RIT on TV News: 3-Innovation Center Art





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Published on Apr 7, 2009

13WHAM-TV provides a sneak preview inside Rochester Institute of Technology's new Student Innovation Center and the unique glass treatment created by artist Nancy Gong. (second of 3 segments)

Anchor: All right, we're going to turn it over to Holly Maynard at RIT this morning with glass artist Nancy Gong. Hey Holly!
Holly: Hey, Norma, we're talking about the new Innovation Center and take a look. It's going to be one neat building. There's tons of windows here. This is going to be a central meeting point for a lot of students. They can com and they can meet with their professors or with some other students. Students from all of the (RIT) schools can come here and they can be inspired by technology and science and math. This building is scheduled to be finished in May. When students come to this building, they're going to see some of the work of Nancy Gong, a glass artist who we've done a number of broadcasts with. We've seen her artwork near Gleason Works at a bus shelter there and the artwork that we're talking about today is, in a way, similar to that work that we should here on the broadcast a long time ago. Nancy: Very much so. The artist processes are the same.
Holly: Okay, so we're here at the Innovation Center. This half hour were talking about start to finish, how do you even create something that even looks like that in the end? Where does it start, Nancy?
Nancy: It starts here with a little half-inch scale sketch so that I can get the composition down, and then from here I can take it to a cab drawing, which is the same scale. And from there I'll blow it up to full size panels. So from pieces of paper that were 48 inches by 10 feet tall, two by two I would line them up and clean up the drawing.
Holly: Okay, let's go up and take a closer look. It must have been difficult for you because working in your studio on one or two panels at a time, but in the end there are 13 huge panels more than 400 pounds each.
Nancy: Even on site when I started preparing the glass for the etching, one of the early stages of the process, I would work on only two at a time. So I had to be very careful about registering the design because it flows from one panel to the next. And I actually counted processes, and in some case the surfaces of the glass had been gone over 12 times. So the glazers said that they handled the glass 12 times, and it's just by coincidence that it's the same amount of time. But that's how much handling goes into making something like this happen.
Holly: So we mentioned you are almost done with this project, still need to take time to get some of this glass off.
Nancy: I need some dry weather and we need some heat in the building. [laughter]
Holly: So let's hope that that comes soon. On a day like today, there's not a lot of heat around.
Nancy: Well there are a lot of things that are going on inside the building. They're finishing the concrete floor. They're painting, you know, all of those things that create moisture and humidity, and what I need is a dry environment. So, it's taking a little bit longer, but I have to be patient and let it dry on its own.
Holly: You've worked here in Rochester for 30 years, is this the largest project that you've done?
Nancy: The largest in one single opening, and it's pretty exciting to see it all in one opening.


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