Corning’s Gaffer District and GlassFest presenting sponsor Chemung Canal Trust Company, with the support of The ARTS Council of the Southern Finger Lakes are pleased to announce a new addition this year, the GlassFest Featured Artist. Each year during GlassFest a new artist will showcase their work in the storefronts of businesses along Market Street.

The 2017 GlassFest Featured Artist is Seattle-based glass artist, Julie Conway, owner and designer of ILLUMINATA ART GLASS DESIGN, LLC. ILLUMINATA is a glass studio creating functional and sculptural glass art works. Conway incorporates hot glass, flameworking, and glass casting into her art and design projects.

Eight ILLUMINATA installations will be found in the following storefront windows beginning Thursday, May 25; Gustin’s Gallery Goldsmiths, West End Gallery, Sedgwick Business Interiors, The Rockwell Museum Gift Shop, and The ARTS Council of the Southern Finger Lakes. The public is invited to join Julie for an artist’s stroll beginning at Gustin’s Gallery Goldsmiths, 71 E. Market St., at 8pm on May 25 followed by an artist’s reception held at The ARTS Council, 79 W. Market St., at 9pm. For more information on these eight installations visit, www.gafferdistrict.com/illuminata.

"We are thrilled to partner with Corning's Gaffer District to help bring featured artists to Glassfest," said Connie Sullivan-Blum, the Executive Director of The ARTS Council. "We could not have a better inaugural artist than Julie Conway, whose work is both impactful and elegant."

GlassFest Featured Artist, Julie Conway will also demonstrate during the GlassFest Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at The Corning Museum of Glass on Thursday, May 25 at 5:30pm, in addition to a collaboration with Tom Kelly at Vitrix Hot Glass Studios, 77 W. Market St., on Friday, May 26 from 1:30–4pm and again on Saturday, May 27 at 4pm.

Julie Conway shared, “I could not be more excited or more honored to participate in GlassFest 2017 in Corning! This is a fabulous opportunity to be included in the Corning world of making, inventing, collecting, and archiving the amazing element of glass.”

Conway operates a vibrant studio, in Seattle, WA, where she conducts highly talented teams of glassmakers and contractors to help her execute her commissions. She brings 19 years of experience of glassmaking, design and craft, into each blown glass light fixture and sculptural installation. The result is a unique product, signed by the artist, desired by personal and corporate collectors and clients. Her work is sold and exhibited across the United States and internationally, including Google Tech Offices, Disney World Epcot Center, Four Seasons and Hilton Hotels, among many others.

Julie Conway shared, “My observations of nature are distilled as they are expressed through the manipulation of molten glass. The simple essence of the object comes to life through breath, shaping liquid into solid. The primordial instinct of fire creating form is timeless and technical all at once.”

The eighth annual GlassFest will kick off with the celebrated Glass Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at the Corning Museum of Glass at 5:30pm on Thursday, May 25. For a complete listing of GlassFest’s scheduled entertainment and activities, please visit www.GlassFest.org.

GlassFest is proudly sponsored by Chemung Canal Trust Company,  Simmons-Rockwell Auto Dealerships, World Kitchen, Corning Enterprises, WETM-TV, WINK 106, MASTERPIX™, the Radisson Hotel Corning, and Corning Museum of Glass.

For more information on GlassFest in Corning, NY visit GlassFest.org or like Corning’s Gaffer District on Facebook.