Jerry Catania, Biography
I began working in glass as a part of the experimental beginnings of the now famous Pilchuck glass school. In the summer of 1972 I was accepted to be one of 30 students to work and study glass under the direction of Dale Chihuly and Fritz Dreisbach. The following year I returned home to Southwest Michigan and constructed my own private glass studio called Fiasco Glass, located in Stevensville. The word "fiasco" refers to the Italian, straw-wrapped wine bottles as well as the glass "seconds" sold in the streets. In 1990 I moved my studio 35 miles north of its original location to Glenn, Michigan, where I worked in a 19th-century barn studio and with my wife Kathy, turned the 1860’s farm house into Vesuvius Art Gallery.
I work professionally as an art educator as well as being a practicing artist. My desire to teach the medium of glass has played a great part in my overall career. I taught glassblowing for over 30 years and currently act as a consultant to the glass program for Ox-Bow - The School of the Art Institute of Chicago's summer program in Saugatuck, Michigan. My heart lies in the teaching of this unique medium and I am continually inspired by my students.
My work includes: one-of-a-kind vessel forms that are narrative or decorative in nature, limited edition functional stemware and sand-cast glass/ mixed-media sculptures. I like to let glass do what it does best - display its wonderful optical and fluid properties, using the medium to communicate ideas and intrigue my audience.
BFA, Michigan State University (1969)
Pilchuck (glass)Workshop, (1972), Stanwood, WA.
MA, Western Michigan University (1989)
Post-graduate studies, Michigan State University (1985- 1990)
Peace Corps (1969 – 1971, Art Teacher)
Public school art teacher, Benton Harbor, MI (1969 – 1989)
Adjunct Faculty, Lake Michigan College, Benton Harbor, MI (1974 - 1988)
Adjunct faculty, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago - Ox-Bow: Summer School of Art, Saugatuck, MI. (1984 - 2015)
Adjunct faculty, Michigan State University (1990 - 2008)
Faculty, Water Street Glassworks, Benton Harbor, MI (2004 - present)