Hand blown, smaller-scale, and created in multiples, each year's crop of Studio Editions reference some of the best-known unique works by Dale Chihuly, perhaps the best-known artist working with glass, whose signature adorns each one. Each season since 2012, the Chihuly Workshop has released four new studio editions, part of a series designed to offer Chihuly works at a more affordable price-point. These are available at galleries specializing in glass such as Schantz Galleries in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.
Husband and wife artistic collaborators Philip Baldwin and Monica Guggisberg continue to explore the metaphor of journey in their exhibition Thinking in Glass that runs through May 6, 2017, at the Sandra Ainsley gallery in Toronto. Assemblages of blown forms gathered into water craft is not new to this artistic duo, who have been experimenting with boat vessels since their initial series, "Sentinel" in the mid-1990s.
Rachel Owens, whose previous solo exhibit at Zieher Smith Gallery in New York's Chelsea neighborhood was a pointed critique of consumer culture, turns her sharp eye (and shards of broken glass) to the pre-European American landscape, global glass production, and New York City history in a new body of shattered glass and cast resin sculptures. The exhibition, titled "Mother," is the product of taking molds of a 400-year-old tree in the Queens borough of New York City. Owens uses these molds to render sides of the trunk of the oldest-living being in the city in a wide palette chosen from shattered glass from surplus supplies of cheaply made bottles from China. Her work is an homage to the longevity of the tree, which likely predates the arrival of the first Europeans, and brings an environmental component in its reference to American colonization being driven partly by the overuse of natural resources such as wood in Europe. Owens' glass and resin creations soar skyward in a defiant majesty, limited only by the reach of the artist's arms in making the molds of her arboreal subject.
Glass artist, Sarah Mizer, explores polarization, overindulgence, and nostalgia in her exhibition "Of Most Excellent Fancy," on view through April 1, 2017 at a project space in Laurel Park, North Carolina, that is the contemporary art component of a novel retail wine market called the Crate Project. Drawing inspiration from Vanitas Dutch still life imagery, and dialog from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Mizer created three groups of art forms that reside on individual walls. Each set of works evoke a sense of conflicting ideas, such as life and death, like Vanitas imagery, while incorporating her own experiences from her time as an artist residence at the Penland School of Crafts. In these three questions, Mizer expands on how her botanical studies mesh with 17th-century sources of inspiration.
GLASS Quarterly Hot Sheet: What are you working on?
Sarah Mizer: When asked what am I up to I get excited to sum it up so simply: travel. Though based in Richmond, Virginia, travel is an important factor in generating imagery. “Of Most Excellent Fancy”, the show mounted at Crate Project in Laurel Park, North Carolina came to fruition while in residence at Penland just at the start of the new year. At Crate, you will see work mostly comprised of Penland plants rejoined as brittle and precarious still lifes. I was at Penland for their Winter Residency so the imagery is droopy, cold, and a little anemic. Meanwhile today on the schedule (worlds and seasons apart from Penland), I'm trying to find a birthday present for my mother somewhere in the souk while visiting Doha, Qatar. I'm here for a week and have some time today before the opening of “form(force)”, a juried exhibition of VCU faculty work fitting into the theme of "Analog Living in a Digital World." My contribution to the show is a still life construction titled "Sweet and Bitter at the Same Time". This work is a still life piece which incorporates a digitally printed lemon, glass, light, and faux greenery that has been resurfaced with a white coat. To be in such an arid desert landscape with a piece that is comprised of counterfeited imagery as a stand in for lush nature, it's all so surreal.
Kandinsky and Mondrian are two Western painters credited with pioneering the form of geometric abstraction. But artwork that focuses on patterns of color and shape rather than figuration goes back to ancient art forms, especially in Islamic Art, where depiction of religious figures has been carefully avoided in respect for the faith's ban on idolatry. The mirror sculptures of Monir Farmanfarmaian, an Iranian artist, bring together influences of Western avant-garde painting and centuries-old Islamic art in works of refraction and geometric abstraction. An opening reception this evening at The Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk, Virginia, will kick off an exhibition of Farmanfarmaian's work that will continue through July 30, 2017.
Pilchuck Glass School has announced its 2017 John H. Hauberg Fellowship recipients, a group called Tempestuous Commons, who plan to “explore the female form as a narrative tool for expression,” according to the announcement. Tempestuous Commons, a newly formed group of emerging artists working largely in mixed-media sculpture, is comprised of Ashley Berkman, Jade Usackas, Kelsie McNair, and Nadira Narine. Their Pilchuck residency, which provides living accommodations and access to all Pilchuck studios except its hot glass shop, will take place from April 26th to May 12th, 2017.
The upcoming international flameworking conference, which will run from March 24th through 26th at Salem Community College in Carney's Point, New Jersey, will be the 17th gathering of artists specializing in borosilicate glass. It will also mark a notable shift as many of the featured speakers and demonstrators are graduates of fine-art-degree programs, including the featured artist Amber Cowan. Throughout the programming of the three-day event which has recently featured highly skilled flameworkers such as Eusheen Goines (2016), Vittorio Costantini (2013), Loren Stump (2007), Cesare Toffolo (2004), a decidedly more academic tone is notable, starting with the opening-night lecture on the history of flameworking courtesy of The Corning Museum of Glass's reference librarian Beth Hylen joined by the museum's properties of glass programs supervisor Eric Goldschmidt. Featured artist Amber Cowan not only holds an MFA in glass and ceramics from Tyler School of Art of Temple University, but is also on faculty. Other presenters include Beccy Feather, Jacob Moskowitz, Zach Puchowitz, Ryan Tanner, and Kim Thomas, all of whom studied art at the university level. The GLASS Quarterly Hot Sheet checked in with conference co-chair Amy LeMaire to learn more about the lineup for the 2017 event.
Master glass artist Lino Tagliapietra will showcase works from the past 15 years in an upcoming solo exhibition at the Morris Museum in Morristown, New Jersey, opening with a private reception on Saturday. "Lino Tagliapietra: Maestro of a Glass Renaissance" brings together works from private collections as well as the artist’s personal holdings. The exhibition has been organized by Morris Museum curator Alexandra Willis with consultation from Jim Schantz, director of the Stockbridge, Massachusetts, gallery that bears his name. New York City's Heller Gallery was also involved in the organization and support of the exhibition.
In many words and pictures, Penland School of Crafts' new book, entitled Inspired: Life In Penland’s Resident Artists and Core Fellowship Programs, tells the story of this North Carolina craft center's mission and artist outcomes through the voices of its staff and 32 of the artist residents. These voices share their positive experiences during their time in residency, whether it was for 8 months or the uniquely long 3 year fellowship, and how they benefited from the institution's educational and residency programs. Over the course of 192 pages, this new coffeetable book delves into the history of Penland, first founded in the 1920s (it established its first glass program in 1965), and the core reason for its existence: to provide the perfect balance of solidarity and isolation for upmost creative growth. This hardcover book, according to Penland executive director Jean McLaughlin on page 8, "aim[s] to acknowledge the remarkable near-fifty-year history of these two programs and begin to document this history through the stories of participating artists."