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."
From May 25th through 28th, 2017, the Glass Art Association of Canada will hold its member conference, this time with the theme of "Re:DO." The concept is to urge artists to "re:think, re:inspire and re:connect" with both their peers and glass art, according to the event website. The keynote speaker will be Canadian-born artist and educator Katherine Gray, who teaches at California State University, San Bernardino. The theme of "re:connect" will be especially apt because this will be the first time the organization has convened its full membership since 2010. The planned 2013 event, which would have taken place in Calgary, Alberta, had to be canceled because of low projected attendance by the organizers, who cited financial struggles of glass artist members.
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.
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.
With glass a relatively new art material (Harvey Littleton's seminal Toledo Workshop took place only in 1962), it's perhaps no surprise that the secondary market for work in glass is only now experiencing a maturation as resales pick up in volume. The value of works in glass, once mostly set in private transactions brokered by glass dealers or by appraisers documenting museum gifts, is being hammered out at public auction as an increasing supply of works at all price levels comes up for sale. As the generation that championed Studio Glass as it was ascendant in the 1980s and 1990s has reached an age where many are looking to sell or donate works, the supply of secondary works is growing, and sales are increasingly taking place in the open air of an auction with both established and new players. New York City auction houses such as Sotheby's and Bonham's organized Studio Glass sales throughout the 1990s and early-2000s, but in recent years, much of the activity has coalesced around Lambertville, New Jersey-based Rago Auctions, which studiously publishes sales prices of its glass-art auctions and provides exhaustive condition reports at all price levels.
Artist Rachel Berwick, the head of the Rhode Island School of Design's glass department, will deliver the keynote lecture at the 2017 Robert M. Minkoff Foundation Academic Symposium at UrbanGlass this fall. Berwick's presentation, entitled "Alchemy: Innovation and Experimentation in Studio Practice," will lead off the third iteration of this biennial academic symposium set to take place from October 12 -14, 2017 in New York City. With the theme of "Issues in Glass Pedagogy: Curriculum and Career," the international gathering of glass educators will examine the factors that determine students' post-graduate success through a program of lectures, panel discussions, and demonstrations. Note: through May 1st, the symposium organizers are accepting proposals for presentations that address how academic curricula and programs affect career outcomes, with a special focus on best practices, statistical analyses, and case studies.
Rui Sasaki is a Japanese conceptual glass artist and educator who, in recent years, has gained international notoriety for her ethereal and sometimes surrealistic work. She completed her MFA at Rhode Island School of Design in 2010 and has since been invited to participate in many artist-in-residence programs and exhibitions all over the world. Last month, Sasaki wrapped up a month-long residency in Stockholm funded by the Swedish Arts Grants Committee, and she has three major exhibitions opening in the coming months: “Inervals between Nature and Artifact” curated by Koichi Yoshimura in Osaka, Japan, “The Poetics Of Weather” on view at a historical temple in Hoen-ji in Kanazawa, Japan, and “Young Glass 2017” at Glasmuseet Ebeltoft in Ebeltoft, Denmark. Beginning in April, Sasaki will work as a faculty-member at Kanazawa Utatsuyama Kogei Kobo in Kanazawa, Japan, the traditional craft epicenter of the eastern world. Recently, the GLASS Quarterly Hot Sheet had the opportunity to discuss Sasaki’s work and source of inspiration with the artist herself via an email conversation.
GLASS Quarterly Hot Sheet: How have your travels influenced your work and general aesthetic?
Rui Sasaki: I've been traveling a lot, especially since March 2016. Perceiving different aesthetics in foreign places forces me to question my own concept, process, and vision when I am back home. Experiencing different environments is vital in recognizing the subtleties hidden in everyday life. My travels help me to create refined, nuanced concepts. Weather as a theme is one example of this: I don’t realize how physically and mentally essential sunshine and rain are when I’m not in Toyama.
Hand blown, smaller-scale, and created in multiples, each year's crop of Studio Editions reference some of the best-known unique works by Dale Chihuly, perhaps the best-known artist working with glass, whose signature adorns each one. Each season since 2012, the Chihuly Workshop has released four new studio editions, part of a series designed to offer Chihuly works at a more affordable price-point. These are available at galleries specializing in glass such as Schantz Galleries in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.
Husband and wife artistic collaborators Philip Baldwin and Monica Guggisberg continue to explore the metaphor of journey in their exhibition Thinking in Glass that runs through May 6, 2017, at the Sandra Ainsley gallery in Toronto. Assemblages of blown forms gathered into water craft is not new to this artistic duo, who have been experimenting with boat vessels since their initial series, "Sentinel" in the mid-1990s.
Rachel Owens, whose previous solo exhibit at Zieher Smith Gallery in New York's Chelsea neighborhood was a pointed critique of consumer culture, turns her sharp eye (and shards of broken glass) to the pre-European American landscape, global glass production, and New York City history in a new body of shattered glass and cast resin sculptures. The exhibition, titled "Mother," is the product of taking molds of a 400-year-old tree in the Queens borough of New York City. Owens uses these molds to render sides of the trunk of the oldest-living being in the city in a wide palette chosen from shattered glass from surplus supplies of cheaply made bottles from China. Her work is an homage to the longevity of the tree, which likely predates the arrival of the first Europeans, and brings an environmental component in its reference to American colonization being driven partly by the overuse of natural resources such as wood in Europe. Owens' glass and resin creations soar skyward in a defiant majesty, limited only by the reach of the artist's arms in making the molds of her arboreal subject.