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.
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.
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.
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.
Through February 16th, the artist featured on the cover of Glass Quarterly's Fall 2018 edition (#152), Etsuko Ichikawa, is exhibiting at the Winston Wachter Gallery in New York City. Ichikawa was born in Tokyo and is based in Seattle. The title of the exhibition, "Vitrified, is also the title of the body of work itself. In this series as well as in much of her other work, Ichikawa is concerned with the "various impacts of human existence on our environment." What drove this particular body of work was the artist's shock at the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster in her native Japan, which caused a mass amount of radioactive material to be released into the air. Based in Seattle, Ichikawa creates visual abstractions through glass that echo the frightening yet mesmerizing draw of chemical power, stirring up in her audience a complicated mix of fear and entrancement.
British Artist, Rebecca Louise Law, has installed a work at the Toledo Museum of Art in Ohio that encapsulates the powerfully immersive experience of nature. "Painting in air," as the artist terms her technique, Law used 520,000 flowers from 10,000 different local plant species to create an immersive experience that echos being in the actual natural world. Law "pockets," as she puts it, organic forms and incorporates them into her work. Glass is not an aspect of the current installation, which is on view through January 13th, but a second project is planned that will encase Law's work in silica to preserve it and present it in new ways.
The upcoming exhibition titled "New Glass Now" at The Corning Museum of Glass is the latest iteration of the annual emerging-artist exhibition-in-print that has been published annually since 1979, a showcase of the most important new work in glass from around the world. (Note: New Glass Review is distributed with the Summer edition of Glass Quarterly, and comes as a special bonus to subscribers) But the 2019 edition, number 40, will not only be the latest in the series. Next year, Corning curator Susie Silbert is lavishing extra attention on this annual event, expanding the juried publication into a museum exhibition, that has ambitions to update the landmark exhibitions "Glass 1959," and "New Glass: A Worldwide Survey," which followed in 1979.
Mexico City has always been a place of craft and in recent years that reputation has expanded as fine artists from everywhere flock to the city. Colombian glass artist, Luisa Restrepo works out of her studio "El Taller" in one of the city's oldest neighborhoods, The Guerrero. Much of her work is made from reused glass that she "upcycles," totally transforming what we might call "waste" into high-end design and jewelry pieces. Last summer, Restrepo taught a class at Urban Glass called Shift, which was based upon this idea of the reusability of glass. Restrepo has been exploring ideas of excess and obesity in her more conceptual work, finding fascination in our changing reality as a reflection of the changing physical form.
Salem Community College in Carney Township, New Jersey, offers two glass-related associate's degrees - one in applied science for scientific-glass technology and another in fine arts. Both degree programs have proved so popular, with enrollment up by 220 percent and 115 percent respectively, that the institution is constructing a new, much-larger glass studio. The new building, named for the college's major benefactors Sam and Jean Jones, will include a 15,000-square-foot studio/lab as part of its 20,000-square-foot total area. The studio/lab space will be named in honor of the school's alumnus and internationally respected glass artist, Paul J. Stankard. The facility will replace the current Samuel H. Jones Education Center, which is located twelve miles from the campus in the town of Alloway.
Celebrating female artists working with glass, the Bergstrom-Mahler Museum of Glass in Wisconsin has opened a new exhibition, "Sharper Edges: Women Working on the Edge of Glass." The artists in this exhibition grapple with social issues through their work, expressing their views on politics, gender biases and the environment. An art form largely dominated by male protagonists, glass has a somewhat hidden female history of subtly powerful influence. For more insight into the background of this exhibition, The Glass Quarterly Hot Sheet spoke with the museum's director, Jan Smith, and with exhibiting artist Audrey Handler. Handler is a former student of renowned glass artist and teacher Harvey Littleton, and is referred to by Smith as the "grande dame of contemporary glass."Glass Quarterly Hot Sheet: What was the impetus for this exhibition?Jan Smith: Although there is some concern in the arts community about identifying women artists in a way that seems to segregate them further, there is also reason to emulate their accomplishments in a year that has focused on women's initiatives and wellbeing. About two years ago, Audrey Handler mentioned an inquiry she began with the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington D.C. about glass representation by women in their collection. Apparently, women were under represented and the broad spectrum of their work by women in this medium was lacking. Audrey Handler felt compelled to do something about it and asked if I would consider helping with an exhibition proposal.
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.