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Heather McElwee


All the artists included in Pittsburgh Glass Center’s Biennial exhibition participated in our Idea Furnace program in 2014. Idea Furnace is an experimental design program to connect non-glass artists with glass artists and encourages exploration in other art forms. The Idea Furnace program provides support to artists working outside of the medium of glass and gives them an opportunity to explore a new material and create a body of work with the help of a master glass artist. The program was created to bridge the gap between glass and other art and design media. Pittsburgh Glass Center is educating artists about glass; giving them access to material and helping them advance their ideas in a media they would otherwise not have access to. The project also challenges our glass artists to think more broadly about the material, to approach it in a new way and to find out of the box solutions to complex design challenges. The Biennial exhibition at Pittsburgh Glass Center demonstrates the innovation, quality and diversity of work that can result from collaborations like this.


Heather McElwee has worked at the Pittsburgh Glass Center since 2001, and has been the Executive Director since 2011. Ms. McElwee played a key role in bringing the 2007 International Glass Art Society Conference to Pittsburgh.  She has curated numerous shows in PGC’s Hodge Gallery including “Implied Narratives”, “Glass Birthday Suit” and the nationally recognized exhibition “Well Hung: Chandeliers Revealed”. Heather obtained her BFA from The Center for Creative Studies under the direction of Herb Babcock. She earned her Masters degree in Arts Management at the H.J. Heinz School of Public Policy and Management at Carnegie Mellon University in 2007.