The 2017 edition of the Robert M. Minkoff Foundation Academic Symposium at UrbanGlass concluded on Sunday, October 15th, with a field trip to Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, New Jersey, that included an exclusive advance preview of the largest retrospective to date of the glass and fiber work of MacArthur Fellow Joyce J. Scott, as well as an artist-led tour of Dan Clayman's "Radiant Landscape" exhibition. But the main events took place on Friday and Saturday, with a program of 18 lectures and panel discussions by leading glass faculty from around the world. The keynote presentation was delivered by Rachel Berwick (RISD Glass). Among the highlights were presentations by other heads of glass programs such as Helen Lee (UWisc, Madison), Justin Ginsberg (UTexas, Arlington), Kim Harty (College of Creative Studies, Detroit), Sharyn O'Mara (Tyler), and Li Wen (China Academy of Art). A panel discussion of contrasting international approaches to curriculum was moderated by UrbanGlass education director Ben Wright. Other highlights included a curator panel of Susie Silbert (Corning) and Samantha DeTillio (Museum of Arts and Design), and presentations y independent artist Dan Clayman ("Rainfield at MassArt"), writer Alexis Clements ("Myths of Success in the Arts"), and art history professor Mary Drach McInnes (Alfred). The event began with a Thursday night gallery tour on the Lower East Side that included a presentation by Betty Cunningham about Christopher Wilmarth.
Over 100 attendees crowded into the lecture hall at St. Francis College in Brooklyn Heights for the first full day of proceedings. The Saturday events took place at the studios UrbanGlass, where a lectern and screen were set up in front of rows of folding chairs arranged along the expansive floor of the hotshop.
This was the third iteration of the biennial symposium convened to discuss issues in glass pedagogy, and it was by far the largest in terms of both attendance and the number of presenters. An academic journal of the proceedings is being prepared, and will be released during the interstitial year between symposia. The symposium is a partnership between the Robert M. Minkoff Foundation and UrbanGlass, and is organized by Andrew Page, who is both director of the foundation as well as the editor of GLASS: The UrbanGlass Art Quarterly.