Things are heating up in Farmville, N.C. There, East Carolina University has helped transform a gas station into a glass blowing studio that’s open to the public. “It’s totally amazing,” says Dean of the ECU College of Fine Arts and Communication Dr. Chris Buddo. “To me, this is about the power of art to really transform a region.”
Buddo and colleagues teamed with The Farmville Group, a volunteer economic development association, to make the project happen. In a play on its former life, the studio is called GlasStation. Along with hosting glass blowing classes and open studio hours every week for undergraduate and graduate students in the college of fine arts (the university is about 15 miles east), the space hosts free demonstrations and classes for the public. This month, you can make a glass candy bowl, a glass garden ball, or a glass paperweight in one of the two-hour classes. The studio is also available for professional artists to rent. “Any and everybody can come learn to blow glass,” Buddo says.
This new hand-blown glass curriculum at ECU is the only one in the UNC system, he says; the public studio is one of only a small handful in the region. “From Raleigh, Farmville is really only a hop, skip, and a jump.” –J.A.
Public classes are offered this month and throughout the summer; $100; ecu.edu/cs-cfac/soad/GlasStation.cfm