Simon Waranch knew what he wanted to do from a very young age: he wanted to be an artist.
At just twenty-one, the artist, who is based in Dallas and Detroit,
where he attends the College for Creative Studies, is already part of the art conversation in both cities and beyond.
He attributes much of his success to the people who supported his earnest effort to become an artist early on, including his dad.
“The most important lesson my dad taught me is to find something that you love, do that, and the money will come,” says Waranch, adding,
“From the beginning my dad pushed me to look beyond the obvious paths, instead to be creative and find what makes me happy.”
Earning a spot at the acclaimed Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts was a game changer for him.
“Prior to Booker T., I was in a small, private Jewish day school called Levine Academy,
and I was always kind of the weird kid. I wasn’t really around people I could connect to.”
The arts magnet gave him the freedom to explore and experiment with different mediums during his visual arts studies.
“At Booker T., being surrounded by people that were so talented and so motivated pushed me to motivate myself.
I loved the freedom and passion of being around other students that loved what they were doing.”
A trip to Italy, where he witnessed glass blowing for the first time, was a pivotal moment. When he returned to Dallas, he learned that Carlyn Ray had just opened Dallas Glass Art.
Stimulated by the Italian masters he’d observed, Waranch started taking classes.
“Pretty quickly they asked me to be an apprentice and work there during high school.” So began his career working in glass.
“They took me on when I had interest but no skills.
But over a couple of years her team turned me into someone who was ultimately teaching, demonstrating, and working production for them.”
While Ray was an early mentor, he had his first art show when he was nine after applying to exhibit at D Magazine’s Art Slam,
helmed by John Sughrue at the Fashion Industry Gallery.
“When I arrived to set up it was incredibly funny because it was intended to be for adult artists.
But I had been accepted and they graciously allowed me to exhibit.”
Ever since, he says, “John has given me invaluable advice on what I should be doing in the short and long term.”
Outside of Dallas, the Canadian-American glass artist Laura Donefer has been the “most influential” glass artist he’s met thus far.
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