Thursday April 6, 2017 | by Andrew Page

Rachel Berwick, head of RISD Glass, will deliver keynote address at 2017 symposium at UrbanGlass

Filed under: Announcements, Education, News

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.

Using multi-media installations, Berwick examines the threshold between nature and culture as a means of exploring themes of extinction and loss. Her work has been included in exhibitions at venues such as the Serpentine Gallery, London; the 26th Bienal de São Paolo; the 7th International Istanbul Bienal; and Musee d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris. In the U.S., she has exhibited at the Smithsonian American Art Museum; Mass MoCA, North Adams, Massachusetts; The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, Connecticut; and Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York, among others. She is the recipient of fellowships from the Joan Mitchell Foundation, a Smithsonian Artists’ Research Fellowship and The Robert Rauschenberg Residency. Berwick received her MFA from Yale University School of Art and BFA from Rhode Island School of Design. She taught at Yale School of Art from 1991–99 before joining the faculty at RISD where she is professor and Head of the Glass Department.

Made possible by the support of the Robert M. Minkoff Foundation, the academic symposium will take place at the state-of-the-art lecture hall at St. Francis College in Brooklyn Heights, and at UrbanGlass. An opening night walking tour of New York City galleries showing work in glass will kick off the event, and culminate in an opening reception on New York's Lower East Side. The full program of the conference is still being finalized and will be shaped by submissions received in response to the ongoing Call for Papers.

Submissions are to be emailed to by the deadline of May 1, 2017, and will be considered by a jury that includes Pilchuck artistic director Tina Aufiero; independent artist Daniel Clayman; Minkoff Foundation director, GLASS magazine editor, and symposium organizer Andrew Page; head of glass and professor at Virginia Commonwealth University Jack Wax; UrbanGlass education director Ben Wright; and Minkoff Foundation managing trustee Robert Minkoff.

The goal of every biennial academic symposium is to provide educators with an opportunity for professional development, networking opportunities, and first-hand experiences of current exhibitions in top New York galleries.

Registration for the 2017 event is $175, with a special student rate of $125 (valid I.D. required). Attendees are responsible for their own lodgings, and special hotel rates will be posted as they are negotiated.

For more information, or to reserve tickets, visit the symposium event page.

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.