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Richard Royal, Optical Lens Series (untitled), 2017. Blown glass. H 18, W 18, D 18 in. courtesy: the artist.

Friday June 16, 2017 | by Stella Porter

Richard Royal, fusing math and art, to headline the Pittsburgh Glass Center’s fundraiser

The Pittsburgh Glass Center (PGC) will feature Richard Royal at its annual Art on Fire celebration and auction this September, coinciding with his residency at PGC. Royal, a former gaffer for Dale Chihuly at the Pilchuck Glass School, creates art fueled by his interest in the math inherent in nature, and he is drawn to the geometric possibilities of the material, as well as its optical properties. He's been blowing glass for more than 30 years and combines both blown and solid glass elements in his internationally recognized and highly photogenic work. Royal’s art has been on exhibit at the Mint Museum of Art and Design, the High Museum, and the New Orleans Museum of Art, among others. Royal is a prolific teacher, including a regular at the Pilchuck School. He has also taught before at PGC. As honorary artist, one piece of Royal’s work from his optical lens series will be for sale at the auction.

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Penland executive director Jean McLaughlin has overseen the crafts school for nearly two decades. courtesy: penland school of crafts

Wednesday June 7, 2017 | by Lindsay Hargrave

CONVERSATION: Jean McLaughlin to retire as executive director of Penland School of Crafts

Filed under: Announcements, Education, News

After a dynamic career spanning nearly 20 years (19 and three-quarters to be exact), Jean McLaughlin will retire as executive director of the Penland School of Crafts in December 2017. She will leave behind an institution far stronger financially, more accessible to the physically challenged, and with greater outreach to the North Carolina rural communities which surround this important craft school. And yet the school McLaughlin came to lead remains recognizable to those who remember it before her tenure, a sense of continuity which she was careful to cultivate and preserve in this organization that dates back to 1929.

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Tuesday May 30, 2017 | by Andrew Page

CURIOSITY: A new species of glass frog with translucent skin discovered in Ecuador

Filed under: Curiosities, News

"Glass frog" is a term given to a group of South and Central American arboreal frogs distinguished by a uniquely translucent skin, with some having a practically transparent underside of the abdomen which allows a clear view of working internal organs. A newly discovered species of glass frog, Hyalinobatrachium yaku, has been identified in Ecuador, according to an article recently published in the journal ZooKeys. One of the special features of this newly discovered variant is an almost completely see-through belly, where the heart, stomach, and blood vessels are on vivid display, albeit covered in some kind of white coating.

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Matthew Szösz, untitled (inflatable) no.73, 2017. H 12 1/2 W 7 D 8 in. Glass. courtesy: Wheaton Arts

Monday May 29, 2017 | by Lindsay Hargrave

OPENING: Second “Emanation” at WheatonArts harnesses synergy between fabrication and concept

WheatonArts in Millville, New Jersey, is preparing to unveil its second “Emanation” exhibition during its long-running GlassWeekend event, a biennial gathering of collectors and artists to celebrate, discuss, buy and sell glass artwork coming up on June 9, 10 and 11, 2017. WheatonArts is a multi-dimensional nonprofit in Southern New Jersey, with programs ranging from a museum of American glass history to programming celebrating regional folk culture. But “Emanation,” initiated in 2015, is focused on the contemporary moment in art through an ambitious program to break down the barriers between fabricators and contemporary artists, something that other programs such as the high-profile Glasstress program by Berengo Studio in Venice don't directly address. Unlike that program, which brings well-known artists to Venice to have their ideas realized by glass masters, the "Emanation" project is based in the studios of WheatonArts' Creative Glass Center of America, best-known for its long-running fellowship program that allows artists free rein to realize experimental ideas at this unique facility. The New Jersey project is careful to avoid the one-way street of becoming a fabrication station. There are multiple efforts to create synergy between the artists and the facility, including during the installation of the exhibition component. The artists chosen for the second iteration of "Emanation" -- Emily Brown, Vanessa German, Michael Joo, Lorna Simpson, Therman Statom, Matthew Szösz, and the group Flock the Optic -- reveal varying levels of technical expertise working with glass, which creates interactions that cross-pollinate between artists approaching the project with different perspectives. 

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The exterior of Chihuly Garden and Glass in Seattle as pictured on its website.

Wednesday May 24, 2017 | by Lindsay Hargrave

SCHOLARSHIP: Chihuly Garden and Glass offers $10,000 for Seattle-area emerging glass artist

In honor of its fifth anniversary, Chihuly Garden and Glass, the for-profit long-term Chihuly exhibition in Seattle Center, is offering a $10,000 scholarship for an emerging glass artist in the Seattle region to take classes at either Pilchuck Glass School or Pratt Fine Arts Center. The program is offered in conjunction with the Chihuly Studio. Though announced through Facebook and a press release, information on how to apply for this opportunity hasn't been easy to locate. The application is on the Garden and Glass website, but only under "Events," where it comes up at the bottom of an article about the organization's fifth-anniversary activities. Still, this is a generous opportunity, one of a series of initiatives to give back to the glass art community, and worthy of attention for every Seattle-area glass artist who fits the criteria.

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Tuesday May 23, 2017 | by Andrew Page

HOT OFF THE PRESSES: The Summer 2017 edition of GLASS (#147)

The Summer 2017 edition of GLASS: The UrbanGlass Art Quarterly (#147) is hitting newsstands and subscriber mailboxes next week. Once again, GLASS is partnering with The Corning Museum of Glass to distribute the latest edition of its annual exhibition-in-print, New Glass Review (#38), which is bundled with the summer issue of GLASS magazine at no extra charge to subscribers (newsstand copies carry an increased cover price for the special bonus issue). On the front of the new edition of GLASS is a striking work in neon and paint by celebrated American artist Glenn Ligon investigates issues of racial identity, American history, as well as the nature of language itself. The 2012 work Double America, features the word "America" shown twice, in white neon and inverted and painted black, creating a powerful graphic that challenges the nation's ideals and aspirations at a time when the country is so profoundly divided.

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rendering of the Chihuly Sanctuary. courtesy: Buffet Cancer Center website.

Friday May 19, 2017 | by Gabi Gimson

OPENING: Chihuly Sanctuary lends comfort to patients at Buffett Cancer Center

This afternoon, the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center in Omaha, Nebraska, will unveil The Chihuly Sanctuary—an extensive installation, featuring more than 200 original works by lauded glass maestro, Dale Chihuly. The sanctuary is a keystone of the Healing Arts Program at the University of Nebraska Medical Center and its clinical partner, Nebraska Medicine. and was made possible by a lead gift from Omaha philanthropists, Walter Scott and his late wife, Suzanne. The Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center began construction in 2010 thanks to a major donation by Pamela Buffet and her late husband Fred, a relative of billionaire and Omaha native, Warren Buffet. Fred Buffett died of complications from kidney cancer in 1997. The 615,000-square-foot building cost $323 million to construct and is set to open its doors to patients in June. 

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Tuesday May 16, 2017 | by Lindsay Hargrave

Artist James Vella named glass studio manager of New Orleans nonprofit program

Filed under: Announcements, Education, News

New Orleans-based artist James Vella, known for his strikingly realistic glass trout and delicate goblets, has assumed the position of glass studio manager as of May 1, 2017, at YAYA (Young Aspirations Young Artists), a New Orleans-nonprofit that offers classes and after school programs to local children and teenagers. Vella's full-time position will be responsible for duties formerly filled by two part-time employees, and this expanded role was developed in response to the organization’s growing audience and educational ventures in the New Orleans community.

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Leana Quade, Release (video still), 2017. Glass panel and strap. courtesy: artist website.

Thursday May 11, 2017 | by Gabi Gimson

OPENING: Leana Quade’s anxiety-producing experimental glass projects on view in Pittsburgh exhibit

The Pittsburgh Glass Center has unveiled an exhibition by glass artist and self-proclaimed mad scientist, Leana Quade, best-known for her coiled glass springs and shattering a flat piece of tempered glass by ratcheting it into a tighter and tighter curve until it explodes. You can experience the nerve-rattling effect of her performance piece Release (2017) in the video below.

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Tuesday May 9, 2017 | by Andrew Page

OPENING: Dan Clayman takes his glass panel assemblages to new heights in sculpture park exhibit

With a rainy VIP opening on Friday, May 5th, and the sun breaking through for a Saturday "Meet the Artist" afternoon event on May 6th, Dan Clayman unveiled Radiant Landscape, a monumental new project installed at the Grounds for Sculpture's Museum Building in Hamilton, New Jersey. This large-scale work that rises two stories is made up of thousands of 22-by-32-inch glass sheets rigged together in an intricate but elegant engineering solution which presents three fields of glass suspended vertically, at a steep pitch, and horizontally. The individual components are in shades of sunset gold, clear, and oceanic blue glass. The gold and clear are adjacent to one another and interact as they diffuse light that filters into the building's large windows, altering its hue and connecting to the landscape outside, and revealing several of Clayman's mapped-boulder sculptures (named for the geolocation where the natural boulder was found). The blue color field is suspended horizontally, and, bathed in its aquatic hues, one cannot escape the feeling of being under the surface of a large body of water.

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GLASS: The UrbanGlass Quarterly, a glossy art magazine published four times a year by UrbanGlass has provided a critical context to the most important artwork being done in the medium of glass for 35 years.