Foundation Hotel Display

I worked for Kim Scott and Matt Kolbrener for their project at the Detroit Foundation Hotel. We created over 500 glass orbs for this permanent exhibit that hangs in an old shaft that used to hold fire hoses. It is now adorned with tall wine cabinets and the glass sculpture.

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Time Capsules

I created these “time capsules” with the vision of preserving things we need to survive. They are filled with various things, such as: flint, seeds, matches, gold, and salt and pepper.

CCS Student Exhibition 2017

In May 2017, I had 9 pieces chosen for participation in the CCS Student Exhibition, a widely-publicized Detroit-based art event.  This year’s Student Exhibition Opening was a huge success as nearly 3,200 students, alumni, sponsors, and art enthusiasts attended the event, which raised over $280,000 to benefit undergraduate student scholarships and community art programs for Detroit youth.

High School

During middle and high school, I created many art projects. They fall into four key categories.

Automotive: During high school, my passion shifted from reptiles to cars. I began designing things for my own car like: a dual exhaust system, front and rear bumpers, GPS holder, multiple speaker enclosures, and shift boot. I documented some of the projects with videos or photos.

Habitats: I created countless reptile habitats during middle school and early high school years. I often used recycled objects, such as old TVs (the type with knobs on them) or computer monitors, that were gutted and turned into habitats. Most of these were sold at reptile shows. I had a website and YouTube channel that included many “how to” videos. The most popular video, how to make a bearded dragon enclosure has over 188,000 views. By the age of 14, I was chosen for YouTube Partner status due to the popularity of my videos.

Paintings: Most of my paintings were created to raise funds for Narcolepsy awareness. It is an incurable sleep disorder that my brother was diagnosed with at age 16. Funds raised for Wake Up Narcolepsy ranged from $125 to $1,200 per fundraiser from my paintings. Others were commissioned by friends of the family or created for family member gifts.

Sketches: Sketches were created to apply for the elite Transportation Design program at the College of Creative Studies (the nation’s #1 ranked program for auto design). Sketches are clearly not my strong suit, but were required for the application process. I was accepted into the top automotive program, but decided after taking my first glass blowing class to change majors.

Magical Glassology: The Holding House Detroit

In April 2017, I was selected to display 17 pieces at the Magical Glassology Show. The exhibition’s purpose was to bring awareness to violence against women. It was held at the Holding House in Detroit, which offers a creative space for inter-generational and inter-cultural community members to engage in the arts. Through multi-disciplinary art experiences, Holding House serves as a resource for cultivating and promoting problem-solving, perseverance, and relationship-building through art making.