Neon: The History, Science, and Art

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Taught by Joe Upham

Joe Upham, one of the original founders of NYEGW (now Urban Glass), created the Neon Program at NYEGW in 1979. His interest in both technology and art has led to various projects including large architectural installations, development of fuel efficient glass equipment, and production of unique neon applications. His artwork in in private collections as well as the Corning Museum of Art.

Joe received a Lumen Award for his development of  Multicolored “Confetti Crackle” neon. He also developed “Multi Flow” neon and wearable neon.  He has installed projects in the US, Greece, Aruba, Saudi Arabia, Italy and the Netherlands. Joe has been a consultant for special lighting applications at Litelab, EGL and Focus Lighting. Joe studied at Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Boston, MIT, Boston.  He has lectured and given workshops at numerous institutions both in the US and Europe.  

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What is neon? Where did this form of signage come from? Why does the phenomenon of neon light require glass and electricity? What else is it used for?

This evening lecture and demonstration will cover the origins, technical information, and artistic invention of neon. Participants will learn about how neon was developed, how different colors are derived, the use of electrodes, and how artists are using this dynamic process today. A demonstration in neon techniques will cover both traditional bends and more experimental forms. 


(class size: 30, lecture and demo)

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