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.
Selected by a jury made up of artists Dan Clayman and Matt Szosz, Corning curator of modern and contemporary glass Susie Silbert, National Liberty Museum curator Arlene Silvers, UArts trustee and widow of Irvin Borowsky Laurie Wagman, Neus Glas editor Uta Klotz, GlazenHuis artistic director Jeroen Maes, UArts trustee Brian Effron, and UArts glass program head Alexander Rosenberg, Rui Sasaki topped the pool of applicants that was reportedly more international than in the previous three iterations of the prize, according to Rosenberg.
For Sasaki, the Borowsky Prize is only the latest in her string of awards, which includes the 2015 Jutta Cuny-Franz Memorial Award and the 2015 International Glass Prize. Based in Toyama, Japan, she holds degrees from Musashino Art University in Japan (BA: 2006) and the Rhode Island School of Design (MFA: 2010).
In her application, Sasaki wrote, “My work is about the exploration and discovery of subtle intimacy in unfamiliar spaces: what I refer to as empty space. In 2007, when I crossed the world to come to the United States from Japan, I experienced sensations of lost memories, nostalgia, and loss of home … Through my work, I document the intimacy and memory of the home.”
For more on Sasaki's work, see this interview the GLASS Quarterly Hot Sheet conducted earlier this year.
IF YOU GO:Rui Sasaki Borowski Prize Lecture November 10, 2016, 5:30 PM University of the Arts 320 S Broad Street Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19102