Saturday July 22, 2023 | by Andrew Page

Artist and educator Alli Hoag named as Toledo Museum of Art GAPP artist for Fall

The head of the glass art program at Bowling Green Sate University, Alli Hoag, has been named the latest Guest Artist Pavilion Project artist-in-residence by the Toledo Museum of Art. From August 23 through September 1, 2023, Hoag will be on site at the museum's glass studio creating new work, and also will present to the public about her process and her ideas on August 25th at 7 PM. 

“TMA could not be more thrilled to welcome Alli to the Studio for the GAPP residency,” said Diane Wright, TMA’s senior curator of glass and contemporary craft, in a prepared statement. “Alli’s contribution to our artistic community in Toledo, Bowling Green, and the Ohio region is expressed in her creative approach to glass as well as her commitment to teaching.” 

Hoag's artistic projects have ranged from multi-media collaborations with Icelandic performance artist and pianist Tinna Thorsteinsdóttir under the moniker "Bylta" to a robust individual art practice, in which she explores the richness of natural ecosystems through works that plumb the ways humans perceive and encounter the outside world. 

The Glass Quarterly Hot Sheet caught up with Hoag for an email exchange to ask her about this opportunity, and what impact it might have on her future projects. 

Glass:  What will this opportunity mean for you and your practice? 
Alli Hoag: The GAPP residency at the Toledo Museum of Art is such an incredible opportunity, I feel very honored. I really look forward to working with the very talented team of the Glass Pavilion to push some new ideas and directions in my work.  Looking forward to having these 10 days of intense focus and energy toward physical making has given me the gift of dreaming big and working hard to get some new ideas ready to play with and develop during the residency.

Glass: Are you planning to bring any musicians to work with you, such as your regular collaborator Tinna Thorsteinsdóttir?
Hoag: I really enjoy working in a performative way and absolutely adore working with Tinna, but this time I am travelling solo.  I think during COVID I pivoted toward a more studio-based practice, and it is keeping me curious and engaged, so during this residency I will be centering on the creation of some physical glass works.

Glass: Can you talk a bit about what you are working on these days, including some comments on your general direction and where your practice is heading? 
In general, a good deal of the concepts in my work deal with how we relate to the unknown or the unknowable. I am fascinated by how looking through the lens of the microscope, the familiar can be seen in a new scale to become once again unfamiliar. It's an interesting point where the named becomes unnamable. I've just begun working with some digital tools and am planning to have some natural textures and forms scanned and enlarged, and to incorporate these elements in more abstracted compositions and forms.

In addition, I've been collaborating with architect and designerCatie Newelltoward the creation of a modular glass building unit.  We've been developing this design to fully utilize the compressive strength of glass for structural integrity and to provide passive light transmission for inhabitants’ circadian rhythm entrainment. It’s a fascinating project to be a part of, and I really look forward to realizing our goal of building a structure with these designs in the future. 

Glass: Will this residency impact your teaching at all? 
Hoag: I feel that my research practice is deeply connected to my teaching practice.  I like to share and engage with students about what I'm discovering and thinking about, in concert with learning from students what really motivates and engages them. 

Right now, I'm on sabbatical for a year, so I look forward to deepening my practice, and returning to the classroom next year to share what I have learned and new energy with my students!

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.