Tracy Kirchmann was born and raised in Chicago. She currently lives Cullowhee, North Carolina with her
husband and is a MFA sculpture candidate at Western Carolina University. An opening reception will be held in the Flood Gallery from 7-10 pm on Saturday, July 24th. The exhibition and reception are free and open to the public.
She is the first glass studio tenant at the Jackson County Green Energy Park’s green arts business incubator.
At the Green Energy Park Tracy helped design and build the green glass studio, which is powered by alternative energy
and the methane from the park’s landfill. Presently, Ms. Kirchmann is teaching the first university glass sculpture glass
to run on land fill gas, through Western Carolina University. She has also developed and implemented programming
to teach inexpensive, public glass classes in the surrounding community. These classes are designed to increase
awareness of alternative energy, promote glass as an art material, and to build community.
This past summer Ms. Kirchmann also built a landfill gas foundry at the Jackson County Green Energy Park
with Baltimore sculptor, Christian Benefiel. Benefiel and Kirchmann co-taught a foundry workshop to WCU students,
in conjunction with the inaugural pour. This metal pour was the first instance of the use of land fill gas, to fuel an art
foundry in the world.
Community service and community organizing have been a huge part of her work at Jackson County Green
Energy Park as a graduate student. Tracy has been intensely involved in developing partnerships with the GEP,
the historic town of Dillsboro and Western Carolina University. She has worked to produce “Art at the Park” the
Green Energy Park’s annual public art festival since its inception, as well as organizing the GEP’s annual Sculpture
Competition. Presently, Ms.Kirchmann is assisting in the proposal for an NEA grant to create and host a “Non-Fossil
Fuels Fire Arts Festival” at the Green Energy Park. She believes in the ability of art to unify communities, solidify
local identity, and as an essential attribute of human culture.
Ms. Kirchmann has received numerous scholarships and awards for her sculpture. Recently she received
an Honorable Mention in the International Sculpture Center’s 2009 International Award for Excellence in Student
Sculpture Competition. In conjunction with this award, she was featured in sculpture magazine.
Her work in the field of alternative energy came as a necessity, in her pursuit of the creation of her glass and
metal sculpture. As a result of her research and development, she has been asked to speak at a number of national and
international arts conferences. She is dedicated to furthering the study of alternative energy in the preservation of all
fire arts. She is committed to her arts community and serves as the International Student Representative on the Board
of Directors for the International Glass Art Society. During her term on the Board of Directors, she contributed as a
writer for the bi-monthly newsletter as well as serving on Education and Membership Committees. Ms. Kirchmann
also helped to create and plan the first Juried GAS International Student Exhibition at the Tucson Museum of Art.
She graduated with a BFA in glass from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. While pursuing a degree
at SIUC, she interned under Jan Thomas and Cameron Smith of The Douglass School Art Place. Tracy has benefited
as both a student and teacher’s assistant at Pilchuck Glass School. She has worked for many glass studios through out
the country, the most amusing of which was located in a Branson, Missouri theme park. She has had the opportunity to
work with many gifted artists, students and teachers, for which she is grateful.