Printed Glass Triptych – UMD – Chincoteague Hall


College Park, MD Chincoteague Hall

Chincoteague Hall in College Park, MD

How do you take a 20″ x 16″ multi-layered ink drawing on transparent vellum and turn it into an 8′ x 7′ glass art triptych? Classic Glass undertook this challenge and produced an impressive printed glass triptych that serves as the finishing touch on the $7 million renovation of the University of Maryland’s Chincoteague Hall in College Park, Maryland.

Ruth Bowler's artwork titled "Overlap"

The original art of Ruth Bowler titled "Overlap"

Beginning in July 2010, the university’s project manager, architect Mary Ossi oversaw the 22,648-square foot renovation of Chincoteague Hall. The university chose to feature a former student’s original artwork, Ruth Bowler’s “Overlap,” which received first prize for two dimensional art in the 2002 Sadat Art for Peace Competition. In describing her piece, Bowler explains, “When I think of peace, I am unconsciously drawn to a distinct space. I call this space overlap. It is the moment after we realize each other’s differences and the moment before we decide what to do with them. In this fluid, negotiable space, the possibility of peace exists.”

Classic Glass recreated "Overlap" on glass panels

Printed Glass Triptych on 6 individual panels

Classic Glass designer Jacob Robison’s challenge began with determining how to best capture the spirit of Bowler’s art while accurately depicting the transparent piece against a stone wall backdrop. Over several months, a variety of samples were developed and taken to Chincoteague Hall as Robison moved closer to an optimal solution. Original plans to etch the design proved ineffective in creating enough contrast to the stone wall. Carving the glass and infilling the design with paint also proved impractical as the complexity of the layered elements and interacting lines could not be achieved in a “clean” manner. Finally, because of the precise control of the technique, Robison determined that glass printing would create a high visual impact and provide the needed contrast to the stone backdrop. By directly printing on glass, the striking look and feel of Bowler’s original art was realized.

Detail of Printing on Glass

Detail of Printed Glass Triptych

With glass printing as the chosen technique, Robison moved on to the challenge of recreating and enlarging Bowler’s artwork. Using advanced vector software, Robison meticulously recreated a precise high resolution version of the original ink design. Three double-paneled pieces of glass were selected to build the glass triptych. The art was then printed on the front and back surfaces of each sandwiched panel excluding the front lobby surface. This functional approach provides a smooth front surface and protects the ink from curious fingers. White ink was printed as a transparency on the glass to successfully recreate the overlay effect of the original vellum.

Acrylic Plaques with Routed Quotes

Routed Acrylic Plaques lining the hallway of Chincoteague Hall

Today, Egypt’s former President Anwar Sadat’s quests for peace greets visitors to Chincoteague Hall in the form of Classic Glass’s stunning representation of Bowler’s award-winning art. The newly-renovated hall will house the offices of the Baha’i Chair for World Peace, along with the university’s Sadat Chair for Peace and Development, and the George and Lisa Zakhem Kahlil Gibran Chair for Values and Peace.


Tags: Baha’i Chair for World Peace, Printed Glass, Printed Glass Triptych, Routed Acrylic, UMD, University of Maryland

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