PENSACOLA, FL – First City Art Center (FCAC) is pleased to announce its first glass fellow, John Shoemaker. Our fellowship was designed for glass artists exploring opportunities to develop professionally in their body of work and in the area of arts education and community outreach.   This two-year residency offers a focused incubation in a community studio environment. After a nation-wide search, Shoemaker was chosen because of his glassblowing and teaching experience and skills, great attitude, collaborative spirit and self-motivation. He has a strong service ethic and desire to create educational programs with future sustainability.

Working with glass since 2005 and blowing glass since 2008, Shoemaker graduated from the Tyler School of Art in 2012.  He also studied at Penland School of Crafts and Corning Museum of Glass where he refined his glassblowing skills.  He was most recently employed at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA, where he was the glass studio supervisor and technician; he also generated syllabi for and taught classes in the Continuing Education, Pre-College and Summer Institute departments.

”The sense of excitement and empowerment stemming from manipulating molten glass is a constant inspiration for me a as an instructor,” says Shoemaker, and “I find that teaching glassblowing starts from a very different place than many other media, in the sense that you teach someone how to become aware of their body in motion and how the material responds to the actions of their body.”  He believes that students learn how the “…fluidity and intensity of their movements greatly dictates the final outcome of their work…” and the glass object becomes a reflection or catalogue of their gestures.

In addition to his technical and teaching skills, Shoemaker, over the years, has also developed business relationships with wholesalers and suppliers as well as his acumen as a vendor for his own production lines of glass lighting, wedding flutes, restaurant serving pieces and glass awards.

Once duly installed in Pensacola toward the end of July, Shoemaker will offer the popular “Make Your Own…(glass items)” and the one day, 3 hour workshops (Beginning I & II; Intermediate I & II) on Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays.  Details will follow on our website,

“The performance aspect of glass generates a tremendous amount of curiosity in visitors to any glass shop and the active participation of an audience is a great way to enrich the relationship of the community to the glass studio,” says Shoemaker.  FCAC is certainly fortunate and excited to have an artist of Shoemaker’s stature on staff.

For the application and details please visit or call 850-429-1222

First City Art Center, formerly Belmont Arts and Cultural Center, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit art organization located in Pensacola, FL since 1999, that is dedicated to providing art education, community outreach through art experiences and working studio spaces for artists. First City Art Center is the first and only public glass blowing facility in the Northwest Florida area and has fostered multiple award-winning artists over its 13-year history.