Thursday March 21, 2019 | by Andrew Page

CONVERSATION: UrbanGlass education director Ben Wright shares his thoughts about taking on the artistic director position at Pilchuck

A day after the official Pilchuck announcement that Ben Wright would succeed Tina Aufiero as artistic director, the outgoing UrbanGlass education director sat down with the Glass Quarterly Hot Sheet (which is published by UrbanGlass) to share his thoughts on taking on the new post, which he plans to do sometime in May. Ben has presided over the steady growth and expansion of the educational offerings of UrbanGlass since he took the position in January 2014, shortly after the Brooklyn non-profit reopened after an extensive renovation. Among his most proud accomplishments have been his institution of a scholarship program that allowed 300 people to take workshops in the past year, his work as a professional mentor with the students of the UrbanGlass Bead Project, the expansion of outreach programs to youth and seniors in the community, and expanding the education program to become "a significant source of support for working glass artists here in New York." We asked him about his relationship with Pilchuck, and his vision for what he hopes to accomplish in this new high-profile role at the leading residential glass-education program.

Continue Reading

Wednesday March 20, 2019 | by Andrew Page

IN MEMORIAM: Stephen Rolfe Powell (1951 - 2019)

The glass art world is still reeling from the news that one of its leading artists and educators Stephen Rolfe Powell died suddenly last weekend at the age of 67. The sad event is even more shocking because of Stephen's vitality. Though he may have been old enough to retire, Stephen's possessed a legendary physical strength that allowed him to make his massive vessels festooned with colorful murrini plumage, as well as unfailingly upbeat energy that fueled his drive to make tiny Centre College in Danville, Kentucky, into an unlikely center for glass education. He exuded a youthful vigor and intensity that belied his years. Equally impressive was his warmth, generosity, and hospitality, a reflection of his Southern roots, which helped establish his prominence in the glass community. Until recently, he was vice-president of the Glass Art Society, and a highly visible presence at the landmark Murano conference in 2018.

Continue Reading

Susan Edgerley. Courtesy the artist. 

Thursday March 14, 2019 | by Eve Aaron

AWARD: Susan Edgerley wins CA$ 25,000 in Canada's prestigious Saidye Bronfman Prize

The Saidye Bronfman Prize is Canada's most prestigious fine-crafts award. It includes a generous CA$ 25,000 award and the winning work is added to the Canadian Museum of History's permanent collection. The 2019 award has gone to Susan Edgerley, who uses glass as a means of expression for her complex musings on the ethereal aspects of Nature, going as far as to compare the medium to a writing tool and the glassmaking process to writing a story. "Glass is, for me, a poetic material. I've never really been attracted to making objects with glass. I've very much been attracted to using glass as a means of expression..." the artist says in the video below. "I work in many different techniques and each technique speaks to a certain idea that I've been trying to express at that time in a series of work," Edgerley states in a video on the site of the Canada Council for the Arts. Edgerley's works are abstract yet organic, ethereal yet earthly; they take inspiration from intricate details found in nature, such as seaweed and foliage but their glass component lifts them into a more mysterious, intangible space.

Continue Reading

Mark Eliott, Down at the Water Table (Detail), 2018. Blown and sculpted borosilicate glass, recycled Australian Red Cedar, water. H 22 3/4, W 27, D 6 1/4 in. photo: richard weinstein

Thursday March 14, 2019 | by Andrew Page

Flameworker Mark Eliott wins 2019 Tom Malone Prize, which comes with AU$ 15,000 cash award

Mark Eliott has been named the winner of the 2019 Tom Malone Prize, marking the first time a flameworker has been awarded this prestigious Australian award The multi-media artist and Canberra Glassworks instructor who works primarily with borosilicate glass joins previous awardees Clare Belfrage, Gabriella Bisetto, Charles Butcher, Cobi Cockburn, Brian Corr, Mel Douglas, Deirdre Feeney, Kevin Gordon, Marc Leib, Jessica Loughlin, Tom Moore, Nick Mount and Benjamin Sewell. Along with the winning work being acquired by The State Art Collection at the Art Gallery of Western Australia, Eliott will also eceive a cash award of AU$ 15,000. The prize has been offered since 2003 and is supported by philanthropist Sheryl Grimwood, who recently increased the award amount from AU$ 12,000 to AU$ 15,000.

Continue Reading

Stephan Cox, courtesy the Morgan Contemporary Glass Gallery.

Thursday March 14, 2019 | by Eve Aaron

The amazing annual array of fanciful glass pouring vessels returns to Pittsburgh gallery for "Teapots!13"

Coming up from April 4th through June 8th Morgan Contemporary Glass Gallery, in Pittsburgh, will host Teapots!, its 13th invitational exhibition on the one of the most classic, practical, and graceful household items -- the teapot. This year's exhibition will feature works by more than 30 artists that cross a variety of mediums, including ceramics, fiber, glass, metal, wood and mixed media. This quotidian form is amazingly versatile, offering a surprisingly wide range of possibilities. In the exhibition's press release the parameters are laid out by the museum director's personal definition of the tea-lover's vessel: "...Amy Morgan's only requirements for a 'teapot' are a spout, handle and lid--leaving the rest up to the creative discretion of the artist." Such a broad definition leaves, as one can imagine, much for the artist to explore.

Continue Reading

Wednesday March 13, 2019 | by Andrew Page

With wine-tasting event, New York art dealer uses functional experience to sell hand-blown wineglasses

After several years running a bricks-and-mortar gallery on New York City's Lower East Side, art dealer Simon Abrahms is exploring new way of promoting artists working with glass. He recently hosted a social event at his work-and-live space on the city's Upper East Side that brought top American glassblower Michael Schunke to Manhattan to showcase his one-of-a-kind glassware. Rather than putting the works on pedestals, the glasses were all available to be used as drinking vessels, underscoring that they are durable, and suitable for function as well as visual appreciation.

Continue Reading

Thursday February 28, 2019 | by Andrew Page

HOT OFF THE PRESSES: The Spring 2019 edition of Glass (#154)

The Spring 2019 edition of Glass: The UrbanGlass Art Quarterly (#154) is hitting newsstands and subscriber mailboxes. On the cover: "Glass on Glass," the newest series by Dale Chihuly, marking an inward turn for this world-famous artist known for intense coloration and flamboyance. Initially developed for a sanctuary for meditation at a Nebraska cancer center, the series of large translucent wall panels has become a focus for Chihuly, who is embracing the opportunity to work with more diluted colors and expanding the initial series. As contributing editor Victoria Josslin writes in her feature article, "without losing any of the spontaneous gestures and brilliant color that have always characterized his work, the artist has entered new territory ... "

Continue Reading

Friday February 22, 2019 | by Andrew Page

Citing legal costs and capital investments to meet new environmental regulations, Bullseye to close flagship Portland gallery in city's Pearl district

In January 2019, when the Bullseye Glass Company settled a class-action lawsuit spurred by the public outcry over possible heavy-metal emissions from the colored art glass factory's Portland facility, the company looked forward to moving on after doling out a total of $6.5 million and without admitting any blame for exposing the public to dangerous toxins, as was alleged by the community members who brought the lawsuit. Now, the 45-year-old company cites the economic impact of meeting new environmental regulations and the extensive negative publicity it endured as the factors that are forcing it to shutter its two-decade-old flagship gallery in Portland's Pearl district, where it showcased some of the top artists working with the company's glass products.

Continue Reading

Mireille Perron, 2018. Courtesy: Taygan Crapo.

Thursday February 14, 2019 | by Eve Aaron

EXHIBITION: Mireille Perron's "Glass Menagerie" explores decorative glass, museology, and the natural world.

Mireille Perron's new exhibition, "The Anatomy of a Glass Menagerie: Altaglass" curated by the University of Calgary's Christine Sowiak, is playful in its celebration of decorative glass figures, but there is no shortage of conceptual inquiry into the territory of art history and museology. The aptly titled exhibition features a literal glass menagerie made up of glass figurines of animals, as well as a collection of cyanotype images depicting plants and organic forms. Meditating on the human relationship to objects as well as to nature, Perron explores the histories of particular glass museums, namely, The Corning Museum of Glass and Altaglass, a family-run glass business run out of Alberta, Canada that operated between 1950 and 1981. Altaglass specialized in pressed, blown and free form glass wares of anything from animals to vases and was founded by John Furh, a Czechoslovakian immigrant who fled the Nazi regime. After his death, the factory donated its inventory to the Historical Society of Medicine Hat and District.

Continue Reading

Wednesday January 30, 2019 | by Eve Aaron

After departing the Chrysler Museum to raise a family in her native Vermont, Charlotte Potter takes on an executive director post at educational program

As head of the Chrysler Museum of Art glass studio for six years, Charlotte Potter advanced performance glass and put the Norfolk, Virginia, venue on the art map. A graduate of both the Rhode Island School of Design and Alfred University, she tirelessly cultivated a glass culture inside and outside the museum, co-founding the NEON (New Energy of Norfolk) district, an area of town that fosters local artists. In 2017, Potter left the Chrysler Museum to raise her newborn daughter, returning to her native Vermont, where she went on to have a second child and devoted herself to parenting as well as her personal glass practice. Yet a unique opportunity to run an educational program close to home was impossible for her to resist, and she is taking on the title of executive director at the Yestermorrow Design/Build School in Waitsville, Vermont.

Continue Reading

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.