Issue 169 | Winter

Letter from the Board Chair

by Katya Heller

Editor's Letter

by Andrew Page

Between his first and second years as a graduate student at RISD, Richard Yelle decided to head to New York City rather than camp out at Pilchuck with fellow students at the department chair Dale Chihuly’s summer program. Yelle couldn’t have known the impact his choice would have on the future of glass as an art material, but the vibrant art scene he experienced living in the West Village that summer of 1975 convinced him to return to Manhattan immediately after graduation. When Yelle discovered there was no studio where he could continue his glass work, he set up his own, and the New York Experimental Glass Workshop was born in 1977. A nonprofit open to anyone interested in the material, Yelle made sure it was always more than a studio by offering artist residencies, a gallery, and, since 1979, Glass magazine.

Today, that nonprofit has evolved into UrbanGlass, now based in Brooklyn but still serving a broad community with its residencies, exhibitions, retail store, educational programs, and outreach to underserved communities. On the 45thanniversary of its founding, Yelle reflects on the rich history and bright future of this flagship for glass,located at the international crossroads of culture that is New York City.

The increasingly global nature of glass art,and the challenge of collaborating across cultures and languages, is the subject of this issue’s cover article, which profiles British artist Erin Dickson. Contributing editor Emma Park connects Dickson’s powerful "Chinese Whispers" project to the artist’s keen awareness of how her North East accent is perceived in class-conscious British society. When Dickinson asked a Murano glassblower to duplicate a historic vessel she had seen in a museum, the results reflected how much can be lost in translation. Intrigued, she undertook a project involving international shipping, Google Translate, and the nature of language itself, all of which are discussed in Park’s article,“Whispers Down the Lane.”

Elsewhere in the issue, our Seattle correspondent Gayle Clemans considers the reverse paintings on glass by the late Northwest art star Gregory Grenon (1948-2022); we conclude our yearlong series “Glass Around the World” with a visit to the Czech Republic; and we take a look ahead at the ambitious plans for the reimagining of the Studio at The Corning Museum of Glass that will see it expanding its residencies, educational offerings, and facilities as it makes a bold bid to become a major force in cast glass


Justin Ginsberg’s monumental site-specific installation at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art in Fort Worth revels in the shimmer of glass with a floor-to-ceiling waterfall of fibers;Judith Schaechter unveils work made during the pandemic at her latest New York City exhibition, “MAKE/BELIEVE”;the Toledo Museum of Art features a rare 19th-century glass dress as a highlight from its vaults; a group show, curated by peers,explores the how a new generation of artists, few with commercial gallery representation, use glass as a vehicle for ideas.


Group exhibition at Charles Burnand Gallery, London; “Transformation 11”at Contemporary Craft, Pittsburgh; Bertil Vallien at Schantz Galleries, Stockbridge, Massachusetts;John Kiley, Dale Chihuly at Traver Gallery, Seattle.

UrbanGlass News

The 45th Anniversary Gala + Auction honored UrbanGlass cofounder and visionary Richard Wilfred Yelle.

UrbanGlass Catalogue

Kristen Neville Taylor and Norwood Viviano, “Notes on Sustainability”at the Agnes Varis Art Center at UrbanGlass


by Emma Park

The first women-owned and -operated glassworks on Murano prospered during the pandemic, but the gas crisis is now threatening its survival.


Whispers Down the Lane

by Emma Park

Waterjet cutter and conceptual artist Erin Dickson knits together the global glass world through an innovative project celebrating cultural diversity—and what gets lost in translation.

Studio Maximus

by Andrew Page

The Corning Museum of Glass reimagines its hands-on Studio and its role, which is growing not only in size but in personnel, purview, and ambition—pushing the limits of what a glass museum can be.

45 and Counting

by Andrew Page

Richard Wilfred Yelle reflects on cofounding the New York Experimental Glass Workshop in 1977—why he started it, how it survived, and how it grew into the nonprofit institution known as UrbanGlass.

Glass Around the World, Part 4: Stories to Tell: Petr Novotný and the regeneration of Czech glass

by Emma Park

Weight of the World

by Gayle Clemans

Using the reverse side of glass as his illuminated canvas, Gregory Grenon (1949-2022) painted with heavy brushstrokes and a somber palette, giving his world-weary figures an indelible power.

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.