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."
Viewing: Book Report
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.
With an unusual curved corner that echoes the rounded-glass-wall architecture of its subject, a new hardcover book entitled simply The Glass Pavilion ($44.95) is a 144-page love letter to the The Toledo Museum of Art's eye-catching annex designed by the Prizker Prize-winning Japanese architecture firm SANAA. Featured on the cover of GLASS magazine when it opened in 2006, the Glass Pavilion added 76,000 square feet of ethereal exhibition space and a state-of-the-art working glass studio to the 100-year-old museum. The museum wanted to make sure the new building devoted to art would be architecturally significant as would befit a facility dedicated to the same material on which museum founder Edward Drummond Libbey built his industrial empire. It was also at the Toledo Museum that Harvey Littleton held his famous 1962 workshop that many consider the birth of Studio Glass.
GLASS Quarterly Hot Sheet: You've already published an autobiography, No Green Berries and Leaves (McDonald & Woodward, 2007), and a manual for artists entitled Spark the Creative Flame (McDonald & Woodward, 2013). What inspired you to come out with Studio Craft as Career (Schiffer, 2016) and how does it differ from your first two books?
Paul Stankard: Well, my first book was a memoir, and the second one was a guide to finding and renewing motivation. But I decided to write this book because I was hearing so many people trying to make it as artists who believed it was all about who you knew. I wrote this book to say 'Wait a minute, it's not who you know, it's all about the work.' I wanted to give people a way to educate themselves about what excellence is, and to hand over tools for self-directed learning. People who read this book will hopefully think about how they need to see themselves in competition, not only with the best work in the contemporary realm, but also the best work that has come before. It's about studying the best work that's been done in your field and engaging in a dialog with it — to understand it, and to respond to that work in your own unique way.
Faxes may have given way to email, but contemporary technology was an integral part of Dale Chihuly’s artistic practice throughout the 1990s. Now, a new book entitled Chihuly’s Faxes compiles 130 of these faxes hand-picked from an archive of 7,500. Treated as a medium for design ideation and instant communication, Chihuly’s faxes are described by lauded novelist, essayist, and critic, Francine Prose as “dreams about art.” Prose, a former president of PEN American Center, has written a foreword to the book, and her essay includes an analysis of “technology’s role in communicating bold ideas.” The new book is available now through Chihuly Workshop.
If you missed Laura Donefer's 2016 Glass Fashion Show that brought the Glass Art Society conference in Corning, New York to a spectacular close last June, you're in luck. The razzle and dazzle, not to mention the sparkle and glitter, have been documented in the superb photography of Stephen Wild. Artfully arranged on the page, a compilation of the best images has just been released as a handsome hardcover book. (Disclosure: The introduction was adapted from an article on the GLASS Quarterly Hot Sheet.) The book is a must-see for those present for the festivities, who now have a chance to revisit the thrill and savor the highlights, such as Jasen Johnson emerging with his glass guitar and scantily-clad entourage to kick things off.
Joey Kirkpatrick and Flora C. Mace
Essays by Mark Doty, Daniel J. Hinkley, Patricia Kirkpatrick, and Linda Tesner
Marquand Books, 216 pages. $39.56 (via Amazon).
The decades-long artistic collaboration between artists and partners Joey Kirkpatrick and Flora C. Mace comes to life in a 216-page book that includes over 100 high-quality photographs of mixed-media work, as well as a lengthy essay by Linda Tesner, the director of the Ronna and Eric Hoffman Gallery of Contemporary Art at Lewis & Clark College. There is no shortage of chronological or technical detail in these pages, though one longs for a stronger analysis of what unites the pair’s varied bodies of work which range from figurative drawings on glass vessels to abstract assemblages.
The head of the glass studio at Sheridan College in Ontario, Canada, Koen Vanderstukken was driven by curiosity to delve deeper into the evolution of glass as an art medium than the concise story that Harvey Littleton was singlehandedly responsible. This inquiry, which he undertook in 2008, led him to ponder the intrinsic complexity of the material of glass that drew artists such as Larry Bell and Robert Smithson who had little connection to the Studio Glass movement as led by Littleton, and evolved into a book project. (Disclosure: GLASS is planning to run an excerpt from Vanderstukken's new book in the Fall 2016 edition. Also, editor Andrew Page is the author of an essay that appeared in a Black Dog Publishing book.) Taking notes, researching, and writing, on his own time, he has completed the manuscript and sourced images to illustrate his points. The 288-page book is scheduled to be published in September 2016 in partnership with U.K.-based Black Dog Publishing but Vanderstukken needs to finance half the printing costs, and has turned to crowd-sourcing, where in less than 24 hours, he's raised 20-percent of his goal of $15,000 US. The GLASS Quarterly Hot Sheet spoke with Vanderstukken about the book project and his fundraising initiative. Excerpts from our telephone interview below:
If there were a skills test in glassblowing, the ultimate exam would probably be flawlessly executing a 17th- or 18th-century Venetian goblet. In Venice, those that reach the pinnacle of skill in this form (and who have achieved full technical knowledge about glassblowing) are recognized with the title “Maestro,” but, here in the U.S., the highest award is when a member of the small pantheon of American glassblowers such as a James Mongrain would be impressed enough with your finished “cup” to say “Hey! You’re really good!”
Multimedia artist Elias Hansen, who frequently employs glass in his projects is set to publish an art book, Even Crooks Have To Pay The Rent, which documents his solo and collaborative works from the past decade. Part of a new publishing model, the publication of the book depends on hitting 500 advance purchases of the book. Published through the Minor Matters platform, Hansen’s book has attained 50-percent of its pre-sale goal of 500, with a deadline of May 31, 2014 for publication to proceed.