For it's 47th annual conference, the Glass Art Society is going overseas for the first time since the 2005 Adelaide, Australia, conference sent intrepid artists on long-haul flights Down Under. The 2018 event is set to take place in Murano, Italy, from May 1st through 6th, a notably longer duration than recent conferences, which have been three-day affairs. Led by Lino Tagliapietra, the conference steering committee for 2018 includes Cesare Toffolo, Lucio Bubacco, Davide Salvadore, Marina Tagliapietra, Roberto Donà, Adriano Berengo, and the Consorzio Promovetro Murano, an association of craft and industrial businesses in Venice dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Murano’s artistic glass and centuries of history.
The Winter 2016-17 edition of GLASS (#145) is hitting newsstands and subscriber mailboxes this week. The four feature articles explore different aspects of the profound transition affecting glass art and design. Whether it's the aging of a loyal collector base that sustained its growth for decades; new technologies competing with, if not displacing, hot glass studios as the showpieces of college and university art departments; or the steady march of globalization finally encroaching on the price points at the high end of design, GLASS brings you unique insights into the changing dynamics of the field.
While the conversion of a former glass factory into a museum is not in itself unusual, the recently expanded MusVerre celebrates a peculiarly touching history. Beginning as a 1967 exhibition of curiosity pieces made by factory glassblowers in the 19th and early-20th centuries, the project of MusVerre reached new heights with its grand reopening in a new building designed by Raphaël Voinchet and W-Architectures earlier this month in Sars-Poteries, France. The inauguration is being celebrated with an exhibition by Ann Veronica Janssens, a Belgian artist whose “relevance, power and poetry... recurrent use of glass as a material and the very particular fit of the “wide-angle” space [of the new museum] to her work made this invitation an obvious choice,” for the museum’s curators.
In the gallery above, the GLASS Quarterly Hot Sheet presents its annual "Red Dot Report," surveying works that sold at the SOFA CHICAGO art fair in early November. With the Chicago Cubs historic World Series win, and their celebratory parade the following Friday impeding access to Navy Pier, this year's SOFA got mixed reviews from exhibiting dealers. Maurine Littleton, owner of Maurine Littleton Gallery, in Washington, D.C. said that while this year's fair was better than last year, the pre-election contentious political climate and the Cubs crowds weren't helpful to sales. While the overall the fair was okay, it didn't match the really strong SOFA she had in 2014, said Littleton, adding that the two subsequent years have fallen flat. Kurt Nelson, owner of Palette Contemporary Art and Craft in Albuquerque, New Mexico, said that while the show was big enough this year, there was so much work in glass that it seemed almost saturated.
Faxes may have given way to email, but contemporary technology was an integral part of Dale Chihuly’s artistic practice throughout the 1990s. Now, a new book entitled Chihuly’s Faxes compiles 130 of these faxes hand-picked from an archive of 7,500. Treated as a medium for design ideation and instant communication, Chihuly’s faxes are described by lauded novelist, essayist, and critic, Francine Prose as “dreams about art.” Prose, a former president of PEN American Center, has written a foreword to the book, and her essay includes an analysis of “technology’s role in communicating bold ideas.” The new book is available now through Chihuly Workshop.
The prestigious fellowship awarded annually by the organization United States Artists seeks to identify the most accomplished and innovative artists working in a variety of fields, and reward their efforts through an unrestricted $50,000 award. With the recent announcement of 2016 fellows, engraver April Surgent joins artists Einar de la Torre & Jamex de la Torre, Beth Lipman, Sibylle Peretti, Judith Schaechter, Joyce J. Scott, Mary Shaffer, and Therman Statom as artists working with glass to be recognized for this top honor.
Since its founding in 1951, The Corning Museum of Glass has been funded primarily by its major benefactor, Corning Inc. Now, the Corning, New York, institution has announced a high-level appointment on the development side that reveals its bid to diversify its sources of unearned income. With a number of as-yet-unnamed expansion plans set to follow the March 2015 opening of its $64-million North Wing, the museum that lays claim to "the world's best collection of art and historical glass" is revving up its fundraising engines. James Gerhardt, who will hold the title of chief advancement officer at the museum, brings extensive non-profit fundraising experience to the post, including a recent stint in Philadelphia as the chief advancement officer at the National Museum of American Jewish History, which opened in 2012. What makes Gerhardt's newly created position at Corning significant is that unlike previous development positions at Corning, he will play a role on the institution's leadership team when he starts on November 30, 2016.
If you missed Laura Donefer's 2016 Glass Fashion Show that brought the Glass Art Society conference in Corning, New York to a spectacular close last June, you're in luck. The razzle and dazzle, not to mention the sparkle and glitter, have been documented in the superb photography of Stephen Wild. Artfully arranged on the page, a compilation of the best images has just been released as a handsome hardcover book. (Disclosure: The introduction was adapted from an article on the GLASS Quarterly Hot Sheet.) The book is a must-see for those present for the festivities, who now have a chance to revisit the thrill and savor the highlights, such as Jasen Johnson emerging with his glass guitar and scantily-clad entourage to kick things off.
The Glass Art Society has announced that its annual "Lifetime Achievement Award for Exceptional Achievement and Contributions to the Studio Glass Field" has been awarded to Joyce J. Scott for her mixed-media work that takes on serious issues such as racism and violence. The artist association has also awarded artist and designer Wayne Strattman its "Honorary Lifetime Membership Award for Outstanding Service to the Glass Art Society." Both artists will be presented with their respective awards during the 2017 Glass Art Society Conference set to take place at the Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk, Virginia from June 1st to 3rd, 2017.
While artist Kathleen Mulcahy was canoeing on the west branch of the Susquehanna River over a decade ago, a sudden storm came out of nowhere, leaving her no way to escape from the furious pelting rain. The river was too wide, and the waters too rapid. “We were moving into it, and there was nothing I could do but submit," she told the GLASS Quarterly Hot Sheet in a telephone interview. "And in that moment of submission, of letting go, I put my hand in the water. And after that moment, once I let go, we went right through the storm; and on the other side of it was clear skies and fresh air and beauty like I had never really experienced, from everything — my skin, the way things smelled, the air, everything was beautiful. I remember putting my hand in the water and saying, ‘what will my new work look like because of this?’” The answer arrived in a dream a few months later. "[Upon waking], I quickly grabbed a pencil and sketched this little tiny sketch of the image that I saw.” Mulcahy's first drop piece came soon after, titled West Branch of the Susquehanna (2006), which will be featured in her upcoming exhibition “Opposites Attract: Kathleen Mulcahy and Sylvester Damianos,” at The Westmoreland Museum of American Art opening on November 5, 2016, and running through February 2017.