Greater Westfield Chamber of Commerce


Three free exhibits of Josh Simpson’s work grace the walls at three Whip City locations.


A Galaxy of Glass: The Luminous World of Josh Simpson" at the Westfield State University Downtown Art Gallery at 105 Elm Street

Through Monday, October 13.

Tuesday and Wednesday, 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Thursday, 2:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Friday,    2:00 – 5:00 pm

Saturday, 12:00 noon to 5:00 pm

Sunday,  12:00 noon – 4:00 pm

Westfield State University’s Downtown Art Gallery becomes a planet unto itself with stunning examples of the artistry of Josh Simpson, displayed on pedestals, set against a backdrop of framed photographic images of Josh’s glasswork by photographer Mike Rossi. The exhibit includes inhabited vases, vessels and tektites, baskets, portals, platters, planets and megaplanets – a true glimpse into the artist’s world

Josh on his work: “My work is not meant to represent something specific in nature. I try to evoke an emotion or perhaps tweak one’s imagination.”

Josh on his planets:  “I like to pack Planets with more information than the naked eye can see.”

Josh on his tektites: “Meteorite glass has a will and mind of its own. A tektite is finished when the meteorite glass and I reach a compromise.”

Josh on his vases: “Their iridescence is caused by exposing the molten interior of the vase to a weak acid. The acid evaporates and is gone in a moment. The result is a rich and permanently etched surface that refracts and reflects the light surrounding it.”

Recipe for a Josh Simpson planet:

Place a small glob of glass heated in the furnace to 2100 degrees Farenheit on the end of a blowpipe.

Melt silver onto the hot surface.

Add powdered glass, glass canes, and/or gold or platinum leaf. 

Gather multiple layers of glass over the Planet.

Perhaps add spaceships.

Shape in a wet woolen block.

Take off the blowpipe.

Cool down in an “annealing oven.” 


Earth, Sea and Sky Scapes : the Elements of Josh Simpson” at the Jasper Rand Gallery of the Westfield Athenaeum at 6 Elm Street

 Through Saturday, October 11

Gallery hours:  Regular Athenaeum hours: Monday thru Thursday, 8:30 am to 8 pm

                                                  Friday, 8:30 am to 5 pm

                                                  Saturday and Sunday,  Closed

The impressive Jasper Rand Gallery of the Westfield Athenaeum is a perfect spot for this extraordinary exhibit of the colorful platters of Josh Simpson, as well as numerous examples of vintage Simpson. These include   a collection of iridescent vases and a variety of work demonstrating the artist’s experimentation with glass, which continues to explore the outer limits of the glassblowing experience.

Josh on his vases: “Early on I studied the work of master glass artist Luis Comfort and my vases are a result of those long hours in a library, much like the Westfield Athenaeum.”

Josh on his platters: “Creating the rings in glass turned out to be significantly more difficult than I ever imagined, yet they convey the sense of motion that I wanted.”


Through the Lens of Mike Rossi: Josh Simpson Revealed” at Pilgrim Candle Marketplace at 16 Union Avenue.

 Through Monday, October 13

Gallery hours: Monday thru Saturday, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

                Sunday, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm

At Pilgrim Candle M arketplace, The striking images of Josh Simpson’s glasswork demonstrate the creative mind of photographer Mike Rossi, who designed a unique technique for photographing very small surfaces of glass and enlarging them in a print with minimal loss of quality. The “Polyglasz” technique, as he calls it, expands the beauty of Josh’s glasswork into another visual medium, which reflects the wonder of Josh’s universe.

Mike Rossi on photography: “There is nothing magical or spiritual about a camera. A camera is a machine. The magic is in the soul behind the camera.”

Mike Rossi on Josh Simpson: “The best thing to come out of ‘Polyglasz’ wasn’t the images. It’s my friendship with Josh.”


Go back