July 25, 2014
Using art to help at-risk young people - that's the goal of a new studio that opened this summer in Davenport.
"Hot Glass" is the brain child of Moline High School art teacher, and retired football coach, Joel Ryser. He got the idea from world-renowned glass artist Dale Chihuly who started a program for at-risk kids 20 years ago.
"It's just an intense experience that is unlike any other art experience. You're working with fire and heat and color. The other thing I really love is the team concept - it's great for team building exercises because you can't do it on your own, you have to have someone on your right and left to help and you need to cooperate, and you need to communicate."
So Ryser raised about 200,000 dollars in cash and in-kind donations, and opened Hot Glass as a government-recognized charitable educational organization. He's been open for about two months in the Davenport Printing Company Building, across River Drive from Modern Woodmen Park, offering classes through Quad City Arts and the Scott County Family Y.
Hot Glass will host an open house, beginning at 5:30.
(photo: Ryser helps a student)