Author Archives: Ruth Reader

SEEN: Chinese artist’s broken bottle installation transfixes at gallery in New York City landmark

Prow Art Space in the Flatiron Building in New York City.

Chinese artist Hu Bing makes her mark on the Manhattan landmark Flatiron building this month. “Shattered Glass Sheer Transformation,” her colorful installation of broken glass bottles molded into sculpture with resin and hung from the ceiling in stockings, occupies the Prow Art Space in the Flat Iron building from now until June 2nd.

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Craft advocate and magazine publisher Wendy Rosen running for Congress

Wendy Rosen, Maryland congressional candidate (D)

Wendy Rosen has spent the last thirty years advocating for craft artists and publishing both trade and consumer magazines devoted to covering the field, including her flagship publication American Style, which celebrates collectors as well as artists. Now the Maryland-based business owner is making a bid for a seat in the United States House of Representatives. The GLASS Quarterly Hot Sheet caught up with Rosen by phone this weekend, where she was in Philadelphia running one of her Buyers Markets, a national trade show and wholesale market for handcrafted luxury products. “Actually it’s pretty good. Aisles are crowded today and people are more optimistic this year than they were last by far,” she said about the turnout. Continue reading

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Executive director Michelle Bufano departs Pratt for Chihuly Center, hopes to find links between nonprofit and for-profit worlds

Michelle Bufano makes her move from Pratt to the new Chihuly Center. Photo (http://www.flickr.com/photos/lindes/224801469/) by David Lindes (http://photo.lindes.net/).

The executive director for the nonprofit Pratt Fine Arts Center in Seattle, Washington, Michelle Bufano is taking up a new position as the executive director at the for-profit Chihuly Garden and Glass. (Her last day at Pratt will be February 3rd.) The new tourist-friendly arts center project is a collaboration between the Wright Family, owners of the Seattle Space Needle, and glass artist Dale Chihuly. A contentious approval-process was resolved in December 2010, when Seattle’s mayor negotiated a compromise between Chihuly and the local independent radio station that has also been vying to use the same public space. Bufano, who’s been in arts management for the last 20 years, says she got involved with the Chihuly project early. Concerned with how the center would affect local artists and Pratt, Bufano started conversations with the Wright Family. Seeing an opportunity for artists to show their work and a potential collaborator for Pratt,  she became an early advocate for the Chihuly Center. It wasn’t until later in the center’s development that Bufano was asked to come on as executive director. She says the offer came at an opportune time. Bufano just finished overseeing a $500,000 campus-improvement project at Pratt, allowing her to leave the organization on a high note. She’s also ready to take the next step in her career. Continue reading

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Museum of Arts and Design celebrates 50th anniversary of Studio Glass with contemporary art exhibition from Venice

Jaume Plensa, "Glassman" 2004, at Glasstress 2011 in Venice, Italy.

UPDATED 01/18/2012 and 1/19/2012

The year 2012 marks the 50th anniversary of Studio Glass in America, and the Museum of Arts and Design has made an unusual choice to observe this occasion through its upcoming exhibition “Glasstress New York: New Glass from the Venice Biennales.” The decision for an American museum that helped put Studio Glass on the cultural map with major exhibitions of Chihuly and others (in the days it was known as the American Craft Museum) is quite provocative. After all, one could easily point to the under-representation of Studio Glass artists at both GLASSTRESS shows in 2009 and 2011 and wonder how such an exhibition relates to the institution’s own historical role in the advancement of sculpture made from glass. (Editor’s note: Since this item was initially published, the museum has alerted us to a second exhibition honoring Studio Glass called “Playing with Fire” and drawing from the permanent collection of the museum that it is planning to open in October 2012. Look for a follow-up article when more details become available. ) And GLASSTRESS creator Adriano Berengo is an outspoken critic of some aspects of Studio Glass, which he feels suffers from too much focus on the material. In an interview published in the Fall 2011 issue of GLASS Quarterly magazine, Berengo said, “If the Studio Glass movement made a mistake, it was to make  a world apart, to engage in an insularity that created, if I may, a kind of material masturbation, more interested in how things are made than about what is made.” Continue reading

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OPENING: Hungarian artists hope to change perceptions with major exhibition

Agnes Kerteszfi, Dancer Cube, 2011. Colored, fused, bent glass. H 7, W 12 1/4, D 12 1/4 in.

Despite sharing a border with Austria, and practically being neighbors to the Czech Republic and Poland, Hungary has never been known as a force in the glass arts. It wasn’t even until the 1950s that Hungary had any kind of glass art education.  Porcelain designer  turned glass artist Julia de Bathory developed the first glass art classes at the Secondary School of Fine and Applied Arts in 1953. Since then, the country has made major strides to train and educate students in the material. The Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design hosts a glass program at the undergraduate and graduate level, and the Hungarian Glass Art Society, formed in 1996 , has helped promote glass artists countrywide. This week, the society will show work by 45 local artists at it’s “HuGlass” exhibition. Continue reading

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OPENING: Bullseye Gallery turn its focus to the glass canvas

Michael Janis, Seeking Clarity, 2011. Kiln-formed glass and steel. H 12 1/2, W 12 1/2, D 1 in.

With an opening reception this evening, Bullseye Gallery kicks off a month-long celebration of two-dimensional painting on glass in their exhibit, “Facture: Artists at the Forefront of Painterly Glass.” The group exhibition will showcase kilnformed glass paintings (mostly frit on sheet glass) from the artists Kari Minnick, Martha Pfanschmidt, Ted Sawyer, Abi Spring, Jeff Wallin, and Michael Janis. Continue reading

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SEEN: Icy organic glass lighting and design take over Prague shopping center

Jitka Kamencova Skuhrava Icefall (2011) takes center stage in the atrium at DBK Budejovicka, a shopping mall in Prague.

Czech glass artist and designer Jitka Kamencova Skuhrava is currently exhibiting her work at the DBK, a major shopping center in Prague. The center’s fifth floor is a gallery space devoted to showcasing up and coming work by young Czech designers. Included in her works on display will be lighting fixtures she created for Lasvit, a leading lighting design and fixture manufacturer. Her chandelier “Icefalls,” which first premiered at this year’s International Design Exhibition in Dubai as part of Lasvit’s Mysterious Forrest exhibit, will be prominently featured in the super store’s atrium. Icefalls is a cascade of glass and light emulating the way icicles are formed and inspired by time the artist/designer spent in Finland. Continue reading

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