Issue 166 | Spring
by Andrew Page
As his long-discussed Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft solo exhibition approached, Ché Rhodes met with curator Joey Yates to share an idea. Rhodes, an artist and head of the glass program at University of Louisville, is an active member of Crafting the Future, a nonprofit that seeks to diversify the craft world through scholarships and internship programs. The group also organizes public gatherings to celebrate the growing community of Black artists who work primarily with glass.
Looking to share the exhibition opportunity, Rhodes wanted to showcase his peers' range of ideas and high levels of skills, as well as show his own in context. He proposed expanding the planned exhibition, to which Yates readily agreed, reaching out to the artists Rhodes suggested and curating what is likely the first museum exhibition focusing exclusively on Black glass artists. Rhodes’ work appears in both his own solo exhibition, and in the group show, and both were considered in this issue’s cover article by author and director emeritus of the Speed Art Museum, Peter Morrin, a thoughtful critic based in Louisville, who states that in this exhibition, we “are witnessing a new moment in contemporary glass.”
One of the artists in the Kentucky show, Leo Tecosky, is also discussed in a companion article offering a closer look at the recipient of The Corning Museum of Glass’s 36th Rakow Commission. An in-depth consideration of Tecosky’s search for new visual languages, drawing inspiration from hip-hop, Islamic calligraphy, and the teachings of a Black Muslim sect called the Five Percenters, was penned by our keen observer and critic Sadia Tasnim.
Glass is proud to announce that our London-based correspondent Emma Park has accepted the position of Contributing Editor. For her first issue in her new role, Park offers her assessment of Tapio Wirrikkala and Tony Zuccheri’s design legacy at Venini, a topic examined in a major exhibition at Le Stanze dDel Vetro in Venice.
Elsewhere in this issue, artist and educator Victoria Ahmadizadeh Melendez takes on the 50th anniversary of the Glass Art Society, and depicts an artist organization battered by the pandemic but determined to meet in person for its upcoming conference in May. Despite the financial setbacks by of two consecutive years of a virtual conferences, the organization that does so much for the field is fixed firmly on the future opportunities to continue to grow globally.
Speaking of which, we debut a special year-long series of articles on “Glass Around the World’ in honor of 2022 being designated the International Year of Glass. In this issue, artist Peter Bremers celebrates an eco-conscious glass factory in Southern Africa, where recycled glass is transformed into beautiful glassware that honor the elephants and other creatures of this continent. Ngwenya Glass has a rich history that shows how glass can transform the lives
In memoriam: Erwin Eisch (1927-2022); Charlotte Potter Kasic named full director of Barry Art Museum in Norfolk, Virginia; the second Better Together gathering showcases the BIPOC glass community at YAYA in New Orleans; Rob Wynne debuts 16-work reflective-glass installation in Palm Beach.
Coby Kennedy at Pioneer Works, Brooklyn, New York; Bruno Romanelli at Bellevue Arts Museum, Bellevue, Washington; Joseph Rossano at TraverGallery, Seattle; Kristi Cavataro at MoMA PS1, New York City.
Remembering Martin (Tino) Santini, and recognizing those who donated
to UrbanGlass in his memory.
by Annette Rose-Shapiro
Looking Back at 25 Years of the Bead Project
by Peter Morrin
One of the first museum exhibitions devoted to work in glass by Black artists, “Crafting the Vernacular” presents a vibrant community of artists and frames their varied work as an ongoing dialogue and shared inquiry.
by Sadia Tasnim
In Leo Tecosky’s Rakow Commission, imagery from hip-hop, Black Muslim theology, and Islamic architecture comes together in a work that looks like nothing else on exhibit at The Corning Museum.
Clarity and Passion
by Emma Park
Tapio Wirkkala and Toni Zuccheri may have overlapped at Venini & Co, where each brought his own powerful design sensibilities to bear, but the two designers worked in parallel, rather than collaboratively, to lead the most famous Muranese glasshouse into a more international era.
Power in Numbers
by Victoria Ahmadizadeh Melendez
In the beginning, a small group of curious experimentalists gathered together to ask, “Is glass a viable material for art making?” A
half-century later, hundreds will gather in Tacoma to reunite after years of pandemic isolation, seek to broaden access to glass, and
foster exchange with artists around the world.
Glass Around the World, Part One
by Peter Bremers
A glass factory in Southern Africa is leading the way in sustainability, recycling, and successful, eco-conscious glass