A mix of artists, designers, and new-technology innovators have been invited to travel to the remote Stanwood, Washington, campus of Pilchuck this summer as part of the glass school's annual artists-in-residence program. These residents will explore how glass might dovetail with their own artistic vision, and will be assisted by highly-skilled glass gaffers. In the process, their presence is designed to act as a creative catalyst for the unique mix of students who come together each summer, drawn by this legendary school's unique approach to exploring expression and artistic exchange through the material of glass. Since being named permanent artistic director of the program in 2013, visual artist and educator Tina Aufiero has designed each summer's program, and she selected this year's artists in residence and instructors. (For an in-depth profile of Aufiero, see the Winter 2016-17 edition of GLASS (#145).)
The Pilchuck schedule of the artists in residence is designed to connect to the individual Pilchuck summer sessions. This summer’s lineup breaks down into six themes: Identity, Taxonomy, Visualization, Materiality, Activation, and Exploration. Each theme was chosen based on its increased usage within the contemporary art world, said Aufiero in an email exchange with the GLASS Quarterly Hot Sheet.
“One particular word of current usage is ‘Materiality,’” Aufiero said. “In fact, a complete book has been published by Whitechapel Gallery and MIT Press part of the series of Documents of Contemporary Art : Materiality. I get excited about this kind of integration across art and visual culture.”
The first session, "Identity," begins on May 15 and runs through May 26. The entire summer program schedule can be found on the website.
Instructors for the courses that take place during each week were chosen based on the relationship between their personal aesthetic and the theme, according to Aufiero.
UrbanGlass educational coordinator Liesl Schubel, formerly the Pilchuck registrar who assisted Aufiero in the planning for the 2017 summer sessions, explained that the artists in residence are chosen for their relevance to each sessions' theme with an eye toward their presence being a unifying force on the campus in a conceptual direction. "By having people of minimal technical proficiency in glass, yet with highly developed ideas, tends to push the gaffers in unexplored directions, which expands the material into new realms," Schubel told the GLASS Quarterly Hot Sheet in an interview. The central location of the gaffer station, which in the hotshop, gives the artist in residence's exploration a public platform that influences the student body working around it.
“I chose instructors and artists in residence that I felt were a good match for the words of the session and trusted a thread of dialogue to develop throughout the sessions offering opportunities for class crossover and collaboration,” Aufiero said.
Aufiero explained that this integration will hopefully teach artists not only a new genre of art, but a new way of thinking.
“This has been a fun way to organize the program, perhaps it asks of all the participants to create with intent [and] these words allow for prompts for courses to focus, explore and generate content," she added.
The Pilchuck Glass School is accepting applications for students beyond the February 1st deadline. Applications received after the deadline will be accepted on a first-come, first serve basis for courses with openings.
Below are brief bios of the 2017 Artists In Residence at Pilchuck.
ARTIST: Dan Webb
Living in Seattle, Dan Webb is a multi-disciplined artist whose work is held at the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, Smithsonian American Art Museum, and others. Webb is represented by Greg Kucera Gallery and is a recipient of a Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant, the Betty Bowen Award, and the Washington State Artist Fellowship award.
ARTIST: Ann Toebbe
Ann Toebbe received her BFA from the Cleveland Institute of Art and a MFA in painting from Yale University. Her recent solo exhibition, "Remarried" (2015) shows her dynamic use of mixed media to distort everyday human spaces at the Monya Rowe Gallery in New York City.
ARTIST: Allan Packer
As a master printer for Dorset Fine Arts in Toronto, Allan Packer is known for the motion he exhibits in his pieces, which received awards including two major Canada Council grants, Artist Trust Fellowship and GAP grants, and Washington State Arts Commission Grant.
ARTIST: Tobias Klein
Tobias Klein is an artist from the UK and is currently an assistant professor in the School of Creative Media and the architecture department at the City University Hong Kong. Klein is known for his installation, experimental design, interactivity, and sculpture.
ARTIST: Keiko Hara
Japanese artist, Keiko Hara is a painter, sculptor, print maker, and collage artist, who's had more than fifty solo exhibitions in the United States, Japan, and Europe.
ARTIST: Beth Lipman
Beth Lipman is a multi-disciplined artist whose work is exhibited at the Corning Museum of Glass, the Brooklyn Museum, and many others. Known for capturing fleeting moments in her still-life, installations, and photographs, Lipman explores the ideas of mortality, consumerism, materiality, and temporality.
ARTIST: Rande Cook
Rande Cook was born in Alert Bay, British Columbia and uses his heritage to push the boundaries of cultural tradition, which inspires his paintings, photography, carvings, and performance art. Cook holds two chieftainships, the Hamatam/Seagull and Gigalgam from the ancient ancestor Kwanusila/Thunderbird.
ARTIST: Tam Van Tran
Tam Van Tran is a vietnamese painter who received his BFA from Pratt Institute, Brooklyn and is featured in the 2004 Whitney Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. Tran is known for his use of mixed media and collage style to create organic works that draw on a rich history of experiences.
ARTIST: Ranjit Bhatnagar
Ranjit Bhatnagar is a digital artist whose work incorporates interactive and sound installations, scanner photography, and Internet-based collaborative art. For the past ten years, Bhatnagar resumes his project, Instrument-A-Day, where he creates a homemade musical instrument for each day during the month of February.
ARTIST: Rose English
Rose English is an interdisciplinary performance artist who explores gender politics, performance identity, and the philosophy of presence as an artist. English’s recent projects are exhibited at Charlottenborg in Copenhagen (2015) and the Camden Arts Centre in London (2016).
ARTIST: Brian Gillespie
Brian Gillespie uses his background in computer programming to digitally fabricate his art. Gillespie creates everyday objects such as picture frames, glass cups, and remote controls using a visual programming language called, Grasshopper.
ARTIST: Turi McKinley
Turi McKinley received her MFA in design and technology from the Parsons school of design. Having a background in anthropology, McKinley focuses her work and research around the user-experience and currently is a lead designer for frog design.