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.”
The Corning Museum of Glass has announced that Karlyn Sutherland of Scotland will be this year’s recipient of the Rakow Commission, which gives emerging glass artists who are not yet included in the museum’s holdings the opportunity to create new work that is then added to institution’s permanent collection. Holding multiple graduate degrees (a 2008 Masters in Architecture from Edinburgh College of Art, and a 2014 PhD from the University of Edinburgh), Sutherland’s work is unique, especially in the context of the Rakow Commission for a number of reasons. Not only is she the first recipient since 1999 to be mainly focused on fused glass, but her use of perspective, which comes directly from her background in architecture, can be mystifying if not viewed up close. Susie Silbert, Corning’s curator of modern and contemporary glass, had her first encounter with Sutherland’s work while jurying a recent edition of New Glass Review. In a telephone exchange, she told the GLASS Quarterly Hot Sheet that at first, “we didn’t think it was actually glass. We thought it was actually a rendering of glass.” However, upon closer inspection in person, she was astounded at the work’s ability to bring forth ideas of place, perspective, and illusion.
The Contemporary Glass Society announced the winners of its "2017 Glass Prize," a contest conducted by the Society for recent glass-art graduates in the U.K. The first place winner, Phöebe Tan of University College Falmouth, will receive a £250 cash prize; £250 in warm glass vouchers; a feature article in the 16-page publication Graduate Review distributed to the entire CGS membership; a two-year membership to the CGS; and other benefits.
A lot can change in 10 years, and at the once-a-decade exhibition "Young Glass," the progression within glass art is on full display. Since it's launch in 1987 at the Glasmuseet Ebeltoft in Denmark, the competition has intended to inspire and encourage innovation in the realm of glass art.
"Young Glass 2017" is the fourth iteration of the series, showcasing the rising generation of young glass artists. In June, works from 57 selected artists under the age of 35 went on display, where it will remain through October 29, 2017. The GLASS Quarterly Hot Sheet spoke with a participating artist, an event organizer, as well as a museum official to better understand what's changing about this important international survey exhibition of new talent in glass.
On June 10, 2017, the Glasmuseet Ebeltoft in Denmark will open an exhibit of work by the finalists in its fourth Young Glass competition. Since it was initiated by this museum of glass art in 1987, the juried once-a-decade competition has strived to promote and reward emerging talent in the medium. Four cash prizes totaling €42,000 (approx. $45,000 US) and two artist residencies will be awarded to the winners.
The prestigious fellowship awarded annually by the organization United States Artists seeks to identify the most accomplished and innovative artists working in a variety of fields, and reward their efforts through an unrestricted $50,000 award. With the recent announcement of 2016 fellows, engraver April Surgent joins artists Einar de la Torre & Jamex de la Torre, Beth Lipman, Sibylle Peretti, Judith Schaechter, Joyce J. Scott, Mary Shaffer, and Therman Statom as artists working with glass to be recognized for this top honor.
The Glass Art Society has announced that its annual "Lifetime Achievement Award for Exceptional Achievement and Contributions to the Studio Glass Field" has been awarded to Joyce J. Scott for her mixed-media work that takes on serious issues such as racism and violence. The artist association has also awarded artist and designer Wayne Strattman its "Honorary Lifetime Membership Award for Outstanding Service to the Glass Art Society." Both artists will be presented with their respective awards during the 2017 Glass Art Society Conference set to take place at the Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk, Virginia from June 1st to 3rd, 2017.
Japanese native Rui Sasaki has been named the 2016 Borowsky Prize winner, a $5,000 award named for the late University of the Arts trustee Irvin J. Borowsky, and awarded by the Philadelphia arts institution each year. The prize seeks to identify "an artist whose work is conceptually daring, exemplifies technical skill and innovation, and advances the field of contemporary glass," and includes the invitation for the winning artist to present a lecture. Sasaki, who is currently based in Toyama, Japan, will deliver her lecture on November 10, 2016. In addition to the top prize, juror's awards have been given to prize finalists David King (who also won a juror's award in 2015) and Sean Salstrom.
Argentinian-born artist Silvia Levenson and Italian glass master Bruno Amadi have just been announced as the recipients of the 2016 Glass in Venice Prizes. Supported by the Istituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettere, ed Arti and the Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia, the Glass in Venice Prizes have been honoring outstanding glass artists for five years. Each year, two prizes are awarded: one to glass masters who have “distinguished themselves in glass art in the wake of the Murano tradition,” and another to international glass artists “who, using different techniques and methods, have chosen glass as their means of expression,” according to the Prize’s press release. The award ceremony will take place in the Palazzo Franchetti this evening, Monday, September 26th, at 5:30 PM. In addition, the work of the winning artists will be on display in the foyer of the Palazzo Loredan until October 24th, 2016.
Joyce J. Scott, a prominent artist working with glass beads and blown-glass to create works that probe the nature of violence and racial politics, and who was featured on the cover of the Fall 2014 edition of GLASS: The UrbanGlass Art Quarterly (# 136), has been named a 2016 MacArthur Fellow, one of the most prestigious annual prizes in the world of arts and sciences. Also known as "genius grants," the fellowship comes with a $625,000 award paid out over five years. The honor is bestowed upon between 20 to 30 recipients each year, irrespective of their field or media, who "are breaking new ground in areas of public concern, in the arts, and in the sciences, often in unexpected ways," according to MacArthur president Julia Stasch. Scott is one of 23 fellows named for 2016, ranging from scientists to playwrights to musicians to visual artists. "Scott upends conceptions of beadwork and jewelry as domestic or merely for adornment by creating exquisitely crafted objects that reveal, upon closer examination, stark representations of racism and sexism and the violence they engender," reads the MacArthur website about Scott's work in particular.