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 ( by David Lindes (

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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Glass installation by emerging artist Andrew Erdos gets notice at Art Miami

Andrew Erdos pictured with his glass and video art installation Texture of a Ghost (2011) at Art Miami. courtesy: claire oliver gallery, new york

Art from glass is increasingly present at Art Miami  (December 1st-4th) with Schantz Galleries, Heller Gallery, and Barry Friedman among those 2011 exhibitors spotlighting silica sculpture. But it was New York-based Claire Oliver Gallery that may have generated the most attention for the material with her art and video installation of the work of up-and-coming glassblower Andrew Erdos, who brandishes a 2007 BFA in glass from Alfred. According to Whitehot and Huffington Post contributor, Noah Becker, Erdos’s video projections of Arizona sunrises onto suspended mirrorized blown-glass objects (as well as the paintings of fellow artist Andy Denzler) helped elevate Claire Oliver’s display as “the best booth in Art Miami.” Continue reading

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Artist Beth Lipman awarded prestigious $50,000 fellowship

Beth Lipman, One and Others, 2011. Glass, wood, paint, glue. H 65, W 78, D 41 in. collection: norton museum. photo: eva heyd

Beth Lipman, a glass artist known for her austere three-dimensional still life sculptures largely devoted to examining extravagance, is one of 50 artists to be awarded the United States Artist Fellowship. Founded in 2006, the organization provides each fellow with a $50,000 grant to continue progress work in their given field. While many Americans see the struggling nature of being an artist as part of the territory, United States Artists believe artists should be duly compensated for their work. Actor and director Tim Robbins hosted the awards ceremony Monday night at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica, California. Continue reading

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Berlin Glas, the first open access facility in this European art center, debuts

The Parkhaus industrial building that is home to the just-opened Berlin Glas studio, the first nonprofit, open-access glass facility in this capital of art.

UPDATED 02/03/11 1:21 AM EST

Berlin Glas, the first open-access glass studio in this international art mecca, will officially open its doors with a special evening of demos and performances a week from today on December 9th. Featured in the Fall 2011 issue of GLASS, the new studio is the culmination of a multi-year project initiated by American-born Nadania Idriss, who also runs the New Glass Art and Photography Gallery that she has recently moved to the same Parkhaus building as the glass facility. The glass studio space is about 750 square feet and equipped with bleacher seating for visitors keen on watching glassblowers at work. The studio includes a full hot glass facility and some cold-working elements. Continue reading


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OPENING: “BodyWork” features wearable glass jewelry at Bullseye Gallery

Artist Catherine Newell wearing Elizabeth Aro's work Sewing on the Skin (2011)

Tonight Bullseye Gallery presents a series of wearable artworks by nine female artists from around the world. Titled “BodyWork” the exhibit  focuses on the performative nature of adornment and explores the relationship between the work and the wearer.

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Glass Art Society announces award winners for 2012

Along with Joel Philip Myers, Bertil Vallien will be given the GAS Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to the field through works such as this one entitled The Bar (1999).

The votes are in. Glass Art Society has announced its 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award will go to Joel Philip Myers and Bertil Vallien. The wnners will accept their awards at the 42nd annual conferenc , which will be held at the Toledo Museum of Art on June 14, 2012. GAS has been giving the Lifetime Achievement Award since 1993 to acknowledge individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the development of the glass arts worldwide.

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OPENING: Shanghai Museum of Glass celebrates Venini’s 90th anniversary

The exterior of the architecturally redesigned former factory building that houses the Shanghai Museum of Glass.

From now until February 8th, 2012, the Shanghai Museum of Glass will host a series of events surrounding the 90th anniversary of the Venetian glass design house Venini. The second-floor exhibit will pay homage to the various artists who have made their mark through their iconic designs for Venini. The exhibition will feature work from each decade of Venini’s 90 years with a look at a single artist and their work, starting with Zecchin and Paolo Venini’s Veronese vase and ending with a series of angular vases designed by Japanese architect Tadao Ando in 2011. Tapio Wirkkala, famous for the Bolle Bottles will represent the years between 1961 and 1970. Continue reading

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Open access glass studio merges with New Orleans arts organization

"Creative Glass" studio at YAYA

Next Friday, the glass studio known as the New Orleans Creative Glass Institute studio will celebrate its grand re-opening under new leadership as a part of Young Aspirations Young Artists, an organization devoted to bringing arts education to inner city youth. The “Creative Glass at YAYA” inaugural party will run from 7 PM to 9 PM on November 18th, when it will host a series of demonstrations and presentations by local glass artists.

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DESIGN: The Veronese Vase revisited

Paolo Veronese, The Annunciation, 1578. Oil on canvas. H 110, W 117 in. collection: accademia gallerie, venice.

The Veronese vase pictured above (beside the pillar near Mary’s cowering figure) has fired the imagination of glass designers as the only existing record of an exquisite glass object that existed in the 16th century when it was painted by Paulo Veronese. Bulbous at its center, holding a small branch of leaves, the perfectly crafted hand-blown crystalline vase must have so impressed the painter, he paid homage to its beauty by incorporating it into this religious painting. Still the vase would have been extremely difficult to produce with 16th century technology. Continue reading


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OPENING: The story behind the Chrysler Museum of Art’s new glass studio

Chrysler Glass Studio inhabits a former bank building. photo: ed pollard

The Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk, Virginia, will officially take the wraps off its brand new Glass Studio tomorrow, Wednesday, November 2nd. The new facility boasts a 7,000 square foot studio complete with a hot shop, flameworking station, nine annealing ovens, a cold-working area, and  a furnace capable of melting 560 pounds of glass. The facility will host artist residencies and museum patrons will be able to enjoy free glassblowing demonstrations, all part of an effort to make the museum’s extensive glass holdings come alive and offer educational opportunities for the area. To that end, a series of classes and workshops for students and adults ranging from beginner to master level classes for accomplished professional artists will be a regular feature. Continue reading

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OPENING: Jeff Zimmer’s political indictment at the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show

Jeff Zimmer, We Were All Wrong (The Home of My Father), 2011. Multiple layers of enameled and sandblasted glass in lightbox. H 22, W 25, D 7 in. courtesy: the artist

Glass artist Jeff Zimmer calls his work “politically charged,” but not necessarily polemic. In his most recent series “Whitewash,” on display at the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show from November 10th through the 13th, he explores the American tendency to gloss over past failures through his out-of-focus snowy landscapes. The solo show, his first in the U.S., is a part of the Craft Scotland delegation at the museum’s 35th annual Craft Show. Continue reading

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The Smithsonian’s “Craft 2 Wear” debuts in Washington D.C. this weekend

This necklace, entitled Jacqueline, by Melissa Schmidt features slide film encased in borosilicate bubbles.

This weekend, the Building Museum in Washington D.C. will be the site of a special fashion show called “Craft 2 Wear”, a sale and exhibition of 40 craft artists’ work that can be termed “wearable art.” The pieces on display range from fabric to metal, ceramics to glass; and they are drawn from previously juried Smithsonian Craft Fairs. It all kicks off tonight with an “Advance Chance Party” hosted by ABC World News weekend anchor, David Muir. The Smithsonian promises an evening full of wine, food, a fashion show, and first pick at the crafts that will be sold on Saturday and Sunday. Continue reading


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RIT design students get a crash course in glass with input from The Corning Museum

The presentation of student designs at the first year of Metaproject, an RIT program that gives design students a chance to engage professionals from the design industry.

Last year Josh Owen, associate professor of industrial design at the Rochester Institute of Technology, had the radical idea to team up his students with the design team at a major manufacturer and see what they could produce. The result? Industrial materials molded into beautifully designed products. Titled “Metaproject,” the program offers students the opportunity to pick the brains of design professionals, come up with cutting-edge designs of their own, in the hopes of displaying their work at New York’s International Contemporary Furniture Fair. Continue reading

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OPENING: Kate Baker’s new exhibition “Cipher” debuts at Bullseye Gallery

Kate Baker, Untitled Tetraptych (from the "Cipher" series), 2011. Kilnformed glass. H 22, W 37, D 1 3/4 in.

This evening at Portland’s Bullseye Gallery, Australian artist Kate Baker opens her new show “Cipher,” a series of glass artworks that combine color with ghostly photographic portraits and textured engravings. This is Baker’s first solo exhibition at Bullseye. Concerned with the way culture and technology occupy both internal and external space, Baker imprints thick blocks of glass with texture and language, ranging from binary code to alphabetic, and uses vibrant colors to challenge the brilliance or opacity. Continue reading

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