Saturday October 1, 2022 | by Andrew Page

The UrbanGlass Gala celebrates RIchard Yelle, who founded The New York Experimental Glass Workshop 45 years ago, and helped steer the artist collective's maturation into the glass art flagship its become today

Forty-five years after its founding as a scrappy artist collective located in a basement on Great Jones Street in Manhattan, UrbanGlass has steadily evolved, moving three times, renovating its building, and reaching an ever-expanding audience. In 2022, the nonprofit art center occupies a state-of-the-art 17,000-square-foot space in Downtown Brooklyn at the epicenter of New York City's dynamic cultural landscape.

Richard Yelle founded UrbanGlass in 1979.

In celebration of a long and successful journey, it is holding an upcoming gala and auction (on the evening of Thursday, October 6, 2020), which will honor its visionary co-founder, Richard Yelle, who remains on the board of this organization that offers studio facilities, fellowships, classes, gallery exhibitions, a retail store, and an international magazine. The festivities will take place as UrbanGlass is midway through its fifth decade as a flagship for the medium of glass for artists and designers in the international capital of culture that is New York City.

The UrbanGlass Gala and Auction will feature both silent and live auction items, both accessible for in-person or remote bidding. Among the highlights is an all-glass handbag by Joshua Raiffe (pictured above) that has been spotted on the arms of Kylie Jenner and other red-hot celebrities. With a estimate of $4,000, the all-glass accessory is a bold fashion statement that celebrates the material properties of transparency, translucency, and ethereal coloration as only glass can do.

Lindsay Adelman, Paradise CIty Caliper Pendant, 2019. Stainless steel, LED, hand-blown glass.

Another standout item is the Lindsay Adelman "Paradise City Caliper Pendant 3" (2019), a bold blend of stainless steel, LED, and hand-blown glass that stands as a powerful metaphor for "the all-too-familiar human struggle to hold onto individual moments" as the pincers grasp the pendant, which features an embedded LED in the surface of the glass itself, rendering it almost invisible as the source of the beautiful glow.

The gala event kicks off with a cocktail party at the UrbanGlass first-floor gallery of the Agnes Varis Art Center, followed by a seated dinner and program, hosted by artist Grace Whiteside. Chaired by Cartwright New York founder and principal designer Carolyn Cartwright. A fundraiser, the gala evening will also honor UrbanGlass co-founder Richard Wilfred Yelle, and will feature a presentation by artist Toots Zynsky, who has been intimately involved in the organization since it began life as The New York Experimental Glass Workshop.

For those who can't attend in person, there are multiple items and experiences to bid on in the Silent and Live Auctions to be a part of this important celebration of a one-of-a-kind glass institution, and its celebrated founder Richard Yelle. Those who made a direct donation online help to ensure a future for the many UrbanGlass programs and initiatives as bright as its rich history.

To bid, donate, or simply get more information:


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.