Former Instructor Nate Watson Makes Glass Arts a Community Affair

Wednesday, September 14, 2016
HOODLINE (SAN FRANCISCO) -- Watson has an infectious passion for his work. He discovered his gift for working with glass at Center College in Danville, Kentucky, which he attended on a soccer scholarship. Several years later, he went to Providence, where Dale Chihuly created a kinship of glass artists in and around the Rhode Island School of Design. From 2004 to 2006, Watson attended graduate school at the California College of the Arts, and from there, he ran the glass arts program at San Francisco State. At SF State, he said, he learned how to run a nonprofit. With no money to spend, he started a building-wide holiday art sale with the textile and ceramics departments. And what started out as a six-student glass arts class quickly turned into a popular course with a waiting list and money in the bank. When State cut the program, all but one of Watson’s students followed him to Public Glass. Today, he says, 75 percent of them work in the glass industry in some capacity.