Tea and the ceremonies it inspires have brought people people together across centuries and across continents. People have gathered, celebrated, and connected as they share the product of hot water and tea leaves that is steeped in teapots, a simple device that has brought people together and inspired complex traditions. For over a decade, Morgan Contemporary Glass Gallery, has organized their annual teapot invitational, which is a multi-media celebration of the time-honored vessel, as well as an opportunity to showcase the creativity of artists working in glass and other materials. The gallery, which was Pittsburgh's first art gallery devoted to contemporary glass, is currently exhibiting its 11th annual teapot exhibition, and features striking new ways of thinking about this vessel that can be traced back to 13th-century China.
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Apexart, a downtown Manhattan non-profit arts venue for independent curators and emerging and established artists, is currently showing an exhibition of glass pipes unabashedly celebrated by the show's organizer David Bienenstock, who is the former head of content at High Times magazine and a self-described "cannabis consultant." Despite the growing support for the decriminalization of marijuana (the most recent Gallup poll on the subject found 60-percent of Americans support legalization), Bienenstock has titled the exhibition "Outlaw Glass," and it gathers a wide range of work by a new generation of artists following in the footsteps of pioneering flameworker Bob Snodgrass, whose legacy the exhibition is designed to honor. Not just a showcase of the best work by contemporary glass, the exhibition also delves into the "authentic underground cannabis culture," examining the sometimes shadowy aspects of pipemaking, which has endured targeted law enforcement crackdowns as recently as in 2003's Operation Pipedreams. Bienenstock notes that the fine art world's embrace of pipemaking may be "following the trajectory of graffiti culture, which started literally in the streets amid serious and sustained official repression, only to break through into galleries and then put its stamp on both high art and popular culture."
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.
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.
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.
Adriano Berengo is back with another Glasstress exhibition, this time in partnership with an art museum in Boca Raton, Florida. Known for bringing artists who don't usually utilize glass as a medium together with his team of glass maestros in Murano, Berengo has built Glasstress into an art-world brand since it debuted as a collateral exhibition at the 2009 Venice Bienalle. In addition to his Glasstress exhibits at the international exhibition, Berengo has also been developing "Glasstress World" in which Berengo Project artists display their work in partnership with major museums around the globe.
The late Ron Desmett (1948-2016) and his wife, Kathleen Mulcahy will both have their work featured at Alfstad& Contemporary, which will kick off the Third Annual Sarasota Art Glass Weekend on January 27th. A collaboration between Longboat Key Center for the Arts, a division of Ringling College, and Habatat Galleries of Michigan, the weekend event will include exhibitions, auctions, studio tours, talks by internationally-known artists, glass-blowing demonstrations, and private tours of the museum featuring glass. The event's opening reception will take place on Thursday, January 26th.