When Jane Sauer Gallery, a Santa Fe outpost for ambitious art from craft materials including glass, was acquired by Jennifer and Michael Tansey in 2013, the Denver-based couple renamed it Tansey Contemporary but maintained relationships with most of its artists. Today, the Tanseys have opened the doors of a second, larger gallery space at 1743 Wazee Street in Denver, Colorado, which they are referring to as their "flagship" and headquarters where the owners will direct an "international expansion." Although this might sound overly ambitious given the challenging economy for work in glass, keep in mind that the gallery's co-owner Michael Tansey is also the chairman and owner of Art Miami, LLC, which runs not only the biggest Art Basel Miami Beach satellite fair each December but several other important art fairs in the New York and Palm Beach markets. The Santa Fe location will remain open on Canyon Road.
The back-page "Reflection" essay in the newly published issue of GLASS: The UrbanGlass Art Quarterly (Spring 2017, #146) is dedicated to an in-depth book review of a new scholarly work by Koen Vanderstukken, an artist and head of the glass program at Sheridan College in Ontario, Canada. The GLASS Quarterly Hot Sheet talked with the reviewer — the magazine's contributing editor William Ganis, who is also the chair of art and design at Indiana State University — about his assessment of this major new work.
GLASS: In your review, you describe Koen's books as "one of the few serious attempts to theorize contemporary glass art." What do you see as the state of contemporary glass art theory and criticism? What are the venues and the level of discourse?
William Ganis: It’s telling that Vanderstukken had to resort to crowdfunding for his project—that no publisher would assume the full risk of underwriting a “theoretical” text. In order to realize his vision, he had to create (albeit in conjunction with Black Dog Press) his own space. A preponderance of the glass literature is tied to commerce. Monographs are subsidized by dealers and artists’ studios and the articles and reviews in the likes of American Craft and GLASS Quarterly are made possible by ads for galleries and creative-materials suppliers. It would be unfair to say that these patrons are censorious, but they do shape discourse.
Towering, taut, and ornate, 130 exquisitely blown glass works are currently on view at the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, Washington, where they will remain through October 15, 2017. These are the fruits of a four-year collaboration between master glassblower James Mongrain and patron and prominent collector George R. Stroemple. Organized into four groupings entitled the Adriatico, Atlantis, Poseidon, and Arcobaleno series, the works result from Mongrain's extremely disciplined approach to traditional Venetian glassblowing techniques, and represent his response to the more than one hundred 19th-century Venetian glass objects in Stroemple's collection, which are also displayed in the exhibition. This show is an homage to the traditions that inspired Mongrain to devote his career to mastery of the techniques and aesthetic rules of this historic high-water mark for glassblowing skill.
Mixed-media artist, Marita Dingus, will exhibit her most recent body of work at Seattle’s Traver Gallery beginning March 2. "The Gathering" will feature figurative sculptures made from discarded materials—an aesthetic for which Dingus has come to be known, but this exhibition will also include some of her largest-scale work to date. Dingus takes inspiration from African tribal art, particularly the bristly Nkondi sculptures of the Kongo people. Nkondi sculptures are anthropomorphic figures traditionally used to summon spirits for the purpose of correcting and healing social strife.
Apple employees will be moving their desks to the much-anticipated new headquarters, Apple Park, sometime in April, according to a company press release, even though the construction process on the Santa Clara Valley, California, facility won't be complete until fall 2017. Billed as one of the world's most energy-efficient buildings thanks to its massive rooftop solar array and a natural ventilation system that is projected to need no heat or air conditioning 9 months of the year, the massive ring-shaped central building designed by Foster + Partners also claims to have the world's largest curved glass panels, which clad the space-ship like structure in seamless sheets of silica. Over 12,000 people will eventually occupy the new complex when it's fully occupied. The main building alone will provide 2.8 million square feet of space.
Visitors to an upcoming exhibition by glass artist Kazuki Takizawa will experience a unique aural experience thanks to the artist having suspended colored glass bulbs, enclosed in a swaying metal structure, as part of “Catharsis Contained,” which will open at Craft In America Center in Los Angeles in May 2017. The work entitled Breaking the Silence II is designed so that it has a rocking motion that will cause the blown bulbs to gently bump into one another, producing a soothing, tinkling sound that was inspired by Takizawa's experience of visiting a temple in Thailand. Not only will this installation provide a sonic atmosphere to accompany the rich visual experience of his repeated glass forms in various subdued hues, but the artwork also seeks to develop a conversation about a topic rarely engaged in art: suicide prevention.
The Spring 2017 edition of GLASS: The UrbanGlass Art Quarterly (#146), on its way to newsstands and subscriber mailboxes, sports a new look. Completely redesigned in honor of the 40th anniversary of its parent, UrbanGlass, the new issue features an updated graphic style with fresh type treatments, more abundant white space, and an increase in photographs of individual artists as well as their work. It's the first major update to the magazine's design since 2003 and reflects the keen insights of the magazine’s longtime art directors, Stephanie and John Stislow, who for more than a decade have been honing the visual presentation of articles by some of the top arts writers to illuminate their critical insights.
A mix of artists, designers, and new-technology innovators have been invited to travel to the remote Stanwood, Washington, campus of Pilchuck this summer as part of the glass school's annual artists-in-residence program. These residents will explore how glass might dovetail with their own artistic vision, and will be assisted by highly-skilled glass gaffers. In the process, their presence is designed to act as a creative catalyst for the unique mix of students who come together each summer, drawn by this legendary school's unique approach to exploring expression and artistic exchange through the material of glass. Since being named permanent artistic director of the program in 2013, visual artist and educator Tina Aufiero has designed each summer's program, and she selected this year's artists in residence and instructors. (For an in-depth profile of Aufiero, see the Winter 2016-17 edition of GLASS (#145).)
On June 10, 2017, the Glasmuseet Ebeltoft in Denmark will open an exhibit of work by the finalists in its fourth Young Glass competition. Since it was initiated by this museum of glass art in 1987, the juried once-a-decade competition has strived to promote and reward emerging talent in the medium. Four cash prizes totaling €42,000 (approx. $45,000 US) and two artist residencies will be awarded to the winners.
The Corning Museum of Glass has released the line-up for its 2017 Artists-in-Residence program, and the list includes Martin Janecky, Judy Tuwaletstiwa & Michael Rogers, Claire Kelly, Karlyn Sutherland, Marina Hanser, Anna Riley, Mark Ditzler & Wayne Strattman, Elinor Portnoy, and Wendy Yothers & François Arnaud.