The Agnes Varis Art Center gallery and store will be closed on Tuesday, August 20th, 2019 for our regularly scheduled inventory count. 

Liesl Schubel pictured before her 2018 textile work To Bloom Is Divine (Opa's Early Girls).

Tuesday August 13, 2019 | by Gabriela Iacovano

CONVERSATION: Liesl Schubel, who's returned to UrbanGlass as director of education, talks about building on the unique New York educational experience

Artist, educator, and arts administrator Liesl Schubel has been named director of education at UrbanGlass, taking over from Ben Wright, who left to become artistic director of Pilchuck Glass School in May 2019. Schubel is very familiar with educational programming at UrbanGlass as she worked closely with Wright from 2016 to 2018 as the program's education coordinator before leaving to work on her own art practice. (Disclosure: The Glass Quarterly Hot Sheet is published by UrbanGlass.) Schubel earned a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and has worked and taught at several premier institutions across the country, including Haystack Mountain School of Craft, Pilchuck Glass School, WheatonArts and Cultural Center, The Chrysler Museum of Art Glass Studio, Circle 6 Studios, Ox-Bow School of Art, and UrbanGlass. Schubel is also a founding member of the glass and performance-art collective Flock the Optic, a group that shares her own focus on the concepts of materiality, gravity, and intimacy. The Glass Quarterly Hot Sheet caught up with Schubel to talk about her plans for the UrbanGlass program.

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Recent graduate Katie Spiers' work, The Fading Call of the Curlew, took top honors at the 2019 Glass Prize.

Thursday August 8, 2019 | by Gabriela Iacovano

AWARD: Ireland's Katie Spiers takes first place in the annual Contemporary Glass Society's recent graduate prize

The U.K.'s Contemporary Glass Society (CGS) has announced the winners of its annual Glass Prize, awarded by a jury each year to the top British and Irish students who have graduated from an accredited course in the previous year. Nearly 50 graduates from 16 colleges entered for the chance to win a £250 ($300 USD) first-place cash prize, which is supplemented by books, magazines, and vouchers from various sponsors. Winners also have their work published in CGS’ New Graduate Review 2019, a 16-page publication circulated to all CGS Members & Associates. Katie Spiers of Dublin took top honors for her work The Fading Call of the Curlew, a pair of delicately rendered glass birds. Bethan Yates of Swansea and Calum Dawes of Sunderland took second and third places, respectively, with Under the Microscope and Pull.

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Alison Kinnaird, Subway Photographer, 2019. Double-engraved flashed glass, reverse laminated to a carrier glass. H 120, W 60 cm. courtesy: Robin Morton.

Tuesday August 6, 2019 | by Gabriela Iacovano

Alison Kinnaird discusses her explorations of the timeless by pairing traditional techniques with contemporary themes

Scottish glass artist and harpist Alison Kinnaird marries the ancient art of wheel engraving with contemporary aesthetics and subject matter, insisting that tradition is not a constraint, but a “moving point.” Kinnaird’s latest work, soon to be exhibited as a part of this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival, ponders timeless questions by fusing age-old craft processes with the contemporary aesthetics of street art.

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A view of the naturalistic variety of stones created by husband-and-wife team of Jennifer and Thor Bueno. courtesy: the artists

Thursday August 1, 2019 | by Meghan Hayfield

With clients offering ever-larger spaces, Jennifer and Thor Bueno create expressive stone installations that bring the complexity of the natural world indoors

Jennifer and Thor Bueno, the husband-and-wife team behind Bueno Glass, have been collaborating on large-scale stone sculptures for at least 10 years, and they've been bringing assemblages of these variegated patterns that reference natural geology into the architecture of homes, hospitals, and corporate offices. Their latest installation, entitled Cerulean Streams, is massive in scale and was installed in an unidentified corporate headquarters in Virginia.

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Helen Lee, Infinitive, 2018. Glass, neon, plexiglass. H 106 x W 64 x D 64 in. courtesy: bergstrom-mahler museum of glass

Wednesday July 31, 2019 | by Meghan Hayfield

EXHIBITION: Bergstrom-Mahler Museum of Glass tackles a myriad of social issues in group show

The current exhibition at the Bergstrom-Mahler Museum of Glass seeks to confront a range of social concerns -- from racist violence to explorations of gender identity -- through the work of varied group of contemporary glass artists. Located in a small Wisconsin city and once known primarily as a showcase of historic paperweights, the Bergstrom-Mahler is an unexpected venue for such an exhibition, and perhaps the broadly disparate works don't quite fit under the vague umbrella of "diversity." But the exhibition titled “Reflecting Perspectives: Artists Confront Social Issues of Diversity and Inclusion” also provided a venue for more confrontational works that encourage viewers to question belief systems and likley challenged viewers with other ways of approaching the world than their own.

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Tuesday July 23, 2019 | by Gabriela Iacovano

Refract, the Seattle area's first-ever region-wide glass festival coming up in October, is designed to celebrate the importance of the material in the Northwest

From October 17th through the 20th, glass-art institutions from Tacoma to Everett will collaborate on a first-ever region-wide event called "Refract Seattle." This four-day event is anchored by Chihuly Garden and Glass (CGG) and Visit Seattle, a private nonprofit marketing association, which co-host the festival, with over 30 partners organizing their own programming throughout the region, and it will overlap with the Pilchuck annual auction weekend. The event will kick off with a party at Chihuly Garden and Glass near the Space Needle, and conclude with a street party on Pike Place Market, with museum events, open studios, and a glass-art street market at Pratt.

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Monday July 22, 2019 | by Andrew Page

CONVERSATION: Deborah Czeresko, who won the Netflix glassblowing competition Blown Away, tells all

New York-based artist Deborah Czeresko has a foot in two glass camps. She was drawn to glass by the precision of Venetian glassblowing, which she studied at the New York Experimental Glass Workshop under the tutelage of William Gudenrath, now resident advisor at the Corning Studio. (Disclosure: Czeresko is currently a board member of UrbanGlass, the successor of NYEGW.) But she is also an accomplished conceptual and performance artist, and has fabricated work for Kiki Smith and Rob Wynne, among other prominent contemporary artists. When not making her own work, or fabricating for others, she is often at work on her lighting-design line that helps provide income. Surprisingly, despite her wide-ranging skill and high-level art-world connections, Czeresko is not presently represented by an art gallery, though that might change given her recent star performance (and victory) in the Netflix reality show Blown Away. If you've somehow missed the big debates about the program, think of the Great British Baking Show except, instead of fancy desserts, the contestants are asked to create on-demand glass artworks under time pressure. The Glass Quarterly Hot Sheet caught up with Czeresko to discuss her experience behind and in front of the Blown Away cameras in an exclusive interview with the show's winner.

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Artist Jessica Julius takes over as glass-program head at the renamed Tyler School of Art and Architecture in Philadelphia.

Tuesday July 16, 2019 | by Meghan Hayfield

Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia debuts a name change and new glass-program head

On July 1, 2019, the Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia debuted its newly expanded name and officially became the "Tyler School of Art and Architecture." The change is part of a reorganization of the existing programs at this art school, which is part of the larger institution Temple University. In October 2018, the Temple board of directors voted to eliminate the separate departments of Craft as well as Painting, Drawing, and Sculpture, unifying them under a single "Department of Art." Recently, there has also been a shuffle in Tyler's glass-program faculty, with assistant professor Jessica Julius, who has taught at Tyler for more than a decade, taking over as program head, while her predecessor Sharyn O’Mara will continue as a full-time professor with more time to devote to her own art practice.

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Megan Stelljas, Banana Bunch, 2019. Glass. H 6 ½, W 10, D 6 ½ in. courtesy: traver gallery

Thursday July 11, 2019 | by Meghan Hayfield

OPENING: John Drury continues mapping an alternative history of glass art with show at Traver Gallery

“As in Also: An Alternative Too,” a group exhibition curated by Glass contributing editor John Drury opens this evening at the Traver Gallery in Seattle on July 11. The exhibit features work from artists that question the boundaries of glass including Scott Darlington, Jen Elek, Eli Hansen, Amy Lemaire, Robbie Miller, Morgan Peterson, Jerry Pethick, Brian Pike, George Sawchuk, Buster Simpson, Megan Stelljes, Leo Tecosky, and Simon Klenell.

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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.