Thursday July 12, 2018 | by Olivia Ryder

AWARD: Percy Echols II wins the first Ron Desmett Memorial Award for Imagination in Glass

Percy Echols II is the first recipient of the Ron Desmett Memorial Award for Imagination in Glass established by the Pittsburgh Glass Center (PGC). Founded in memory of artist Ron Desmett, this award is given to an emerging glass artist that challenges conventional understanding of the medium and shows great potential in the same vein as the late co-founder of the center. Then a painter and ceramist, Desmett didn’t start his glass work until a year after opening the PGC with his wife Kathleen Mulcahy, a glass artist herself, who in 2002 asked artists from other materials to “think in glass.” Thus tasked, he began blowing opaque black glass vessels shaped inside hollowed out tree trunks which pushed the envelope of the previously polished and pristine glass vessels, embracing the notion that nothing is impossible and that glass doesn't have to be beautiful to make a powerful statement.

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A veteran of Seattle's Pratt Fine Art Center, Brandi Clark was most recently the executive director of a museum devoted to Northwest Coast artists.

Thursday July 12, 2018 | by Andrew Page

Glass Art Society announces appointment of seasoned non-profit administrator as interim executive director

The Glass Art Society announced today that Brandi Clark, who had served as executive director of the Cascadia Art Museum in Edmonds, Washington, has stepped in to fill the position of executive director recently vacated by Pamela Koss after 14 years. A native Texan Clark has worked at a range of nonprofit organizations in Texas, Pennsylvania, and Washington, including a 7-year stint as events manager and then director of community initiatives at Seattle's Pratt Fine Arts Center.

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At the 2018 UrbanGlass gala, executive director Cybele Maylone is flanked by honorees real-estate developer David Picket and artist Amber Cowan.

Tuesday July 10, 2018 | by Andrew Page

Cybele Maylone, executive director of UrbanGlass since 2013, moving on to lead regional contemporary art museum

Cybele Maylone, who has served as executive director of UrbanGlass (the nonprofit art center that publishes the Glass Quarterly Hot Sheet and Glass magazine) since May 2013, has announced she will be leaving the position to take on a leadership role at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield, Connecticut. Maylone will depart in the middle of August and, in September, plans to begin her new position as executive director of the Aldrich. Since 1967, the Connecticut institution has been devoted to interdisciplinary exhibitions and programs, and it remains the state's only museum dedicated to contemporary work. The board of directors of UrbanGlass will soon begin the search for Maylone's successor, with details on the executive director hiring process to follow.

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As Pilchuck's artistic director, Tina Aufiero brought her expertise in emerging technologies, such as 3-D printing, to update the experimental spirit of this glass school. She is pictured in the BotLab she built during her tenure.

Friday July 6, 2018 | by Andrew Page

Tina Aufiero to step down as artistic director of Pilchuck in December, will focus on personal art practice

At the end of 2018, Tina Aufiero will step down as Pilchuck's artistic director to focus on her own artistic practice. In her six years in this leading role, Aufiero has expanded the techniques taught at the Pilchuck Glass School to include emerging digital technologies such as 3-D printers, robotics, and scanners. She's also redefined the institution's relationship with the glass pipe-making world, embracing its technical innovations and their application to art-making, as well as initiating partnerships to offer glass art programs to underserved communities. Aufiero will not only stay through the end of this year, she will be planning the courses for 2019 as well.

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Tanja Pak, Breaths, 2017. Blown glass.  H 17-22, W 17-21 in. courtesy: the artist.

Thursday July 5, 2018 | by Olivia Ryder

CONVERSATION: Tanja Pak wants you to think about breathing (hers and yours)

Conscious breathing seem like a trendy idea, but it goes back centuries as an aspect of religious practice of many faiths. It is also the subject of a new body of work by Slovenian artist and University of Ljubljana fine-art professor Tanja Pak. An artist committed to sculpture, the design of beautiful glass objects, and the architecture of meditative spatial installations, Pak employs her breath to create objects that invite contemplation and self-awareness. For her exhibition, "The Breath in Between," on view at gallery TR3 lin Ljubljana through October 2018, Pak presents a grouping of dimpled white glass forms that bear evidence of their previous state as temporarily liquid hot glass. In these poignant organic shapes that seem to huddle together, Pak seeks to document that meditative moment in between breaths. The gently collapsing glass shapes can be seen as a reference to lungs in mid-exhale. Pak also works in photography and poetry which help to elucidate and expand upon the ideas she eloquently evokes through the translucent glass.

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Friday June 29, 2018 | by Chelsea Liu

EXHIBITION: For its grand opening, the new Portheimka Glass Museum in Prague presents a Karen LaMonte exhibit "Clothed in Light"

Constructed in the 1720's to serve as a summer residence for the aristocratic Dientzenhofer family, the Baroque Portheimka Summer Palace has been repurposed as the Portheimka Glass Museum, the first institution devoted exclusively to glass art in Prague. The national cultural monument, named on its website “a baroque pearl of the Prague district of Smíchov,” was converted into a glass museum by Museum Kampa with the support of the Jan and Meda Mládek Foundation. Portheimka will present a permanent exhibition, host workshops for children, and is currently unveiling its first temporary exhibition, a display of American artist Karen LaMonte’s spectral glass figures that will remain on view through November 4, 2018.

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In appreciation for her 14 years of service to the Glass Art Society, board vice president Stephen Rolfe Powell presents outgoing executive director Pam Koss with a Veronese Vase by Cesare Toffolo at the Murano conference. photo: manuel silvestri

Thursday June 28, 2018 | by Andrew Page

Longtime executive director of the Glass Art Society Pam Koss reflects on her 14-year tenure and her marvelous Murano send-off

One thing the outgoing executive director of the Glass Art Society wants everyone to know is that she is not retiring. On Friday, June 29th, after 14 years at the helm of the artists' organization whose annual conference is a must-attend event for artists, collectors, and suppliers to the field, Pamela Koss is moving on, eagerly looking forward to starting the next chapter of her career. The Glass Quarterly Hot Sheet caught up with her during the closing night party of the 2018 conference, a historic event in Murano, Italy — a longtime dream Koss finally realized last month. Still keeping a vigilant eye on the proceedings around us, and occasionally breaking away to direct staff and volunteers, Koss was able to sit down for a chat after the fashion show, in which artists wearing heavy glass costumes had all safely disembarked from gondolas. A raucous Italian party band was playing note-for-note renditions of American R&B dance classics while the attendees danced away in a historic churchyard that had been outfitted with a high powered sound system and massive video screens. The shiny new technology was a sharp contrast with old world architecture and this mix of old and new permeated the historic conference and seemed to help break through some of the centuries-old traditions of secrecy about glass process and technique.

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Denis Longchamps will take over as executive director at the Canadian Clay & Glass Gallery in Waterloo in August.

Thursday June 28, 2018 | by Chelsea Liu

Denis Longchamps plans to explore history and boundaries as newly appointed executive director of the Canadian Clay & Glass Gallery

When asked by Glass Quarterly about his attraction to the mediums of clay and glass the newly appointed executive director of the Canadian Clay & Glass Gallery simply responded in an email interview: “The material." Denis Longchamps went on to explain that "both are transformed by fire. Clay and glass have always been at the core of my curatorial practice and I also like to include textiles, wood and metal to provide a broader context. I did take a few classes in clay and stained glass so there is a personal attraction to both mediums. But there is more — both are hard and strong materials yet fragile at the same time. These opposing forces offers many possibilities for concept exploration.” This abundance of possibilities reflects Longchamps view of the porous boundaries between art and craft, and his resistance to definitions and standard narratives.

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Mitchell Gaudet, 2017 New Orleans Murder Rate, 2017. custom wall paper, cast glass. H 96, W 48 in. courtesy: the artist

Wednesday June 27, 2018 | by Olivia Ryder

EXHIBITION: Mitchell Gaudet turns grim murder stats into powerful visualizations of the human cost of gun violence

It's only June but there have already been 76 murders in New Orleans this year, according to the New Orleans Murder Map created by the local Times-Picayune newspaper. This city world-famous for food and music is also quickly gaining a reputation as one of the most violent in the nation with 157 murders related to gun violence in 2017, earning it third place behind only St. Louis and Baltimore in the grim FBI per-capita crime report. Glass artist and activist Mitchell Gaudet, who was born in New Orleans and who earned his MFA at Tulane, decided the gun issue in his hometown needed to be better understood and confronted through works that turned these statistics into potent artistic statements.

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Max Syron

Friday June 22, 2018 | by Chelsea Liu

EXHIBITION: Norway's S12 mounts a major retrospective prior to a big move

Since its inception in 2007, S12 Studio and Gallery in Bergen, Norway, has pursued programs with a focus on artistic purity and authenticity. An artist-run gallery and workshop, its approach has been marked by the ambitious cultivation of creative sparks and a fluid relationship between artist and public, between the conceptual and the formal, and between glass and other media. Now in its 11th year, S12 is preparing to cross its most ambitious threshold yet: a retrospective of many of its former resident artists as one last spectacular exhibition before packing up and relocating to a new location.

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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.