Argentinian-born artist Silvia Levenson and Italian glass master Bruno Amadi have just been announced as the recipients of the 2016 Glass in Venice Prizes. Supported by the Istituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettere, ed Arti and the Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia, the Glass in Venice Prizes have been honoring outstanding glass artists for five years. Each year, two prizes are awarded: one to glass masters who have “distinguished themselves in glass art in the wake of the Murano tradition,” and another to international glass artists “who, using different techniques and methods, have chosen glass as their means of expression,” according to the Prize’s press release. The award ceremony will take place in the Palazzo Franchetti this evening, Monday, September 26th, at 5:30 PM. In addition, the work of the winning artists will be on display in the foyer of the Palazzo Loredan until October 24th, 2016.
Cappy Thompson, known for her folk-art-inspired reverse paintings on glass that explore contemporary themes, has been experimenting with engraving for the past few years. It's been a departure for Thompson, who is an expert grisaille painter, a process where a first-layer of enamel in gray tones is followed by second firing of brightly colored enamels, to create figurative works. Though grisaille involves the removal of an initial coat of gray color, most of Thompson's work was based on layering enamels onto glass to create densely colored surfaces. But etching into glass had been on Thompson's mind since a 1990 trip to then-Czechoslovakia, during which she was intrigued by acid etching using a resist. "It looked like ice that had been melted," Thompson remembers. The dangers of working with highly corrosive and toxic etching acids kept her from ever pursuing this technique at home. However, while she was teaching at Corning in 2012 with master engraver Max Erlacher, she became entranced by the possibilities of wheel-cutting glass. Her friend and fellow artist Charlie Parriott helped her acquire a lathe from the Czech Republic, and she was able to learn from April Surgent and two Czech master engravers during a Pilchuck residency. The GLASS Quarterly Hot Sheet recently caught up with Thompson for a telephone interview as she prepared an artist's talk at Traver Gallery scheduled for this evening to talk about this bold new direction for the work in her current exhibition "Bright Blue Light."
Joyce J. Scott, a prominent artist working with glass beads and blown-glass to create works that probe the nature of violence and racial politics, and who was featured on the cover of the Fall 2014 edition of GLASS: The UrbanGlass Art Quarterly (# 136), has been named a 2016 MacArthur Fellow, one of the most prestigious annual prizes in the world of arts and sciences. Also known as "genius grants," the fellowship comes with a $625,000 award paid out over five years. The honor is bestowed upon between 20 to 30 recipients each year, irrespective of their field or media, who "are breaking new ground in areas of public concern, in the arts, and in the sciences, often in unexpected ways," according to MacArthur president Julia Stasch. Scott is one of 23 fellows named for 2016, ranging from scientists to playwrights to musicians to visual artists. "Scott upends conceptions of beadwork and jewelry as domestic or merely for adornment by creating exquisitely crafted objects that reveal, upon closer examination, stark representations of racism and sexism and the violence they engender," reads the MacArthur website about Scott's work in particular.
A new Norfolk, Virginia, residency collaboration between The Chrysler Museum of Art, Glass Wheel Studio, and the Rutter Family Art Foundation, has culminated in “Between Further and Farther,” an exhibition currently on display at the Rutter-family-owned gallery and nightclub, Work|Release. Mixed-media artist Sarah Blood — the first recipient of the New Energy Artists Residency (NEAR) — used her residency to wrestle with ideas of actual and perceived distance and explore different ways to engage with the form of the paper airplane. The outcome, “Between Further and Farther,” incorporates mixed-media sculpture, large-format photography, video, and performance. Art goers of the Hampton Roads area can view the exhibition at Work|Release until September 24th.
The cleverly-titled exhibition "High Design," on view at the Pilchuck Glass School's Seattle exhibition space through September 29, 2016, showcases the work of five glass pipemakers who are some of the best-known figures in a subculture of functional flameworking that is seeing increasing engagement with the larger glass art world. The exhibition was spurred by two factors. First was a 2012 ballot initiative to legalize the recreational use of marijuana, which removed some of the legal shadows that kept pipemaking officially or unofficially off-limits for many glass programs. The other was the personal initiative of Pilchuck artistic director Tina Aufiero, who has challenged the rejection of glass pipes, and even offered a class — “C’est une Pipe” — at the most recent summer sessions at the Stanwood, Washington, program that openly taught techniques for making marijuana paraphernalia from glass.
Curator Christian Bernard Singer, formerly of the Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery, has held the position of senior curator at the Tom Thomson Art Gallery in West Owen Sound, Ontario, since October 2015. He recently spoke with the GLASS Quarterly Hot Sheet about his current exhibition entitled "With a Destiny," which features work by Canadian glass artists Laura Donefer, Susan Edgerley, and Karina Guevin. Painter Tom Thomson (1877 – 1917) is arguably Canada's most renown artist, and he ushered in a new, raw style of landscape painting at the turn of the 20th century that continues to resonate through Canadian contemporary art today. The art gallery that bears his name houses one of the largest collections of Thomson's paintings, but its mission also includes connecting the artist's trail-blazing work to the latest contemporary art in a variety of media. The glass exhibition on view through September 18, 2016, finds a connection to Thomson's work in a frank exploration of the natural landscape, as well as meditations on the idea of destiny, according to the show's curator Singer.
From September 18 to December 31, 2016, the Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery will feature dual solo exhibitions by artists Lou Lynn and Ione Thorkelsson, both of him explore similar themes. Well-established glass casters that exhibit widely in Canadian galleries, Lynn and Thorkelsson's exhibitions will each display a combination of new and previously exhibited glass works that explore the strangeness in familiar things and question aspects of our present social reality. Lou Lynne's exhibit entitled "COMMON/unCOMMON" is comprised of works from her "utensil" and "fastener" series, works that re-interpret the familiar beauty of historical tools and household objects. Ione Thorkelsson, known for her unorthodox casting techniques, presents "A Natural History of Utopias," a grouping of sculptural castings that explore the imperfections of the ideals we project onto the natural world.
The Museum of Arts and Design has announced that its next director will be Jorge Daniel Veneciano, an Argentinian-born scholar and curator who comes to the premier museum for art and design from craft materials from his position as executive director of another New York City institution, El Museuo del Barrio, which is dedicated to Latin American and Carribean art. Veneciano will succeed Glenn Adamson as the museum's Nanette L. Laitman Director, with a start date of October 3, 2016. In her comments, the museum's board chair cites Veneciano's experience and vision as keys to broadening MAD's ability to connect with a diverse population.
For the month of September 2016, Traver Gallery is displaying new works by artists Heike Brachlow and Cappy Thompson. Aside from their shared use of color as a primary aspect of their work, they are otherwise strongly divergent in their approach to the material. This month's exhibition will see both artists exploring new techniques. Brachlow will showcase the latest works in her "D-Form Series" solid-glass sculptures whose forms were discovered through joining together two flat shapes with identical perimeter lengths. And Thompson will move beyond her prior body of vitreous enamel paintings to unveil a new series of transparent engraved vessels.
On Saturday, September 17th, 2016, Chicago’s L.H. Selman Gallery is auctioning close to 400 glass paperweights that had been part of the Art Institute of Chicago’s permanent collection. The artwork on the block had been donated to the Institute by Arthur Rubloff, Potter and Pauline Palmer, Ella Grace Burwick and Lucy K. Kretchmer. According to Benjamin Clark, CEO and owner of L.H. Selman, the non-profit organization helping to create awareness of glass paperweights as an art form known as The Glass Paperweight Foundation "will receive 100-percent of the net proceeds of the buyer’s premium.” (The buyer’s premium is an additional cost a buyer pays when they win a lot. In this case it will be between 20-25% of the hammer price.) According to Christopher Monkhouse, the Eloise W. Martin Chair and Curator, Department of European Decorative Arts at the Art Institute of Chicago: “The net proceeds of the sale of will be used towards to purchase of artwork for the Art Institute of Chicago.” Monkhouse also explains that “deaccessioning artwork is a very sensitive matter for museums, but in rare occasions they are forced to do it, particularly when the collection is too large or a substantial number of close duplicates are kept in storage.” Case in point, Arthur Rubloff regularly acquired entire series of paperweights for one specific item, this eccentric practice naturally added sizeable numbers of duplicates to his collection. In 2012 after the Museum expanded the Arthur Rubloff Paperweight Gallery many of these paperweights were sent to storage because great examples were already on display. The museum is putting the duplicates back the in the hands of the public.