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Issue 161 | Winter

Editor's Letter

by Andrew Page

The cover of this edition features an abstract work by the late Michael Glancy that seems especially apt for our moment, though it was made in 2014. Shimmer is festooned with crisply rendered plus signs, a bold pattern that wraps the blown vessel in a type of metallic armor, but shot through with irregular patches where the pattern is not there, leaving translucent visual puddles that disturb the precision of the surface. Through these apertures one can make out the underside of the pattern on the opposite side, giving the work corporeal form, hinting at a complex interior dimension that can only be glimpsed but never fully known. Like the best art, it is multilayered and offers a sense of vulnerability and complexity that gains special power in the current climate.

The repeated plus sign comes with many immediate associations, be it a positive Covid-19 test or a checkmark noting a preference for a certain candidate for public office in our fraught political times. As tribute to this important artist, who died in August, we present a meditative feature article by Glass regular contributor Alexander Castro, who visited the artist and studied his work not realizing he would ultimately be writing a piece that memorialized the 70-year-old innovator and alchemist who passed away on August 29th from complications of lung cancer..

Our European contributor Emma Park looks at the spark that traveled between Murano and America, the subject of a major exhibition at Le Stanze del Vetro in Venice, Italy. “Studio Glass in Venice” explores the cultural encounter between pioneering American glass artists seeking to peek behind the closed doors of the centuries-old glasshouses to understand their closely guarded technical secrets, and those that allowed them access. The fact that the exhibit is taking place in Venice is a significant advance and, in showing Italian and American work side by side, an acknowledgement of the importance of that exchange for both sides of the equation.

Beth Lipman, who is enjoying not only a midcareer retrospective at the Museum of Arts and Design but also a contemporaneous Chelsea gallery exhibition at Nohra Haime, is the subject of a feature by Glass contributing editor John Drury, who tracks the recurring themes of mortality and impermanence at the MAD show.

And finally, we present our fully updated and comprehensive guide to glass educational programs and suppliers to the field. The exhaustive listings, the product of months of research, are introduced by an article assessing the educational world’s efforts to adapt to the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic. By looking at the improvised solutions to the abrupt lockdown in the spring of 2020, and how the Fall semester offered a chance to hone new technologies and methods over the summer months, the article investigates the ways glass pedagogy is being reconsidered and the multiple implications for the future.

Hourglass

In Memoriam: Greg Owen (1967–2020); Charlotte Potter Kasic named interim director of the Barry Art Museum as founding director Jutta-Annette Page nears retirement; Pilchuck’s $1.1 million virtual gala is a bright spot in a pandemic-ravaged economy; major art book publisher delivers 256-page monograph of Karen LaMonte’s work.

Reviews

Joseph Rossano at Pilchuck Glass School Exhibition Space, Seattle; Group neon exhibition, Traver Gallery, Seattle; Lukas Milanak at Beacon Artist Union, Beacon, New York; Joanna Manousis and Mel Douglas at Heller Gallery, New York

UrbanGlass News

Meet 2020 Studio Residents Tomoko Abe, Deborah Czeresko, Sara Greenberger Rafferty, and collaborators Pamela Sabroso and Alison Siegel

Reflection

by Benjamin Wright

How the Glass Ecosystem Survives

Features

Not-So-Simple Perfection

by Alexander Castro

Through an elaborate cutting and electroforming process, Michael Glancy (1950–2020) birthed objects of exquisite complexity by resolving the opposite processes of removal and accretion to create enduring works.

Allegories of Hope

by John Drury

Beth Lipman’s midcareer survey at the Museum of Arts and Design captures the artist’s meditations on our fleeting time on a troubled planet in works that explore excess, environmental catastrophe, and personal transformation.

On the Shoulders of Giants

by Emma Park

An exhibition at Le Stanze del Vetro documents in detail the seminal impact of the glasshouses of Venice on the course of American Studio Glass.

The Great Pivot

by Andrew Page

Since the pandemic hit in the spring of 2020, glass educators have been adapting on the fly, rewriting the rules of glass education, embracing new technologies, and conducting bold experiments in pedagogy. How will their creative adaptations change the field?

The 2020 Glass Quarterly Resource Guide

by Arina Novak and Gabriella Sanderson

The most comprehensive directory of educational programs and suppliers to the field

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.