Norton's work ranges from sculptures to vessels to lamps, such as this 7-foot-tall steel one, with blown-glass components and a sandblasted shade.

Sunday February 7, 2016 | by Andrew Page

In Memoriam: Jim Norton (1957 - 2016)

James "Jim" Norton, who died unexpectedly on January 28, 2016, at the age of 58, was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta, where he studied art and glassblowing, and where he built his career as a glassblower and educator. After studying at the Alberta College of Art + Design (ACAD) in Calgary, and the Pilchuk Glass School in Stanwood, Washington, he worked as a glassblowing instructor at ACAD ifrom 1986 until 2014. Norton also led summer workshops at Red Deer College from 1986 until 2005. When not teaching, he could usually be found working in the studio. He assisted in developing Skookum Glass in the 1980s, and opened the Double Struggle Studio in 1985 with Marty Kaufman and continued running the studio with Barry Fairbairn.

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A rhino by Kelly O'Dell greeted visitors to the opening of "Lifeforms 2016"

Saturday February 6, 2016 | by Andrew Page

OPENING: Scenes from the kick-off reception for “Lifeforms 2016” at Pittsburgh Glass Center

Filed under: Exhibition, New Work, News, Opening

More than 500 people attended last night's opening of the second "Lifeforms" exhibition at the Pittsburgh Glass Center, some drawn by the nonprofit's 15th anniversary celebration. But the main event was the exhibition of 55 life-like "biological glass models"  inspired by the highly realistic plant and invertebrate models made by the now-legendary father and son team of Rudolf and Leopold Blaschka. Spurred by the interest generated by the first "Lifeforms" exhibition in 2013, the 2016 jurors — artist Amber Cowan, PGC executive diretor Heather McElwee, artist Robert Mickelsen, artist Kait Rhoads, and art administrator David Francis — sorted through 177 submissions from around the world, including some from as far away as China, Argentina, and Russia. Though an homage to the Blaschka's lampworked forms, the exhibition was open to artists working with any technique to manipulate glass. According to the Website dedicated to the application process for the show, entries were judged for "accuracy in representing the organism, aesthetic beauty, presentation, and originality." You can view all the submissions here.

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Tuesday February 2, 2016 | by Andrew Page

Michael Glancy to speak at meeting of New York glass collectors

Filed under: Announcements, Events, News

For its first meeting of 2016, the recently renamed Art Glass Forum will host artist Michael Glancy, who will deliver a talk about his work which references natural environments at micro and macro scale. With titles draw from the natural sciences, Glancy's glass works are intensively coldworked — sandblasted, cut with acid, and then selectively electroplated with metals. The results resemble magnified ceullar landscapes, or possibly geological formations, which exhibit convincing organic contours.

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Sharyn O'Mara, Untitled, 2015. Mixed media on mylar.

Wednesday January 27, 2016 | by Andrew Page

OPENING: Tyler faculty showcased in group exhibition in Philadelphia

Filed under: Exhibition, New Work, News, Opening

Opening at the Philadelphia Art Alliance tomorrow evening, January 28, 2016, is a group exhibition entitled "Hush," featuring work by four members of the Tyler School of Art's glass faculty: Megan Biddle, Amber Cowan, Jessica Jane Julius, and Sharyn O’Mara (the department head). Ranging from site-specific installations to sculptures and drawings, the work in the exhibition shares a common focus on concepts of "reflection (literal and figurative) and distillation," according to the official announcement.

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Tuesday January 26, 2016 | by Andrew Page

Toots Zynsky chosen for next Specialty Glass Artist Residency at Corning

Filed under: Announcements, Museums, News

The Corning Museum of Glass is expanding its Specialty Glass Artist-in-Residency program, a unique opportunity for artists to work with glass formerly available only to industry. Today, it was announced that artist Toots Zynsky has been awarded the first of these residencies for 2016. Zynsky will be only the third specialty glass resident, following the inaugural metal sculptor, Albert Paley from 2014-2015, and glass artist, Tom Patti in 2016. A joint project between the museum and Corning Incorporated, the program is expanding from one to two residents per year. Corning, which has developed and patented more than 150 specialty glass formulations, will provides access to its specialty glasses as well as technical support. The museum makes its Studio and collections available to residents.

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Outgoing MAD museum director Glenn Adamson.

Friday January 22, 2016 | by Andrew Page

Glenn Adamson stepping down as director of the Museum of Arts and Design after brief tenure

Filed under: Announcements, Museums, News

In a surprise announcement, the Museum of Arts and Design today made it official that Glenn Adamson, the Nanette L. Laitman Director of the museum since September 2013, will be stepping down from his position as of March 31, 2016. Adamson's tenure of two-and-a-half years is in sharp contrast to his immediate predecessor Holly Hotchner, who held the top position at the museum for 16 years, and the 24-year tenure of the museum's first director Paul J. Smith. Adamson, who wrote a sharp critique of MAD's new Columbus Circle museum building in a 2011 article in Art in America, was an unconventional choice to lead it. During his time at the museum, Adamson restructured the curatorial staff and broadened the focus of the museum to include "makers and making," even initiating a biennial celebration entitled "NYC Makers" in 2014 which included work by musicians and product designers alongside that of artists and traditional craftspeople.

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Jeff Zimmerman, vase from the "Crystal Cave" series, 2015. Hand-blown glass. H 16 1/2, W 17, D L 16 in.

Tuesday January 19, 2016 | by Andrew Page

OPENING: Jeff Zimmerman takes on the temporal in latest gallery exhibition

Glassblower Jeff Zimmerman will showcase his recent explorations of water and time, ongoing themes in his career, at an opening this evening at R & Company, a design-art gallery in New York City's Tribeca neighborhood. In both functional and sculptural works, Zimmerman investigates natural processes -- a splash of water, the formation of ice crystals, the movement of ice floes.

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A 1996 photo of the artist at the Dalian Shengdao Glass Factory, China, where he created sculptures. He returned to work in China again in 1999. Lipofsky was an eager traveler and he helped to make interest in sculptural glass global throughout his life.

Saturday January 16, 2016 | by James Yood

In Memoriam: Marvin Lipofsky (1938 – 2016)

Filed under: Announcements, In Memoriam

Renowned glass sculptor and a pioneer of Studio Glass, Marvin Lipofsky died at his home in Berkeley, California, in the early morning hours of Friday, January 15.  He was 77 years old. Lipofsky had been in declining health for the last few years, though visitors to SOFA Chicago this past November will remember his dynamic public presentation at a survey of his work at the booth of Duane Reed Gallery, and his pleasure in holding court on a bench in the art fair’s main aisle, greeting a seemingly endless stream of well-wishers and acquaintances. 

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Benefacors Jack and Becky Benaroya pictured at the 2009 annual fundraiser for the Bellevue Arts Museum in Bellevue, Washington.

Thursday January 14, 2016 | by Andrew Page

Seattle art patron Becky Benaroya gifts glass collection — and $14-million — to Tacoma Art Museum

The Tacoma Art Museum in Tacoma, Washington, has scored a coup as the recipient of a $14-million gift from Becky Benaroya, who, with her late husband, Jack, has been acknowledged as among the most generous and powerful Seattle art patrons. In the Benaroyas seven decades of marriage, they assembled a collection of 225 works of art, with an emphasis on Studio Glass and regional Northwest painters and sculptors. For Becky Benaroya's 93rd birthday, she has promised not only the Benaroya art collection, but nearly $14 million to pay for a new wing at the TAM to house it, as well as

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Wednesday January 13, 2016 | by Andrew Page

Perry Price leaving American Craft Council to run the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft

Filed under: Announcements, Education, News

After four years as director of education for the American Craft Council, Perry Price is departing from the Minneapolis-based non-profit to take over as executive director of the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft. In his new role running the 15-year-old nonprofit visual arts center with a mission of advancing "education about the process, product and history of craft," Price is charged with growing the Texas craft center into an organization with a national profile. He is slated to start in the new position on February 29, 2016.

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GLASS: The UrbanGlass Quarterly, a glossy art magazine published four times a year by UrbanGlass has provided a critical context to the most important artwork being done in the medium of glass for 35 years.