OVER A DECADE OF DREAMING
André Lucero, the owner of Western Neon and my frequent collaborator, has for at least a decade talked about creating a school for teaching art classes centered around the medium of light. Earlier this year, Kelsey Fernkopf — a master level neon technician — approached us about the idea as well. Our ambitions are focused on not only a permanent home for these classes but the desire to share what we have all learned with the next generation of artists working with light-based media and beyond. Thus, the stars aligned, and after over ten years of dreaming, the Western Neon School of Art will open in January 2018.
We plan to offer introductory to intermediate classes, solo instruction with a dedicated technician, open studio time, and exploratory sessions working in virtual reality. Our program will teach the necessary skills of pattern design, glass bending, cutting, and welding while working with essential tools such as the crossfire, ribbon burner, and hand torches. We will also offer local, national, and international artists residencies to create new work, instruct, and exhibit. With an equal emphasis on skills and aesthetics, the Visiting Artist Program will simultaneously engage with the creative community to incubate unforeseen ideas and foster new directions within the medium.