[PA-NJ Glassblowers] Tyler School's glass program gets $1 million donation

Tony Patti gaffer at glassblower.info
Thu Oct 25 08:55:28 EDT 2012

On Pages C1 and C4 of today's Philadelphia Inquirer newspaper




Tyler School's glass program gets $1 million donation

October 24, 2012|By Stephan Salisbury, INQUIRER CULTURE WRITER


Philadelphia philanthropists and art collectors Irvin J. Borowsky and Laurie
Wagman have given more than $1 million to the Tyler School of Art's glass
program, one of the largest gifts to a college glass program anywhere, Tyler
officials said Wednesday.

The bulk of the funds will be used to increase the capacity of Tyler's glass
facility, located at the school on the Temple University North Philadelphia
campus, and to bolster and promote its programs.

The facility will be named the Irvin Borowsky Glass Studio, Temple officials

The Borowsky-Wagman donation will also support a visiting-artist program,
the Laurie Wagman Fund in Glass Art.

http://articles.philly.com/images/pixel.gifBorowsky and Wagman, married
since 1979, are also giving Tyler three works of glass art from their own

Robert T. Stroker, dean of the Temple Center for the Arts and vice provost
of the arts, called the gift "historic" for the university.

"Irv Borowsky and Laurie Wagman are visionaries," Stroker said in a
statement. "They have found a way to make a profound difference in the world
of glass art."

Associate Professor Sharyn O'Mara, head of Tyler's glass program, said the
visiting-artist program will allow the university to bring artists to Tyler
from around the world "to share their experience and their work, and to
inspire a new generation of glass artists."

Borowsky, 87, launched the weekly television magazine that became TV Guide
and founded the North American Publishing Company, in Philadelphia.

He is known for his support of interfaith initiatives and for the founding
of the National Liberty Museum, located on Chestnut Street in the historic
district, in 2000.

Wagman, 80, founded American Theater Arts for Youth in 1970 to offer
professional theater to school students nationwide as an extension of the
classroom curriculum.

Borowsky and Wagman are well known for their collecting and for their
support for glass as a medium. Earlier this year, they bestowed $500,000 on
the University of the Arts to aid and expand its glass program.

Wagman said that she and Borowsky have focused so much attention on glass
because of the "vitality" of the art form.

"There is an energy about glass that we admire," she said in a statement.
"Temple has committed itself to an astounding facility for art. The Tyler
School of Art is expansive; it's state-of-the-art. It says to Tyler's
students, 'We respect the area where you work; we respect the artist.'"

Borowsky said that Temple's status as a public institution also provided
impetus for the gift.

"We believe in opportunity," Borowsky said.

Tyler's glass studies program was established nearly 40 years ago as a major
by Jon Clark, now an emeritus professor. The studios are located in a new,
10,000-square-foot facility that includes a hot shop for blowing and hot
casting, a flame-working studio, a cold shop, a kiln room, a majors studio,
a critique/installation room and private graduate studios.

Borowsky emphasized that the Tyler gift should be seen in the context of the
city's burgeoning cultural identity, a point echoed by Wagman.

"We're proud of the momentum of the Philadelphia arts scene - both the
visual and the performing arts," she said. "If we're going to leave an
imprint, this is the place."



Tony Patti
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