Matthew Szösz, untitled (inflatable) no.73, 2017. H 12 1/2 W 7 D 8 in. Glass. courtesy: Wheaton Arts
WheatonArts in Millville, New Jersey, is preparing to unveil its second “Emanation” exhibition during its long-running GlassWeekend event, a biennial gathering of collectors and artists to celebrate, discuss, buy and sell glass artwork coming up on June 9, 10 and 11, 2017. WheatonArts is a multi-dimensional nonprofit in Southern New Jersey, with programs ranging from a museum of American glass history to programming celebrating regional folk culture. But “Emanation,” initiated in 2015, is focused on the contemporary moment in art through an ambitious program to break down the barriers between fabricators and contemporary artists, something that other programs such as the high-profile Glasstress program by Berengo Studio in Venice don't directly address. Unlike that program, which brings well-known artists to Venice to have their ideas realized by glass masters, the "Emanation" project is based in the studios of WheatonArts' Creative Glass Center of America, best-known for its long-running fellowship program that allows artists free rein to realize experimental ideas at this unique facility. The New Jersey project is careful to avoid the one-way street of becoming a fabrication station. There are multiple efforts to create synergy between the artists and the facility, including during the installation of the exhibition component. The artists chosen for the second iteration of "Emanation" -- Emily Brown, Vanessa German, Michael Joo, Lorna Simpson, Therman Statom, Matthew Szösz, and the group Flock the Optic -- reveal varying levels of technical expertise working with glass, which creates interactions that cross-pollinate between artists approaching the project with different perspectives.