Holy Frit, a harrowing tale of the near-disaster when Judson Studios, artist/designer Tim Carey, and the famed Narcissus Quagliata teamed up to create a massive glass window. A fast-paced documentary by director Justin Monroe recreates the seat-of-the-pants story of how an extremely ambitious Carey took on the job of creating the world's largest stained-glass window for the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas, and struggled to turn the concept into reality, eventually bringing in stained-glass maestro Quagliata for emergency assistance. With a lighthearted take on what was no doubt a gut-wrenching process, director Monroe follows Carey as he defies several potential disasters along the way of pioneering new fusing techniques to realize the outsized vision. The film's trailer captures the zany energy of a project repeatedly just missing going off the rails with a sense of humor only possible in hindsight, though much of it was filmed as it unfolded.
Since Holly Hotchner's departure as director of the Museum of Arts and Design in 2013, three directors have come and gone -- Glenn Adamson (2013-2016), Jorge Daniel Veneciano (2016), and Christopher Scoates (2018 - 2020). Today, the New York City museum announced its next leader -- the seasoned director of the Phoenix Art Museum, Timothy R. Rogers, who will be moving to New York this fall to take over as MAD's Nanette L. Laitman Director starting September 15, 2021.
The Summer 2021 edition of Glass: The UrbanGlass Art Quarterly (#163) is hitting newsstands and subscriber mailboxes. On the cover is a public art installation by New York-based contemporary artist Jim Hodges -- his homage to the city that shaped him so profoundly, and the perfect image to acknowledge our emergence from the Covid-19 pandemic. When the MTA invited Hodges to create an an artwork for the stairwell leading down from the Grand Central's terminal to the utilitarian 4/5/6 subway platform, he set out to mediate the architectural whiplash from the soul-stirring Beaux Arts grandeur of the famous constellation ceiling to the gritty cacophonous underground below -- and Hodges turned to glass mirror to do it.
The Covid-19 pandemic travel bans and widespread closures precipitated a massive shift to digital, and we're all still sifting through the explosion of content that resulted as gallery openings, art fairs, and gala fundraisers went virtual. One year ago, as the efforts to contain the spread of Covid-19 were unsuccessful and the cancellations spread like wildfire, the organizers of the annual Glass Art Society conference pivoted from their extensively planned in-person event in Småland, Sweden, to the artist organization's first-ever online conference in May 2020. In a generous and much-needed gesture of support in uncertain economic times, GAS threw open the gates and let people watch and participate online at no charge. Fast forward to 2021, and this morning's launch of the conference with a 5 AM (Pacific Time) demo by the British-based team of James Devereux and Katherine Huskie as part of Joseph Rosano's "Salmon SCHOOL Project". Unlike the 2020 virtual event, the price of admission to this year's three days of demos, lectures, panel discussions, and numerous online networking events is $100, or $50 if you are an active member of GAS.
For our second installment of the "Glass Quarterly Conversation" series, editor Andrew Page speaks with British glassblower Christopher Day, the subject of Emma Park's feature article in the Spring 2021 edition of Glass: The UrbanGlass Art Quarterly (#162). A relative newcomer to glass, Day turned his decades of experience as a tradesman to quickly gain a distinct vocabulary in hot glass -- and develop a powerful voice. Embedding copper pipe and wires into mottled and gnarled blown-glass forms, the artist explores his own racial identity and the brutal histories of slavery and lynchings of Black people in works of raw expressive power.
UrbanGlass, the nonprofit art center that publishes the Glass Quarterly Hot Sheet, is holding its 2021 Gala and Auction on May 12th, where it will celebrate glass as a medium for contemporary art. A virtual event, this year's fundraising gala will be unique for its distinctly New York flavor with contemporary art stars such as Kiki Smith, a co-chair, and honorees such as arts philanthropist Barbara Tober and artist Deborah Czersko who will share their personal takes on the material and how it is used by contemporary artists.
When Covid pandemic hit just over one year ago, cancellation of events of all kinds followed. The organizers of the 2020 Smithsonian Craft Show were determined not to cancel its annual craft showcase. Although the show had to be postponed for about six months, the Smithsonian successfully shifted to a virtual format that combined the Craft Show with Craft2Wear, the Smithsonian’s annual wearable arts program. This year, the Smithsonian Women’s Committee (which has sponsored the Craft Show Since 1982) collaborated with non-profit arts organization Honoring the Future to launch a brand-new crafts market in the virtual space that addresses climate-change. Titled Craft Optimism, this show features 100 artists selected by experts in the craft community and highlights work that either “helps to address climate change or reflect on the impacts of climate change in some way,” according to the show’s mission statement. Handmade works in a myriad of craft mediums divided into four categories - Jewelry, Wearable Art, Accessories, and Art/Home - are for sale through Saturday, May 1st, and can be viewed in the online catalog.
Dr. Robert H. Brill, a research scientist who became the director of The Corning Museum of Glass, passed away at home on April 7, 2021 in the company of his wife, daughter, and cats. Dr. Brill founded the Corning Museum's scientific research department when he joined the staff in 1960. He retired in 2008 after having served the museum for five decades. During his long tenure with the museum, he conducted chemical analysis on historical glass objects to determine where and how they were made, their uses, and how they were traded. Much of his research culminated in the museum publication “Chemical Analysis of Early Glasses”, three volumes of site reports, analysis, and conclusions based on the study of over 3,600 pieces of historical glass from around the world. He later turned his focus to Asian Glass found along the Silk Road trade route, and was one of the first Western scientists to study Chinese glass.
Fresh from co-curating the Stanze del Vetro exhibition "Venice and American Studio Glass," Tina Oldknow will be discussing the cross-pollination between two distinct glass cultures in her upcoming Art Glass Forum: New York lecture, which will be taking place on Zoom at 6:30 PM EST on Tuesday, April 13, 2021. Oldknow, a former curator of modern and contemporary glass at The Corning Museum of Glass, will trace the import of Venetian traditions and techniques to American glassblowers, who had been taking an experimental approach to freeing glass from the industrial facilities and ecosystems that defined the material. She and co-curator William Warmus assembled over 150 works by American and Venetian artists and designers to document how the creativity flowed both ways in the exchange as both Americans and Venetians benefited by the renewed creativity and vibrancy of a historic craft language.
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.