When art dealer Jim Schantz was given the opportunity to curate the first all-glass exhibition at the annual contemporary and experimental sculpture show at the grounds of the historic Chesterwood, a Stockbridge, Massachussets, landmark, he saw an opportunity to push some of the leading glass artists he represents into new territory — environmental artwork. “It was an opportunity for them to realize their visions and perhaps work outside their comfort zone,” Schantz says in an email exchange with the GLASS Quarterly Hot Sheet. He reached out to artists Martin Blank, Peter Bremers, Nancy Callan, William Carlson, Daniel Clayman, Sidney Hutter, Richard Jolley, John Kiley, Thomas Patti, Kait Rhoads, Richard Royal, and Thomas Scoon, some of whom were well-acquainted with the challenges of exhibiting work outdoors, while others had never done so before. The result is the exhibiton "The Nature of Glass," which will remain on view through September 18, 2016.
Some of the work draws a sharp contrast between the man-made qualities of glass and the lush grounds of Chesterwood, former home of the famous sculptor Daniel Chester French (1850 - 1931) best known for carving the Lincoln Memorial. Other works strive for a purity of organic form that fits seamlessly into the natural green backdrop. When Chesterwood executive director Donna Hassler first discussed this exhibition with Schantz over a year ago, he brought her to visit glass studios on the West Coast, making her aware of the varied and rich culture of glass art. Schantz felt there was a perfect synergy between the site and glass art, and a focus on glass was long overdue for this show that has been an annual event since 1978.
“There is a historic connection as Daniel Chester French was very interested in sharing the site at Chesterwood with other artists to see their work in nature,” says Schantz. “This is really what Chesterwood has been doing for decades with past sculpture exhibitions. We now can do this with the medium of glass.”
IF YOU GO:Group Exhibition "The Nature of Glass" Through September 18, 2016 Opening reception and fundraiser: June 24, 2016, from 4 PM to 7 PM, tickets $25 Chesterwood 4 Williamsville Road
Stockbridge, Massachusetts Website