SUMMER 2021 VOLUME 35 ISSUE 1
5 Letter from the Editor and Executive Director 6 Radical Beauty Part Two: Community Comes First 9 GASnews Interview with Davin K. Ebanks 13 Moving Past Mud and Masks: Advancing Through Crises 15 Metamorphosis: From Discarded Glass to Beautiful Pieces
Photo Courtesy of The ALLELES Design Studio Ltd.
3 Tribute to Benjamin Moore
of Portable Art
18 Screen Time: Glass Cinema Emerges Online 22 An(other) Artist at the Table 25 From 'Niche' to Netflix: How Blown Away has Changed the
Perception of Glass
28 Student Center 30 GAS Opportunities Cover: Benjamin Moore, Clear Paella Set, 4.25 x 19 x 19" Photo Credit: Jeff Massotti
GAS news Studio Magazine illuminates craft, making, and design in North America.
GASnews is published four times per year as a benefit to members.
Glass Art Society Board of Directors 2020-2021
Contributing Writers: Jennifer Hand, Davin K. Ebanks, Regan Brumagen, María Eugenia Diaz de Vivar, David Schnuckel, Kayla Cantu, Kim Thompson, Paige Morris
President: Jessica Jane Julius Vice President: Nadania Idriss Vice President: Natali Rodrigues Treasurer: Heather McElwee Secretary: Caitlin Vitalo
Editor: Michael Hernandez Graphic Design: Mae Quach
Ben Cobb Matt Durran Glen Hardymon Mike Hernandez Eric Goldschmidt Lynn Read Debra Ruzinsky Mike Saroka Masahiro Nick Sasaki Demetra Theofanous Lisa Zerkowitz Paige Morris (Student Representative)
Staff Brandi Clark, Executive Director Lauren Bayer, Communications Manager Kristen W. Ferguson, Development & Membership Manager Jenna Green, Operations & Program Manager Mae Quach, Communications Assistant Cathy Noble-Jackson, Part-time Bookkeeper
700 NW 42nd Street #100, Seattle, WA 98107 USA Phone: 206.382.1305 Fax: 206.382.2630 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
©2020 The Glass Art Society, a non-profit organization. All rights reserved. Publication of articles in this newsletter prohibited without permission from the Glass Art Society Inc. The Glass Art Society reserves the right to deny applications for Tech Display, advertising participation, GAS membership or conference participation to anyone for any reason.
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A friend, a mentor, and a leader of the glass community
"I met Benny when I was 15 years old. I had just started to blow glass. He was my idol, a glass-blowing hero. I loved what he did, different than all the other artists I’d been around growing up. When I was 17, I started working with him as the ‘punty boy’. His artwork and his encouragement inspired me like no one else. His kindness to me, a teenage wannabe, inspires me to this day to be as good of a person to others. He saw something in me and steered me in the right direction. I was able to be around him as I moved forward and he really made all the difference. I was fortunate to be part of the team on King street at ‘BMI’ and he was so good at encouraging all of us youngsters. As the years went by, I continued to be part of the team there and I thrived. Benny and I grew to be great friends. We did all kinds of stuff together outside, hunting birds, fishing, digging coastal razor clams, chewing tobacco, drinking, and just talking shit. He was a good-natured, uberliberal, redneck from Olympia, WA. I really do not think he had any idea about the difference he made to a generation. He was humble and cared about the people he liked, he thought had potential and drive. I have always felt that being a role model must be a big responsibility that you don’t aspire to, it just happens if you are good at something and kind to others. He did not really know that he was, he was just being Benny. I’ve lost one of my absolute best friends. I loved him so much and will miss him forever. One of a kind." - Dante Marioni "A large part of our education about studio glass in Seattle came from listening to Benjamin Moore; speaking on the phone from the west coast to the east, or when we visited with him and Debora each year. His deep appreciation and knowledge of glass, combined with his ability to share stories about the history and techniques are important to us as gallerists. His great commitment to his own work was to an ideal form created through the excellence of his technique. He said, “For me, the true challenge of creating an object is to give the piece a timeless presence or quality.” Though even more important to us, and what will be always remembered, is the warmth we felt, and the honest open way in which Benny was a friend. We miss him very much....and will remember his graceful nature and easy smile." - Kim Saul and Jim Schantz Benjamin Moore’s vital and lasting contributions to the development of American studio glass should not be overlooked or underestimated. Benny was a touchstone for the studio glass community, a pivotal personality, and a giant in the world of glass in the Pacific Northwest. His inspired designs, drawing on, developing, and expressing new forms for ideas found in early and mid-20th-century Venetian glass, have impressed generations of American artists. A vastly knowledgeable artist and maker, his Seattle studio was the center of much amazing creativity, with celebrated artists always eager to work with him and his glassblowing team. Benny was especially important to the community of Pilchuck. He was one of the dedicated educators who built Pilchuck into the institution it is today, serving the school for many years (at different times) as its education director, artistic director, and trustee. Benny will be keenly missed far and wide across the international studio glass network that he helped to establish, both for his talent as an artist and for his warm and outgoing personality. —Tina Oldknow "I loved Benny Moore. I first met him at Pilchuck and when he was a student of mine getting his MFA at RISD. He was a great guy and a skilled craftsman who made important work. Benny was an important contributor early on at Pilchuck, and it was he who brought the Italian Masters to the Northwest. He wore many hats at the school, serving as shop supervisor, education coordinator, and providing creative influence over 13 years, and another 30 years as a trustee. His contributions have been critical to Pilchuck’s success. My thoughts and prayers are with Benny’s lovely wife Debora, who also does such beautiful glass work." – Dale Chihuly GASNEWS
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"I knew Ben for almost 50 years. Ben was involved with every aspect of the growth of the Studio Glass movement. And, he was always truly a gentleman." - Paul Marioni "Over the past two weeks, I've learned more and more with every phone call how many people Benny helped, mentored, welcomed, and encouraged into glassmaking. He had friends all over the world. He facilitated and mentored the beginnings of many careers, both at Pilchuck and in his own studio. Working in his studio with him and his remarkable teams was literally the best place in the world to accomplish work that would otherwise have remained only as drawings on paper or dreams in the air. And they put their hearts into it and into all of us with kindness and generosity. Ben, we're all going to miss you a lot." - Toots "I met Benjamin Moore in 1983 when I was pulled from the basement of the Glass Eye Studio to bring punties for him and Richard Royal. It was a most terrifying moment because I had very little glass-blowing experience at that time. I later started working for him at his newly founded studio Benjamin Moore Inc. For 20 years we worked together and the experience made me what I am today. Benny was a perfect role model for me in every way as a glassblower, artist, and gentleman. His love of perfection in glassblowing is deeply ingrained in me and all that worked with him. His tenure as artistic director of Pilchuck changed the course of history for us all, bringing an international faculty that showed us new techniques we all benefited from. My love and support goes out to Deborah Moore and her family." - Preston Singletary "It is very hard to take in that Benny is gone. I would not be where I am today if I had not met him in Orrefors, Sweden in the spring of 1979. He was on his way back to the USA from working at Venini in Venice. He spoke about Pilchuck and it sounded like something I had to try to go to. I managed to make it that summer and signed up for ”hot glass” with Dale Chihuly. It was a magical summer with Lino Tagliapietra there for the first time, assisted by Benny and Michael Scheiner. Wilke Adolfsson from Sweden was also there and many others, and one very special person, Larry Jasse, who I am married to today! Larry went to school with Benny and they had also met in Europe that spring, on Murano! Benny was one of the pillars in my glass life and much of it has circled around Seattle over the years. Even if my base is in Sweden I have returned many times for work periods at BMI or MOG and Pilchuck and it will be so incredibly empty coming to Seattle when he is not there." - Ann Wåhlström "It’s with a heavy heart to be writing about the passing of such a fine man, artist, craftsman, and eloquent soul and the time comes shockingly too soon. From the first meeting at RISD, throughout his glass career, his international ambassadorship, his dogged loyalty to his kin Pilchuck pioneers Benny held the presence of a ‘legendary’ from ‘the git-go’. Always a steward of the integrity of the art glass arena, especially at Pilchuck; he was impeccable about his own craftsmanship yet open to new ideas of those he generously taught and hosted. As Pilchuck’s program director he paved the way for artists to maintain a voice not only in the programs, the hot shops but on the board where his eloquence reached generations of artists and enthusiasts. He was the hinge-pin for globally sourced glass talents coming to campus yet down to earth enough to cast a few flies off the pond dock. And without his loyal diligence and a well-wrought template at the ‘chuck, and the preening of each next wave of glass blowers at BMI, Pilchuck’s next 25 years may not have happened. It was with awe again to take his call to be the Art Director in ‘93 and through my 14 years and beyond, he remained loyal, the go-to man, the diplomat, a friend, a confidant, soundboard, supporter, mentor, and big brother. His loss is enormous and will be as long-lived as his legendary bighearted influence. My deepest loving sympathies go out to Deborah, the family, and the extended family and the extended families." - Pike Powers
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EDITOR’S LETTER There is a fog that we became accustomed to living in. We could still see, but our vision has been adjusted to exist in a place where we understand our lives, our neighbors, and our communities in very different ways. Our adaptive facilities have given way to new strengths, new ideas, and new insights. In our facet of the glass creative community, we have learned to make, communicate, recollect, embrace and empower through solitary and collective adaptation. Throughout this issue of GASnews, writers bring to light an array of insights and experiences on the theme of Adaptation. María Eugenia Diaz de Vivar presents a range of artists whose exquisite and unique approaches transform the mundane glass of mass-produced bottles into innovative designs in jewelry, Kayla Cantu provides an intimate interview with LGBTQ and BIPOC emerging glass artists navigating the struggles of community- and selfacceptance on their journey to grow and thrive, and David Schnuckel delves into the growing facet of new media as a tool for intersectional investigations with the material and metaphors of glass. Our challenges to make, connect, and learn in solitary and communal ways has brought us to reconsider and even redefine our standards and expectations. I believe that GAS and the glass community has emerged with a strength that will continue to fuel creativity and innovation in exciting and unexpected ways. Lastly, I give my heartfelt and sincere gratitude to our late friend and mentor Benjamin Moore. He was a visionary and a leader who dedicated his life to his art and community in profound ways that paved the path for many of us to be better makers, thinkers, and citizens of the glass world.
Artists have long been known for their adaptability, but our world is now changing so quickly that adaptation seems like it has become part of our daily routines.The need to adapt provides us with an opportunity to reassess the world around us and decide how we want to approach it moving forward. It allows room for people, organizations, and societies to grow. It makes us stronger and promotes innovation. VIRTUAL 2021 was the culmination of months of adapting at the Glass Art Society - adapting our programs, adapting the way we bring people together, adapting our expectations, and adapting the way we gauge success. Adapting is often viewed simply as a way of handling unexpected situations, but what can be learned from how you handle those situations can shift your entire perspective. Adapting to the “virtual” reality we’ve been living in for the past year and a half has helped open our eyes to new, different, and better ways that we can serve our community and bring people together. There is nothing we enjoy more than gathering together at the conference each year to celebrate what you are doing in your practice, provide new opportunities for you to connect and work together, and make future plans. Although things didn’t look the way they normally do, all of those things happened this year, and some of those future plans that were made include carrying virtual opportunities over into our in-person conferences allowing even more people to participate and benefit from the conference experience. We have spent a lot of time looking at what we do, why we do it, and how we do it. We are excited to incorporate the lessons we’ve learned into our new strategic plan and our upcoming 50th Anniversary Conference in Tacoma, WA. In our plans, we are creating space for some of the new ideas that came out of having to adapt to a virtual world, and this year, we will be accepting virtual lectures and panels (delivered live) and providing virtual content for those that can’t make it to the conference in person. While there is no getting around the devastation created by the pandemic, we believe the way people have adapted will make our community better and accessible to more people. I don’t think I’m alone when I say we are really looking forward to that!
Michael Hernandez GASnews Editor
Brandi P. Clark Executive Director
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RADICAL BEAUTY, PART TWO: COMMUNITY COMES FIRST by Jennifer Hand Foreword: In the midst of this global time of upheaval, cultural shifts engendered both by COVID and the latest wave of the Black Lives Matter movement have the potential to reshape the current gallery structure, leaving in its stead a more equitable system of representation. This series examines ways that visionary gallerists are shifting the paradigm towards allyship and relevance, and how socially conscious galleries with a history of representing controversial artists have found success. In part one of this series, we focused on the incomparable Joyce Scott and her long history of working with galleries which champion challenging work. Scott’s hometown of Baltimore has a thriving community of artists and curators who are working to break barriers and expand audiences. Myrtis Bedolla of Baltimore’s Galerie Myrtis is one such leader who has been advocating for artists and the arts for over thirty years. Bedolla specializes in representing African American artists, and believes that the strength of any gallery lies chiefly with the artists represented, along with the relationships of trust built between the artist and curator. Bedolla promotes her artists beyond the gallery walls at art fairs worldwide and on a robust social media platform. Myrtis differentiates itself from the gallery status quo by understanding that even the most ravishing exhibition fails if it doesn’t find an audience. Bedolla’s experience working in and visiting galleries in major metropolitan cities made her hyperaware of their barriers to entry and imparted a sense of responsibility to remove those obstacles in her own space. “New York was the most egregious,” she notes – describing having staff actively avoid eye contact as she perused the walls. Speaking to a former intern now working in New York, Bedolla realized that this is due to staff being trained not to acknowledge or look at visitors.
“The importance of art and its ability to touch and to heal is something that belongs to us all.” – Myrtis Belloda. Belloda has been building relationships with artists for over 30 years. Photo Credit: Mitro Hood.
At Galerie Myrtis, Bedolla rejects that blatant gatekeeping and explicitly trains her staff to welcome every guest with equal warmth and enthusiasm, from their collectors to an unhoused visitor coming in for a moment of artistic communion. All of the programming Bedolla offers is open to the public, and includes gallery talks, artist lectures and panels. Nearly all programs are free, with the few paid programs intentionally accessibly priced. “Everyone is welcome here, and we go out of our way to make sure that people know that. Whether they’re looking to buy or just coming in out of curiosity, or would never be able to buy – we see the gallery as part of the art ecosystem in the city, and part of its cultural capital.” Oletha DeVane, a Maryland-based multidisciplinary artist whose works feature sumptuous encrustations of glass beadwork, echoes Bedolla’s sense of often having felt unwelcome in gallery spaces, GASNEWS
even ones in which her work was being shown. DeVane has been a visiting artist at Galerie Myrtis several times, most recently in 2020’s “Women Heal Through Rite and Ritual,” where her work glistened in the light of Renee Stout’s stunning neon installation. DeVane characterizes Bedolla as both “down-to-earth homegirl” and sophisticated advocate, and notes that there few other galleries with whom she entrusts her work. “There are so few black-owned galleries,” DeVane points out, “We have to do the work to support them like they’ve supported us.” DeVane’s background is as a painter, coming to glass via a fascination with a Voodoo glass bottle brought back by a friend from Haiti. Since falling in love with the medium, she’s made many trips to drink deep of Haiti’s aesthetic and symbolismrich mythology. She uses glass’s sparkle and translucence to reference ideas of transcendence and imbue a “quality of awe” that other materials lack.
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Oletha DeVane, Spring. Glass, wood, metal, beads, sequins, fabric. 2018. DeVane’s work explores issues of sociopolitical identities with a combination of mixed media assemblage, painting and sculpture. Her work is in the permanent collection of several museums and has been exhibited around the world. Photo credit: Mitro Hood.
DeVane has repeatedly chosen to work with Bedolla because of the energy Galerie Myrtis expends in outreach and community activism. She notes that many other galleries aren’t willing to invest the time and resources to truly understand their artists or their audiences, leading to narratives filled with insincerity and bluster. Bedolla agrees, concluding that curators fail when they aim to overshadow the artist’s voice with grandiose curatorial statements. Instead, curators should focus on listening and researching the artist’s background to provide straightforward and accessible interpretation. GASNEWS
The COVID lockdowns moved most of Galerie Myrtis’ programs online for 2020, which provided challenge in equal measure with opportunity. The sense of conviviality felt in a shared space is lost, but the ability to join in an artist lecture from one’s living room offered the opportunity to a wider audience than previous. Bedolla was also early among curators in recognizing the transformational power of social media in the art world, and has hired staff who specialize in using digital platforms to further the reach of her exhibitions and programs, which was especially crucial during the pandemic. VOLUME 35, ISSUE
COVID was similarly an accelerant in the formation of Das Shaufenster, a Seattle gallery founded by German-born, Washington-based Anna Mlasowsky. Das Schaufenster arose from a combination of pessismism and proximity. Early on in the pandemic, when many assumed we would be back to our normal lives within weeks, Mlasowsky braced herself for a protracted ordeal. With the rare luxury of extra time on her hands due to canceled opportunities and exhibitions, Mlasowsky reached out to her landlord to see about leasing the boarded-up storefront space downstairs from her apartment. The format of Das Schaufenster alone dispenses entirely with multiple barriers to entry, in that the works on display can be viewed directly from the street with no need to step inside to experience the art on offer. This 24/7 viewable nature has the additional benefit of not requiring Mlasowsky to staff the gallery, which would have been an insurmountable cost to getting the project off the ground. When asked what drove her to use her COVID pause time to start a gallery, Mlasowsky lists a multitude of reasons. Representation has been slow to materialize for her, which she attributes both to the opaque elitism of the gallery system and her status as an immigrant outsider in the United States, without the connections that make or break an art career. “In art, most of your career is based on who you know and who’s recommending you,” she notes – leading to a long-held desire to be able to provide opportunities for other marginalized artists. Visiting galleries in several American cities, she too noticed a universal feeling of unwelcome in those spaces. More urgently, many in her immigrant artist network were in true crisis when the pandemic began. With no work to justify their visas and no way of getting back to their home countries, they were doubly stranded. Das Schaufenster acted quickly to offer exhibition opportunities and cross-post information to help navigate thorny visa extension issues.
With that accomplished, Mlasowsky next turned towards artists with a community-minded practice, many of whom were working overtime to address the double needs of pandemic and protest. This opportunity for activist artists to recharge and focus on their own creativity has resulted in exhibitions from Corey Pemberton, Shiva Aliabadi and Connor Walden. Other months offered MFA students with canceled thesis exhibitions a chance to show their work. Now, a 2021 exhibition schedule curated by Anna Parisi and Tiffany Danielle Elliot showcases LatinX artists who are reclaiming voices of dissent and decolonization. In Mlasowsky’s wealthy Seattle neighborhood, “most of our neighbors are tech executives – and they don’t tend to go to art openings, so I felt the need to bring the art to them. I don’t love that they are being catered to, but at least they’re seeing the work.” Mlasowsky intentionally
breaches their walls of privilege with artistic confrontation, exposing audiences to police shootings in Brazilian Favelas, nonconsensual medical trials and the uncomfortable truth that our wealth is often dependent on the misery of others. As impressive as it is, Das Schaufenster is far from Mlasowsky’s only project during this interval. Das Fernglas is an inbox based gallery that Mlasowsky began in 2021 which delivers curated content from glass-centric artists directly to the homes of patrons and fans. Each “exhibition” is a piece of digital content designed by the participating visiting artist to delight and inform. Recent months have featured Liesl Schubel and Jens Pfeifer, with visiting artists from around the world scheduled to participate on a bi-monthly basis through 2022. This project was one that Mlasowsky had been wanting to start for years, and only thanks to the pandemic shut down did she finally have the time to see it to reality.
Whether art manifests as a pinging notification on your screen, or with a friendly face at a gallery welcoming you to enter and explore, 2020’s radical changes have forced adaptation on the art world, ready or not. Gatekeeping no longer goes unquestioned in the age of call-out culture, and the institutions that are doing the work to support marginalized artists – minus the empty virtue signaling, thank you – are being slowly noticed and rewarded for their sincerity with the most valuable resource around – the artists’ trust. In the months and years to come, established community-building galleries and innovative approaches to representation can learn from each other as we brush off the pandemic dust and get back to work.
ENDCAP: Support Das Schaufenster by following the gallery on Instagram @das.schaufenster, and register for the Das Fernglas newsletter at www.annamlasowsky.com/signup. Mlasowsky is taking donations via Venmo @Anna-Mlasowsky to support Das Schaufenster’s ongoing exhibition activism. Galerie Myrtis is on Instagram @ galeriemyrtis and online at galeriemyrtis. net. The next exhibition, Tawny Chatmon, If I’m no longer here, I wanted you to Know… runs through July 10th. See more of Oletha DeVane’s work at olethadevane.com or @devanekojzar or at her upcoming solo show at the University of Maryland. Jennifer Hand is a Norfolk, Virginia based artist, mother, writer, curator and veteran. She serves on the boards of 757 Creative Reuse Center and the Lil Truck of Tools and is the co-founder of the 757 Street Art Battle. Find her on Instagram @xojenniferalexis
Das Schaufenster exhibited the work of Crafting the Future co-founder Corey Pemberton for his solo show, An Active Lifestyle. The window gallery brings thought-provoking artwork into a wealthy Seattle neighborhood. Photo credit: Anna Mlasowsky.
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GASNEWS INTERVIEW WITH DAVIN K. EBANKS Far Left: Untitled Black (“Some I love who are dead / were watchers of the moon and knew its lore; / …Pierced their ears for gold hoop earrings / as it waxed or waned.”) [Excerpt: Full Moon, Robert Hayden] Kiln-formed (Thermoformed) Glass, Gold / 24H x 24W x 5D, inches / 2021 Photo Credit: Jamie Hahn Left: Ground Basket Pair (“Drunk with rum / Feasting on a strange cassava / Yielding to new words and a weak palabra…”) [Excerpt: Conversion, Jean Toomer] Blown & Silvered Glass / 10H x 12W x 12D inches each / 2021 Photo Credit: Jamie Hahn
GASnews: Through the many facets of your professional career as an artist, educator, technician, scholar, community member (…etc.) you have to assume quite different roles. Do certain roles take precedence over others? Davin Ebanks: OK, here’s the deal: if you’re going to be an artist in academia at a research institution, you’re going to have three main duties: Research, Teaching and Service. Depending on the school, they might be specifically in that order. That should mean that I prioritize research, which for artists is just a fancy word for making work. However, the other duties—teaching, maintaining equipment and service, committees, etc.—are all scheduled for you like a normal job (this isn’t counting emails, by the way, which can take up an inordinate amount of your day. My advice is to take a professional workshop on how to manage digital communication before you get into academia…Seriously.) To be clear, I love GASNEWS
teaching, and I find studio maintenance and equipment fabrication extremely satisfying. Watching a new glass student fall in love with the material is deeply fulfilling, and working in a smooth-running studio is a thing of joy. That stuff gives you immediate positive feedback. Making my work is much more emotionally challenging. Even after all these years of knowing how important it is for me to make art, scheduling studio time can still feel selfish, even self-indulgent. Intellectually, I know it’s not—my job literally depends on it—but making art is always difficult, and it’s made even more so by the fact that there’s always something more urgent (but probably not as important) demanding attention. GN: There is a typical story in our community of discovering glass and being swooned by its muse-like allure. What drew you to the material and how has that transformed through your career? VOLUME 35, ISSUE 1
DE: Symmetry. When I was a kid, I would sit and watch my dad throw pottery on an old kick wheel. It was mesmerizing. When I discovered glassblowing in college it was the same feeling. I happened to attend the only school in Indiana that had glass (at that time) and even though I was a Graphic Design major I took every glass class I could. As I got involved with the material, I realized that it was seductive on many levels. There is the sheer spectacle of it—its glow, its physicality, the intensity of the colors—but it can also be fiendishly difficult to make artwork from it. There’s a satisfaction in simply getting it to do what you want. Also, glass does things that other materials can’t do (or cannot do as easily). In the hot shop sculpting or blowing glass, you have this very direct manipulation. Unlike other materials where I would have to create the impression of fluidity or tension, with glass that is part of its essence. That brings me to color.
Like marble or gemstones, cast glass is a color through and through; it’s part of its nature. I work a lot with cast and kiln-formed glass, and it’s a very unique experience as an artist. Unlike other materials where the color is applied to the surface, glass has the quality of simply being that color, and it’s the thickness of the material that shifts the intensity of that color. In a sense, when I use glass I get to sculpt with light and color. So, for all those reasons I continue to make my work in glass, but also, after years of working with the material, I simply use it because it’s what I know.
GN: How has your background and personal experience influenced your current body of work? DE: My work is about space, place and self (identity), and their interconnectedness. I use my personal and cultural history as inspiration. I was born and raised in the Cayman Islands, so for me and many of my people the water surrounding us was as much a part of our daily lives as the land on which we lived. My ancestors were sailors, turtle-fishermen and shark-hunters. I practically grew up on the water fishing with my grandfather, so water is a major influence in my work.
The color blue has been important to my work for a while, but specifically as representative of water from the coastline of Grand Cayman. For my recent work, I pointedly researched the metaphorical and historical relevance and mythology of blue. Although still referential, the pieces are more suggestive of open space (water and sky) or as the liminal space where they meet. This is the blue seen through the open window or porthole: everywhere, yet nowhere. I also grew up with wild cotton growing in the empty lots behind our yard; there’s only one reason that cotton was there and only one group of people who farmed it. As a Caymanian-American my racial identity is linked to Black people who didn’t make it all the way across the Atlantic, a people left stranded in the blue space of the Caribbean. As such I see my work as being firmly mid-Atlantic, with all that that implies. GN: There is a solemnity to this recent work, with the forms, objects, and material appearing as ghosts and reliquaries. How has the physical and cultural distance from your native home impacted your work and interpretation through a material like glass?
Untitled Blue (“Do not drown me now: / I see the island / still ahead somehow”) [Excerpt: Island, Langston Hughes] Kiln-formed (Thermoformed) Glass / 24H x 24W x 5D, inches / 2020. Photo Credit: Jamie Hahn
Passages: Negro, Azul, Blanco. Installation view / Cast & Kiln-formed Glass / 24H x 9W x 4D inches, each / 2021 Photo Credit: Jacob Koestler at The Sculpture Center
DE: Interestingly, I have been thinking a lot more about what it means to be one of the Caribbean diaspora in these times. Before COVID I felt more connected to my specific island home but less connected to the Caribbean as a whole. There is now a gulf between my life here and that of those back home. Everything is different: they haven’t worn masks in over 6 months, so life feels normal for them, but it’s very difficult to get there and just as difficult to leave, so families have been separated for over a year. I used to visit a lot, usually for a month in summer. Cayman is where I do my research and creative reflection. It’s where I can put the studio—that physical and mental space of making—out of my mind and get “bored” enough to recharge the creative juices.
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On the other hand, I feel more connected to a common Caribbean experience—as a member of those island nations that have (in large part) closed their borders, cutting themselves off from critical revenue and limiting essential imports. I can relate even more to Bahamians or Jamaicans or Trinidadians, because through the lens of social media I can see how my life in exile is similar to that of other diaspora and how my family’s life back on my native island is similar to that of other island nations. There seems to be more sharing of what it means to be Caribbean, even when we can’t be in the Caribbean.
But the largest impact of the last year has stemmed from the global BLM protests. I simply didn’t feel I could keep making the same work in what felt like a different world. This led to more research into the connection between my Black ancestors in the Caribbean and African-Americans. This is what I mean by the work being mid-Atlantic: it’s a meditation on voyages and Black bodies within liminal spaces, moving between worlds. This came directly out of rethinking my greater connection to the African diaspora and how the Caribbean experience can possibly add to the conversation.
Passage: Negro (“can we find light in the never-ending shade? / The loss we carry, / a sea we must wade.”) [Excerpt: The Hill We Climb, Amanda Gorman] Cast Glass / 24H x 9W x 4D inches / 2021 Photo Credit: Jacob Koestler at The Sculpture Center
But, I think there’s more behind the new work than simply having conversations about the Black experience because of the BLM protests. In a way I think the quarantine last year had the same effect on my creative process as my annual trip home. I was forced to take a hiatus from the studio—forced to get bored, read, research, contemplate and eventually push my practice in a new direction. I do miss home, but am also strangely grateful for the forced exile and the conversations it has started.
Passage: Blanco (“Thunder blossoms gorgeously above our heads, / Great, hollow, bell-like flowers / Rumbling in the wind...”) [Excerpt: Storm Ending, Jean Toomer] Cast Glass / 24H x 9W x 4D inches / 2021 Photo Credit: Jamie Hahn
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“But occasionally, from out of this matter…” (Portrait of the Artist) Blown, Hot-sculpted & Sand-carved Glass / 14H x 5W x 8D inches / 2019 Photo Credit: Jamie Hahn; Kerry & Betty C. Davis Collection
Live Two-Hour, Interactive Web Workshops with Renowned Glass Artists Link to Class Recording Never Expires!
Fused Glass Sculptures with Lisa Vogt
Kaleidoscope Pattern Bar Adventure 101 with Susan McGarry August 3 Glass Compatibility & COE, What Does it Mean? Lecture with Henry Halem August 5
Glass Gardens New Miniature with Dennis Brady August 10 and 12
Fun with Flowers with Dennis Brady August 17
GN: Are there metaphors drawn from these ancestral and personal histories of processes to sustain (fishing, farming, etc.) and the artistic processes that you adopted after leaving the Cayman Islands that you use to translate experience? DE: You know, I’ve never thought about that. In fact, until now I haven’t felt as if I’d permanently left home. I’ve always sort of felt vaguely itinerant or migrant: someone who works away from home. I can’t (reasonably) work in glass in Cayman, nor teach at a college level. So, I live in the States where I can pursue my work but then return home whenever I can. The pandemic changed all that and forced me to invest in making my home in the States more permanent. To the other part of the question, I do think for me there is a parallel between fishing and art making. Both require a kind of willingness to go where the tide leads, to be sensitive to what the signs are telling you. Creativity also relies heavily on happenstance, which can be incredibly
confusing and frustrating. Some days the winds are more favorable, the sun is shining and fish are biting; other days the elements are against us but we still get out there and try to make something happen. Art making, like fishing or farming, involves a lot of time where you’re working but nothing much actually seems to be happening. You need patience to see it through. I think this is especially true in glass. Davin K. Ebanks is a Caymanian-American sculptor who primarily utilizes glass to explore his personal and cultural history and examine the relationship between identity and environment. His work has been published in A-Z of Caribbean Art and his glass sculptures are in the collections of His Royal Highness, Prince Charles, The Kerry & C. Betty Davis Collection of African American Art and The National Gallery of the Cayman Islands, to name a few. He is currently Assistant Professor (Head) of the Glass Program at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio, USA.
Sticks and Stones with Cathy Claycomb August 26 Fused Glass Lilies with Dale Keating September 2 Creative Slumping with Lisa Vogt September 7 Kiln Sculpture with Dennis Brady September 14 Inside Out Flow Vessel with Nathan Sandberg September 16 Making and Using Custom-Made Frit with Tony Glander September 28 Marketing Art a New Way, Lecture with Scott Ouderkirk September 30 MORE Kaleidoscope Pattern Bar Designs with Susan McGarry October 7 Fused Glass Sculptures with Lisa Vogt October 12 Teaching Glass Art, Lecture with Dennis Brady October 21 Glass Weaving with Dennis Brady November 4 Lustrous Lanterns with Lisa Vogt November 9
Visit the Glass Expert Webinars® link under “What’s New” at www.GlassArtMagazine.com for more details and local times.
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MOVING PAST MUD AND MASKS: ADVANCING THROUGH CRISES by Regan Brumagen If you had been in Corning, New York, on June 23, 1972, you would have witnessed a shocking moment in the history of The Corning Museum of Glass: Hurricane Agnes caused massive flooding that submerged much of the Museum and Rakow Research Library collections. The water shattered glass objects and left books, drawings, photos, and magazines caked in mud. The Museum closed for 39 days. When you look at pictures from “The Flood,” as locals refer to it, it’s astonishing that the Museum was able to re-open to the public that quickly. Next year will be the 50th anniversary of The Flood and I’m struck by how an event that brought such hardship also led us to re-think our practices and re-focus on our priorities. The Flood of ’72 prompted many changes, such as a greatly improved disaster recovery program, new science in paper conservation, and, for The Rakow Library, a move to leveraging technology to improve preservation and access to our collections. It was after the disaster that staff began a rigorous program of microfilming our unique collections, such as rare books and trade catalogs. Okay, if you’ve ever used microfilm, you know it’s a lot clunkier than looking at a digitized book on Google, but at the time, it allowed library staff to send our materials to people around the world who otherwise would have needed to travel to Corning for the same information. Microfilm was a big deal then---it even had its own celebration week (September 24-30 was National Microfilm Week in 1972.) Did you know that the precursor to New Glass Review, entitled Contemporary Glass, was published on microfiche only? During the Agnes recovery process, the Museum committed to another new service that changed library access for good. In 1975, our institution joined the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC), a collaborative project to collect the holdings GASNEWS
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Left: Read the remarkable story of the flood and recovery in Museum Under Water: https://www.cmog.org/ Right: Contemporary Glass 1977 morphed into New Glass Review after three years of being published on microfiche. Photo Credit: The Corning Museum of Glass
of libraries worldwide in order to more efficiently catalog and share resources among institutions. We were the first museum library in the United States to join this “catalog of library catalogs.” Today, OCLC is an essential part of almost every library’s process for interlibrary loan. But you can use it, too. Want to find out which libraries have copies of Antonio Neri’s The Art of Glass? Go to https://worldcat.org. Not only can you see which libraries around the world have the publications you want, but you can ask your local library to borrow a copy on your behalf.
I’ve been thinking of The Library’s postflood efforts to preserve our collections and improve accessibility to them in relation to our activities this past year. In March 2020, our Museum and Library temporarily closed again, as the world struggled to slow the spread of Covid-19. During this closure, we didn’t undertake a massive reformatting project (like the amazing microfilm), but we did take the opportunity to explore services that would help connect our communities with our staff and collections during a period of global and individual isolation. Allie Shanafelter, Reference Librarian, monitoring Chat at the Rakow Library. Photo credit: The Corning Museum of Glass
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One of our more popular online research guides introduces visitors to research on the history of drinking vessels. Photo Credit: The Corning Museum of Glass.
In addition to offering two new virtual reference services, chat and online consultations, we are now members of an important cooperative, Social Networks and Archival Context (more easily remembered as SNAC) that, like OCLC before it, seeks to use the collaborative power of cultural heritage institutions like libraries, museums and archives to make research easier. SNAC describes people, companies, and institutions who have created, are subjects of, or are referenced in archival materials, including collections of artist files. SNAC facilitates searches across the collections of repositories, freeing the researcher from obscure footnotes and random websites. Although SNAC is in its infancy, you can see how the Erwin Eisch record (https:// snaccooperative.org/view/35521994) leverages Eisch’s own artistic network to help researchers locate archival materials about him. We are also strengthening the online content we offer on our own website through continued development of Ask a Glass Question (https://libanswers. cmog.org) and our online research guides (https://libguides.cmog.org). Here’s a rundown of ways you can connect with us: Ask a Glass Question: Even while we were closed, we continued to receive questions through our online reference service, Ask a Glass Question. In fact, the number of questions we received increased during the pandemic. This service includes a searchable database of frequently asked questions (FAQs) and answers on glass
topics. Curious about the origins of the term “glory hole”? You aren’t the only one! It’s one of our more frequently viewed glass FAQs (https://libanswers.cmog.org/ faq/144299). Chat with a Librarian: Our new chat services are available four hours a day during open hours as an alternative to a phone call. And unlike some chat services on commercial websites, we promise you will not be connected to a robot---although we may exhibit signs of robotic behavior if we haven’t yet had our coffee. Consult a Librarian: In order to provide assistance to those with more in-depth research needs, we now offer 30 minute appointments (via video or phone call) so you can talk with a reference librarian about the best ways to research your topic (https://reserve.cmog.org). Donate: One way to connect with us is to help strengthen our collections on the art, craft, history, and early technologies of glass and glassmaking through either a financial donation (https://give.cmog.org/ form/donate) or a donation of materials (general books, magazines, videos, etc.: email@example.com; rare and unique materials (books, letters, records, catalogs, etc.): firstname.lastname@example.org). Glass Subject Guides: We continue to maintain and expand on our online guides, providing overviews of topics from the history of glass to glassmaking techniques. For instance, check out our popular guide on Drinking Vessels through History with new sections on Rhytons and Tumblers (https://libguides.cmog.org/drinkingvessels). GASNEWS
Interlibrary Loan: Remember OCLC? We are still a member along with more than 15,000 libraries in over 100 countries. Through OCLC, we continue to lend and copy materials for patrons worldwide. During 2020, we were among a relatively small number of libraries who kept interlibrary loan services available. Primo: The Library’s catalog has come a long way, and Primo is our state-of-the-art discovery system. Our Library holdings remain the largest on the subject of glass worldwide. Primo lets you search our collections and find and access digitized materials, including hundreds of design drawings and trade catalogs (https:// rakow.cmog.org). Studio Reserves: We now offer a new online reserve system to support our Studio instructors and students. If you are taking a course at The Studio, you may find digitized library materials relating to your class for you to read, print or download. We’re also in the process of developing a physical “Studio Reserves” collection in The Library to ensure that core texts are always available to Studio students, even if we’ve lent our other copy to you through Interlibrary Loan! Given travel restrictions and the closures of many museums, libraries, and archives, our goal has been to provide our communities with new ways to reach us and use our collections from a distance. Don’t expect our services to disappear when travel restrictions ease, however; we recognize that for many, traveling to Corning to conduct research is impractical even without a pandemic in force. You hear the phrase “adapting to the new normal” a lot these days. For us that means continually exploring ways to increase access to our collections and to create new opportunities to connect with all of you. Regan Brumagen is the Manager of Reference and Access Services at the Rakow Library.
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METAMORPHOSIS: FROM DISCARDED GLASS TO BEAUTIFUL PIECES OF PORTABLE ART by María Eugenia Diaz de Vivar To think that the alchemy of different types of sands subjected to high temperatures results in a hard and fragile material, such as glass is extraordinary. The first glass bottles were created by the Phoenicians for their perfumes and later, during the Roman Empire, new production methods were developed. But it was in the early 1900s that the first machine for the automation and mass production of glass containers was created to facilitate the manufacturing as we know it today. If we talk about adaptability, it is surprising to consider the possibilities of a glass bottle, a container which was not created to make artistic pieces. The bottles from the dinner table, which for years were destined for the garbage bin, then acquired value for reuse. Today, jewelers choose them for their design pieces and generate small treasures in the form of necklaces, rings, earrings and bracelets in green tones, amber, light blue, blue or transparent. A pair of fern-shaped earrings, a pendant with geometric cuts, a bracelet in aquamarine and green, an ethereal flower; we can find beautiful pieces in different spaces, from art galleries, museum shops, design fairs and contemporary jewelry exhibitions. The following will introduce six contemporary artists who transform glass bottles to create incredible pieces of jewelry The "Helechos", fern-like earrings are made by lampworking pieces of a glass bottle. “Ferns are ancestral plants, one of the oldest on earth. They have adapted to different climatic changes and overcome the catastrophes that our planet has experienced. They are a symbol of resilience, a reminder that this pandemic will also come to an end”, says Catalan Nuria Torrente, creator of Nutopía. She GASNEWS
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owns a glass jewelry brand that reflects her vision and innovative contribution to a more sustainable world. Inspired by the beauty of dew drops, Nuria created the “Estela” series of rings. Each of the drops is a collection of small balls made from glass bottles. “I am fascinated by the idea of creating new work from materials that have their own history, that have had a useful life without knowing that one day they would be part of a jewel. Like an allegory of reincarnation, the metamorphosis, of a rebirth, like a phoenix, from what was considered broken and useless." Instagram: @nutopiabynuriatorrente
The “SOUL BOTTLE” collection by Beira Joyas was born in the workshop of Irene Reyes in Huelva, Spain. Irene lives with her family, in a small mountain town, which is accessed by donkey. The town is self-sustaining with electricity and the inhabitants of her community share the food they grow and harvest. Behind the jewelry pieces, there is a philosophy of ecology and a respect for life and natural cycles. “We use bottle glass in this “SOUL BOTTLE” collection, building singular jewels, taking recycled glass to the next level. Each piece is unique, having inside the jewel a single bottle’s soul” Irene Reyes Instagram: @beira_irenereyes
Photos of Nuría Torrente's work
Photos of Irene Reyes' work
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In Valencia, Spain, there is a popular festival called the "Fallas Valencianas", in which the Fallera Mayor, a young woman chosen as the beauty queen until next festival, is given a set of jewelry pieces called "Aderezo" consisting of earrings, pendants, needles, and hairpins. In 2020, the recycled bottles from the previous fallas were used to create the "Aderezo". This was a very symbolic act, since the "Aderezo" carries a little bit of each person, as they are the ones who participate in the collection of the glass bottles. This material was used to create the unique jewelry pieces. Sara Sorribes was in charge of transforming the bottles into authentic jewels, making them look like emeralds. Sara, a third-generation artist working with glass, is passionate about Valencia and the Fallas. This work meant life, it was very exciting to be part of it. Instagram: @sara_sorribes The Colombian artist and designer Luisa Restrepo, has been based in Mexico for many years, where she runs her studio. "Pico de Botella" is an upcycling project that transforms bottles of wine, tequila, or mezcal from restaurants and bars in her neighborhood into jewelry. By design, the utility is transformed from its original function and aesthetics, moving from the table to the body. Each piece is meticulously cut and polished, achieving luxurious finishes.
“One of my final exams while doing my Design master’s degree was to create a functional musical instrument,” Restrepo recounted. “Considering that musicality is not an asset of mine, I decided to experiment with window glass and recycled bottles. For the bottles I went to restaurants and bars in the neighborhood and put together quite a diverse selection to work with. After a few weeks of cutting, polishing and gluing, to my surprise, I ended up with not one, but three very good instruments, and needless to say, lots of leftover bottles. I couldn’t just throw them away, it was too much material and I had to use them for something, so I started the jewelry collection ‘Pico de Botella’.” She continued, “I’ve been working on this collection for some years now. The first reward was the freedom to experiment without caring so much about the cost of the material. The second and most important was the involvement of the waitresses and waiters that collected the bottles for me (I usually go to the same restaurants and bars). They now know which bottles work and which don’t, and every now and again will make comments like, ‘We got this new Mezcal that would make a great pendant’ or ‘This new French wine has such a great light blue for your rings’. Like me, some of them no longer look at the empty bottles like trash, but look at them as a potential something else, which has been a very nice surprise.” Instagram: @luisarestrepomoreno
Photos of Luisa Restrepo's work
Photos of Sara Sorribes' work
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Photos of Veronika Fabian's work
Veronika Fabian is a young Hungarian artist, based in London who focused her thesis research at the Sandberg Instituut on how Covid-19 affects us as a society. The necklace named "A Long Night" is made with a wine bottle cut into slices and intertwined, made in 2021.] “I transformed objects that are often associated with shared moments, having a coffee with friends or enjoying a glass of wine in the evening,” Veronika Fabian described. “These pieces remind us of earlier times and raise the question of
whether we find our way back to the old or adjust to a new norm." Instagram: @veroofabian Indonesian artist Ivan Bestari is one of the few who works with glass in his region, and even rarer that he does so with recycled glass from bottles. His first contact with glass was through a scientific blower in 2011, who manufactured the torch with which he works. Since that time, Bestari has dedicated himself to exploring the use of the material, expanding limits and achieving beautiful miniatures in glass,
with organic and sinuous shapes and combinations of colors and designs that amaze us. Bestari is self-taught. Through YouTube videos, he learned various flameworking techniques that allow him today to create very refined pieces with an everyday and accessible material. The choice of this material has to do with the lack of access to imported glass and the high costs that he would have to obtain it. Bestari achieved a particular style, a way of expressing himself, with a metamorphic process from waste to artwork through fire. “I personally consider that making glass jewelry is not different from making an artwork,” Bestari explains. “Because the process of creating is basically the same with how I create my artwork, but I have to consider the wearable aspect of it. And it is related to what I describe in my artist statement: Inspired by nature and imaginative realm I created an alternative reality where my thoughts and soul are always amazed, through the metamorphic process from insignificant scrap glass into art.” Instagarm: @ivanoozz To read this article in Spanish, please click here.
Above & Right: Photos of Ivan Bestari's work
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SCREEN TIME: GLASS CINEMA EMERGES ONLINE by David Schnuckel One irony that I’m curious to hear more about one day is how the world’s shared experience of a pandemic culminated in billions of different and trying circumstances within it. Stories told by the billions of voices who have been navigating a world turned upside down in their own way. Narratives not only of constriction and crisis, but also of triumph and transformation. Whether faring new obstacles personally, professionally, or creatively, the idea of a specific matter of shared adversity to overcome that we can all speak to during the pandemic is hard to imagine. But as we were locked down in 2020 – and have somewhat partially emerged into a foggy version of what normal used to be like here in 2021 – we’ve all made significant modifications to our day-to-day in order to still stay connected to each other (and our livelihoods) while obligated to keep our distance. But there is one thing we might have in common as we make our way to what appears to be some kind of light at the end of this COVID tunnel: we all internet differently now. And by that, I mean we internet everything. We’ve always internetted for leisure. That’s for sure. Prior to the COVID-19 thing, internetting was always about streaming and surfing, casual research and rabbit holes. But now we’ve adapted to the constrictions of distance and staying in to a point of learning how to internet beyond personal amusement. Now we do it for life stuff, professional stuff, and career stuff just the same. And us glass folks – as “handsy” as we are as makers, as communally-reliant as we are in both theory and practice – we’ve had an especially interesting evolution to the digital shift. We internet our glass teaching and learning (for workshops and university alike). We internet our glass conferences and seminars. We internet our studio demos, our talks, our exhibitions. The
Woven Light, 2021, Madeline Rile Smith, United States. Artists Commission Award, GMTF 2021 Photo Credit: Jacob Polcyn Evans
Pool, 2021, Flora deBechi, Scotland Artists Commission Award, GMTF 2021
cultural nuances within this shift of a glass-specific field to the digital realm really deserves its own series of essays, but what began as an impossible pill to swallow back in March 2020 – a place where the real space/real time/right-in-front-of-you realities of glass and glass culture had to somehow live in a remote modality – has GASNEWS
lent way to incredible online loopholes ever since. Some that have been interesting. Some that have been unexpected. Some that have been important. And then a few that have been all the above…to a point of both broadening our field’s trajectory and deepening its effectiveness.
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Flammable Statement No2, 2019, Romina Gonzales, Peru/ United States. Film Entry, GMTF 2021
AVA, 2021 Stella Brajterman, Brazil Film Entry, GMTF 2021
Here enters Glass, Meet the Future: a stunning collision of glass and cinema in the form of an online film festival. As a web-based glass offering, it not only extends from our field’s evolving relationship with performance art, but is delivered in a way that resonates with the binge-watching phenomenon exacerbated by the marriage between the internet and of being locked down indoors. Yet, interestingly enough, the origin story of Glass, Meet the Future begins prior to the all-encompassing context of COVID-19… Back in September of 2019, Glass, Meet the Future (GMTF) was a creative GASNEWS
vision penned and proposed by a partnership between the Scotland-based North Lands Creative and the Japanesebased Toyama Glass Art Museum and Toyama Institute of Glass Art to support an interesting place where glass and crossdisciplinary practices could thrive in film and/or through filmmaking. Originally, GMTF was planned to be a full-fledged film festival; an in-person cinematic experience during the months of May and June of 2020 to showcase an assortment of internationally diverse and broad ranging series of films curated and/or directed and/or featuring artists who identify as female as its predominant feature (and VOLUME 35, ISSUE 1
then expanding their call for submissions to also include non-binary identifying applicants in 2021). In a press release around December of 2019, Karen Phillips, Director of North Lands Creative, had stated the GMTF mission by saying, “We have spent a great deal of time considering curating programmes that reflect the diverse interests of our audiences. This project emphasizes identity, community, and the variety in the cross disciplinary approach emerging from the field of international contemporary glass in the last few years” (†). Then, of course, as a seemingly nonchalant 2019 turned into the dawning of a pandemic-laden 2020, plans changed. For everybody. In so many ways. And the idea of making the shift from a very internationally planned, socially-engaged, and cinematically immersive festival experience in Japan to some sort of online version of that became a natural impulse. “As a team we agreed we had to waste no time in order to stay visible, to support the glass community,” says Phillips in an interview with Creative Scotland back in June 2020. “We had already completed the content for the festival so when we finally made the difficult decision to postpone our trip to Japan, we took the opportunity to develop a new strand to the programme and create a festival landing page on our website” (‡). The timing of an online film festival offered in July of 2020, during a two-week window while the world was still somewhat locked down, was almost too perfect. So perfect that most of us in this glass community didn’t realize that the GMTF film festival wasn’t originally intended to be an online experience. “Everyone was being affected by the lockdown, so a way to tackle the transition was to involve everyone and really give the sector a voice at a time when most artists could not go into their studios and make-work. It [had] kept us sane, to feel like we had something important to deliver,” remembers Phillips (‡).
Secret, 2019 Inguna Audere Film Entry, GMTF 2020
The first festival had been prompted by an extra sense of motivation to not only remain visible in that very isolating time, but to give both artists and art enthusiasts a sense of resilience and community within the face of an unseen adversary that was (and still is) COVID-19. In turn, the 2020 iteration of GMTF was presented to the world through a wide variety of approaches to cinematic storytelling that was as versatile as was the integration of glass within those films (a stunning program 2020 GMTF catalog can be found here). Narrative, documentary, the abstract, the linear, the experimental, the processdriven, the informative, the lyrical…
all of these approaches to filmmaking were not only provocative, but indicated a new frontier within the beginning of a new decade in which the intersection of performance art and glass practice might live. As I began writing this article in early 2021, the second iteration of GMTF had dropped (March 20th – April 4th) just months after the first festival. Not only does the 2021 programming continue to feature a diversified collection of glassbased cinematic gems, but has diversified in ways that bring additional content to the platform such as interviews and podcasts, an instructional series of video workshops,
and an assortment of commissioned video projects (another stunning program catalog for the 2021 GMTF can be found here). And for those of you who haven’t had the pleasure yet, the experience of both the 2020 and 2021 GMTF film festivals are housed within the North Lands Creative website to still visit (…and revisit often). A kind of accessibility that I’ve found not only fulfilling as an art enthusiast, but as an educator. There have been many times this academic year where I’ve pointed students towards both festivals to not only recognize alternative methods of engaging with glass creatively, but of upping their game in their methods of documenting time-based ideas and projects. In turn, GMTF doesn’t seem to only be something to fall smitten with, but to study. When asked about the film festival’s symbolic relationship to the idea of acclimating to unforeseen forces of change, Philips admits that there really wasn’t an alternative. “We have tried to embrace and understand all the buzzwords of 2020: adaptability, resilience, pivot, enablement,” she says in an email. “[B]ut it wasn't an option to do nothing or stand still until everything blew over. We feel very responsible to freelance artists and we were grateful to our funders to allow for 6 new commissions to be offered.”
Glass, Meet the Future 2021 promo. Courtesy of Karen Phillips, Director of North Lands Creative
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Glass, Meet the Future 2020 promo. Courtesy of Karen Phillips, Director of North Lands Creative
For those who need to dwell in a reality that is one part fact and one part fiction, do yourself the favor: connect deeper to glass (and your glass community) through the Glass, Meet the Future festival content found down below. It isn’t short of anything magical. Access the 2020 GMTF program here. Access the 2021 GMTH program here. David Schnuckel is an artist and educator, currently Assistant Professor of Glass at Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York.
(†) https://northlandscreative. co.uk/2019/12/19/glass-meets-thefuture/ (‡) https://www.creativescotland.com/ explore/read/stories/features/2020/ glass-meet-the-future
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I don’t want to discredit or understate the many traumatic truths and realities brought on at the hands of the global pandemic, but I also don’t want to overlook the innovative twists and turns within our field in response to COVID-19’s disruptive impact. I’ve often felt that the most essential part of an artist’s job is to make something meaningful out of any given moment, whether limited to only the things in reach or in making use of the confining circumstances we find ourselves in themself. And that creative excellence isn’t something measured by what one can do, but in how one can adapt. The Glass, Meet the Future film festival emerges as a much needed “Yes, and…” as we all find ourselves improvising alternative methods of media-specific art making, art thinking, and art engagement at the moment. Especially in an era of glass’s story defining itself through online strategies while navigating through such an unexpected terrain of constraint and constriction.
On the Cover of the Summer 2021 issue of The Flow®, Sea Nettle Jellyfish by Joy Munshower. Photo by David Orr.
A Glass Journal for the Flameworking Community
AN(OTHER) ARTIST AT THE TABLE by Kayla Cantu I’m certain about two things: 1. I’m uncertain about what it fully means to be an artist. 2. Being an artist holds varying descriptions. I bring this up for a roundabout reason. While currently navigating this reality, I’ve come to terms that the label of “artist” is versatile. An artist wears many hats: maker, educator, writer, researcher, professional rambler, framer, crate building trainee (or professional), cool kid gone rogue, etc. While we may not personally identify with each job description, there’s a common thread that’s strung between us…We are adapters. We alter our trajectory to the changing world and glass community around us. More interestingly, artists possess the ability of influencing people to make way for creative interpretation and adapt to our art practices. I’ve been thinking about this idea since the emergence of the global pandemic. It’s common knowledge that the pandemic turned most people’s livelihoods upside down mentally and financially, mine included. Even though this event altered lives in various ways, I discovered the pandemic gifted me something unexpected. It gave me time to think about how I’ve changed personally, artistically, and where I fit within the glass community. Identifying as someone who’s mixed race and queer, amongst other things, I struggled to find a sense of belonging while working with a privileged material amongst a community that is traditionally noninclusive. Within this realization, I found myself thinking of young artists who identify through connected avenues and are flipping the script on the glass community through their creative interpretations. The following emerging artists identify as BIPOC and or LGBTQ. Each individual discusses how they are carving a path for themselves in the glass community by com-bating feelings of imposter syndrome, traditional definitions of “success,” and speaking from personal experience.
Alexander Lozano: Being a gay, Hispanic man in the hot shop translated to having many internal thoughts of imposter syndrome. I often found myself thinking, “I don’t belong here. Will this guy be comfortable sharing a blowpipe? I guess I am not good enough to work with that artist.” These thoughts became overwhelming, and I eventually found comfort in the kiln shop. I enjoy creating work in a kiln shop, but while my kiln practice has allowed me to get accepted into international exhibitions, it has also created a lonely path. Many times, it felt like people in the glass community would close me out in moments of success. It seems that in moments of success, some people do not want to celebrate with you, but instead shut you out with an almost, “Forget you. You figure it out” mentality. This experience stands out the most: I was super excited to be have one of my works in an exhibition across the globe, but I had no idea how to get it there. I reached out to local institutions, artists, and educators. However, all I was met with were dead ends. It took months to find the right information I needed to meet requirements asked by the museum and U.S. customs.
When I was able to get the work in an adequate crate, I discovered it would take thousands of dollars to get my work to the airport, then through customs, and then get it back from customs after the exhibition. It was a bitter-sweet moment where I realized I either had to donate the piece or allow it to be destroyed. I couldn’t afford to get it back. The moment I realized I could not afford to get my own artwork back almost broke me. Feelings of impostor syndrome arose once again and said, “You are not an artist. You can’t even afford the shipping for your own artwork.” In this moment I really had to dig deep and ground myself so I would not get discouraged. It's tough. There is a tremendous amount of pressure to achieve “success.” In the past, I was under the false impression that money equates to success and to receive more money I needed to attain CV lines. I believed that the more lines you had on your CV meant the more “successful” you are. I now understand that's entirely false. You can have all the lines in the world on your CV, but those lines may never allow you to actually feel successful. I’ve learned that success is defined by an individual, and it’s not about comparison between one artist and another.
Alexander Lozano, Luego vinieron por mi........... and there was no one left to speak out for me. Flexible Glass, Window Glass, Thread, Gold Leaf. 2019. 16” x 93" x 1”. Photo Credit: Courtesy of the Artist
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Through my experiences, I’ve found that you should never let others deter you, you are successful as an artist, and you will continue to create more art. It’s about finding your own pace within your art practice, and that defining what success means to you will help you find ways to adapt. Until a few years ago, I did not identify as BIPOC or LGBTQ. I thought being human was more than enough as my identity. I thought these identifiers existed to label others to produce biases against them. In some moments, awful people do use those descriptors to put us down. However, what I have found more often than not is that these descriptors bring us to together in order begin a dialogue of our experiences. Many times we find that we all share moments where we have been humiliated by people with prejudices or phobias such as: transphobia, homophobia, xenophobia, etc. I now know that these communities allow us to talk about shared experiences with each other so we can heal and grow. I mention this because as I worked through these two dueling identities, I was also looking for this magical moment that would affirm I was an artist within the glass community. I have been researching artist such as Jean Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring and Faith Ringgold. I’ve found that I’m drawn to their work because they were trying to change the world through their medium. They were not creating artwork to create beautiful objects. They critiqued humanity
and questioned, “What the heck is wrong with world?” by using their practice as a sign of protest in their own way. Activism through art, the true fuel to my artistic practice, has guided me and will continue to do so to stand up for those who continue to be marginalized, especially in this field. It’s about nudging others to adapt and make space for your practice, not the other way around. Ceejay Renner-Thomas: Imposter syndrome is an interesting thing. Being in an underrepresented group is something that I’m used to. Recently though, I’ve started to realize the impact I could have and individuals who look like me can also have for future generations. From what I know, there are a small amount of black glass artists in the glass community in relation to the group as a whole. I think it’s special to be a part of that group and it sort of makes it more impactful when I or others become accomplished. As an emerging artist, and even earlier in my career, I sometimes question my worth in my making. Especially in glass and woodworking, since I was and still am so new to these crafts. It would sometimes feel like I wasn’t good enough, didn’t have worthy ideas, or like I didn’t have a certain instinct that I saw some of my peers possess. I also don’t see many people like me, so it can be difficult to think that I fit in at times. However, as I have come into my own shoes as a maker, I’ve gained a confi-dence that I didn’t have previously.
I have been able to stray away from the idea of imposter syndrome, because I know I am good enough even though the world may say otherwise. When it comes to challenges that pop up in my journey, the only thing I can do is push through. There’s something special about being able to problem solve through challenges and within that, I am able to investigate, fail, and succeed. Challenges add to my experiences and push me to be a more refined version of myself. I must admit that I wouldn’t be able to work through the many challenges in my life without the community of people I have around me. It is invaluable to be able to get validation and affirmation from the people I hold close. I wouldn’t say that I am an accomplished artist just yet. I think there are a ton of things I want to do to get there so I can eventually have that conversation. As a maker, I’ve come to terms that I can only do what I can do, and if it looks different from what others are doing in the glass community, that’s okay. Similar to other people in the glass community, I like making what I want to: making glass sneakers, cups, glassware, odd flower holders, working with cane, etc. I am still learning about glass as an artistic medium, and it all still feels new to me. Although I’m still relatively young to this field, it’s important to remind myself that I am coming to this space from my own unique perspective.
Ceejay Renner-Thomas, Glass 350 V2. Borosilicate glass. 2020. 12” x 5” x 5” Photo Credit: Courtesy of the Artist
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Ying Chiun Lee, I am the Hole. Photography. 2021. 28" x 48" Photo Credit: Chenyue Yang
Ying Chiun Lee: The way I act in Taiwan and the way I act in the United States are very different. It’s funny and strange to think about. In Taiwan, I feel like I hide a lot of myself. The glass community there is very small, and I wouldn’t dare say I am bisexual. I fear I would be invalidated as an artist. In the United States though, I’m not afraid to say this. Although not a lot of people are understanding, it is more understanding than where I come from. Here, I am able to at least have a voice and not be completely punished or outcast for it. I now say it openly and don’t care as much if someone has a problem with it. I didn’t always feel this way though. For the longest time, I was nervous to let people know, especially in the hot shop. I was nervous about what people would think of me if they found out and wouldn’t want me to help them. In my practice I consider sexual power. I use a lot of glass working techniques, but I’m interested in the hot shop and how this plays into my work. I don’t need to have a lot of muscle all of the time to make my work. I’m more excited about the subtle details and movements of glass that can be overlooked. I compare these moments to foreplay, and how these moments are more
important than simply finishing a work and putting it to bed in the annealer for the night. I remember the first time I took a 2 week intensive glass workshop in the U.S. It was strange watching everyone in the hot shop. I noticed that there weren’t a lot of women there. I was one of the only females. At first, I felt a little lost and thought I misunderstood something because of my cultural difference. I was confused and kept wondering why most of the men in the hot shop had taken their shirts off. I thought, “Won’t the heat from the glory hole burn their skin and make them hotter? There’s nothing to protect them!” A lot of people there were making really big work. People would make things so big and heavy that they were having a really hard time stretching their arms far enough to try to reach and attach a punty all the way at the bottom of their piece. I couldn’t help but think this environment reminded me of an animals mating ritual. It seemed like it was a competition of who was the biggest person, who could lift the most glass, and who could make the biggest thing. It was intimidating. I thought, “My little body can’t do this. I don’t think I want to anyway though.” GASNEWS
Looking back, I was making very different work in Taiwan compared to what I am now making here in the U.S. I was very excited to come here for graduate school and immerse myself in the culture here. After being here for a year, I still like it, but I realized I miss parts of my own culture and my home. Sometimes I think I am too different. Whenever I apply to certain glass related things here or get accepted into exhibitions, I look back at the open calls. I pay attention if they include something like, “For female artists” or “Exhibition opportunity for artists who identify as LGBTQ.” I am excited to be a part of these opportunities and am grateful, but I sometimes wonder if I am being recognized because of my artwork or because of how I identify. I know these things are here to help highlight underrepresented artists like me and create a community, but it makes me question how and why I am successful in the glass field. I wonder if one day these descriptions will go away and I can be seen as a successful artist without feeling like I have to reveal this information. After communicating with these artists, I can’t help but feel relieved. Through their thoughts, experiences, and willingness to be open, I no longer feel like I’m alone in the glass community. It’s a risky and vulnerable thing to reveal who you are to people you don’t know. It’s safe to say that while each artist comes from a different background and has their own story to tell, there’s a collective desire to create a safe space of understanding and acceptance for those who feel alone. I, amongst a plethora of artists, are longing and excited for the day when the glass community can let go of the “other” and instead acknowledge everyone as human.
Kayla Cantu is a fat, female, half-Mexican, bisexual artist and writer who utilizes glass, video, photography, and whatever else she feels like her work calls for. She currently resides in Rochester, New York while she pursues her artistic practice.
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FROM ‘NICHE’ TO NETFLIX: HOW BLOWN AWAY HAS CHANGED THE PERCEPTION OF GLASS by Kim Thompson “We’re making a glassblowing competition show for Netflix. We’ve been told we have to talk to Corning, so please call us back.” We’d gotten voicemails like this in the past—but this one had an urgency that begged for an immediate response. A week later, a production team visited The Corning Museum of Glass (CMoG) and details were shared about the concept of Blown Away, the competition show that would expose the art of glassmaking to a global community— something that hadn’t been done since the PBS documentary Chihuly Over Venice. With the Netflix name attached to Blown Away, CMoG knew there was a lot of potential in this production, and we had to be part of it. “Even in that initial meeting, Blown Away was described as a ‘love letter to glass,’” said Eric Meek, CMoG’s Sr. Manager of Hot Glass Programs. “That’s
what really captivated our imaginations and made us feel comfortable aligning with Blown Away. We knew this was going to be a quality production created by people who appreciated the beauty and complexity of the material. They wanted the world to understand and appreciate it, too. At CMoG, our mission is to inspire people to see glass in a new light, and we knew that’s exactly what this show could do.” The CMoG team learned early on that renowned artist Katherine Gray had been confirmed as the “resident evaluator” for Blown Away—essentially what Tim Gunn was to Project Runway. “I feel like this is going to be like a bomb going off in the glass world,” Katherine predicted, during filming of Season 1. “It’ll blow the doors off our whole little community and make it available for so many other people to experience and see.”
Images Courtesy of Netflix, Blown Away
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Blown Away by Success The first season of Blown Away launched in July 2019, quickly earning accolades in major print publications, and catching the contestants a bit off-guard. “I’m still often surprised and overwhelmed at the scope and visibility of the experience,” said Alexander Rosenberg, who was a Season 1 finalist. “I’ve been regularly recognized by fans in public, contacted and commissioned by A-list celebrities, and been interviewed for podcasts, books, and on daytime TV. I’ve been able to make a stable living for the first time in memorable history.” And Season 2 contestants seem to be on a similar trajectory. “I’ve been completely overwhelmed by the positive responses to me and my work since the show launched. We’ve had some great interactions with new clients and well-wishers,” said Elliot Walker, who won the second season. “This sort of global exposure is such a pivotal moment in an artist’s career that people often overlook the journey and struggle all artists have to advance their careers in the first place. Everyone picked for the show deserved to be there without a doubt, and it was great to meet them all and learn for their varied experiences.” But what is it about Blown Away—a seemingly niche show—that has spurred this kind of mainstream success for its participants? Co-CEO/Partner and Executive Producer at marblemedia, Matt Hornburg, describes the elements that led to the lightning-in-a-bottle success of his production company’s hit series. “The ultimate essence of the show is about passion, and I think audiences love to watch people who are passionate about something where there’s high stakes for them in pursuit of trying to create something that moves us,” he said. “Passion is a universal theme that
audiences understand and can relate to, and I think we’re opening audiences to a really fascinating world. Blown Away is authentic—to the art form, the competitors, and the process—and I think audiences can feel that genuineness, and it’s likely refreshing in an atmosphere of content which ultimately feels overproduced.” The Ripple Effect In the same way that watching a show like The Great British Bake Off might make you want to preheat the oven, the relatability of Blown Away has led to a fascination with this molten material. For Alexander, the he believes there’s a new interest in technical and design aspects, as well as the ideation process of glassmaking. “[Blown Away has] created value around previously invisible aspects of the process,” he said. “People appreciate some relatively nuanced qualities of the type of glassworking I did on the series and have become willing to support artists working in less conventional ways with the material.” And Katherine Gray has seen it, too. As a professor of art at California State University, San Bernardino, she had been seeing an increase in her beginner glass classes prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. After conducting an informal survey of glass instructors around the world, Gray noted that many others had seen a similar increase, especially in studios that offered “make-your-own” experiences. “The pandemic stifled a lot of opportunities for people, students, neophytes, hobbyists, and anyone to blow glass, so I’m hoping as things are starting to return to normal, that deferred interest will reappear in spades,” Gray said. She described an interesting similarity between seemingly obscure professions in terms of cultural awareness: “I often think of a story I read in the New York Times about a scientist talking about the upside of the pandemic,” she continued, “and he joked that he didn’t need to explain what an epidemiologist is anymore. [Thanks to Blown Away] I also feel like I don’t have to explain what a glassblower is as much anymore!”
Images Courtesy of Netflix, Blown Away
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Images Courtesy of Netflix, Blown Away
Amplifying the Artistry of Glass As Matt Hornburg noted, “entertainment is a very powerful megaphone.” Add to that a captivating creative process, compelling personalities, and global brand like Netflix, and you have a powerful recipe for success. “I think it’s been so educational for the general public to get a sense of what goes into making something out of glass,” said Gray. “All the possible things that can go wrong, all the literal blood, sweat, and tears. Then for people to appreciate and support such artists is so gratifying.” When asked how it feels to have been part of the first season of a production that caused this ripple effect within the glass community, Rosenberg says “it’s a bit mind-blowing to think of myself as someone who has impacted human perception of glassmaking as a discipline. GASNEWS
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I’m not sure how much weight to give to that role, but whatever truth there is to it, it’s humbling, and I’m grateful to have been part of it in the early stages.” So, did Blown Away truly “blow the doors off” the glassmaking world? Although Gray speculates a little more time is needed before her early prediction is realized, she is enjoying the newfound enthusiasm in the field. “Don’t get me wrong, I have a huge appreciation of all that Dale Chihuly has accomplished,” she says, “but it is refreshing to have some new household names in this field. And I truly love hearing how some of the contestants have become local heroes or are getting recognized on the street. I’m sure none of us ever went into this field thinking of that as the end goal, but it feels validating.” VVOOL LUUMMEE 2 35 5, , I SI SS SUUE E 4 1
As for The Corning Museum of Glass, whose mission is to “inspire people to see glass in a new light,” the benefits of Blown Away are seemingly endless. “People are learning about glass before they set foot in our Museum,” said Meek. “The Corning Museum of Glass has been added to bucket lists because people have seen us on Netflix. And, in turn, we’re seeing more varied visitors who bring with them an established curiosity for the material, and a deeper desire to discover more. We knew from the beginning there was a lot of power and potential in Blown Away, and it certainly hasn’t disappointed.” Kim Thompson is the Manager of Public Relations & Special Media Projects at The Corning Museum of Glass.
STUDENT CENTER SPOTLIGHT
The path from student to art practitioner is paved with uncertainty. It is no surprise that seeking a degree in the arts may often feel like a precarious choice, especially once the degree is in hand and the bills need to be paid. With this in mind, I believe it is critically important to convey the transition from student to working artist with honesty and transparency. The delicate balancing act between working-for-pay and
carving out studio time must be carefully communicated to students. While there is no direct route for those who choose a career in the arts it is apparent that in order to sustain and maintain our love for making we must be able and willing to adapt to our surroundings. In anticipation of the GAS Conference and the first ever Student Panel: POST GRADUATE PREPAREDNESS, I asked three individuals to offer some insight regarding their current status as emerging artists in the field. To ac-
company these particular narratives, 31 individuals from North America and Europe responded to a survey regarding professional practice pedagogy in glass academia. It may be a radical idea but I firmly believe students should not only receive professional mentorship through their academic program, but that they should play a key role in developing the curriculum and pedagogy of said classes. I hope that by giving students a platform via GASnews, those of us who identify as educators will consider how we hold space for the minds we are molding.
Pat Langley (they/them)
Abegael Uffelman (she/her)
Louis Grant (he/him)
GASnews: Can you speak on the postgraduation uncertainty of the “real world” and what it was like to adapt a personal studio practice after receiving intense instruction and oversight from the university/college setting? Pat Langley: Maintaining a studio practice in the “real world” is based mostly on determination. You have to want it. You have to be willing to fight, flex, and rework ideas and spaces to fit your momentary and long-term
needs. Navigating funds, space, and accessibility to equipment can feel like being a sheep trapped in a maze made by wolves. My biggest challenge when starting the adoption of my studio practice post undergrad was figuring out how to motivate myself. Once I got past that, funding was the next biggest challenge.
semeter before graduation. One of the hardest parts for me was deciding what I wanted to do upon graduating. For the first time, there wasn’t a clear cut path. There was freedom and I had to really sit down and figure out what direction I wanted to go in. I knew I wanted to continue learning and making work, while gaining experience in a studio, so I applied to and was accepted into Chrysler Glass Studio’s assistantship program. At the time, this was an unpaid assistantship, so I had to get another job.
Post Graduate Preparedness by Paige Morris
Abegael Uffelman: The post-grad uncertainty can definitely be daunting, especially when approaching the final
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Balancing studio work, working to pay rent, making your own work, and being involved with the community is the most difficult part of being an artist. Sometimes some areas begin to grow and some areas start lacking and that is the real world. Nobody will look over your shoulder to make sure you’re still making your work, but that also doesn’t mean people aren’t there to help. During my time at Chrysler, my studio practice began lacking, but my networking and forming lasting relationships with other artists grew exponentially - and that’s something school can’t always teach you, but it is extremely important to being a working artist. Louis Grant: Since graduating I have worked as a research and studio assistant for Mel Douglas as she completed a PhD. I have worked in marketing in local arts organizations and now local retail. Currently, I am studying online for a Marketing Management Graduate Certificate. All while still participating in exhibitions and prizes. GASnews: Did you receive any mentorship or insight from processors during and/or after your schooling that informed any decisions you may have made when applying for or choosing to attend various opportunities or programs? PL: I went to a school with no major glass program and only one glass elective ran every spring semester, so to work with glass was mostly self-driven and fueled. I did have an adjunct professor, Christen Baker, who encouraged me to pursue my beloved material and awarded me a scholarship to Pilchuck Glass School my senior year, which ultimately gave me a foot in the door of the glass world. After undergrad I found guidance elsewhere in my peers, such as Jon Bolivar and Heather Sutherland.
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I watched what other glass blowers were doing, listened to the opportunities floating around in my liminal space, and took risks when necessary. My path to this point was not straight by any means, and I was thrown through several loops along the way. AU: Absolutely, my professors were amazing and helped out during my last semester at school. I learned about Chrysler’s assistantship program from Amber Cowan, who, at the time, had recently been a visiting artist there. Jes Julius was my graduating semester glass professor and helped immensely with the transition from student to working artist. She has sent me opportunities after graduating and has given me advice on what paths to pursue. Also, Sharyn O’Mara, who was the head of Tyler’s glass program when I was in school, recommended so many opportunities and grant applications to apply to. Those experiences have helped so much with understanding what to pursue now that I'm not in that educational environment. The adjunct professors had also been crucial for my development. My professors gave way more than they had to give to their students and I am so grateful to them. I honestly just wish Temple University (and universities in general) would pay their professors what they are worth. LG: Luckily, I have worked for Dr. Mel Douglas since my third year in my Bachelor of Visual Arts. I have been educated by, worked with, and been mentored by Mel throughout the phases of my degree and career. Thanks to the encouragement of Mel, I have also attended Pilchuck as a student and a TA, and UrbanGlass as a student.
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GASnews: What has been the most integral tool for motivating your personal studio practice? PL: The most integral tool to motivating my studio practice is passion. I am extremely passionate about art, arts education, and community. I let it drive me. When I first started my studio practice outside of academia, I found it very helpful to use motivational tools such as vision boards and goal/reward systems. AU: When I was in school, Jes Julius, asked “why do we do this to ourselves?” She was acknowledging the difficulty of being a working artist - the hours poured in, the lack of sleep, hustling to make deadlines, etc. She answered it by saying “because we have to”. It’s really as simple as that. If you don’t have that part of you that needs to keep making art, you’re not going to have enough momentum or passion to sustain a meaningful practice. I have this itch that I feel if I go too long without pursuing an idea. It’s a literal bodily feeling of (discomfort) until I start working again. Sometimes I research topics for a long time, but other times I have an idea pop into my head at a random time and I just have to start working on it. I can’t imagine this not being my life. I also get a rush whenever I see other artists’ work I admire. Going to museums, or with this year’s circumstances, virtually watching artist’s talks/shows is one of the best ways to inspire creation. There’s so many incredible artists and I really just want to be one of them. LG: Mostly it is deadlines, trying to make work or submit it for a specific exhibition or prize. I have found it difficult to focus and spend extended time on my practice as I am usually so busy with work, working for others or just life. There never seems to be enough time in
a day, week or month to get everything done. But I am lucky that all the work I do is creative, making and intertwined with the community in some way. A vital part any education is preparation for understanding and accessing the array of professional avenues to continue making work and find a path in the field. The avenues are varied and most artists must learn to adapt while balancing life and work. Offering professional practices pedagogy benefits both the individual and the larger glass community. Integrating these essential
lessons into glass programs actively sustains our community by providing young glass artists with the skills necessary to persevere in the field. It may be a radical idea, but I firmly believe students should not only receive professional mentorship through their academic program, but that they should play a key role in developing the curriculum and pedagogy. By including current students and alumni in the curriculum process, academia can lay out an honest and accurate foundation for students; one in which the individual can build their personal career upon.
I hope that by giving students a platform, those of us who identify as educators will consider how we hold space for the minds we are molding. Paige Lizbeth Morris is the Student Representative for GAS. She is an interdisciplinary artist with a foundation in glass currently located on Lenape Lands.
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