High School Glassblowing Mentorship at First City Art Center

High School Glass Mentorship Class (2020)

Every Spring, since 2010, First City Art Center hosts a 6-week Glassblowing Mentorship program for High School students grades 9-11 in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties.

Mentorship Classes (2011-2013)

This is a 12-class, 6-week introductory course in which participants will learn the fundamental skills to become proficient in glassblowing, along with learning to work as a team, how to set and achieve specific goals, and how to think on their feet while under pressure.

Mentorship students working in the FCAC Hot Shop (2019-2020)

After completion of the course, participants will have the opportunity to continue blowing glass at FCAC, join the glass guild, display their work for sale on FCAC campus, and take part in glass production as a volunteer- including helping to make glass pumpkins for our annual glass and ceramic Pumpkin Patch!

Student makes the stem of a glass pumpkin (2019)

Many previous participants of the mentorship program are still active in the Hot Shop at First City, and some have even become mentors in the program themselves.

Past mentorship students continuing to blow glass in the FCAC Hot Shop (2019-2021)

In some cases, students have been involved in First City Art Center’s Youth Art Program for a large part of their childhoods- often attending YAP after-school programs and Creatisphere Summer Art Camp before attending our High School Mentorship Programs.

The mentorship program is beneficial for both the students and instructors- as Tim Nolan, co-founder of the program, says "The program has certainly helped to produce young artists that have had a benefit to the whole art center; all the teachers become better artists through teaching."

Mentors and students working together as a team (2020)

It is our goal to make the arts as accessible as possible to the community, and instill the recognition that the arts are an essential element to a prosperous city.

Michael Conrad, co-founder of the program, adds "Having a vibrant art scene is very important to the future growth of Pensacola. That is why educating future glassblowers and providing affordable access to the visual arts is an important mission for First City Art Center."

High School Glass Mentorship Class (2019)

You can help us provide free, hands-on glass instruction to local high school students by making a donation or becoming a sponsor today!