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.
"Paracosm" is a technical term for an imaginary world. The most famous examples are literary, like J.R.R. Tolkein's Middle Earth or C.S. Lewis's Narnia; but in the visual arts, narrative works are often set in manufactured worlds. In an independently organized exhibition in Brooklyn, New York, the work of six experimental artists has been organized into “Paracosm: new worlds in glass,” which showcases the capacity of glass art to provide a transporting experience in a wide range of works, all with a conceptual foundation. Brooklyn’s Norte Maar, a nonprofit focused on “connecting emerging artistic communities and uniting cultural forces to foster artistic expression and raise the imaginative energy in us all,” is the setting for this fanciful exhibition, which runs through October 23, 2016.
In a letter posted under the News section of its website, and sent to customers last week, Uroboros founder and president Eric Lovell announced plans to close his nearly 44-year-old glass production facility in Portland, Oregon. Though Lovell stated that he hopes to sell the business to allow for continued employment and product supply, he made it clear that the company in its current incarnation will "discontinue operations in early 2017." He cited the high costs of meeting new city and state regulations, as well as the gentrification of the Portland area where Uroboros operates, and his own advancing age. Though the company has been under intense scruitiny from environmental regulators for its use of cadmium and arsenic as well as other chemicals, like its Portland neighbor Bullseye Glass, Lovell says: "It is not any one of these factors, but a combination of all of them," that led to the decision to close.
Japanese native Rui Sasaki has been named the 2016 Borowsky Prize winner, a $5,000 award named for the late University of the Arts trustee Irvin J. Borowsky, and awarded by the Philadelphia arts institution each year. The prize seeks to identify "an artist whose work is conceptually daring, exemplifies technical skill and innovation, and advances the field of contemporary glass," and includes the invitation for the winning artist to present a lecture. Sasaki, who is currently based in Toyama, Japan, will deliver her lecture on November 10, 2016. In addition to the top prize, juror's awards have been given to prize finalists David King (who also won a juror's award in 2015) and Sean Salstrom.
Danish artist Jeannet Iskandar makes things complicated, but you wouldn't know that at first glance. From across the room, her ongoing series of deceptively simple spheres appear to be minimalist objects with perfect symmetry. But upon closer examination the cool exteriors give way to an internal world of engrossing intricacy, complex assemblages of individual blown glass elements deformed by gravity and glassblowing tools, and then further transformed by repeated heating in a kiln. Iskandar was once employed by fellow Dane Tobias Mohl, and his influence shows in her appreciation of patterning, which is formed in her work by the selection of individual elements and the jigsaw puzzle of putting them together. Splashes of subdued color — inky blues and somber blacks —punctuate her newest work, which brings new elliptical forms and a larger scale than Iskandar's earlier objects. On the eve of her solo exhibition at New York City's Heller Gallery, the GLASS Quarterly Hot Sheet spoke by phone with Iskandar from her studio in the seaside city of Ebeltoft, which is an outpost of international glass in Denmark.
Klaus Moje passed away in Canberra on September 24, 2016. He is remembered with great fondness by family, friends and colleagues throughout the world. His passion for glass and commitment to sharing its inspiration created bonds that stretched over decades, from his early years in Hamburg, through the heady experimental 1960s and 70s, and on to generations of emerging artists who have pushed the medium beyond all expectations. He will be remembered as a great artist who led by example, setting high standards for himself and always seeing the best in others.
The complex relationship between the human and the natural worlds is rich territory for an art gallery set in the town of Waitsfield, Vermont, with its long history of forestry and agriculture. Through mid-October, art dealer Stephanie Walker has turned over her Walker Contemporary gallery space to an exhibition entitled “What Have We Done?”, which examines artists “grappling with the often precarious human versus nature relationship,” according to the gallery’s website. Among the five artists with work on display is the native-born Charlotte Potter, who grew up in Waitsfield before embarking on a notable career as a multi-media artist with a focus on glass. Holding a 2010 MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design, Potter is currently the studio manager/program director of the Chrysler Museum of Art’s Glass Studio, in Norfolk, Virginia, and her evolving artwork is represented by New York City's Heller Gallery. Potter's glass deer and elk antlers have actually been incubating in the artist’s mind and studio practice since 2008, and are recontextualized by showcasing them alongside paintings and drawings in which, as the gallery puts it, humans’ “meddling interference in the natural order of things…takes center stage”
The recent passing of Klaus Moje (1936 - 2016), who died at the age of 79 on September 24, 2016, after a protracted illness, has unleashed a global outpouring of grief and appreciation. Honored for his disciplined approach to technique and visionary work taking kiln-forming into the fine-art realm, Moje's impact on the glass art field is immeasurable. Celebrated as an artist, Moje was also hugely influential as an educator, and created the glass program at the Canberra School of Art, which has since been incorporated into the Australian National University's College of Arts and Social Sciences. Consciously not opening with a hot glass furnace, Moje designed the program in 1982 with a radically different approach than most glass education facilities in the world. In honor of Moje's legacy, the GLASS Quarterly Hot Sheet is republishing an article from the Spring 2005 print edition (GLASS #98) that provides unique insight into the founding of the Canberra program. In the article below, Moje shares his singular perspective on not just education but what it takes to become an artist.
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."