UrbanGlass, the Brooklyn, New York, non-profit art center that publishes the GLASS Quarterly Hot Sheet, is seeking a full-time education coordinator, who will be responsible for the day-to-day logistics of workshop, youth, and university programs. The new position has been created in response to the growth of education programs since the 2013 renovation of the facilities at UrbanGlass, and more than 1,200 students took some type of class in 2015. The successful applicant will work in close coordination with the director of education and educational assistant on the organization, procurement, and inventory of materials, tools, studios, and equipment for classes. Other duties include a role in the planning for upkeep and improvement of the facilities and equipment. In addition, the new hire will be responsible for staffing events and programs as well as managing the payroll of teachers, assistants, and techs.
In 1995, a pregnant Amy Schwartz and her husband, William Gudenrath, relocated to Corning, New York, at the invitation of museum director David Whitehouse (1941-2013) to begin the planning for The Studio at The Corning Museum of Glass, a new initiative that would redefine and expand the museum's role as a place where glass was not only studied and exhibited but also made and taught. To take their new positions as studio director and resident advisor, respectively, Schwartz and Gudenrath were both leaving jobs in New York City — she managed the computer system of a law firm on Wall Street and he was a longtime instructor at UrbanGlass (and one of the first to join its precursor, The New York Experimental Glass Workshop). The Studio at Corning opened its doors in 1996 with a block party that included an ice cream truck and guests such as gallerist Doug Heller and artist Paul Stankard. The couple's newborn daughter, Sophia, also attended the Studio's opening on May 26, 1996, taking it all in from a stroller. Twenty years later, as the studio has hosted hundreds of instructors and artists in residence, as well hundreds of thousands of museum visitors making their own glass, the GLASS Quarterly Hot Sheet spoke with the Studio's director about the highlights of the past two decades.
The funds raised through the upcoming 2016 UrbanGlass Gala on the evening of May 24th, as well as proceeds from its now-live online auction, will go toward supporting the Brooklyn, New York-based art center's multiple programs, which include publishing the GLASS Quarterly Hot Sheet blog and GLASS: The UrbanGlass Art Quarterly, archived by libraries around the world as the magazine of record for the glass-art field. The fundraising auction and gala are key to maintaining the nonprofit's state-of-the-art 17,000-square-feet of artist studios — including an expansive hot shop, cold shop, kiln room, flameworking shop, mold room, and flat-working area, which are a vital resource to artists, and help make glass an active part of the contemporary art dialogue in the world capital of culture New York City.
From May 21st, Vermont Glass Guild members will display their work at an exhibitiion entitled "Modern Alchemy: The Art of Glass," on view at the Southern Vermont Arts Center in Manchester, Vermont, though July 12, 2016. Though the association of Vermont and glass might bring to mind Simon Pearce's successful artisinal glass- and ceramic-design business operating out of a historic mill in Queechee, Vermont, the fact is that independent studios can be found throughout the "Green Mountain State." Established in 2010, the Vermont Glass Guild seeks to bring together these often far-flung members working in all forms of glass for "mutual support and enrichment."
Spectrum Glass, a leading supplier of art glass materials including its System 96 family of products that includes compatible sheet glass and cullet for furnaces, shocked the glass world on Wednesday, May 11th, with its announcement it has begun an appoximately two-month process of closing its operations. For four decades, the Woodinville, Washington, company has been a major supplier of materials for stained glass and fusing projects, and also offered a popular line of premelted cullet used by many studios to speed the time for charging furnaces while also offering compatibility with the company's extensive line of sheet glass. In its communication to customers, Spectrum cited the twin factors of overcapacity and a more complex regulatory climate for glass producers as the reasons for this decision. The announcement cited the dramatic sales decline that followed the economic recession in the late 2000s, and now estimates that the company is operating at only 40 percent of capacity. "Our consistently reduced levels of sales simply cannot cover the fixed costs required to operate a facility of our size," reads the official announcement posted on the company hompage.
On May 14th, Lino Tagliapietra will make a personal appearance at a pop-up exhibition in Boston for an afternoon reception hosted by Schantz Galleries. Titled "A Golden Age of Glass," the Schantz exhibit will feature a new series of work by the maestro in "avventurine" glass. Also known as "Goldstone glass," this is a unique type of glittering glass studded with bits of copper or gold mineral that shares its name with a variety of quartz with mineral inclusions. Aventurine glass dates back to at least 17th-century (Corning says 15th-century) Venice, and requires low-oxygen conditions during melting, as well as a strategic lowering of temperature at a key phase of the process for the metal inclusions to properly form. It is one of the hardest types of glass to work with from the furnace, with failure a constant risk given the complexity of the precise temperature changes required. Annealing is another hazardous aspect of this unforgiving material.
Lesser known than their more commercially developed LED counterparts, OLEDs generate broad-spectrum light that is far closer to the light cast by incandescent light bulbs than the harsh whiteness associated with LEDs. An OLED is a sandwich made up of an organic material layered between two electrodes, and these layers are deposited (they can be printed with an ink-ket) onto a transparent substrate. The many advantages of OLED technology — better quality of light, potentially lower cost than LED if mass produced, cool temperatures, higher response times if used for displays versus backlit LCD screens — must be balanced against the comparatively shorter lifespan and changing color balance over time, problems that are being addressed by researchers. Advances in OLED engineering hold great potential for the technology not only for touch-screens (where they are already being used in some smartphones), but for ambient lighting as well. A new design competition co-sponsored by Corning Inc. and the OLEDWorks company, is seeking innovative lighting designs incorporating today's OLED technology, and is offering $10,000 cash awards as well as opportunities to develop prototypes for winning ideas.
Yuka Otani wants to challenge the current classification and labelling of "glass art," and she is doing so with an independent exhibition entitled "Emancipation: how to make a work of glass that isn't glass" taking place during the upcoming Glass Art Society conference in Corning, New York (June 9 - 11, 2016). Otani, who holds an MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design (2008) and a BFA from Tama Art University in Tokyo (2000), has organized provocative exhibitions before. In 2009, concurrent with an earlier GAS conference at Corning, she and co-curator Anjali Srinivasan organized a group exhibition entitled "How is This Glass" in multiple venues. In 2010, Otani and Srinivasan also put together a "Post-Glass Video Festival" that was screened at Heller Gallery and other venues. But her latest project is unique in its break with the material of glass itself — none of the work actually includes glass but Otani feels embraces it as a quality or metaphor. The GLASS Quarterly Hot Sheet recently had the opportunity to explore the ideas behind "Emancipation" in a conversation with Otani to better understand the concepts fueling the project. —AP
The glass department at a top European art academy is framing an upcoming exhibition as a bid to present glass art squarely in conceptual territory. Student and faculty of the Gerrit Rietveld Academie's glass department will show new work at an exhibition taking place at the Arti et Amicitae, a historic artists' society in Amsterdam. With an opening reception on Friday, May 20th, from 8 PM to 10 PM, the exhibition organized by department head Jens Pfeifer seeks to "discover and research the possibilities of both immaterial and conceptual attributes of glass within the realm of contemporary art."
In 2010, I had the good fortune to be invited as a visiting critic to an especially strong RISD graduate show of glass MFAs, which that year included Charlotte Potter, Matthew Day Perez, and Rui Sasaki. I was impressed across the board, not only with the work, but the confidence with which all three artists worked with materials, embracing readymade and non-glass media in their respective thesis projects. Rui Sasaki presented a 4-hour video of her multi-day performance art piece that involved a block of ice made up of the same amount of water in the human body. A test of endurance and risking hypothermia, she curled her nude body around the block to hasten its melting, displaying a similar block of ice while the document of her marathon performance was screened. Since her graduation, she's taught glass and contemporary art at Worcester State University in the U.S., and Kyoto University of Art and Design as well as the Toyama City Institute of Glass Art in Japan. Working with "transparent materials," which includes ice and glass, she is building on her long-standing interest in the concepts of "home" and, by extension, "intimacy," something she felt the profound loss of when she left Japan to study in Rhode Island in 2007. Since her graduation, she's been traveling widely to residencies in the U.S., Sweden, Belgium, and Japan, as well as to exhibitions around Europe and Asia. As she writes in her artist statement: "Wandering is a part of my work to achieve the definition of intimacy in empty space and intimacy without space. Through my work, I document the intimacy and memory of the home." The GLASS Quarterly Hot Sheet recently caught up with Rui at her residency in Norway, where she answered some questions about her latest projects. —AP