When Kathleen Mulcahy and husband Ron Desmett founded the Pittsburgh Glass Center in 2001, Desmett, then a painter and ceramist, had never made glass work of his own before. That changed in 2002 when Mulcahy tasked artists from other materials to “think in glass,” as she told the GLASS Quarterly Hot Sheet, for a show at the Glass Center called "Artists Crossing Lines." Ron came back with the decision to blow opaque black glass vessels shaped inside hollowed out tree trunks, a body of work that would come to define his practice until his death in December 2016. “[Glass] changed his life,” she said, “and from that moment where he thought about that work in 2002 – that work is the work that is in the Tacoma Museum [of Glass], the Smithsonian, and the Corning Museum, and the Carnegie Museum. It’s unbelievable – that moment of saying guess what, nothing is impossible.”
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When Tate Britain unveiled a monumental neon installation by Welsh sculptor and filmmaker Cerith Wyn Evans in Spring 2017, the project was certain to have a massive impact on the field of light art for its sheer scale alone. Forms in Space...by Light (in Time) was produced for the 2017 Tate Britain Commission, which invites contemporary British artists to respond to the museum’s Duveen Galleries, the oldest galleries in England specifically designed to show sculpture. Made from over a mile of glass tubing, Wyn Evans’ bright white neon installation hangs just over museum-goers' heads, arranged to invite viewing from multiple angles, all the while redefining the space and activating the museum's high-ceilinged airy architecture. It remains on view through August 20, 2017.
Pilchuck Glass School has announced its 2017 John H. Hauberg Fellowship recipients, a group called Tempestuous Commons, who plan to “explore the female form as a narrative tool for expression,” according to the announcement. Tempestuous Commons, a newly formed group of emerging artists working largely in mixed-media sculpture, is comprised of Ashley Berkman, Jade Usackas, Kelsie McNair, and Nadira Narine. Their Pilchuck residency, which provides living accommodations and access to all Pilchuck studios except its hot glass shop, will take place from April 26th to May 12th, 2017.
North Lands Creative Glass has announced its 2017 summer program, its first under recently appointed artistic director Jeffrey Sarmiento. The program of classes and a conference will be centered around the theme of faith. The program, titled "Leap of Faith," is billed as exploring the relationships between glass and belief in its varied forms — religious belief, social dogmas, and artistic conviction. Master-classes will be headed by artists Anne Vibeke Mou, Annie Cattrell, Beth Lipman, and the duo of Michael Schunke and Josie Gluck. The one-day conference, "Taking a Leap: Concept, Conservation and Innovation in Architectural Glass," is organized in collaboration with Bullseye Glass Company, and will take place on July 16th, 2017, in the county of Caithness in the northern reaches of Scotland.
The unique optical qualities of glass — its translucency, transparency, reflection, and refraction — have served as rich terrain for artist Sydney Cash, who developed a lifelong relationship with the material after working with curved mirrors. Opening tonight, a retrospective exhibition of Cash's kinetic sculptures at Heller Gallery will showcase the artist's evolving visual vocabulary from the 1980s through the present, and will include a reprise of the now-legendary glass window installations from Cash's seminal Broadway Windows Gallery exhibition in 1987. Activated by passersby on the street, the three windows will make the city street part of the exhibition entitled "Pre-Net," and will likely have viewers moving back and forth before the gallery's large windows on 10th Avenue in the Chelsea area of Manhattan.
There's something magnetic about neon. An object emitting light attracts the eye, no doubt the main reason neon has been so popular for so long as a medium for commercial signs. Executive director of Bergstrom-Mahler Museum of Glass Jan Smith thinks this provides a special opportunity for neon art. "A sense of familiarity with its history in signage gives people an entry point," she told the GLASS Quarterly Hot Sheet, "and the journey into the sculptural realm takes them into a surprisingly new dimension." The museum hopes to guide visitors on that journey with "Bending Brilliance," a neon and plasma group exhibition currently on display through February 19th, 2017.
Faxes may have given way to email, but contemporary technology was an integral part of Dale Chihuly’s artistic practice throughout the 1990s. Now, a new book entitled Chihuly’s Faxes compiles 130 of these faxes hand-picked from an archive of 7,500. Treated as a medium for design ideation and instant communication, Chihuly’s faxes are described by lauded novelist, essayist, and critic, Francine Prose as “dreams about art.” Prose, a former president of PEN American Center, has written a foreword to the book, and her essay includes an analysis of “technology’s role in communicating bold ideas.” The new book is available now through Chihuly Workshop.
While artist Kathleen Mulcahy was canoeing on the west branch of the Susquehanna River over a decade ago, a sudden storm came out of nowhere, leaving her no way to escape from the furious pelting rain. The river was too wide, and the waters too rapid. “We were moving into it, and there was nothing I could do but submit," she told the GLASS Quarterly Hot Sheet in a telephone interview. "And in that moment of submission, of letting go, I put my hand in the water. And after that moment, once I let go, we went right through the storm; and on the other side of it was clear skies and fresh air and beauty like I had never really experienced, from everything — my skin, the way things smelled, the air, everything was beautiful. I remember putting my hand in the water and saying, ‘what will my new work look like because of this?’” The answer arrived in a dream a few months later. "[Upon waking], I quickly grabbed a pencil and sketched this little tiny sketch of the image that I saw.” Mulcahy's first drop piece came soon after, titled West Branch of the Susquehanna (2006), which will be featured in her upcoming exhibition “Opposites Attract: Kathleen Mulcahy and Sylvester Damianos,” at The Westmoreland Museum of American Art opening on November 5, 2016, and running through February 2017.
"Paracosm" is a technical term for an imaginary world. The most famous examples are literary, like J.R.R. Tolkein's Middle Earth or C.S. Lewis's Narnia; but in the visual arts, narrative works are often set in manufactured worlds. In an independently organized exhibition in Brooklyn, New York, the work of six experimental artists has been organized into “Paracosm: new worlds in glass,” which showcases the capacity of glass art to provide a transporting experience in a wide range of works, all with a conceptual foundation. Brooklyn’s Norte Maar, a nonprofit focused on “connecting emerging artistic communities and uniting cultural forces to foster artistic expression and raise the imaginative energy in us all,” is the setting for this fanciful exhibition, which runs through October 23, 2016.
The complex relationship between the human and the natural worlds is rich territory for an art gallery set in the town of Waitsfield, Vermont, with its long history of forestry and agriculture. Through mid-October, art dealer Stephanie Walker has turned over her Walker Contemporary gallery space to an exhibition entitled “What Have We Done?”, which examines artists “grappling with the often precarious human versus nature relationship,” according to the gallery’s website. Among the five artists with work on display is the native-born Charlotte Potter, who grew up in Waitsfield before embarking on a notable career as a multi-media artist with a focus on glass. Holding a 2010 MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design, Potter is currently the studio manager/program director of the Chrysler Museum of Art’s Glass Studio, in Norfolk, Virginia, and her evolving artwork is represented by New York City's Heller Gallery. Potter's glass deer and elk antlers have actually been incubating in the artist’s mind and studio practice since 2008, and are recontextualized by showcasing them alongside paintings and drawings in which, as the gallery puts it, humans’ “meddling interference in the natural order of things…takes center stage”