Norman Courtney, the founder of the glass program at Pratt Fine Art Center and a prominent Seattle artist, passed away in his sleep on April 29, 2017. In his memory, there will be a celebration of his life at Pratt this Saturday, June 17th, from 5 PM to 10 PM. Courtney was best known for being one of the leading figures in the Seattle glass art community during the 1970s, and helped to build Pratt from the ground up in order to bring arts and craftsmanship opportunities at little to no cost to lower-income citizens of Seattle. After Pratt opened in 1979. Courtney taught classes in glassblowing and casting as well as stained glass, and even built much of the equipment. He directed the glass program at Pratt until 1982, after which he remained on the advisory board until 2003. To his friends and family, Courtney was a figure of life, laughter and kindness who lived life to the fullest and cared deeply for his friends and neighbors.
Viewing: In Memoriam
You can’t talk about the late Ron Desmett, who died on December 7th from complications of cancer, without talking about his wife, Kathleen Mulcahy, or vice versa. The two were a team for almost 40 years; both exceptionally talented artists. They were co-founders of the Pittsburgh Glass Center, accomplishing what no one believed possible, a glass arts center that is still thriving. Appropriately they were honored together as PA Artists of the Year in 2013-14.
Klaus Moje passed away in Canberra on September 24, 2016. He is remembered with great fondness by family, friends and colleagues throughout the world. His passion for glass and commitment to sharing its inspiration created bonds that stretched over decades, from his early years in Hamburg, through the heady experimental 1960s and 70s, and on to generations of emerging artists who have pushed the medium beyond all expectations. He will be remembered as a great artist who led by example, setting high standards for himself and always seeing the best in others.
The recent passing of Klaus Moje (1936 - 2016), who died at the age of 79 on September 24, 2016, after a protracted illness, has unleashed a global outpouring of grief and appreciation. Honored for his disciplined approach to technique and visionary work taking kiln-forming into the fine-art realm, Moje's impact on the glass art field is immeasurable. Celebrated as an artist, Moje was also hugely influential as an educator, and created the glass program at the Canberra School of Art, which has since been incorporated into the Australian National University's College of Arts and Social Sciences. Consciously not opening with a hot glass furnace, Moje designed the program in 1982 with a radically different approach than most glass education facilities in the world. In honor of Moje's legacy, the GLASS Quarterly Hot Sheet is republishing an article from the Spring 2005 print edition (GLASS #98) that provides unique insight into the founding of the Canberra program. In the article below, Moje shares his singular perspective on not just education but what it takes to become an artist.
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.
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.
John Perreault, the former executive director of UrbanGlass, died on September 6, 2015. from complications of gastrointestinal surgery. He was 78 years old. From 1993 to 1995, Perreault served as artistic director of UrbanGlass, and was appointed executive director in 1995, a position which he maintained until 2002. He was also the curator of the Robert Lehman Gallery at UrbanGlass, as well as the editor of GLASS Quarterly magazine. Perreault was a poet and a painter, but was probably best known as the chief art critic for the Village Voice and SoHo Weekly News, as well as a regular contributor to ARTnews. He was also senior curator at the Snug Harbor Cultural Center on State Island, as well as the Everson Museum and the American Craft Museum. Perreault championed many art movements from feminist art to realism, pattern and decoration movement art and performance art. An early translator of conceptual art, his reviews were legendary, and thankfully devoid of “art speak.”
The glass world lost an exceptional scholar and advocate with the passing of Yoriko Mizuta who succumbed to cancer on August 3, 2015. She was 59 years old. As a long-time curator at the Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art in Sapporo, Mrs. Mizuta was a key organizer of the triennial series of exhibitions “World Glass Now” which ran from 1982 to 1994. Those international overviews helped garner early attention to the contemporary glass art of Japan. Instead of indefinitely continuing those broad surveys, in 1997 she partnered with the Kunstmuseum Dusseldorf and The Corning Museum of Glass to present 20 artists from nine countries in
Glassblower Michael Nourot, who, with his wife, Ann Corcoran, operated Nourot Glass Studio in Benicia, California, from 1974 to 2012, died on Thursday, May 28, 2015 at the age of 66. At the start of his prolific 40-year career, Nourot attended the first session of the now-iconic Pilchuck Glass School, where he worked closely with founders Dale Chihuly and James Carpenter. In his glassblowing studio, Nourot went on the make decorative glass works, some of which were presented to popes and presidents, according to the studio website.
Two days after his 90th birthday, Irvin J Borowsky died peacefully surrounded by family last Tuesday, November 25, 2014. The founder of the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, Borowsky was a prominent publisher and philanthropist. By the age of 14, he’d already started his first business, a printing company named City Wide Press. Among his accomplishments was the creation of TV Digest (a prototype magazine bought out in 1953 by Walter Annenberg who then used it to make the TV Guide), the North American Publishing Company (responsible for the creation and distribution of over a dozen publications nationwide today), and the founding of the American Interfaith Institute (created to rid the New Testament of anti-Semitic language in order to improve Christian/Jewish relations in the United States).