Oral History Interview with Tim Glotzbach

Kentucky Historical Society


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0:22 - Director of Student Craft Programs at Berea College / history of Berea College / work program

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Keywords: african-american; Appalachia; Berea (KY); Berea College; blacksmith; Boone Tavern; broom-making; ceramics; Director of Student Craft Programs; farrier; history; jewelry; metal; underserved populations; weaving

5:50 - Background in education and jewelry making

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Keywords: advertising; Eastern Kentucky University; education; farm; gold; graphic design; jewelry; Kentucky; metal; New York; silver; Southern Indiana

8:24 - Metal smithing process / being a creative individual

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Keywords: David Pink; jewelry making; landscape architect

12:42 - Making a living as an artist

18:22 - Inserting the artist into a mass production process / supporting studio artists

22:58 - Why do we make art?

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Keywords: art history; Catholic; church; jewelry; Reformation

32:38 - Purpose of branding / moving to Kentucky

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Keywords: Berea College; brand; branding; Eastern Kentucky University; Hazard Community and Technical College; Kentucky School of Craft; University of Kentucky

34:17 - Member of multiple arts organizations

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Keywords: Artisan Center; Berea(KY); Kentucky Guild of Artists and Craftsmen; Southern Highlands Guild

38:32 - Climate of arts and crafts industry in Kentucky

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Keywords: Berea (KY); history; Kentucky; Kentucky Artisan Center; Kentucky Arts Council; Kentucky Craft History and Education Association; Kentucky Craft Marketing; Kentucky Guild of Artists and Craftsmen; Kentucky Museum of Arts and Crafts; North Carolina; quilting; rural economy; silversmith; Southern Highlands Guild; tourism; Western Kentucky University

46:28 - Berea College is a private institution / support for the arts in Kentucky

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Keywords: Al Smith award; Austin (TX); Berea College; Berea(KY); Daniel Pink; federal funding; high education; John Y. Brown; Kentucky Arts Council; Lexington (KY); Pell grants; Phyllis George

52:54 - Art and community

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Keywords: Appalachia; Berea (KY); community; Lexington (KY); Marilyn Moosnick; Richmond (KY); social media


Willihnganz: Greg Willihnganz. Today I’m going to be interviewing Tim Glotzbach at Susan Goldstein’s house in Lexington, Kentucky, for the Kentucky Craft History and Education Association. Welcome, Tim.

GLOTZBACH: Welcome, thank you.

WILLIHNGANZ: Uh, tell me if you can in a sentence what type of work do you do?

GLOTZBACH: Well, I currently serve in Administration at Berea College. My current position is the Director of Student Craft Programs at Berea College which really entails supervision of the soon to be six craft areas. Jewelry and metals will be new. We also have a broom making facility, a wooden furniture facility, weaving, blacksmithing and ceramics. In addition to that, we have two galleries on site at Berea College, the log house which is a wonderful old structure there and then in Boone Tavern. We have a gift shop there. So it comprises of supervising about fifteen staff members and about a hundred and thirty students who are part of our labor program. The craft program at Berea College of course produces a line of contemporary and traditional craftworks that are sold nationally and internationally through catalog or on our online website.

GLOTZBACH: Wow. That’s quite a program. Tell me a little bit more in terms of, uh, you explained earlier to me how this works with the college and what a traditional it’s been. Maybe we can just document a little of that.

WILLIHNGANZ: Berea College was the first college in the south to offer higher education in both African American and white students at a time when it was not popular to do so prior to the civil war. But their history and their mission is to serve underserved populations and by that most of that mission comprises the thirteen Appalachian states where students who come from that area may not have the financial means in any way, nor do their families possess the knowledge of how they can obtain a higher education so Berea college offers that education to what we call student of great promise. So the students are very bright but they come from families in many cases that are, they are first generation college students. They, in essence, come tuition free to Berea College. However, Berea College has a labor program so each student comes and works in some capacity on campus ten to twelve hours per week and that in turn helps to subsidize their education. They are paid for the time they are there but those jobs can comprise anything from working on the grounds crews to cooking in the cafeterias, to housekeeping to working in student crafts to working in an office. They may be even doing research or acting at a T.A. for a class. So it’s a unique college in which the students become a major workforce for the college and are very very important to seeing the college move forward. But it’s a dynamic and an organic institution as you can imagine because every four years, or every year, a new group of students come in and so they’re learning. But it’s a learning, labor and service organization. We look at labor as being an important part of understanding the worth of labor in the life that we have and how that supports the work of other people. So it’s a symbiotic relationship and so the jobs the students have are to, yes, they learn skills with us in student crafts, but in any area, no matter where they work, there is supposed to be an educational component. What am I learning? How am I learning about life? And how am I learning about working with other people? How am I learning about the supporting organization? Maybe I’m learning specific skills but we always try to relate the labor position to the student’s major in some way. And that can be interesting for us in student crafts when we have a biology major, you know, who’s also in the woods studio. But they’re very good because we start to understand about organization, the scientific process; there are many things we can include in there that helps students with that. Blacksmithing I think in many cases people confuse it sometimes with farriers, you know. And if you talk with any farrier they will tell you right away that being a farrier and being a blacksmith are too very different things. They are very proud of that because they support the horse industry in a very direct and unique way. They are as important as the veterinarians and the trainers and every thing else. But the blacksmithing that we do, which was, you know, it’s a time honored profession. Most of the things now become ornamental or utilitarian. Contemporary blacksmiths, and there are a good number of university programs that still offer blacksmithing as a course of study for graduate students, hinges on the sculptural as well as the functional. Gates, grills, fences, plant hooks, plant hangers, plant stands, those things now that architects would use in homes that individuals might commission artists to do. So they are ornamental, decorative, functional and they kind of fall between the purely sculptural items to the very decorative and architectural items that we might expect from history in cities such as Philadelphia or New Orleans where over the years many blacksmiths have worked to recondition and repurpose homes with pieces that are period pieces.

WILLIHNGANZ: That’s really very interesting. Now tell me about your own background in terms of the arts or craftwork or anything you’ve done over the years.

GLOTZBACH: Well, I grew up in southern Indiana and in my undergraduate education decided to pursue graphic design and advertising which seems to be an appropriate place to be but along the way started to take jewelry and metals classes and had intended to open a studio when I graduated. But just prior to that, my senior year, I had a chance to help teach a freshman class and I fell in love with education, as a senior. So, redeveloped my whole plan for the future and ended up going on to graduate school to pursue all my graduate work and then started teaching in upstate New York in an undergraduate program in the state university system there. Spent three years there and then came to Kentucky in 1981 and spend twenty-one years at Eastern Kentucky University in the jewelry and metals program. So I’ve been a maker my whole life. Growing up on a farm, I happened to grow up on a farm where we made and prepared. So I think part of that was having uncles that were carpenters and brick masons and having a great-grandfather who was a woodworker. Maybe some of that was in my being, I don’t know. You know, I found out about a lot of that later in life but I’ve spent my life in higher education and really enjoyed teaching, working in gold and silver. And so I have a mixed background, love education, have been involved in administration for the last ten years, but really it’s been a unique journey. I, at one point, decided that I liked opening doors for faculty members, for staff members, I liked being able to guide and direct organizations to both benefit students and staff. And, you know, my goals have changed I guess in life now when I got to my late forties and fifties and you know I have really enjoyed the opportunities to work in that capacity. Still have a studio. Don’t probably work in my studio as much as I did but I really think as a faculty member it’s really important to show the students how important work is but I’m getting ready to develop the new jewelry program at Berea College so I will get back into education. I have found a way to get back as well as administrate. I’m looking forward to that.

WILLIHNGANZ: So you do jewelry in your studio?

GLOTZBACH: Jewelry. I would characterize myself as a jeweler and a silversmith. I love sterling silver, have always worked in that discipline as much as anything, like the churchical pieces, have been able to produce some commissions for churches and things. Much of my own work is a little more sculptural in nature, all wearable pieces but I love the opportunity to adorn the body, love being involved with an individual and -- .

WILLIHNGANZ: Well I notice your body isn’t especially adorned?

GLOTZBACH: It’s, you know, it’s interesting. People ask me that and uh, I guess it hasn’t been. You know, I wear a wedding ring and that’s about it. Much of it for me is the process. I love the medium. I guess I kind of fell in love with it in undergraduate school. It’s malleable and yet it isn’t. I found myself sitting in the studio making mistake after mistake and never being frustrated. Any graphic design, I’d make one mistake and I’d say I don’t want to sit here and do this. And so I realized finally what a friend of mine said, ‘I think you’re in the wrong area.’ And I said, ‘Well, I think you’re crazy.’ And he said, ‘You’re frustrated here and you’re never frustrated downstairs in the jewelry studio.’


GLOTZBACH: So I started to understand that it really was something and I dearly love, as I said, the process. I think I am a process person. You can take things through those steps. It’s a little bit of right brain, left brain maybe for me. Well you know I told someone once, they said, ‘What would you be doing if you weren’t a metalsmith and jeweler?’ And I said, ‘Well, I really would feel happy as a landscape architect.’ I could work facilitating the role of interior designer looking for the work of an artist. I’m unhappy with finished carpentry. I love construction sites. I think it has to do with the creative element. Even being outside, I always said that my dream was to have a small bulldozer and enough acreage that I could just move dirt around, you know, and create a lake one day and fill it in the next day and that type of thing. I don’t know if this is the same way for all creative individuals, all creative types but I think it has to do with this idea of seeing things developed, coming up with unique solutions and I think that’s where artists and designers probably -- . you know there’s a wonderful book out by David Pink, I don’t know if you read it, called Whole New Mind, in which he talks about that the future of innovation and creativity could rest in the United States. One of the things that we have in the world economy is that we’ve always been innovators. We haven’t been imitators. You know, we haven’t been like many companies. I listened to the chairman of Sony Corporation talking, a Japanese gentleman, one day and he said, ‘You know, we’ve been the imitators. We’ve taken those objects other people have developed and we’ve reengineered them and found ways to make them work better.’ And they understood that and it was wonderful to hear the president of Sony talk about and they were very comfortable with that. They didn’t feel the need to invent the things, but they felt a strong need and a mission to make them work better, more, maybe in a more sophisticated way or whatever. And so I think, you know, a creative individual sometimes, I think we, I love that innovation. And that’s why I have a lot of interests and a lot of pursuits, from being able to put up a wonderfully straight line along a ceiling if you’re painting it in and everything else. Maybe that goes back to craftsmanship or maybe it’s just obsessive compulsive in nature. But I think you find it in a lot of creative people. They’re a multitude of things so you’re friend is a bookbinder who also enjoys silversmithing. It’s part of the making. It’s part of the invention. It’s the respect for another discipline. It’s the need to know as an educator or to learn possibly. There’s so many new things out there that, uh, and, you know, I guess the desire is always there to learn.

WILLIHNGANZ: [inaudible]

GLOTZBACH: I’ve always respected the individual artists who have made that choice to pursue art as their career and their livelihood where their means of living depends on their ability to create the works and then to market or merchandise the works. I think there is part of that sensibility that many of us who are not, I don’t earn my income from the production of work, but my income is based on that same, that same premise. It’s that creative element in everything else, whether we’re resolving situations in solutions academically or administratively, or resolving situations in solutions where it’s charging a material, I think that’s the thread that flows through. You know, it’s that relationship. But I do find many people who do have a hard time. I think back to your original question and intent, it is harder sometimes for people to do it. I think they do it because it, they see it as a freeing experience. I think many artists are a little bit, a little bit libertarian in nature, if you think, I think they like the control they have on their lives. I think it frightens them but many artists now I think who go in, who stay in studio arts are making a life choice and a lifestyle choice. They choose to live a particular life because it suits who they are; it suits what they want to do, the pace of life they want to lead, the freedom that they want to lead or have in their life and I think that’s part of it. There are many people who are very successful and sell their work and comprise a major part or all of their income just from that. And they’ve done very well. They’ve found markets to do it or they have found a way that supports who they are as an individual, whether that’s through the craft fair or whether it’s through having things created or whether it’s through contemporary artists and I could name a number of them who now have studios of people who work with them. Now we look at that sometimes and we think that’s not appropriate but if we look back through history, we can point to Rembrandt or any number of people who are very well respected for what they have done as individual artists but they’ve had major studios.

WILLIHNGANZ: Yeah, I’ve heard some criticism from some of the people I’ve interviewed about people who basically set up factories, artistic factories, and they come in at the start of the day and they look at yesterday’s output and they say, ‘I like that and not that one and this one’s good. Put those on the market.’ And they’re disdained if you will for people who don’t directly participate in the action creation of their particular art. What do you feel about that?

GLOTZBACH: I have matured, I guess. I don’t want to say that it’s an immature to comment to say anything other. That’s not what I mean. But I guess the older I’ve gotten and I’ve looked at things, who am I to say that is an inappropriate way to work. I’m judging their motives and I can’t really do that. I do understand where people come from when they say, ‘Well, you’re not touching every item. You’re not touching every thing.’ But you know it can also be a little bit egotistical to think that I have to touch everything, that no one could ever do it as well as I can, that I’m the only one that’s a creative individual, that other people can’t be a part of my life, can’t be a part of my work. And, you know what? As an educator, you know, I hope to have students that are ten times better craftsmen, a hundred times more famous or well known than I am, because that’s the measure of a teacher. The measure of a teacher is to open the doors and set the base for the student and to give them the thirst and the learning for knowledge so that they choose to go beyond that. We can’t make them learners. We can’t help them become learners. You know, I used to go in to class and students would say, ‘So, what are you going to teach us?’ Or, ‘What are we going to learn this semester?’ And I’d say, I really don’t know what you’re going to learn, I only know what I’m going to teach. And there’s where the partnership comes in. Because, so, I look at, in many cases, and I could probably find artists’ businesses that I would not agree with some, but I look at the large businesses and say, ‘Are they offering people the opportunity to move forward in their business. Are they treating them like apprentices and colleagues? Or are they treating them like slaves?’ And I do think there are times, now I’ve had any number of students that have apprenticed with goldsmiths and jewelers and they’ve gone to open their other practices and I’m very up front with the people going in and I said, ‘You know, they’re probably not going to stay with you forever.’ My goal is to get them out there. So I try to look at those things in what I say is a non-judgmental way. I don’t have a problem with it. I can look at the work and I can say, ‘Hey, I think this work is sliding in a more commercial, you know, it seems to more about the money, less about the design.’ You know, that’s a valid point and I’m very willing to make that comment.

WILLIHNGANZ: Well, there’s always I think a certain conflict between what you can make individually and market and the requirements or the opportunities that exist when you can produce more quicker. And I know countless instances that I’ve encountered even just with local artists who get bought out or attempted to and I was just talking last week with Walter Cornelius and the [inaudible] and he was talking about the experience of having Bloomingdale’s wanting him to produce this incredible number of things which would have been huge for them but it would have basically involved them tearing down their structure and building a whole new structure. I mean that would had to change their whole business in order to do that and they weren’t willing to make that sort of compromise. At the same time, I’ve been to Louisville Pottery and talked with those folks who did sort of go in that root and at one time at least were marketing through the malls and were producing much more uniform pieces of a singular design. And even though you can still tell that this is Louisville Pottery, each piece isn’t as different as you tend to get through some of the other outlets.

GLOTZBACH: Well, you know, I think there’s a, you know as a designer, and I’ve worked a lot in the last few years and I’ve become aware of designers and innovators, people who look at the marketplace in a different way. And one of the things from the people that talk about teaching creativity and teaching innovation is looking at the manufacturing place right now and finding ways to insert the artist and the designer into that manufacturing process. You know, IKEA, for better or for worse now in home furnishings, has given people the opportunity to own kind of an upscale item. It’s mass produced but there’s no question that the design sense is very different than we find in other mass produced items. Is it wrong to want to elevate the design sense of a population who is buying mass produced items? I don’t think so. I think it’s wonderful to be able to do that. If there is money to be made and it supports a person’s family and supports those things, I don’t have a problem with that. Always in business things can go wrong. You know, anytime we can be, you know, we can be seduced by the dollar or seduced by the lack of money to say, ‘Well, I need the pain and suffering to make this worthwhile.’ And you know, I’m not sure that that, you know, I’ve never been a fan of the starving artist philosophy, not that I don’t respect people that choose that. It’s not that. But there are opportunities but we each have to find out what it is that works for ourselves so I hope we have more designers move into these areas. I hope that the cars, the clothing, the furniture, the cups, the paper cups, the things that we don’t need to throw away all have the hand of the artist, the designer, the innovator involved with them because I think that’s the way we raise and elevate everything. Or we can just say, ‘I’m not worried about that. I’ll leave it up to somebody else.’ Well, we can’t complain about it then if we are willing to let it go and I’m not so willing to let it go anymore. I want to see artists have that involvement. So I think there’s a unique opportunity there for us to be able to produce works for architects, for designers, for home. What we need to do is work together to make sure the individuals understand how they access the artists and that’s one of my missions right now and probably will be in retirement someday when I decide to step away from higher education, will simple to be that facilitator, make room for those artists who want to stay in studios, who don’t enjoy being out there. And I think that’s a valid crossover. You know, there are people who do that now but I think there can’t be too many of us to make that so what will I do? I’ll support the studio artists who want to have that philosophy and lifestyle. And I’ll support the architect, the engineer, the homeowner, the interior designer at the other end, because they have a high quality item, uniquely designed, something that’s always theirs and I know that everyone’s happy along the way and we begin to elevate at everything.

WILLIHNGANZ: Now we’ve been talking mostly about the aesthetics of the decision making. Talk to me a little about other purposes in making art. For instance, making a social commentary, or making a political statement, or sending a message. How do you feel about that and what part of a curriculum, if any, would that be?

GLOTZBACH: Well, I always think it’s important, I always have, for students to understand, especially as a jeweler. My first lecture in beginning classes is on jewelry as propaganda. And I talk, I don’t use the word jewelry. I start but I only talk about body adornment because we talk about tattoos and we talk about piercings and we talk about scarification and we generally use other cultures because while tattooing is becoming more and more popular, it is a time honored tradition in Japan from, through male lineage in some families where that will be but scarification in many of the, of many of the African peoples has always been there. We can look back through body painting. Any number of what we might consider in our western culture as distorted configurations of things people may do with their bodies and everything. But in those cultures, it’s very appropriate. It can be a sign of moving from childhood to adulthood so there’s a maturation that’s exposed there in that process. It could be in a marriage ceremony. It could be totally spiritual. But we look at those things and we think they are unusual. And then we back up and we talk about the statements, the propaganda statements that we make. You know, why do we wear jewelry? Does those earrings really hold those earlobes on? Does a bracelet keep a wrist intact? Does it guard the wrist from anything? And it’s not. You know, it’s socio-psychological. It’s philosophical in nature. I feel the way I look. If I think I look good, I know that other people will feel the same way which means that I feel good about how I look to other people. So jewelry tends to be, that body adornment tends to be a way to do that and I think art in general has the opportunity to do that. I think it’s still a valid tool. I think it’s used constantly and always has been. You know, if we study art history, we see from caricatures to cartoons to painters. Having grown up Roman Catholic, and you know, knowing a lot about church history, Pope Gregory, you know, when he settled the differences between the [unintelligible] and the [unintelligible], those two groups of people, you know, around the time of the reformation, who wanted to say these are idols and we shouldn’t have them and he said these are works of art who expose us to the lives and the history of the saints and those things and we use them as examples to look up to and say that’s the way I need to be. So we’ve always used art that way. I think it will continue that way. I even like the propaganda that you have in a nicely designed mug that touches your lips in a certain way that when I see it in the morning, I love to have it or people get to the point, ‘Where’s my special mug? Where is it? You know I can’t drink coffee out of anything else. No, I can but my goodness -- ‘ There’s a whole environment for me and it becomes part of my routine. And I think art invades our lives that way. I think it can invade as a political element. I think it can invade in social ways and probably it’s always good, I think, in that sense. Now that’s a long answer to your question and I apologize but being a jeweler, my easiest way was to talk about that way because really what purpose do we have for jewelry?

WILLIHNGANZ: Well, that’s a really good question. What purpose do we have for art in general?

GLOTZBACH: Oh, it is. But where would we be without it, the color, the light, the, you know, the, and I look at it a little bit different. I think many people look and say, ‘Well, I’m not an artist and you’re an artist and you make and I don’t.’ And that may be true in a technical sense and in a real sense but I look at those people’s lives and the choices they make and they make art in design choices every day. You know, we as individuals make design choices every day. You made one this morning when you put on shirt, pants, you know, that type of thing, belt, shoes, colors, colors, colors. Sometimes people make logical choices that nothing matches but those are choices. They don’t call themselves artists; they don’t train themselves as artists but we choose colors in our homes. We choose furniture in our homes. We can all argue about whether they made the best choices but artists argue among themselves about each other’s work, about whether it works well or not. So I think there is that sensibility in each one of us. Some of us push it to the extreme and we say this is a profession. I want to make a living in these decisions all the time. Other times people say I’ll make the decisions but the decisions are a different part of my life and I don’t look at them the same way.

WILLIHNGANZ: Do you think -- I’m just curious here about the whole branding movement and the clothes that have some kind of identification with the manufacturer and all the selling that goes on.

GLOTZBACH: Well, interesting enough, I just came back. The college sent eight of us to a branding and marketing conference in Chicago, and it was a wonderful conference. It was a firm, a consulting firm out of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, who works with higher education entities, and these were colleges and universities from all over the country, that were there…small two year up to four year major universities. And we talked about branding, and we talked about what that meant. And, some of it had to do with a name but most of it didn’t. Most of it had to do with finding that unique way to tell people who you are. It had to go beyond the name. Now we use names, not names of branded. When we say Harvard, we think of incredible education, we think of business, we think of medical school, we think of those individuals who are highly paid because they graduated from Harvard. The same thing with Yale, Princeton. When we think of Eastern Kentucky University, University of Louisville, Berea College, the community college system, we have a brand that develops, and I think it’s important for us as artists to develop our brand. But a brand tends to be a trail. I used to tell my students, if you’re going to leave a trail, and people will know you by the trail you leave, be careful of the trail that you leave. And that trail is everything that you have left behind, and who you are. It’s the history of who you’ve been, whether it’s relating to craftsmanship or whether it relates to design, or how you work with other people, or the works that you do. Every single piece then, is important. Craftsmanship is always important. It’s not important sometimes and less important others; it’s always important, because it’s part of your trail. It’s a part of that unique thing. And I think for an artist, part of that is branding. Um, I’m not a big one to necessarily have it all over, emblazoned on everything, because I think that the brand that you leave is not so much about an, it’s not so much about the name. The name recognition comes from other things, from who you are as an individual, maybe from the work that you create. But, I think it has to do with how you serve people in other ways. Now I mean, I’m getting a little philosophical here in that, but I think that’s were branding comes in. I think it’s important for artists to brand themselves. You know, in fact, we, I’ve listened to artists talk about branding. One of the recommendations they made is just show up. Be everywhere. Be everywhere. Let people see you. Introduce yourself to people. You don’t have to espouse who you are, what you do. Just be there. Support, unite. Be a part of things. Volunteer. Do what you can to get your name out there. People will start to know you simply because they see you. You can make yourself a brand. I think people have done that in many walks of life, you know. I can think of many who didn’t try. Mother Theresa made herself a brand. When you think of Mother Theresa now, you think of compassion, caring, service, all those things. We don’t wear Mother Theresa t-shirts or support the Mother -- but she branded herself by the service that she created. I think artists can brand themselves with high quality work, good craftsmanship, and that type of thing. And, but again, it’s part of what they’ve done. You have to do it first, and you start to leave it. University of Louisville, Berea College, University of Kentucky have branded themselves in very different ways, and we look at unique ways to do that, and different ways to talk about that. But, it generally comes done to, I think, the touch points, how we touch other people’s lives. Every way we do it is part of the brand, and part of who we are. And, I think we need to look more at those touch points. You know, where are they?

WILLIHNGANZ: Now how long have you been in Kentucky?

GLOTZBACH: Since 1981, well 1980. We came in the fall of 1980 from upstate New York, where I was teaching. I moved there after graduate school, was there three years. And had started a position at Eastern Kentucky University, and left EKU in 2001 to accept a position with the community college system, developing the new Kentucky School of Craft as part of Hazard Community and Technical College, which is a two year program specifically directed toward technique, design and business. Those students who would want to go into the craft disciplines as careers, need business skills. They need to understand branding, promotion. They need to understand why marketing is important. They need to understand why good design and craftsmanship are essential. So it’s a mixture of all of those elements together, as well as understanding how to contact galleries, how to write a resume, how to write a press release, you know, all of those things together. There are two programs open there right now, because I left the community college system after six years, to accept a position at Berea College, directing the craft program there. I’ve just completed my first year there. So you know, I’ve spent my professional life, except for three years, you know, in Kentucky. So for the last, is it thirty years now, from ‘80 to close to thirty years of it in Kentucky.

WILLIHNGANZ: Well, it’s interesting to me, your root has been through obviously education, but at the same time I’m sure you’re been involved with various art associations and guilds and organizations. Maybe you could talk a little about your history in those areas.

GLOTZBACH: Well, you know, I have served on the Board of the Kentucky Guild of Artisan Craftsman, and I was…served as treasurer of the organization for three years, and at a time when the organization was going through some changes, and you know, we worked for hard…and I think the membership worked very hard to create a very viable organization, and that was in the late ‘90’s. You know, just about that time, early 2000, in that area. You know, I serve, still serve on the Board of the Craft Organization Development Association, which is a national organization of leadership from either galleries, university programs, art schools, art centers. It is art leadership in organization, from state organizations, that serve large constituencies of people, and that is basically North America. That’s the U.S. and Canada. I’ve served on the board of that organization for, I guess, three or four years now, and I currently serve as secretary to the organization. You know, when I was at E.K.U., I worked with the Center for Economic Development Entrepreneurship and Technology [CEDET], and had the good fortune of being involved in the beginning development of the Artisan Center in Berea, the KAHT Trails that the, you know, the website that has a unique offering online, for people to come to Kentucky with their computer, and to look and find various ways and methods to move from studio to studio. And then to be able to work with a national board that was put together by one of the presidents from the community college system, to look at developing the Kentucky School of Craft, and then actually ended applying for the director’s position…served as the director of the school, and then an academic dean within that organization. So, I think at some point, after about eighteen years in Kentucky, you know, I decided, you know, I want to find some ways to give back, if I have something to give, and one of those ways maybe was to help other people develop unique things. So, I still serve on the Board of Kentucky Appalachian Artisan Center in Hindman, Kentucky, which is a community development, and arts related development there, which has developed student [unintelligible], students coming out of the school of craft, as well as a residency program now for artists, has a gallery space, has a wonderful café and is developing more spaces. So, it’s a community that’s redeveloping itself as an arts center, that type of thing. So, those are wonderful opportunities, I think, to give back both nationally and regionally, and I probably look to do that for the rest of my life, God willing alone, the rest of my life.

WILLIHNGANZ: Have you been involved with the Southern Highlands Guild at all?

GLOTZBACH: I haven’t directly been involved with Southern Highlands, even though Berea College and the craft program were instrumental in the beginning of the Southern Highlands Guild when that started, so I know it. Berea College has always been associated with it. We attend the fairs every year as a participant. I’m not a juried member of the organization. I have never chosen to take that step, but it’s a wonderful thing. I’ve spoken at their meetings, and had an opportunity to meet a number of people, and want to continue to support that as well.

WILLIHNGANZ: Now, we’re looking at basically developing a whole history here, of how the crafts have developed in this city, or in this state and region, really, and part of what I’m trying to do is document the history of the folks that,. There’s been quite a growth and development over the years, with the start of the guild in the ‘60’s, and the Southern Highlands actually, before that, and development of [unintelligible] and various outlets for artists. What do you see as the history of these, in terms of, how has it gone up and down, and where do you see it at right now, in terms of supporting artists and their work?

GLOTZBACH: Well, there’s no doubt if you look nationwide, and I think any time that you have an opportunity to serve at a national organization which I have now, that Kentucky is looked upon as…and I think Kentucky and North Carolina are two states that get picked out a lot. They lead the country in support of the arts and craft disciplines. I think that’s very evident when people understand what’s going on here. When you look at North Carolina with what’s going on there in many cases, that those two states have made an effort. In fact, Kentucky has dedicated a community in Berea, the arts and crafts capitol of the state. We look at the research that was done over the past few years, have found the arts and crafts in Kentucky to be the first, the third largest generator of revenue behind agriculture and automotive. And agriculture, of course, includes horse racing and every thing else. So, when you look at tourism in Kentucky, and the arts are part of that tourism, it’s very, very important. That didn’t happen overnight. That history has been present in Kentucky since, you know, way before the Guild and everything else. We can look at Berea College in that way. And the fact that in 1855, when that college started, some of those things were already starting to percolate. In the late 1800’s, early 1900’s, when the craft program started there, it was very evident that all of that already existed in Kentucky. It didn’t come because of Berea College, but it was a college that chose to preserve that. If you look at Western Kentucky University, that’s one of the best folklore programs in the United States. Well, why would it be located in Kentucky? That’s because the traditions and the history are here. I think we stand out, as I said, along with a couple other states, as probably the best examples of how to preserve that. We have strong organizations from the Guild to the Kentucky Museum of Arts and Crafts to the, you know, the history at the state level. The way we support history in general. And I think we find ways in Kentucky to support artisan crafts that other states only wish. With the craft marketing program that’s developed over the years, with the big market in Louisville. You know, the addition of all the performing artists that have come in, the programs that the arts council have created for them. It’s just a unique opportunity right now in Kentucky. The Artisan Center at Berea, the Kentucky School of Craft in Hindman, the other small community organizations. It’s not that it’s not happening in other parts of the country, because it is at a national level, but we, I think, served as an example for many other states in the United States, as what can be accomplished when a state, from the bottom up and the top down, agree that this is important to us. We’ve lived quilting in our homes in Kentucky. We’ve lived traditional furniture making. We’ve lived canning. You know, we lived food produce. It’s been a rural economy in Kentucky. So, it’s not disassociated with who we are. There have been wonderful silversmithing firms from the late 1700’s in, you know, in Louisville, Cincinnati, Lexington. You know, the larger metropolitan areas, where people could actually afford to purchase silverware and everything else. So, I think no matter where you look, whether you’re looking at painting, whether we’re talking about the craft disciplines here, when you look at the crafts, my goodness, where are you going to find a richer state? You know, I will exclude some of the other states right now. Where do you find a richer state than Kentucky? So I think the organizations that are here, the Guild and everything…we have to preserve that history. We have to preserve the inner connection between them and other organizations, the Southern Highlands Guild, what’s happened in other states. Nationally now, you find many new things that are happening. They are looking at Kentucky, you know. So, I think the history, in the future, is going to be even richer when you see other states saying, ‘Well, we look to Kentucky for the example.’ Or, ‘When did you look?’ Well, around 2000 or so, we started looking at that, and we started to develop our programs. So, our future history is going to be as rich as the past is, whether it’s instrument making, whether it’s wonderful glass blowing, you know, because Kentucky is becoming a glass center. Whether it’s traditional folk work that’s being produced, or whether it’s all the myriad of young artists that are coming out, who are mixing materials and finding ways to create pieces from unique combinations of non traditional materials, putting those together. So, I think there’s not too much that we can do. We will have to continue to do more [unintelligible] to preserve that. And it’s the individuals. We need to be able to talk about who are they. What was their connection with what was going on, both in preserving the work, but I think preserving their words and their thoughts and everything else. I think one of the things we’re going to do with the Kentucky Craft History and Education Association, which is a new entity that is developing right now in preserving this history, is we’re going to talk more to artists about preserving their writings. I know artists keep journals, but what a wonderful way to chronicle a life. And I think many of us, again, we don’t look at branding as important as artists. We think well, ‘How is this a brand’? You know, sadly, sometimes that brand takes place after we’re gone, if we’ve left a trail. And, you know, if we can encourage people to do that. ‘Well, I’m not that important.’ Don’t say that, that’s part of branding. You are important. You have something to say. You have a place there, and we need to be able to record that, but we need your help. And so, I think part of this is going to be encouraging people to keep accurate good records of who they are, not just by their work but what they think, how they got there, and maybe who they encountered along the way. You know, the one thing I always remember was in my senior seminar in undergraduate school, when the then chairman of the department said to us, he said, ‘Be careful with the people around you that you are in school with. Get to know who they are. Respect them. Understand their work,’ he says, ‘because at some point in time each of you might be able to say, I sat next to him in my senior seminar class. I was in a freshman painting class with him.’ And, he went on to tell us a story about having a unique set of prints under his bed at home, in a nice case, because he simply happened to be in school, you know, at that time, with some very well known people. And, I will hesitate to mention that name right now, but it was, it made a lot of sense.

WILLIHNGANZ: Tell me something. Berea College doesn’t get any support from the state. Is that correct or do they get -- .?

GLOTZBACH: Berea College is a private institution, but colleges and universities throughout the country, private or public, have access to federal funds but that’s not to the college. That’s to the students, so Pell grants, those types of things come to students, and they support the education of those students. And so, if we talked about federal dollars, or work study dollars, or those types of things, that would be the involvement. But, no, they are not supported by the state or the federal government in any direct way. The students get the support, but any U.S. citizen has access to that support.

WILLIHNGANZ: I was just interested, because in Kentucky we’ve had basically wavering levels of financial support, that’s come through the government for the arts, and arts development. And at times, for instance, when that Guild began, there was an enormous push, and they got the train going, which marshaled a lot of the resources, and brought whole new experiences to rural people who had no conception that what they were doing day to day was actually art creation. And, that support fell off after about seven years or so, and the train ground to a halt, sadly. But, there have been other pushes for various things. When John Y. Brown was in the Governor’s chair, there was a big movement, partially because of Phyllis George. And, how do you see the right now, in terms of the support we have, and is that going to play an important part in the development of arts and crafts in this state in the future?

GLOTZBACH: I think it always will. I think Kentucky has, and I’m going to not pin it on an administration. I think it might be unfairly…might be unfair to characterize any particular republican or democratic administration as supportive or non-supportive, because the years I’ve spent in Kentucky…when I look back, every administration has supported in various ways. We can always pick and choose and say, ‘Well, I like this support better,’ or ‘it was better here.’ But, we have to take everything in context, I think, when we do that. So, I think the support has always been there in Kentucky, but you are right. I think there have been times when the support has been more direct or more focused. And then in many cases, organizations, I think there’s an onus on all of us as organizations, to make sure that we are viable, and that may be from a management standpoint. It may be from an engagement standpoint. Do we engage the public? Do we engage our membership in that type of way? But, I think it’s going to be important in Kentucky for the state to make that commitment, because the arts and the crafts, those disciplines, the creative disciplines…and I will include all of the performing arts and everything in Kentucky, are so, so important to this state. It’s one of the reasons that people come to Kentucky, to enjoy the country music, the bluegrass music, to enjoy the traditional dancing, to enjoy the symphonies. You know, to enjoy the plays that they go to here, to enjoy the craft programs that are here. To enjoy the arts, the fine arts programs that are here, the educational institutions, you know. The support that the museums at U of L and U.K. give, the support that Berea College has always given to the crafts with their craft program, all the way down through community involvement. So, I think that the state needs to understand the focus of that. And I think it’s going to be important along the way, for organizations make themselves good partners. That’s where I think our onus comes in. Are we an entity that the state can partner with? And I think that’s important. It doesn’t matter. It’s any person who has to award money, wants to know that the greatest number of people are going to benefit from these dollars, and that the money is going to be used wisely. And that’s, I think, something, when we go into a grant proposal as an organization to the state, we work together. The onus is on us out front to say, ‘Yes, we are and this is how we are.’ And I think, the onus is on the state, too, to work to make more and more funding available to them, or to find ways. And, I know that the Kentucky Arts Council…I just attended a meeting last week with them. They are very concerned now about the support that they can give. The entities of higher education in this state, the colleges and the universities, what can they do to support the students in their education pursuits? Are there programs that involve money or not money? What can we do? And it was a wonderful day long conversation between the Arts Council leadership and representatives from the universities there, talking about a variety of things, from internships to programs, to the Al Smith Awards, to emerging artists awards that can reach down at the undergraduate level, and encourage people to pursue careers in the arts, to show them that there is viability. And, I think that’s where I want the state involved. I want the state to talk about the arts as importantly as they do math and science…as importantly as they do the agriculture, automotive technology…any of the new technology, because the arts involve innovation. They involve creativity. And, if you read any of the books out there, whether or not you want to agree with Daniel Pink and Richard Florida and all the other people that have written, the creative economies and creative places are very, very important. Lexington now is looking at Austin as a model. And, Austin, Texas has that reputation as one of the cities along with Boston, San Francisco, some other places, drawing these young professionals and everything else. Kentucky’s got everything it needs, but we need to look at all those things, and we need to value them. And the arts are the one thing we need to value.

WILLIHNGANZ: Marilyn Moosnick made an interesting point yesterday, which really struck me. She said that we’ve had a different support style or basic structure in Lexington, and in Louisville. And in Louisville, you’ve had major corporate support for the arts with the development of the fund for the arts, big business for Brown Foreman, and through Owsley Frasier, and a lot of other people, getting up the orchestra, the ballet, the performing arts. And then in Lexington, you had a lot of smaller art associations, formed by artists themselves, and it’s given you a different quality and flavor of organization. And, the real corporate support in Lexington has been horse money, largely, which has gone to corporate trips to [unintelligible], and taken it out of state, as opposed to fostering a community of support for the development of arts and crafts in this area. Can you comment on that and do you think that’s valid? What do we do to resolve that?

GLOTZBACH: Well, I think, if you look nationally right now, and let me step into this. If you look nationally at what’s going on with young groups of students in social communities, you can take that social community back to the internet, and you can say that Facebook and MySpace are social communities, and they are. As colleges and universities, we talk about ways to access that, and engage the student at that level, because it’s one of the levels that when you are branding yourself. You have to get your brand there as well. But, if we look at the crafts and the arts, you know, as we look at the crafts at a national level, we see great numbers of young professionals and individuals who are drawn to the arts, because the community and the socialization. Now it’s always been there. The arts have always been a social thing. Crafts people especially have gotten together in units. You know, we have groups of people, the metalsmiths, the ceramists, the glass blowers, you know. They all have professional organizations. As groups they come together. But, we tend to do it in our communities. It’s as though we are reclaiming some of the heart and soul of the U.S., which is that community. We want to feel part of something, and we feel closer to groups of people that think like we do or live like we do. If you go to the mountains in Southeastern Kentucky or Virginia, one of the things was, is the mountains kept us separated, so the little hollows people looked after each other, and they became small towns, and they didn’t really like the people in the other hollow, only because they didn’t know them. You know, we have to protect our own. So, I think the arts get together, and they do that in like minded ways. So the social part of that, I think, is what spawns itself, even in larger…I look at Lexington, and I look again at what’s happening in Austin and some of the craft areas, and you see these small pockets of crafts there. I think both of them have the bigger sponsorship and everything, but it does present a different character. Here we have individuals who want to get together, because we all think alike and together, you know…we know as a group we have a different voice and everything, but if we can’t get it done here, we’ll find a way to get it done at this level. We’ll do it. And so it’s more of a community spirit. I think it exists in large metropolitan areas. I think it exists in small towns. I think in both places, it is successful and unsuccessful for all the same reasons. How do you keep people engaged? But your question, I think, is well made. You know, we do have a different sensibility when it’s corporate dollars. I think one of the things I like to see corporations do, is to look at the variety of people that they affect with the dollars. Make sure that their support is for the opera and the symphony, but make sure their support also is for smaller venues, where people don’t feel excluded. You know, are they community efforts that they can get involved in? Now, well that can be a dangerous thing for an organization. How do you pick and choose in a small .. . ? You know, it’s easier to stay at this level. You know, it’s easier here, because, well, everybody likes the symphony, but we serve all these people. But, if I’m coming down into, you know, Butchertown, you know, in Louisville, and I’m looking at that. Well, that a small, now we’re talking about a community. We’re talking about neighborhoods. But that’s where you see these social areas existing. You know, you look at Louisville as an example, you know the Mellwood Center that’s there. You know, you look at Lexington, you know what’s happening with the downtown revitalization. You look at small towns like Hindman, which is developing their downtown. Berea, Richmond, which I know…I heard somebody from another part of the state of Kentucky say the Richmond Area Arts Council was one of the most dynamic arts councils they could name in the state of Kentucky. I thought, ‘What a great thing for Richmond to have someone say that about them, from another city, who also had an arts council’. That I think is where it is. At the community level, I think it’s very important. And then, I think the state and both the major corporate levels. But, I think you’re right. There’s a richness that I like about Lexington, at that level of being in the community, but I think there are also the people that do have the money, that need to look at ways to keep it here. And, I do think some of it leaves, you know. So, I agree with what you are saying. I mean, you didn’t pose a, you know…ask me to agree or disagree, but I do think it is different, you know. But, I really think the soul of some of it is the community. The communities will keep it alive. That’s where the art exists. It exists in major cities, but I think we need for major funders to understand how important those groups are, to drawing those people to those venues. How do I engage this group? Because we know this is, we’d like for you to come here to support this. How do I engage you and bring you there? And I think that’s something we, they need to think about.

WILLIHNGANZ: Okay, we’ve about at the end of the tape here, I’m afraid, so we can run out of tape if you want, or we can end it here?

GLOTZBACH: I, Greg, I’ll have to leave that up to you. You probably sadly know by now, I don’t have any problem talking.

WILLIHNGANZ: No. It’s been a great talk. I think we’ll probably call it a day, because I do have another person coming in.

GLOTZBACH: You know what you need in your own schedule so -- .

WILLIHNGANZ: Well, it’s been terrific talking to you, and you’ve got a lot to share, and I hope we can, perhaps, share more later. This is good information.

GLOTZBACH: Anything you want to do is fine with me.

WILLIHNGANZ: This is great.

GLOTZBACH: I was honored to be asked -- .

[End of Interview.]