Glass artist heads for U.S. show

ARTISTS from Sunderland are to show off their skills in the U.S. capital.

Glass makers, rock bands and artists are among 37 creative businesses heading to Washington DC, to take part in the five-week Artomatic Exhibition.

Roker-based Phil Vickery, will be exhibiting eight pieces of glass sculpture and demonstrating his art.

Phil, 30, has an MA degree in glass from Sunderland University and has been the artist in residence at the National Glass Centre.

This will be his second visit to Washington.

He said: "I and the others have had a lot of support from the Cohesion Glass Network, and this year's exhibition is another great opportunity to make contacts, sales and further raise Sunderland's profile."

The mission, organised by Sunderland City Council and Sunderland's Cohesion Network, follows a similar event last year at which Sunderland artists accounted for 80 per cent of sales.

It builds on the links forged between Sunderland and Washington DC after the two cities signed a Friendship Agreement in 2006.

Coun Paul Watson, leader of Sunderland City Council, said: "This is a great opportunity for Sunderland's creative businesses as they exhibit in the capital of the United States, promote their work and help forge even stronger links with our friends in Washington DC."

The exhibition, starting on May 29, features the work of 800 artists and is expected to attract more than 60,000 visitors.