Category Archives: Events

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg presides over UrbanGlass reopening on October 2, 2013

While UrbanGlass executive director Cybele Maylone and elected officials look on, New York mayor Michael Bloomberg breaks a glass ribbon to mark the reopening of UrbanGlass.

While UrbanGlass executive director Cybele Maylone and elected officials look on, New York mayor Michael Bloomberg breaks a glass ribbon to mark the reopening of UrbanGlass.

With the ceremonial breaking of a glass ribbon, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg officially reopened the expanded and improved UrbanGlass facility in Downtown Brooklyn on the morning of Wednesday, October 2, 2013. A large crowd of friends and supporters of UrbanGlass (and its neighbor BRIC Arts) gathered on a windy fall morning to hear the mayor, Brooklyn Borough president Marty Markowitz, and other elected officials talk about the transformative power of the arts. The former Strand Theater building that has housed UrbanGlass since the early 1990s, has undergone a two-year, multi-million dollar renovation that has upgraded and expanded the facilities, gallery, and retail spaces. Continue reading

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Speaker line-up announced for December 2013 academic symposium “Issues in Glass Pedagogy”

 L to R: Jack Wax, Leslie Walker Noell, James Baker, Charlotte Potter, Helen Lee, Richard Whiteley, Ruth King, Peter Houk.


L to R: Jack Wax, Leslie Walker Noell, James Baker, Charlotte Potter, Helen Lee, Richard Whiteley, Ruth King, Peter Houk.

On December 6th and 7th, a unique academic symposium will bring the world of glass instructors, professors, and program administrators to Brooklyn, New York, for a two-day discussion of the most pressing issues in the field. A review panel made up of Dan Clayman, sculptor; Jack Wax of the Craft/Material Studies Dept at The Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts; Ruth King, artistic director emeritus of Pilchuck; Robert Minkoff, managing trustee of the Robert M. Minkoff Foundation; and Andrew Page, foundation director, selected from the many responses to a Call for Papers. (Disclosure: The GLASS Quarterly Hot Sheet is published by UrbanGlass, which is hosting the symposium, and edited by Andrew Page, who also serves as the director of the Minkoff Foundation). The resulting program brings together the new guard of glass academics who are taking over glass programs around the U.S., as well as their more established counterparts at some of the leading universities. In addition, the program will feature top administrators of non-accredited institutions such as Pilchuck, Penland, and UrbanGlass who will appear on a special panel to examine their relationship to degree-granting institutions. The program will be a mix of auditorium lectures and what are being billed as “studio lectures,” presentations taking place in the UrbanGlass studio that may make use of the newly renovated facilities to share practical techniques of teaching. Continue reading

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EVENT: Paul Marioni to discuss his 1972 award-winning film that predates his involvement with glass

Paul Marioni

Filmmaker turned glass artist Paul Marioni

On October 2nd at Seattle’s Project Room, American glass artist Paul Marioni will appear for a discussion of his 1972 film Hole , which will be screened later that evening at Seattle’s Northwest Film Forum as part of its ongoing “How is Seattle Remembered?” series. Interviewed on the Smithsonian Archives of American Art, Marioni described the film:

“It’s a pseudo-documentary about a man obsessed with holes. It’s 20 minutes long, and I shot it in 16-millimeter, and anybody that knows me would know it’s a pseudo-documentary. But it appears to be a documentary about a man obsessed with holes. And it’s, I hope, funny and I hope intelligent and obviously well enough to have won several prizes, and got branded and shown a lot. By the time that happened, I was totally sucked into making – working with glass.” Continue reading

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Glass artists organize a high-level fundraising auction to help one of their own

A family photo from the "Help Finn Win" benefit website to help raise money for leukemia treatment featuring Kate Thorbeck, Finn, and Paul Cunninham. photo: russell johnson

A family photo from the “Help Finn Win” benefit website to help raise money for leukemia treatment featuring Kate Thorbeck, Finn, and Paul Cunningham.    photo: russell johnson

Outstanding works donated by Dale Chihuly, Lino Tagliapietra, Preston Singletary, Dante Marioni, Ben Moore for sale to generate funding. The latest Pilchuck benefit? Not this time. Taking a page from the successful benefit auctions by nonprofit arts organizations around the country, some of the top glass artists have handed over top-flight works to raise money for one of their own. Paul Cunningham, a fixture on the Seattle glass scene for three decades, and his wife, Kate Thorbeck, herself a glassblower for 10 years before starting a beauty products business, have a 2-year-old boy named Finn who was diagnosed with leukemia in February 2013. His treatment at one of the best children’s hospitals in the country, Seattle Children’s Hospital, is proceeding well, but the multiple visits per week and increased childcare demands have taken a toll on the family’s finances. In fact, Cunningham has put his glass career on hold for more steady income and health insurance as a carpenter. Witnessing the financial challenges cancer treatment can impose, the close-knit Seattle glass community has rallied around the family and come up with an extraordinary benefit called “Help Finn Win” that will be held at the Chihuly Boathouse on September 19th, with 100-percent of the proceeds going directly to the Cunningham/Thorbeck family. Continue reading

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Katherine Gray reprises tree installation for UrbanGlass exhibition

Forest Glass, 2009. Glass and Mixed Media. 63 x 30 x120 in.

Katherine Gray, Forest Glass, 2009. Glass and mixed media. H 120 (tallest), W 63, D 30 in. Installation at the Chrysler Museum of Art in 2009.

To celebrate the October 2013 reopening of its facility in Brooklyn, UrbanGlass invited sculptor Katherine Gray to commemorate the event with an installation artwork. (Disclosure: The GLASS Quarterly Hot Sheet is published by UrbanGlass.)  In a nod to her 2009 installation Forest Glass that debuted at Los Angeles’ Acuna-Hansen Gallery to positive reviews from the Los Angeles Times, Gray is modifying the original concept for her latest project. The new work, A Tree Grows (referencing the Betty Smith classic novel A Tree Grows in Brooklyn) seeks to capture the spirit of UrbanGlass, an organization that has served the glass art community for over 40 years.

For this project, Gray is inviting public participation, soliciting donated glasses out of which the piece will be constructed. “Overcoming dire circumstances and obstacles in life to become something greater: that’s what UrbanGlass is doing,” Gray told the GLASS Quarterly Hot Sheet in a telephone interview. To her, the resilience of a tree was the most accurate representation of the significance of the organization’s move. Continue reading

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Jon Christie memorial service set for October 20, 2013

A photo of Jonathan Christie from the visiting artist page at the Jacksonville University website.

A photo of Jonathan Christie from the visiting artist page at the Jacksonville University website.

This weekend, the late Jonathan Christie‘s father, David Christie, and closest friend, James Mongrain, will begin posting information on Facebook about a memorial service being billed as a “Celebration of Jon’s Life.” The event will take place from 11 AM to 2 PM on October 20, 2013 at Dale Chihuly’s Boathouse on Union Lake, Seattle. Continue reading

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Final weekend for botanical glass exhibit in Edinburgh

Keiko Mukaide, Glass Plants, 2013. PHOTO: SHANNON TOFTS

Keiko Mukaide, Glass Plants, 2013. photo: shannon tofts

Pop Up! Edinburgh, a UK-based nonprofit arts group, is currently displaying its first exhibit, entitled “Grow!” which runs through Sunday, August 25th. Though the organization originally started as master’s coursework for graduate students at the the Edinburgh College of Art, it has quickly developed into a creative organization and curated its first of hopefully many public exhibitions. An experienced team including Alison McConache, former head of the Edinburgh College of Art’s glass department, and Elinor Gallant, the exhibitions manager of the Royal Botanical Garden Edinburgh (RBGE) curated the series, which features glass works from 15 international artists. The project owes an unacknowledged debt to Dale Chihuly who pioneered the synergy between botanical gardens and glass beginning with his 2002 exhibition entitled A Garden of Glass in Chicago’s Garfield Park Conservatory. Since then, Chihuly’s glass works have inhabited botanical gardens from New York to Missouri, and is on permanent display at Chihuly Garden and Glass, which opened in 2012 in Seattle. “Chihuly in the Garden,” the latest installment in his garden series, will debut in November at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix and will run through May of 2014.

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