In her tenure as director of marketing and communications at the Pilchuck Glass School, Diane Wright became enamored of the little-known print collection in the school's archive of work made through the glass plate printing process known as vitreography. These are works in paper that are printed using a cold-worked sheet of glass as the plate, offering a number of advantages over a metal place, including that it can be laid over the paper it will eventually be printed on during its creation, and it doesn't break down during repeat uses. Since she was appointed curator of glass at the Chrysler Museum of Art in December 2013, Wright had been looking forward to giving a platform to highlight this less well-known artform. "I wanted to be able to show them here in an environment where we have a strong focus on glass, but we also show a lot of other work," Wright said in a telephone interview with the GLASS Quarterly Hot Sheet. "There's this wonderful marriage between 2-D work that uses glass as a printing matrix and it also illustrates an interesting range of artists who who have worked at Pilchuck."
In her 16-year-tenure at the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, Washington, Susan Warner has served as executive director, artistic director, and director of public programs. Last week, she announced she'll be leaving her current position as the institution's artistic director and major gifts officer next month to once again assume the title of "executive director" but at a very different arts organization. The Vashon Center for the Arts is located on the largest island in the Puget Sound, which sits almost midway between Tacoma and Seattle. Unlike the glass museum, the Vashon is primarily focused on performing arts, and grew out of an arts league established in 1949. It currently has a staff of eight full-time employees, offers 120 classes a year, and puts on over 40 events per year, both exhibitions in its galleries and performances in its newly built theater. The GLASS Quarterly Hot Sheet recently spoke with Susan by phone about her impressive tenure at the Museum of Glass, her reflections on how the institution has changed over the years, and the accomplishments she's most proud of.
As a special bonus, current subscribers to GLASS: The UrbanGlass Art Quarterly will once again receive the latest version of The Corning Museum of Glass's annual exhibition in print of notable new work for no extra charge. Overseen for the first time by Corning's new curator of modern glass, Susie Silbert, New Glass Review 38 will identify the 100 most important new works in glass from over 1,000 submissions from around the world. Subscriber copies will arrive in mailboxes on June 1st, 2017, poly-bagged with the extra bonus of the beautifully printed 2017 edition of New Glass Review. Newsstand copies will also include the extra bonus issue, but the retail cover price will be higher than the typical $11/copy. Subscribers, who already enjoy a discount off the cover price, pay nothing extra to receive this definitive publication that has successfully picked some of the most important new artists to emerge in its nearly two-decade run.
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.
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.
On February 22, 2017, the Newark Museum will open a provocative exhibition titled "When Objects Became Art," which presents early twentieth-century glass and ceramic works from its private collection to foster a new understanding of the dividing line between decorative and fine art.
St. Petersburg, Florida, may seem an unlikely hub for glass art, but the city that holds the world's record for the most consecutive days of sunshine is also soon to be home to a new museum devoted entirely to the material as a medium of sculpture. The brand-new Imagine Museum is currently being installed in a repurposed building just nine blocks away from the Morean Arts Center, which boasts a now-permanent collection of Dale Chihuly’s work. The Imagine Museum expects to have a grand opening before the end of 2017, but it is already hosting events even as it undergoes a major renovation of its building, which has in previous incarnations been a bank, nightclub, and, most recently, a charter school. The museum is in the process of installing signage and building out its museum store. The first floor is on schedule to be complete by the end of February, where it will host occasional activities and events before the museum officially opens.
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.