Thursday September 7, 2023 | by Andrew Page

This Fall, a bumper crop of glass-educator gatherings will offer multiple opportunities to connect and exchange ideas

Three separate gatherings this fall -- in Amsterdam, Netherlands; Madison, Wisconsin; and Brooklyn, New York -- will each offer a unique opportunity for glass educators to consider the issues facing the field of glass art.

The workshop at the Large Glass Department at the Geritt Rietveld academy in Amsterdam.

On September 22nd and 23rd, Belgian writer, critic, and curator Luk Lambrecht and German-American artist Anna Mlasowsky will co-anchor the seventh Glass Virus Think Tank, a series of moderated discussions and open-forum gatherings convened to explore and contemplate issues in the glass-art field. This two-day event will take place at the Geritt Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam, where the event's founder Jens Pfeifer is the head of the Large Glass Department. This will be the first in-person iteration of The Glass Virus since the pandemic. Registration is done by sending an email, and there is a 50-Euro fee to attend, though it's free for students (who still must register).

Two weeks later, the first-ever "Glass Madison Educational Gathering" will take place on October 6th and 7th in Madison, Wisconsin, where organizers hope to draw educators from both community and university glass programs for presentations, demos, exhibits and museum tours. Among the keynote presenters: Susie J. Silbert, Carolyn Herrera Perez, and Helen Lee, the latter of whom is the event organizer, as well as head of the Glass Lab at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. (Lee is also the founder of the online educational resource to the field known as GEEX.) Among the many events planned over the two days will be an iteration of the Glass Olympics, a longstanding friendly competition between Midwest glass art programs that had been held at the University of Louisville in the past, and is slated for the afternoon of the October 7th at the Madison event. 

Workshop activities in the UrbanGlass studios from the 2019 Robert M. Minkoff Symposium at UrbanGlass.

In early November, the original gathering of glass academics will take place over three days in New York City. Kicking off on November 2nd with a gallery tour of glass on exhibit at top contemporary art galleries, the event goes on to offer two full days of lecture presentations on everything from black glass-artist consciousness (Jabari Owen-Bailey) to an investigation into the life cycle of the material of glass (Erin O'Connor). This will be the fifth iteration of the event, which first launched in 2013. This year, the lectures, demonstrations, and multiple networking opportunities in the 2023 UrbanGlass Academic Symposium (formerly the Robert M. Minkoff Foundation Academic Symposium at UrbanGlass) will be concentrated at the Brooklyn, New York, facilities of the arts non-profit, which will offer its first-floor amphitheater and third-floor studios for the international event.

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.