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Tuesday January 21, 2014 | by Paulina Switniewska

Salem Community College opens new glass resource center

Salem Community College, alma mater of glass artist Paul Stankard, has a new addition to its student resources. The Contemporary Glass Resource Center (CGRC) was added to the college thanks in large part to Stankard and his wife Patricia’s generosity. The new addition includes a collection of Stankard’s own artwork ranging from 1970 to 2013, videos of flameworking demonstrations, Stankard’s personal collection of 650 books and contemporary glass art, and other material to aid students in honing their education and their art. Additional material has also been donated by such organizations and individuals as the Robert Minkoff Foundation, Schiffer Publishing,  Arlene and Norman Silvers, and The Corning Museum of Glass.

"Paul has pointed out that while the Samuel H. Jones Glass Education Center nurtures our students’ skills, the Resource Center will nurture their intellectual curiosity and artistry,” says SCC president Joan M. Baillie in a prepared press release. 

Having himself graduated from SCC in 1963 with a degree in Scientific Glassblowing, Stankard is an accomplished glass artist, poet, and writer. He credits his professors at the college for inspiring his pursuit of lifelong learning, which in turn influenced his craft in glassmaking.

“This Contemporary Glass Resource Center gives reality to a favorite saying that I share with students: if you want to do excellent work, you have to know what excellence is,” said Stankard at a dedication ceremony in December, as related in a prepared press release. “Educate yourself to the things you care about.” Stankard is a leading name in glass orb paperweights that depict the intricacies of nature, including bees in flight, flowers, and fruit, among others in his Botanical Series. 

Stankard has also authored two books and various articles, and has recently published his newest work, Spark the Creative Flame--Making the Journey from Craft to Art. Stankard was also honored with the title of Senior Advisor to the College President, and was given a plaque commemorating his numerous contributions to the college, including developing the Resource Center and throughout his years serving as artist in residence. 

The Contemporary Glass Resource Center is open during normal library hours at Salem Community College. Those interested in contributing material or funding to the Resource Center should contact Bill Clark at (856) 351-2602. 

—Paulina Switniewska

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.