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

Viewing articles by Gabriela Iacovano


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.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

The exterior of the Canberra Glassworks facility.

Wednesday July 10, 2019 | by Gabriela Iacovano

CALL FOR ENTRIES: Canberra Glassworks seeks Australian applicants for first Klaus Moje Award

Canberra Glassworks has announced the next iteration of its annual Hindmarsh Prize, which has honored contemporary glass artists from the Canberra region since 2016. The first biennial Klaus Moje Glass Award (KMGA), named for the artist and founder of Canberra’s Australian National University School of Art Glass Workshop, has broadened the focus to include participants from across the nation of Australia, and honors the legacy of one of the most important pioneers of Australian glass, Klaus Moje (1936 - 2016). The deadline to apply is August 14, 2019.

Continue Reading

The management team of the combined Rago and Wright auctioneers. (L to R) Richard Wright, CEO; David Rago, President; Suzanne Perrault, President. courtesy: rago

Wednesday July 3, 2019 | by Gabriela Iacovano

Lambertville, New Jersey-based Rago Auctions, an important venue for secondary-market glass art, has merged with Wright Auctions

Rago Auctions in Lambertville, New Jersey, and Wright Auctions of Chicago and New York City have recently announced the merger of their business operations. Both houses will continue to operate under their individual names at their respective locations but will start sharing technology, expertise, and marketing efforts while also collaborating on co-branded projects. With a combined $65 million in annual sales and an expanded team of 75 employees, the two businesses hope that there's power in numbers. It remains to be seen how this impacts their respective pools of consignors and buyers.

Continue Reading

Karl Unnasch, Operant (An Oldowonk Cataract), 2019. Reclaimed dump truck, stained glass, glass tchonks, steel, paint, polycarbonate, LEDs. H 17, W 9, D 26 ft. courtesy: the artist.

Wednesday June 26, 2019 | by Gabriela Iacovano

Karl Unnasch's latest public-art project in Boston uses his extensive stained-glass expertise to illuminate discarded machinery

Artist Karl Unnasch, a Minnesota-based stained-glass window maker, has been gaining notice in the past few years for his large-scale installations that employ two-dimensional stained glass panels to bring new life to cast-off three-dimensional objects. The other-worldly results — pieces of industrial machinery outfitted with vibrant, pictorial windows that glow from within — reflect on the artist’s rural Midwestern upbringing. His piece Slumgullion (The Venerate Outpost), a log cabin outfitted with various types of art glass, was recently recognized by Americans for the Arts as one of 50 outstanding public art pieces created in 2018. In an ongoing Boston installation, Unnasch’s sculpture that brings together stained glass and an old dump truck explores the intersection of the natural landscape and the road construction process.

Continue Reading

Pieces from Blown Away on display in the museum's amphitheater hot shop. courtesy: corning museum of glass

Friday June 21, 2019 | by Gabriela Iacovano

Glass reality show Blown Away to premiere July 12th on Netflix, Corning Museum of Glass sets up exhibition of show artifacts

The Corning Museum of Glass (CMoG) in Corning, New York, has intensified its involvement with Blown Away, an upcoming glass-art reality television program, by displaying pieces made during taping of the show. The exhibit is set up in the museum’s Ampitheater Hot Shop, and not the main exhibition spaces. The reality show, which premiered on Canada’s newly launched Makeful satellite channel in February, is scheduled to debut in the U.S. on Netflix on July 12, 2019. Perhaps sensing the show's potential to introduce new audiences to the beauty of glassblowing, the Corning team, which had joined the production as evaluators and offered hands-on assistance to the glass artists during Blown Away's final rounds, is upping its involvement in the reality television program with the exhibition as well as planned appearances at the museum by the show's as-yet-unreleased victorious contestant. The winner of the competition will visit the museum for two working sessions this summer and a “Blown Away Residency” is planned in October, where the artist will perform demos for museum visitors.

Continue Reading

Carissa Grace, Comforter, 2019. Argon, phosphor coated glass. courtesy: Carissa Grace.

Saturday June 15, 2019 | by Gabriela Iacovano

EXHIBITION: Recent Alfred University grads in group neon exhibition in New York City

Today, June 15, 2019, neon works from eight recent graduates from Alfred University’s School of Art and Design in Alfred, New York, will be shown in an exhibition on New York City’s Governors Island. Curated by assistant professor of glass Sarah Blood, the exhibition, titled “Language of Light,” includes the work of BFA graduates Carissa Grace, Astrid Hunter, Bryanna King, Caroline LaCava, Natalie Schults, Olivia Piazza, Adam Taylor and Gil Travers, whose undergraduate study with Blood focused on light.

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.