Glasstire Founder Rainey Knudson to Step Down in 2019

by Brandon Zech November 25, 2018
Rainey Knudson Headshot for

Rainey Knudson

Rainey Knudson, the founder of Glasstire, announced today that she will be stepping down as publisher in mid-to-late 2019. She will remain in her post as the company launches a search for a new publisher and during the transition period, and will remain on the board of directors thereafter.

During her 18 years at the helm of Glasstire, Knudson has shaped the media outlet into an important resource and connective tissue for the disparate cities that make up the statewide Texas art scene. She bought the domain for $35 in the summer of 2000, naming the magazine as an homage to an artwork by Robert Rauschenberg and intending from the beginning that it would be online-only. She built the original site, which officially launched in January of 2001.

During the early years, Knudson was Glasstire’s sole employee, serving as editor, publisher, salesperson, and administrator. Today, Glasstire has an annual budget of half a million dollars, and a staff of seven. Its archive of over 36,000 articles and events chronicle almost two decades of the Texas visual art scene. Christina Rees, the current Editor-in-Chief, joined Glasstire full-time in 2014, and News Editor Brandon Zech has been with the publication since 2015.

Throughout its history Glasstire has published articles by more than 400 writers, many of whom are artists themselves. The publication has built up a a worldwide readership, with hundreds of thousands of visitors and millions of social media impressions annually. In addition to being the largest employer of arts writers in Texas, Glasstire is a pioneer of creating video-based arts journalism, including its popular weekly Top Five videos and its podcasts.

Ms. Knudson commented on why she has decided to step down from the publication:

“After 18 years, I’ve decided it’s time for me to move on to the next chapter. It’s hard to overstate what Glasstire has meant to me, but the time is right to hand over the reins to a new leader. I will never be able to adequately thank everyone who has supported Glasstire over the years: patrons, funders, board members, advertisers, partners, and most of all, employees and writers. I feel lucky to have been there at the beginning of Internet journalism. It has been a joy to travel throughout Texas through the years, working with gifted writers who tell the stories of the people in our statewide art scene. Our tagline is ‘Go See Some Art.’ It sounds simple, but it’s a simple idea that I believe in.”

She added:

“I look forward to working with the board in the coming months as we transition to new leadership for Glasstire. After that, I don’t know what the next chapter holds for me, but it will involve the things I love: Texas, art, and innovative projects.”

Glasstire board of directors president, Leslie Hull, said of Knudson’s decision to step down:

“Rainey’s departure creates an extraordinary opportunity for the next generation of media entrepreneurs: people who love art, and who are energized by the challenges and rewards of online journalism. Today Glasstire is in a stronger position than it ever has been — financially, programmatically, and in terms of our amazing team of editors, writers, and artists. We are energized by the projects we have in place for 2019, including an Off Road conversation with the artist Vincent Valdez, and the introduction of our first bilingual content. The board, and Rainey, are committed to ensuring that Glasstire moves smoothly on to a new phase of leadership, and that independent arts journalism in Texas continues to thrive.”

Glasstire is beginning a national search to fill Knudson’s role as Publisher. For more information, please email [email protected].



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Dan Workman November 25, 2018 - 07:20

Congratulations, Rainey! And a sincere thank you for what you have done with Glasstire. Question: Did Bill Arning’s exist inspire you, or steal your thunder? Changes!

Rainey Knudson November 25, 2018 - 07:40

Thanks Dan! This has been in the works for a while now. 🙂

Jodi Walsh November 25, 2018 - 07:58

I moved to Houston 3 years ago from the DC area. I was told Glasstire is the main Texas connection for art so I started following you before the move. Thanks for the intro to Texas art and artists. Appreciate what you do.

Colette November 25, 2018 - 08:47

You will be missed Rainey!

Amita Bhatt November 25, 2018 - 09:11

Rainey…you will be missed a great deal. Thank you for giving us Glasstire.

Carl M Smith November 25, 2018 - 10:09

just dont move to NY or LA or something, please…

Jordan R November 25, 2018 - 12:22

Rainey, tremendous thank you for pioneering and making Glasstire what it is today — an indispensable voice for visual art in Texas and beyond. I’ve seen conversations begin on Glasstire reverberate through the arts ecosystem, inspiring growth as well as needed introspection. The recent art writing prize further illustrates your commitment to making Texas a viable place for artists to live and work. Looking forward to learning what comes next!

Chelby King November 25, 2018 - 13:08

Congratulations, Rainey. Your exemplary work places glasstire in a strong position to attract new talent after your departure. You served with integrity, authenticity, not without scandal; for those reasons and many more, we are very proud of glasstire, sincerely.

Beth Secor November 25, 2018 - 14:34

Rainey, I understand your decision to step down, but dang! you will be missed. I greatly appreciate the opportunity you and your predecessor Kelly gave me to write some of the silliest pieces of so-called arts criticism this side of the Pecos. Anybody else would have either spit on or laughed in my face, but no, you turned all caution to the wind, and said, what the hell, I feel sorry for her, let her play at being a critic. I am kidding, but in all seriousness thank you so much for this and the wonderfulness of Glasstire!

carolyn November 25, 2018 - 15:11

I just want to echo others’ appreciation. You can’t be thanked enough. Looking forward to the results of your next adventure.

Jeff Wheeler November 25, 2018 - 16:27

You’re the best Rainey! Congratulations on what you’ve built and good luck in the next adventures!
Whoop! Whoop!

Maria Cristina Jadick November 25, 2018 - 17:15

Thanks Rainey for all you have given to Artists and the Texas community through Glasstire over the years. Best of luck with your next venture!

Laura Wiegand November 25, 2018 - 20:40

Well that’s some big news, Rainey! Wishing you an equally fulfilling next chapter.

Michael Odom November 25, 2018 - 22:42

You have made a real difference, Rainey, and I’m happy to have been able to play in your yard a few times. Glasstire will always be my favorite art-writing venue. Thank you for your beautiful accomplishment.

Patrick Reynolds November 26, 2018 - 09:43

Congratulations, Rainey!

Chris Sauter November 26, 2018 - 11:23

I’m excited to see what Rainey will do next! If it has even a fraction of the impact Glasstire has had, it should be worth waiting for.

Tim Glover November 26, 2018 - 12:01

Thanks for bringing attention to the great art being created in Texas and the discourse You and Glasstire fostered to illuminate its importance in the bigger scheme of things.

Molly Glentzer November 26, 2018 - 13:56

Dang, Rainey. Looking forward to hearing what you’ll do next.

Joyce Beaugh November 27, 2018 - 09:03

Good luck to you on your next adventure!

Joan Fabian November 27, 2018 - 10:03

Thank you Rainey for all you have done for us Texas artists!!! I know you will find another venue that utilizes your many talents. Hint hint: please stay in Texas! 🙂

Bob Russell November 27, 2018 - 11:05

First, it’s hard to fathom eighteen years, but what a great gift you’ve given the artists and those who love art.
You will be sorely missed and my only hope is that your next project brings you and all of us 1/2 as much fun, entertainment, education and reverence for the wonderful art that is created in the great state of Texas as Glasstire, has for all of these years.

Julie Speed November 27, 2018 - 20:24

I can’t wait to see what your next project will be. I’m sure that whatever it is, it will be stellar …….and hopefully in Texas.

Ken Little November 27, 2018 - 21:22

You are the BOMB!! Thank you Rainey!!!!

Ann Graham November 29, 2018 - 09:34

You should be damn proud of your accomplishment with Glasstire!

salli babbitt November 30, 2018 - 11:23

Congratulations!!! I’m sure this one a very difficult decision but you will now blossom even more with your fine tuned skills and accomplishments! I cannot wait to enjoy the fruits of your next endeavor as I have been a Glasstire and Rainey fan for 18 years and then some.Good luck in your bright future!

HJ BOTT November 30, 2018 - 16:42

Rainey, it was foretold at Blue-Barn-on-Barns you would give as much to the Texas art scene as your enthusiasms emoted for Art Barf that unforgettable day. OMG! you have been the best of the best leading the way. Thank you many times over for all that has been said and displayed on Glasstire. Please continue to be an inspiration.

Marty Walker December 2, 2018 - 08:57

Congratulations Rainey! Wow, what an amazing platform and contribution to Texas art and beyond. Have always admired your vision, humor and thoughtfulness. Looking forward to seeing what’s next!

Suzanne Weaver December 4, 2018 - 10:23

Rainey, I remember sitting together in a café in Houston and having a glass of wine when you told me that you wanted to start an on-line art journal focusing on art, ideas, and culture in Texas. I thought you were crazy. But you have proven to me and many others that you are a true visionary. I want to express my deep appreciation for your vision, passion, and immeasurable contributions to the artistic and cultural landscape of Texas. You made a real, lasting difference. Congratulations on your next, equally fruitful chapter.

DAVID ADICKES December 18, 2018 - 23:44

Rainey, you CAN’T ! You’ve made a wonderful contribution to the world of art. Can’t wait to see what’s next!
Speaking for everyone I know, Thank you.

Sean Slattery December 19, 2018 - 22:55

What an amazing run, and even more amazing that glasstire is strong enough to keep going. Best of luck with what’s next and you made a major impact on TX art.

John Devine January 8, 2019 - 21:37

Hell of a job, Rainey. Happy trails. I’m sure we’re gonna hear from you again.

Jack Robbins January 13, 2019 - 10:43

Thank you Rainey for your important contribution to Texas art!


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