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'Blown Away' Contestant Jason McDonald Wants More Diversity In Glassblowing

David Leyes
Portrait of Jason McDonald

Oakland glassblower Jason McDonald is a contestant on season two of the Netflix series “Blown Away.” He talks about competing on the reality series and the lack of racial diversity in glassblowing.

"I am such an anomaly in the glass world. Folks don't expect you to walk into the glass shop with some melanin."

On “Blown Away,” Jason is one of 10 artists from around the world competing in creating glass blowing sculptures for the chance to win $60,000 in prizes and the champion title.

Jason McDonald began learning the art of glassblowing as a kid growing up in Tacoma, Washington. He’s currently a student at California College for the Arts. Much of his work reflects racial inequality and Black life in the United States. 

Click the play button above to listen to this interview. Produced with help from Precious J. Green.

Jeneé Darden is an award-winning journalist, author, public speaker and proud Oakland native. She is the executive producer and host of the weekly arts segment Sights & Sounds as well as the series Sights + Sounds Magazine. Jeneé also covers East Oakland for KALW. Jeneé has reported for NPR, Marketplace, KQED, KPCC, The Los Angeles Times, Ebony magazine, Refinery29 and other outlets. In 2005, she reported on the London transit bombings for Time magazine. Prior to coming to KALW, she hosted the podcast Mental Health and Wellness Radio.