Thursday, July 5, 2018

PRESS RELEASE: Hot Time in Worcester on Friday, July 20 Craft Center Turns Itself Inside-Out for Free Public Event

AiR Jon Glabus helps a visitor throw clay
WORCESTER, MA - The fiery processes of craft and their transformative power will be on display at the Worcester Center for Crafts' free block-party style event, HOT NIGHT IN THE CITY on Friday, July 20 from 6-9pm. Many of the demonstrations and events will take place outside to accommodate visitors, and for dramatic effect. Also included in the event are music, food trucks, and artist displays.

HOT NIGHT IN THE CITY is organized by the Worcester Center for Crafts as a thank you to the public for supporting craft, artists and the Craft Center. The Craft Center can guarantee that there will be fire since fire and heat are essential elements to working with glass, clay and metal---three of the materials that will be demonstrated at Hot Night. Fire and heat are the elements which transform those more ordinary materials into wonderful works.

Dusk's darkness will give way to the warm glow of artists' illuminating demonstrations of the ancient arts of glassblowing, raku firing, flame working, and blacksmithing. The public will have an opportunity to try their hand at throwing pots in an area outside called Wheel Throwing Under the Stars. This will feature short introductory hands-on experiences with centering clay and throwing pots. Visitors can try it themselves!

Josh Swalec mans the anvil
A portable glass furnace will be set up in the parking lot to demonstrate the glassblowing that goes on daily at the Worcester Center for Crafts' New Street Glass Studio (35B New Street).

Blacksmith Joshua Swalec will forge metals outside, and the Raku artist Ginny Gillen and her class will do a pottery raku firing. Inside in the Metals Studios, faculty and students will be working and exhibiting their work in jewelry, enamels and more.

New this year will be an activity outside in which the public will help to create some cylindrical, carved clay sculptures that will be displayed outside of the Craft Center once the works are fired after Hot Night. Also new this year is a free drawing for some very HOT Craft Center t-shirts. Each participant coming in the front "gate" will receive a free drawing ticket which they can drop into the drawing box in the Gallery Lobby.

Flameworker, Molly Jackson, demonstrates
Jubilee Gardens, a popular band from the area who play an all original, eclectic mix ofmusic with hints of world, pop, folk, and rock will provide the music for dancing, eating, and celebrating craft and the Worcester Center for Craft in the community.

"Hot Night gives us the opportunity to literally turn ourselves inside out in order to tell the community THANK YOU for being partners with us," said Honee Hess, executive director of the Crafts Center. "We have these 'hot' activities going on every day, but on HOT NIGHT we bring them out into the open for all to see and enjoy." Activities at HOT NIGHT are free to the public, although donations are accepted.

Opening that night in the Krikorian Gallery of the Center is an exhibit of Tess Barbato's paintings. Tess won the opportunity for a one-person show at the Center as the first prize winner of NOW: New Work, New Artists, a joint exhibition between Arts Worcester and the Worcester Center for Crafts in 2016. Tess' work, meticulously painted in a photo-realist style, transform mundane objects into subjects that demand attention and invite conversation. Gallery Director Candace Casey remarks, "this show reminds us of the depth of talent in all of the visual art forms that we have in this area! Tess, our artists in residence, our faculty, our students...the list is very long of creatives who are involved with the Craft Center."

Raku Firing
Fueling the crowd will be the award-winning bbq purveyor, BT's Smokehouse of Sturbridge with its wood-fired BBQ, Off the Hook Roadside Eatery of Rutland which specializes in Lobster Rolls, Chowder, other New England favorites like hamburgers & hot dogs, Sabor Latino with its Latin-themed menu and vegetarian rice, beans, and empanadas, and a new favorite Kettle Korn.

The Queen's Cups
For dessert, Worcester State University alum, Renee King brings the Queen's Cups' award-winning cupcakes and desserts to the event. To top things off for the over-21 crowd, Austin Liquors has arranged a tasting of Worcester's newest brewery product, Down the Road Brewery beer. Food prices are set by vendors.

Parking is available in the former L&J parking lot and on Sagamore, Grove, and Park. Handicapped parking is in marked spaces behind the Postal Union building.

For more information or to arrange a photo opportunity, please contact Honee A. Hess, Executive Director of the Crafts Center at

About the Worcester Center for Crafts:

The Worcester Center for Crafts (WCC) is one of the oldest non-profit institutions for craft study in the United States. Founded in 1856 as the Worcester Employment Society to help immigrant women produce and sell hand-crafted wares to support their families, the Center evolved over the past 155 years into New England's leading center for craft education, exhibition and entrepreneurship. In 2004, the organization expanded and opened the New Street Glass Studio - an off-campus, 8,000 square foot, state-of-the-art, multi-studio glass facility. The WCC offers the only comprehensive glass studio program in New England available to the public.  Through an affiliation begun in 2009, the WCC is home to the Worcester State University visual arts studios and partners in community outreach.

The Craft Center's mission is "to sustain craft as a vital part of our community" by providing high-quality craft education and training, by supporting craft artists in their professions, and through advocacy and public education initiatives including adult education classes and workshops, exhibitions showcasing the work of established and emerging artists, artist residencies, lectures, family events, studio rentals, Gallery Store, its Youth Craft + Creativity program and major events. The WCC is a member of the Worcester Cultural Coalition and receives funding from the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

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