GlassRoots - Newark Glass Arts Center
GlassRoots - Newark Glass Arts Center
GlassRoots - Newark Glass Arts Center

Remembering our Founder, Pat Kettenring

GlassRoots is sad to announce the passing of our esteemed founder, Patricia “Pat” Fenix Kettenring, at age 82. A Rutgers Business School Faculty Member, Newark arts activist, passionate artist and arts educator, Pat was also a beloved wife, mother and grandmother. She was an energetic, wildly creative, and fiercely determined cultural visionary and leader.

Pat cultivated relationships with a range of artists and art entrepreneurs in Newark in her unwavering commitment to address racial and economic inequalities through the arts.  She developed a deep interest in glassblowing after a transformative visit to Hilltop Artists. a cutting-edge program in Tacoma, WA, centered on glassblowing for youth from diverse cultural and economic backgrounds. This experience sparked her passion and commitment to the glass arts and the City of Newark, culminating in her founding of GlassRoots in 2001, where she served as Executive Director until 2010.

Pat’s passion for GlassRoots was contagious. Founding Trustee Dena Lowenbach recalls, “Pat was the brainchild of GlassRoots and was unwavering in her belief that the arts could change the lives of Newark’s young people. When she asked me if I would join her in a project to combine glass art with entrepreneurship, I immediately said ‘Yes’!” Her work at Rutgers and GlassRoots was honored with the Rutgers Faculty/Staff Community Service Award in 2008.

GlassRoots Executive Director, Carol Losos, affirms “I feel truly honored to lead the organization that Pat founded and grew from one torch to a full-scale glass arts and glassblowing studio. Pat was a legend who made a true difference for Newark and its young people. At GlassRoots we live her legacy every day.”

GlassRoots Teaching Artist, Richard Paz, is a true expression of Pat’s inspired legacy. Richard started at GlassRoots at age 9, immersed himself in all of our classes, and continues to pass on his myriad skills to his students. Richard explains, “I wouldn’t be in glass without Pat. She helped me become the person who I am. I feel a responsibility to keep her vision alive.”

Pat had long been the common denominator and motivating force amongst many colleagues, friends, protégés, and young people who comprise our robust community. We at GlassRoots express our sincere condolences to her loved ones in this difficult time. We are also so grateful for her extraordinary vision that brought us here and the hard work, dedication, and joy she infused in our community and the city of Newark.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Pat’s honor to GlassRoots or the Alzheimer’s and Dementia Research Center at Utah State University.

A memorial for Pat was held via Zoom on Friday, November 24th.