John De Wit’s longtime dream of opening a glass shop with an attached exhibit space became a reality when he found a small commercial property on Lake Leo Way in Langley. An open and light-filled space to work, demonstrate, and exhibit his work was primary to his purpose. He has since dedicated himself to making the Cultus Bay Glass workspace and gallery an enticing destination.
Visitors will note upon entering the Cultus Bay Glass gallery that John exhibits the work of other artists, not just his own. His workspace and exhibit spaces are joined by a large open door, so visitors can watch him at work while also viewing the finished pieces on display.
“I’ve opened the gallery to guest artists who might otherwise lack the space and the representation,” he said. Gallery works include ceramics, glass and paintings made by 8 to 10 artists. Visitors will see new work on display each visit.
Cultus Bay Glass sits directly behind the popular Seabiscuit café and bakery. John and his co-workers love to see people coming down from the café with their coffee in hand. He says that most people come to browse but end up finding items for themselves or gifts for friends.
John has been working with glass for 45 years and says the material allows him to create and sculpt objects inspired both by nature and his own engagement with the glass. Visitors to the gallery will see new work this year. He has begun a series he calls “The Ocean Floor,” and says that he did not actually plan the series but after making a few pieces, that is what came to him. He said, “I believe these pieces are inspired by my open water swimming experiences. These pieces reflect the underwater realm and show the influences of the water.” That said, John also invites the viewer to find their own interpretation of his work.
By offering guest artist workshops, he hopes to inspire others to begin their own creative journey and to engage the community with the wealth of creative energy on Whidbey Island.