Portland, Oregon-based artist and educator Sarah Gilbert has been selected as the inaugural artist for 4Front : Innovation from All Angles, a 14-day residency at the Chrysler Museum Glass Studio in Norfolk that will take place from January 8 through 22, 2014. The new residency, a partnership between the Robert M. Minkoff Foundation and the Chrysler Museum of Art, attracted 33 submissions from 10 countries. (Disclosure: Andrew Page, editor of the GLASS Quarterly Hot Sheet also serves as the director of the Minkoff Foundation.) Gilbert was selected after an international search and competitive submission process. Applicants were asked to submit ideas for a contemporary art project using glass that is groundbreaking in one or more of the following areas: technique, concept, energy efficiency, and media fluency.
Gilbert’s project, entitled “Laboring,” will involve body castings of members from the Hampton Roads community during the residency. “Visitors will be invited to make a cast of their body using a direct and inexpensive moldmaking material, dental alginate,” stated Gilbert. “These waxes will be transformed into composite forms to create a variety of corporeal vessels. Visitors will have the uncanny experience of seeing their bodies become objects, and they will ultimately see these forms become part of much larger, collaborative forms and events.” The project title plays with the multiple meanings of the word labor: meaning working, as well as giving birth and creating new possibilities in the world.
“Everyone at the Glass Studio is thrilled to be part of this amazing partnership for emerging and innovative artists,” said Charlotte Potter, Chrysler glass studio manager in a prepared statement. “The end result will be a patchwork of our community that is sculptural and transformative.”
Gilbert will work at the Glass Studio during the two-week residency and give a public lecture or performance. A 45-minute documentary film will be produced about the project and the residency. The public will be invited to participate and watch the artist work during the residency.
Gilbert is an artist and educator based in Portland, Oregon. She is currently visiting assistant professor of art at Reed College, as well as adjunct faculty in applied craft and design, a master of fine arts program offered jointly between Oregon College of Art and Craft and Pacific Northwest College of Art. She is a graduate of Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design. Her work spans a wide range of materials and processes, including glassblowing, new media, casting, film, photography, and embroidery. Recent exhibitions include After Image at Reed College (Portland), Equations for a Falling Body at Hunter College (New York), Imagined Communities at Gallery Project (Ann Arbor) and Memory Upgrade at the Center on Contemporary Art (Seattle).