Founded in 1987, ten students and graduates of The Ohio State University Glass Program came together under the name Glass Axis. The group built a portable glass blowing studio and traveled all over Central Ohio teaching glass art, with a focus on the Greater Columbus Arts Council’s Artists-in-Schools Program. Five years later, the organization (by then, 20 members strong) established a more rooted glassmaking studio in what is now Columbus’ Arena District and in 2001 moved to the Grandview area of Columbus. Since then, Glass Axis has grown to over 120 members and includes amateur and professional artists. In 2014, Glass Axis made yet another move to a larger space in the East Franklinton area. This space is a comprehensive glass-making facility, encompassing molten glass, casting, fusing, neon, stained glass, cold working, and torch working. The space offers first-class facilities to glass artists in all stages of development, hundreds of classes and public programs each year, exhibition and retail space, high school and college internship programs, and a work credit program to help keep artists in the studio. Glass Axis has become a civic hub for glass art creation and learning and is a place of cultural equity that continues to adapt and grow.
To learn more about Glass Axis history, we suggest Glass Axis: 25 Years of Columbus Community Art Glass. This 147 page book is the definitive story of Columbus, Ohio’s glass studio art movement. The book, chronicled by Glass Axis founder and OSU Art Professor Richard Harned, along with former and current members, looks at Glass Axis as it emerged during the growing glass movement in the 1980s, 90s and 2000’s in the United States.
Melody is a life-long resident of Central Ohio. She was raised by arts-loving parents in Columbus and spent her formative years either in the competitive swimming pool or on stage at Park Playhouse Teen Community Theatre. She graduated from Fort Hayes Arts & Academic High School and the Vocal Music Career Center with Certificates of Specialization in Music and Theatre. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Music Business (Arts Administration) from Otterbein University. She comes to Glass Axis after other positions in the Columbus arts community, formerly with ProMusica Chamber Orchestra, Cartoon Crossroads Columbus and Actors’ Theatre of Columbus. She is an avid Netflix binger, family campground coordinator and movie and song lyric quoter. She is an active dance/gymnastics/soccer/baseball/basketball/softball/wrestling/marching band mom and loudest fan in the stands. Melody currently resides in Washington Court House with her amazingly patient husband, Tom, and their four adorable, yet precocious children, Gretchen, Nathan, Megan and Calvin.
Anita Rigsby Szuch
Anita has experience working with several other nonprofit organizations within Central Ohio and most recently served as Executive Director of PLAN of Central Ohio since 2006. PLAN of Central Ohio is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing future care planning and support services for adults with mental illness and their families. Anita is a graduate of The Ohio State University with a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Arts Education with a focus on successful management of non-profit arts organizations. Anita enjoys fiber-arts and is a weaver. She is also a longtime advocate in the animal welfare community and has been a dog obedience instructor at Columbus All-Breed Training Club for the past 24 years. She is married and lives in Westerville, Ohio, with three Labrador Retrievers and several curious cats.
Marketing & Gallery Manager and Instructor
Alex is the Marketing & Gallery Manager and an Instructor for Glass Axis. Before working at Glass Axis, she was the team leader for Cedar Point Amusement Park’s Glassblowing Theater. For 6 years she did glassblowing demonstrations and narrations for the public, while managing their glass studio. Alex also worked at the Toledo Museum of Art’s Glass Pavilion as a Glass Facilitator where she taught hands-on glassmaking classes and did public glassblowing demonstrations and narrations for museum visitors. Fresch received her BFA from The Ohio State University in 2012, but her passion for glass began while she was still in high school and took a chance Fibers & Glass class. The majority of Fresch’s work is inspired by nature, especially from her travels to tropical destinations, influencing her to use bright, highly saturated colors like those seen in warm climates. Fresch’s glass artwork can be seen in galleries in both Northern Ohio and locally in the Columbus area. Visit her website for images of her recent works www.alexandrafresch.com
Finance & Administration Manager
Sarah is originally from Columbus and has lived in Westerville for the past ten years. She graduated from Capital University in 2016 with B.A. in Art Therapy with concentration in psychology and studio art. She enjoys photography, oil, and watercolor painting. Sarah served a one year internship at Sun Apple Studios, an art studio for developmentally delayed adults in Central Ohio. She is most proud of her work on the art installation entitled “The Hero Within Imagination and Identity” which opened in the Fall of 2015.
Rose McVey Succi
Facilities Manager and Instructor
Rose has been an instructor and artist at Glass Axis for more than 10 years. She holds a BFA in Glass from The Ohio State University. She began working for the glass director at Ohio State who introduced her to Glass Axis. She began cleaning and teaching in all areas soon after, and has been here ever since.
Sarah Todd Gomez
Facilities Manager and Instructor
Sarah Todd is an independent working artist, a Glass Axis instructor in hot and fused glass, and serves on the Glass Axis staff as a studio technician. She is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University with a bachelors degree in Craft and Material Studies, focusing in glass. She has worked on staff at Corning Museum of Glass in Corning New York, Pilchuck Glass School in Stanwood Washington and has completed a studio assistantship at the Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk, Virginia. Sarah daily works in the studio to create new interesting classes, working with the public to demonstrate both the scientific and artistic properties of glass.
Our Board of Trustees
Courtney Marx, President (email@example.com): Vertiv
Kenneth Donchatz, (firstname.lastname@example.org): Community Volunteer
Dee Kates, Treasurer (email@example.com): First Commonwealth Bank
Maria Wineinger, Secretary (firstname.lastname@example.org): Community Volunteer
Julie Klein, Artist Liaison (email@example.com):
United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1059 (UFCW Local 1059)
Jonathan Verity, (firstname.lastname@example.org) LSI ADL Technology
The Future of Glass Axis
The Glass Axis board is actively trying to secure Glass Axis' forever home. If you are interested in board service or want to serve on a committee to help us plan for the future, email Melody at email@example.com. We are always changing up the classes we offer to the public and we've got an exciting slate of summer intensive classes for our working glass artists.
We're excited to be back, in person, at some of our favorite community events. You can find us this summer at:
Glass Axis By the Numbers
From our annual audit report (click here for the full audit report):
2019 2020 2021
Contributed Revenue $149,552 $139,028 $258,231
Earned Revenue $502,477 $415,434 $420,531
Total Income $652,029 $554,462 $678,762
Program Expenses $475,812 $432,251 $496,970 (75%)
Fundraising Expenses $19,467 $16,039 $18,719 (3%)
Administrative Expenses $173,516 $144,231 $150,206 (22%)
Total Expenses $668,795 $592,521 $665,895
Total End of Year Net Assets $380,176 $342,117 $365,196
For those of you who REALLY like numbers, the Glass Axis IRS Form 990 is available for your reading pleasure.