The 2017 Robert M. Minkoff Foundation Academic Symposium at UrbanGlass

Issues in Glass Pedagogy: “Curriculum and Career”

New York gallery tour | presentations | moderated discussions | breakout sessions | networking opportunities

Join us for the third edition of our biennial academic symposium at UrbanGlass, a unique opportunity for glass department heads, faculty members, instructors, and students to discuss with their peers the changing fine-art landscape in academia, and best practices in the lecture hall and studio. New for 2017: A special focus on the post-graduate world and how to best prepare students for success through curriculum and programs.


Artist Rachel Berwick, head of the Rhode Island School of Design's glass department, will lead off the third iteration of the symposium with her lecture entitled: “Alchemy: Innovation and Experimentation in Studio Practice” at 9 AM on October 13, 2017.

Designed for professors at degree-granting institutions but open to all glass educators and arts administrators, three days of provocative presentations and formal and informal idea exchange will take place at the center of the New York City artworld, with an organized tour of glass at Chelsea art galleries and social events throughout the symposium.

Taking place from October 12 - 14, 2017 in New York City, the upcoming meeting of glass art educators will examine the factors that determine students' post-graduate success, with investigations into the economic challenges facing professional contemporary artists, as well as the educational interventions that are most effective in preparing graduates to thrive.

From in-depth presentations on how to best prepare students for the post-graduate realities of life as an independent artist to discussions of ways universities offer practical support for recent graduates as they establish themselves, the 2017 symposium will examine the question of career from multiple angles, with case studies from universities and schools around the world.

The symposium program is designed in consulation with an advisory committee made up of Pilchuck artistic direcor Tina Aufiero; independent artist Daniel Clayman; Minkoff Foundation director, GLASS magazine editor, and symposium organizer Andrew Page; head of glass and professor at Virginia Commonwealth University Jack Wax; UrbanGlass education director Ben Wright, and managing trustee Robert Minkoff.

The previous two symposiums each attracted 100 faculty and educators from as far away as Australia, Finland, and Japan, for a provocative mix of lectures, panel discussions, and studio demos. In addition to the formal programming, the three-day event will be organized to maximize opportunities for informal exchange and networking, and will kick off with our regular walking tour of top galleries in Chelsea.

Download the full program from the 2015 Robert M. Minkoff Academic Symposium at UrbanGlass for a sample of the types of presentations and events.

Registration for the 2017 event is $175, with a special student rate of $125 (valid I.D. required). Attendees are responsible for their own lodgings, and special hotel rates will be posted as they are negotiated.


Case Study: Rainfield at MassArt, Public Art Project as Curriculum
Panelist in Discussion: Hardcore Craft as Curriculum
Artist-Led Tour: "Radiant Landscape," Grounds for Sculpture, Hamilton, New Jersey (Optional Add-On Symposium Activity: OCT. 15, 2017)

DANIEL CLAYMAN is a Studio Artist and Educator at Large, teaching and lecturing at numerous colleges, universities and workshop programs. In recent years he has been focusing on large scale, site specific installations, most recently "Radiant Landscape at Grounds For Sculpture" in Hamilton, New Jersey, on view through February, 2018.

Ways of Being: A Holistic Approach to Art Education

CAROLINE WOOLARD is an Assistant Professor of Sculpture at the University of Hartford who is internationally recognized for her work at the intersection of art, technology, and political economy. Woolard has co-founded barter networks and (2008-2013) as well as cultural equity platforms BFAMFAPhD and, a study center for collaborative methods developed by artists.

Titrations: Curricular Integrations of Material Paradox for the Budding Glass Practitioner

During the 2016-2017 academic year, Dr. Jane Cook partnered with Rochester Institute of Technology Glass faculty to facilitate an educational experience that examined the intersection at which glass science and glass art converge. With the invitation to fully embrace failure, the project proposed by Dr. Cook and RIT Glass faculty culminated in a research-driven exploration; one tasking students with thinking about glass-based phenomena and putting it to test. Not as artists, however, but as materials engineers. This two-part lecture will expound upon this experimental project, speaking to its merits as an intervening educational opportunity and how its objectives directly and indirectly assist a student build towards a thriving professional practice. The presentation will also approach key areas on which an understanding of material science and engineering can enable glass art and craft: the roots of innovation in rigorous play and observation; a fact-informed praxis to give confidence and extend capabilities; and deeper insight into glass’ nature for conceptual inspirations.

As Chief Scientist at The Corning Museum of Glass, Dr. JANE COOK infuses glass science concepts into exhibits and public programs, and lectures widely to teach artists how scientific and engineering fundamentals can inform their work. She holds a Ph.D. in metallurgical engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and worked as an engineer and research scientist for over 20 years before joining CMoG.

DAVID SCHNUCKEL is an artist who works primarily with glass, a writer who writes primarily about issues related to glass, and an educator who teaches how to think about and work with glass. He holds a BA from Anderson University and an MFA in Glass from the Rochester Institute of Technology. Schnuckel’s work exhibits internationally and can be found in the permanent collections of the GlazenHuis in Lommel Belgium, Glasmuseet Ebeltoft of Ebeltoft, Denmark, and the Museum of American Glass in Millville, New Jersey. Schnuckel has taught at Alfred University, the National College of Art and Design, China Central Academy of Fine Arts, the Pilchuck Glass School, Penland School of Crafts, and The Studio at The Corning Museum of Glass.

Glass | Cash

Glass | Cash will present the findings of a survey on compensation and debt in the field of Glass. How do current discussions of money, art, education, and professional practice unfold in our material-specific field? Does the scale and demographics of our community shift these conversations? What resources exist to make best-informed decisions on the plurality of paths that exist from education to professional practice? This talk will encourage glass academics to actually talk about money.

HELEN LEE is a practicing artist and the Head of Glassworking at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She holds an MFA in glass from the Rhode Island School of Design, and a B.S.A.D from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The Digital Apprentice

Instructional videos and other social media are redefining how glass technology and knowledge is transferred, subverting the traditional education structures such as the the master- apprentice relationship. In response to this digital landscape, our culture now retains information in a much different manner.  This lecture introduces new strategies that are inspired by the digital way of learning. We are utilizing the GIF, the meme, and the instructional video to create a unified foundation of best practices in a glass studio, available as an open source platform.

ALLI HOAG works with glass, installation, video, performance, and digital technology to investigate human desire to connect with the world around oneself, and to reveal the simultaneous lightness and heaviness created when the imagined or invisible is labored into the physical realm. Alli holds a BFA in Glass from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and an MFA from Alfred University. She currently serves as Glass Area Head at Bowling Green State University, in Bowling Green, Ohio.

ZAC WEINBERG's projects address the systems by which we interpret and allocate status to objects. His glass and mixed media works have been exhibited at home and abroad in venues including UrbanGlass, Glassmuseet Ebeltoft, and Glasenhuis, Belgium. Weinberg, who received a BFA from Alfred University and an MFA from OSU, was the inaugural Kanik Chung Memorial Fellow at MassArt. He lives and works as an artist/educator/technician in northwest Ohio.

Subverting a Mandatory and Arbitrary System of Rules

This approach focuses on a methodology which creates innovative parameters and assignments, adapts new critique strategies which subvert biases within the structure of critique, and empowers students to be confident, creative, proactive, conscientious, and free-thinking humans.

JUSTIN GINSBERG is the Head of the Glass Area and Assistant Professor of Practice at the University of Texas at Arlington. He has recently conducted residencies at Berlin Glas e.V., The Corning Museum of Glass, The Tacoma Museum of Glass, Wheaton Arts, and S12 and has taught at the Toyama Institute of Glass, The Corning Museum of Glass, and The Pilchuck Glass School (Summer 2017).

Myths of Success in the Arts & What We Can Do About It

In 2014, the collective BFAMFAPhD analyzed Census Bureau data in order to get a better picture of what life for arts graduates looks like. They found and widely promoted a statistic that only 10-percent of people with arts degrees were working as artists. That statistic caught a few headlines, garnering some media attention for the project, but it lacked some really important context. How many people with any kind of degree end up with paid work in that field? How many people with philosophy degrees or even art history degrees, for example, end up becoming paid philosophers or art historians? The answer is very few, in large part because the graduates themselves decided to pursue other paths and also because there are very few paid jobs in those fields relative to the number of graduates. But many students and teachers still hold beliefs about success in the arts built on myths and false information. In this talk, I’ll share some of the facts behind the myths and suggest a more realistic picture of what success means in there arts for graduates and non-graduates alike, with the hope of reducing some of the frustration and heartache many feel when they fail to live up to these myths.

ALEXIS CLEMENTS is a writer based in Brooklyn, NY. A regular contributor to Hyperallergic, her writing has also appeared in The Los Angeles Review of Books, Salon, Bitch Magazine, The Brooklyn Rail, The Guardian, Nature, and Two Serious Ladies, among others. She has also had her creative work published and produced in a number of venues in the US and the UK. She is currently working on a documentary film about physical spaces where queer women gather, titled All We've Got. Learn more about her work at Follow her @alexisclements

Class Schedule
  • October 12th - October 14th, 2017