As the art world reopens while keeping a watchful eye on the COVID-19 pandemic, postponed public art events are finally taking place, museums are reopening, and a few art fairs are tentatively welcoming international visitors. Venice Glass Week 2020, an annual celebration of this important and historic Venetian art and industry is currently holding its fourth edition, with the tagline #TheHeartOfGlass. Taking place now through September 13th, 2020, the event includes more than 180 physical and digital events around the city of Venice, and the island of Murano.
Philanthropist and glass-art collector Robert Minkoff died on Sunday, September 6, 2020, from complications of central nervous system lymphoma, first diagnosed in 2018. Through the Potomac, Maryland-based Robert M. Minkoff Foundation, he funded a number of artist residencies, scholarship programs, and academic conferences, as well as giving to the Jewish Federation and Housing Unlimited, a program that makes it possible for those with mental-health issues to live independently. (Disclosure: The author served as the director of the Robert M. Minkoff Foundation until 2018.)
Charlotte Potter Kasic, who returned to Norfolk, Virginia, in January 2020 to become the manager of museum education and engagement at the Barry Art Museum at Old Dominion University, has been named as the museum's interim director as the founding director Jutta-Annette Page is set to retire in October 2020. Kasic is credited with the museum's fluid transition to virtual exhibitions and activities when the pandemic hit, and the institution is now open with limited hours.
Artist and educator Michael Glancy died of complications of lung cancer last Saturday, August 29th. 2020. He passed away at the age of 70 at his summer home in Harwich Port, Massachusetts. He is survived by his wife of 43 years, Robin Stengel Glancy; his son Michael Glancy, Jr., daughter-in-law, Elizabeth Little Glancy of Baltimore, Md., and his beloved granddaughters Ella and Mae; as well as his son Robin Peyton Glancy.
The Glass Art Society has announced it will push its next in-person annual conference from 2021 to 2022, citing the ongoing uncertainty and health risks of Covid-19. After the planned 2020 conference in Småland, Sweden, was recast as a virtual event, attention shifted to the May 2021 conference, which was to mark the 50th anniversary of the artist organization, and had been planned to take place in Tacoma, Washington. Today it was announced that the celebration and the venue will remain the same, but take place on new dates -- May 18 through 21st, 2022 -- pushing the event a year ahead.
The Fall 2020 edition of Glass: The UrbanGlass Art Quarterly (#160) is hitting newsstands and subscriber mailboxes. On the cover is a self-portrait of Corey Pemberton, the cofounder of Crafting the Future, a nonprofit with a mission to expand the pool of artists who work with art from craft media, including glass, so that the field might become more diverse. Since the summer’s protests of police killings sparked a national dialogue about race that has reverberated across society, the art world has been challenged to reflect on how inclusive it has been. In the glass art field, where representation of people of color remains limited at best, it has sparked a necessary and overdue conversation about why racial disparity has persisted in this medium for expression, and what actions can be taken to change that. One focus of this issue of Glass is to illustrate the extent of the problem and to highlight potential paths toward progress, including the notable efforts of Pemberton and Crafting the Future cofounder Annie Evelyn.
Schantz Galleries in Stockbridge, Massachusetts celebrates the work of the prolific glass artists Philip Baldwin (1947) and Monica Guggisberg (1955) in the by-appointment-only exhibition “Creative Journeys” which will remain on view through August 30th. The couple are a critically acclaimed duo who've been collaborating for over 40 years. A fateful encounter between two students at the Orrefors Glass School in Sweden in 1979 turned into a romantic and then a professional relationship bonded by a common passion for glass art. In 1981, Baldwin and Guggisberg became a team and established their first glass studio in Switzerland with a focus on producing functional design objects for everyday use. In 2001, they moved to Paris to further engage with the glass community by collaborating with Steuben in the U.S., Rosenthal in Germany, and Murano in Italy. In 2015, the couple left for rural Wales where they established a new workshop on a countryside farm where they continue to work on the new projects today.
The Covid-19 pandemic, and the shutdowns ordered around the world to control it, have forced all of us inward. With vastly more time spent sequestered in our homes, we've become intimately familiar with every inch of our living space as socialization has been severely curtailed. One artist who's spent the pandemic reflecting on how our lives have changed is exhibiting a new body of work that explores the dual themes of isolation and hope, two sides of what the Spring and Summer of 2020 has been like for many of us. Scottish glass artist and harpist Alison Kinnaird is holding an exhibition of her engraved glass tableaus at her home studio, a repurposed 19th-century church in the village of Temple, 12 miles south of Edinburgh. The exhibition was meant to be a part of the art expo known as The Edinburgh Fringe Festival, however, when the event was canceled due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, Kinnaird decided to host a solo show in her private studio space. Internationally known for her prolific oeuvre in glass and music, Kinnaird has spent nearly 50 years of her life creating art.
Jutta-Annette Page has announced her plan to retire from the executive director position at the Barry Art Museum at Old Dominion University (ODU) in Norfolk, Virginia, effective October 1, 2020. In the official announcement, museum patrons Richard and Carolyn Barry are quoted as saying, “We will sorely miss Jutta and wish her good luck and happiness in her well-deserved retirement.”
The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has impacted all of our lives and careers, but for one recent RISD glass graduate, who was awarded a prestigious residency at the Studio at The Corning Museum of Glass, the shutdown in mid-March 2020 resulted in a series of unexpected changes of plans that extended her time in Corning, New York, and ultimately saw her move back to her native India, where she is hoping to reset her career trajectory.
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 more than 40 years.