Alex Bernstein sees his work as an exploration — of himself, of nature, and of his own unique process of sculpting and carving his large-scale castings. In a solo exhibition at Winterowd Gallery in Santa Fe opening this Friday, July 28, the Asheville, North Carolina-based artist revisits forms and techniques from his past seeking to reinvent them. “I’m always looking to pursue things and push things and find something new in the realm of my own work,” he said in a telephone interview with GLASS Quarterly Hot Sheet. Though this show is made up of entirely new work, Bernstein is seeking to do what many of us probably wish we could: go back into his past and reinterpret old forms with the benefit of new experience. “It’s me looking back at some of my older series and then kind of reinventing them,” he said.
Brooklyn-based artist Amanda Patenaude has proved that one person’s trash can literally become another person's treasure, as she facilitated a community project to recast dangerous shards of broken glass into works of art. It all began in 2014, when a public park association known as the Fort Greene Park Conservancy (FGPC) turned to nearby arts nonprofit UrbanGlass in search of an artist to make use out of all the broken glass swept up in their efforts to beautify this urban green space. Patenaude, who describes her practice as “a nice blend of working with garbage and the things we throw away, as they relate back to our habits and the environments we inhabit,” was a perfect fit.The Brooklyn-based artist presented the FGPC with a list of what could be accomplished with the waste glass and from there, the work began. After six months of clean-up, the discarded glass that was accumulated was re-melted and blown into an ornament that was presented at a 2015 tree-lighting ceremony organized by FGPC and the community organization known as the Myrtle Avenue Revitalization Project.
Think of the Bergstrom-Mahler Museum of Glass and what might come to mind is the Neenah, Wisconsin, institution's wide array of historic glass paperweights and Germanic glass that make up the bulk of its permanent collection. That's why the museum's recently acquisition of Quantum, a contemporary installation by Angus Powers, Jon Clark and Jesse Daniels that incorporates glass with light, sound and video, was so significant. The installation, a gift of the artists to the museum, is currently on view through August 20, 2017, after which it will be stored and kept in the museum’s rotation dependent upon available space. The new work joining the mostly historic permanent collection signals the museum's expanded embrace of contemporary glass art, which is also reflected in its recent acquisition of a 2003 work by Alex Bernstein.
Sidney Hutter, who has witnessed both the beginnings of Studio Glass, its growth, and current transitional moment, is highly tuned to the advancing technology, economic highs and lows, and the ever-shifting interests of collectors and galleries. The arc of his 40-year career can be observed in a retrospective exhibition now on view at the Sandwich Glass Museum through October 29, 2017. The GLASS Quarterly Hot Sheet recently took the opportunity of this career-spanning exhibition to talk with Hutter about his signature explorations of glass vessels that subvert function, as well as his observations of how the glass art world has changed since he began building vessel forms out of plate glass while still a graduate student at MassArt.
In a former church in the Scottish countryside just 12 miles south of Edinburgh, Alison Kinnaird works at her copper engraving wheel and plucks away on her harp. Her large-scale, figurative panel pieces as well as her traditional harp music are the artist's pursuits of forms of expression that are universal, something that can be found in the recesses of tradition as well as the cutting-edge. An upcoming exhibition in her studio will feature multiple smaller scale works as well as two installations, one of which has been touring Scotland since 2014. The exhibit, entitled "Art in Glass" will open on August 4, 2017, as a part of Edinburgh’s Festival Fringe.
Amber Cowan likes to “hang out” with her figures before she assembles them. She likes to take her time and get to know the bits of cullet and used milk glass that she finds in old factory yards, thrift stores, flea markets, or is gifted by friends and strangers alike before she intuitively incorporates them into her dense floral wall pieces, or flameworks them into something else entirely before placing them. However, her current show at the Fuller Craft Museum on view through October 8, 2017, is somewhat of a departure from the monochrome, recycled assemblages with which she has made her name. Also included are a few large-scale installation pieces, still made from recycled milk glass, but involving fewer tiny details. Cowan said in a phone interview that these installations “gave me an immediacy to the material, and all the things that related to my other work, but in a more kind of quick and fun sense that wasn’t this laborious process.”
After playing a major role in bringing the 2017 Glass Art Society Conference to Norfolk, Virginia, last month, Chrysler Museum of Art Glass Studio manager and program director Charlotte Potter is heading for the exits. Potter told the GLASS Quarterly Hot Sheet that she plans to leave the job she's held since 2011. Potter, whose leadership put the Chrysler Museum of Art’s Perry Glass Studio on the glass-art map, plans to move back to her home state of Vermont by November. There she will focus on raising her newborn daughter and continue to pursue her successful art practice. Though it hasn't yet launched an official job search for Potter's replacement, the Chrysler Museum of Art is starting the process of finding a new glass studio manager and programming director to take over Potter's important role running the studio, which itself is in the process of being expanded in response to its considerable success drawing crowds and attention.
The Pittsburgh Glass Center (PGC) will feature Richard Royal at its annual Art on Fire celebration and auction this September, coinciding with his residency at PGC. Royal, a former gaffer for Dale Chihuly at the Pilchuck Glass School, creates art fueled by his interest in the math inherent in nature, and he is drawn to the geometric possibilities of the material, as well as its optical properties. He's been blowing glass for more than 30 years and combines both blown and solid glass elements in his internationally recognized and highly photogenic work. Royal’s art has been on exhibit at the Mint Museum of Art and Design, the High Museum, and the New Orleans Museum of Art, among others. Royal is a prolific teacher, including a regular at the Pilchuck School. He has also taught before at PGC. As honorary artist, one piece of Royal’s work from his optical lens series will be for sale at the auction.
When glass artists Anna Boothe and Nancy Cohen come together, artistic accidents are embraced. Instead of tossing aside a mistake, the two consider it important to give value to an accidental creation as part of their effort to create art with a Buddhist sensibility in mind. The artists continue their 5-year-long collaboration in a new exhibit entitled “Permutations: A Collaboration Featuring Anna Boothe and Nancy Cohen,” which will have an opening reception at the Philadelphia Art Alliance (PAA) this evening. The two began collaborating in 2012, fusing together two unique styles and a combined experience of more than 50 years working with glass. Although neither artist considers herself a practicing Buddhist, they self-consciously sought to take on on the Buddhist style of thought as a strategy in the creation of their collaborative art, and they consider the work to share the aesthetic approach of Thangka, an elaborately composed Tibetan Buddhist tradition of painting.
Brooklyn-based multidisciplinary artist Amy Lemaire explores themes of history as a form of currency in her upcoming exhibit, "History of the Present Moment." The exhibition, which will include glass sculptures seeking to ignite thought and conversation around modern historical documentation, will be on display from June 7 to June 28 in the Window Gallery at UrbanGlass’ Agnes Varis Art Center. (Disclosure: The GLASS Quarterly Hot Sheet is published by UrbanGlass.)
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 more than 40 years.