Glass blowin' on the coast

Orange Beach Arts Center establishes first open glass studio

Joe Hobbs works on a masterpiece. Joe Hobbs works on a masterpiece. The Orange Beach Arts Center has establish the state's first and only public access glass studio. The studio will be the site of tours, classes, special events, and studio rentals. The glass studio was made possible by a $230,000 donation of glass equipment from Joe and Debbie Thompson of Bear Creek Glass.

The studio will be called The Hot Shop at Orange Beach Arts Center and will add to the educational programs already offered at the center. The "hot shop" is the traditional name for the glass blowing area of a glass studio.

The City of Orange Beach and Friends of the Arts, Inc with the assistance of local designer, Pat Martin, are renovating two existing structures for a temporary glass studio that opened in August. A larger permanent structure is planned for the future.

The studio will offer a comprehensive class schedule for novices and experts in all the methods of forming glass. Classes will be taught by a staff artist and other artists from around the country and even internationally. The Hot Shop will be open to the public for tours, viewing, and demonstrations including specially designed art education programs for K-12 students.

The Hot Shop at Orange Beach Arts Center has selected Joe Hobbs as their first resident glass artist. Joe is a nationally known glass artist. He will be responsible for teaching and coordinating studio activities at the state's first and only public access glass blowing studio.

Hobbs learned about the glass facility, which is named The Hot Shop at Orange Beach Arts Center, during a visit to the center to view the gallery for his upcoming solo exhibit "Sinners and Saints" which opens Sept. 4.

Joe Hobbs began the glass program at the Belmont Art Center in Pensacola in 2001. Hobbs himself has studied with international glass masters at Dale Chihuly's famed Pilchuck glass School where Hobbs returned to work in 2006.

He is currently working on his Masters of Fine Arts at the University of West Florida and his art has won numerous awards.
Orange Beach Arts Center. 26389 Canal Rd,
Orange Beach, AL 36561 (251) 981-2787