Richard Jolley, internationally recognized as one of today's most accomplished and inventive glass sculptors, was born in Wichita, Kansas, in 1952. As a youth, he moved to Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and in 1970 began his art training at Tusculum College in Greenville, Tennessee, studying under noted glass artist Michael Taylor. After receiving his BFA from George Peabody College in Nashville (now part of Vanderbilt University), Jolley continued graduate studies at North Carolina's Penland School of Crafts, under the instruction of studio glass artist Richard Ritter. Jolley has participated in over 65 solo museum and gallery exhibitions throughout the United States and in Australia, Europe, Israel, and Japan.
Jolley's sculpture takes the form of drawings, busts, totems, suspended figures, birds, the garden -- all exploring issues of the human condition, nature, and the universe through the use of glass, color, and contemporary symbolism. Jolley’s work is alluring, in part because it allows the viewer to escape from the everyday into a dream. His message: Art is not limited by its medium but is open to a continuous exploration of new possibilities for what can be meaningful to the human eye.
On May 4, 2014, the Knoxville Museum of Art, Knoxville, Tennessee, debuted Jolley’s new, monumentally scaled sculpture commissioned and created especially for the museum's newly refurbished Great Hall, recently renamed the Ann and Steve Bailey Hall. Cycle of Life measures 100 feet long by 12 feet tall, making it one of the largest figurative glass-and-steel assemblages in the world. Fashioned of thousands of individual cast and blown-glass elements, the massive work unfolds as an epic narrative of the successive phases of life.
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In the process of inspiring others to try glass, Fritz Dreisbach began studying and reinventing historic shapes in glass with his personal brand of irony, humor, and fun. Above all he tried to capture the fluid nature of his medium in homage to the molten material used to create the work. Children’s toys and games, funk art (especially ceramics), and 1960s comics all inform and inspire Dreisbach’s artwork. His influences include and are as diverse as Jackson Pollock, Claus Oldenburg, Robert Arneson, Clayton Baily, Fred Bauer, and R. Crumb.
Dreisbach, who now lives on Whidbey Island, works out of his glass studio in Freeland, Washington, creating a new series of wheel-carved and cameo-cut sculpture. In addition, he continues to explore his large blown works known as Mongos, and produces playful goblets, trick glasses, and toy vehicles.
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Equal parts artist, scientist, and historian, Fritz Dreisbach has spent the last five decades teaching and demonstrating glassblowing around the world. This Johnny Appleseed of Glass has himself played a vital role in the history of the American Studio Glass movement that he now strives to preserve and share with the next generation of artists.
Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Dreisbach grew up in Akron as part of a family of educators. His father, a college chemistry professor, and mother, a high school music and literature teacher, created in their son what is referred to as conciatore - a marriage of art and science. Fritz holds two bachelor degrees, one in art and one in math. This duality is reflected in both his technical consulting for glass factories such as the Glass Eye Studio, Spectrum Glass, Kugler Colors, and Seattle Batch as well as his continuing personal journey to express using hot glass.
Dreisbach studied painting and sculpture at the University of Iowa, Iowa City, earning his MA. Planning to eventually teach painting, his advisor instructed him to study a broad range of artistic subjects. A two-credit course in glassblowing was part of the curriculum, and serendipitously his love affair with glass began. Dreisbach continued his studies at the University of Wisconsin where he earned an MFA and was inspired by three pioneers of the Studio Glass movement: Harvey Littleton, Dominick Labino, and Erwin Eisch. His education includes a hefty dose of art history including Ancient, Renaissance, and 20th-century painting and sculpture. His background in painting and classical intaglio printmaking provides the basis for practical color theory.
When the excitement of working with hot glass spread from the University of Wisconsin, no one traveled farther or more frequently than Dreisbach to proselytize about glassblowing. The artist visited the first summer session held at Pilchuck Glass School in 1971 and has been active with the school as teacher, advisor, and trustee for 39 years. He also helped found the Glass Art Society, which presented him with a lifetime achievement award in 2002.
By single-handedly revolutionizing the craft of stained glass through her unique aesthetic and inventive approach to materials, Judith Schaechter championed her medium into the world of fine art. The content of her work - which gives voice to those who experience pain, grief, despair, and hopelessness - resonates with viewers, leaving a profound and lasting impression.
In 1983, Schaechter graduated with a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design Glass Program and moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where she is now an adjunct professor at The University of the Arts. Her current work was on view in October 2016 at Claire Oliver galley in New York City, in an exhibition titled The Life Ecstatic.
Schaechter’s exhibition history includes the 2002 Whitney Biennial and a collateral exhibition of the Venice Biennale in 2012. Her work can be found in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum in New York; the Victoria and Albert Museum in London; the Hermitage in Russia; the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; The Corning Museum of Glass, Corning, New York; and The Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC.
Schaechter found success early and has sustained it throughout her career. In 2008 she was named a USA Artists Rockefeller Fellow and in 2013 was inducted to the American Craft Council College of Fellows. She is the recipient of many grants including the Guggenheim Fellowship, two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, and The Louis Comfort Tiffany Award, to name but a few.
Bob Leatherbarrow established Leatherbarrow Glass Studio in Calgary in 1988 and has created original kilnformed glass ever since. Known for his innovative styles, techniques, and designs, he has taken an experimental approach to developing unique textures and colour palettes using glass powders. His glass bowls and sculptures explore the subtle hues and delicate beauty of naturally occurring textures and encourage the viewer to ponder their origin.
In 2008 Leatherbarrow moved his studio to Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, where he continues to make glass art and write e-books on his signature techniques. The artist has also been a popular instructor on both the national and international kilnformed glass scenes. Join us for this fascinating conversation with Leatherbarrow about his techniques and aesthetic approach to kiln formed glass.
On May 12 at Chihuly Garden and Glass in Seattle, Washington, a full capacity audience of 275 guests attended Pilchuck Celebrates and toasted the 2016 Honorees. Glassblowing pioneer Dante Marioni, 52, was awarded The Libenský | Brychtová Award, which acknowledges extraordinary talent and high achievement in the world of contemporary glass.
Marioni took the glass world by storm at age 19 with his exacting and intuitive command of both Venetian design and technique. The resulting monumental Post Modern sculpture referred to vessels and paid homage to glassblowing itself. His early aesthetic signature included graceful form, impeccable finish, and the use of solid opaque colors, all of which made his work instantly recognizable.
Always looking for a new challenge, Marioni’s series are short-lived. The natural evolution of process and form led to an aesthetic shift away from opaque, bold color to an exploration of pattern created through Venetian techniques such as reticello and latticino in transparent glass. Marioni’s current work beguiles the viewer with its intricacy, beauty, and perfection of form, revealed in sculptural vessels that are inspired by the stylized leaf as found in the decorative arts.
Marioni’s work will be exhibited in Classical, Native, and Pop Cultures, on view September 2 – 30 at Schantz Gallery, Stockbridge, Massachusetts, along with the work of Preston Singletary and Richard Marquis. His solo exhibition, In a Breath, opens November 4 at Ken Saunders Gallery, Chicago, Illinois, during the first week of SOFA and runs through December 2016.
Washington DC artist Michael Janis has developed and refined an intuitive technique over many years, creating detailed imagery by manipulating glass powder. His illustrative works in glass are dreamy and beautifully stylized. His moody glass panels feature partially obscured people submersed in nature or seemingly dissolving beneath colors and patterns.
Maurine Littleton Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of Echoes of Leaves and Shadows, a solo exhibition of new glass works and sculptures by Janis on view from September 16 – October 14, 2016. This is the artist’s first solo exhibition with Maurine Littleton Gallery.
Janis' work explores the unseen sides of life, longing and loneliness, juxtaposed with fragile beauty. The atmosphere in his subject matter is often presented as if in a dream or limbo-like state, with elements of surrealism.
The artist discusses his new series of work as well as his role as co director of the Washington Glass School.
Tom Holdman currently faces the biggest challenge of his career – how to depict thousands of years of world history in the 200-foot stained glass wall his studio is creating for Utah Valley University (UVU) in Orem, Utah. Holdman, artist and CEO of Holdman Studios, is a man on a mission, determined to complete all 80 panels for his masterwork, Roots of Knowledge (RoK), by the end of October 2016. His monumental masterpiece depicts the most important advances in human knowledge and civilization, inspiring individuals to reach their full potential while illuminating stained glass as one of the highest art forms on earth.
In this conversation with both Holdman and lead artist Cameron Oscarson, we learn how the creative team functions, how the windows were designed, painted, and fabricated, and how the team will meet the great race to the finish line of completion.
On the cover of Glass Art magazine's July August 2016 issue. For back issues go to www.glassartmagazine.com
Visit www.rootsofknowledge.org for more information and to donate to the project.
Ben Sharp’s artistic focus developed out of his longtime fascination with early aeronautics and the history of navigation. In developing his sculptural style, Sharp drew from engineering, geometry and mapping, and studies of proportion, balance, and light. His visually captivating and seemingly weightless sculptures incite a nostalgic sense of adventure.
Avoiding trite whimsy, Sharp juxtaposes industrial metal with centuries-old cane techniques to subtly reference the stitched netting and structures of hydrogen air balloons, zeppelins, and dirigibles. His work refers not only to flight, but alludes to the mysteries of science and the journeys of the human imagination.
Originally from Gainesville, Florida, Ben Sharp lives in Stanwood, Washington. He is currently Head Studio Technician at Pilchuck Glass School. Prior to joining Pilchuck’s team six years ago, he gained diverse experience working in fabrication at the National Casting Center Foundry, on scientific glassblowing projects for NASA, and in color production at Bullseye Glass Co. He earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2006 from Alfred University, and he has taught at GoggleWorks Center for the Arts, and The Studio at Corning Museum of Glass. In 2012, he completed a Visiting Artist Residency at Museum of Glass-Tacoma, and this year (2015) received a Juror’s Choice Award by Spokane Arts.
Nicholas Parrendo’s Labor of Love
“Stained glass is put together with lead, and lead is flexible to allow the glass to contract and expand. If you want to live a long life, you’ve got to be flexible.”
Artist and owner of Hunt Stained Glass Studios in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Nicholas Parrendo spent his career in service to the studio and the multitudes of churches and synagogues for which he designed and fabricated or restored stained glass windows. His absolute reverence for the craft he undertook as young man is evident in his artwork as well as the many related endeavors he participated in throughout his career that spanned more than six decades.
Parrendo exhibited work for and is a member of both the American Glass Guild (AGG) and the Stained Glass Association of America (SGAA). He was presented with both organization’s Lifetime Achievement Award – SGAA’s in 1999 and AGG’s in 2009. As a senior advisor for the AGG, Parrendo participated in the organization’s conferences and exhibitions. In 2012, when AGG’s conference was held in Pittsburgh, Parrendo hosted an intensive painting workshop at his studio.
He delighted in presenting slide shows and lectures for various organizations and schools, taking the opportunity to encourage others to share in his passion for stained glass. He was a guest lecturer at several SGAA summer conferences as well as a master instructor of stained glass for the Life Long Learning Program of Carnegie Mellon University. He taught at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; the Pioneer Crafts Council, Farmington, Pennsylvania; and at St. Michael’s Institute on Enders Island, Mystic, Connecticut.
Parrendo passed away February 11, 2016. He worked six days a week into his 80s, starting every morning at his church, St. Cyril of Alexandria on Brighton Road, attending morning Mass, doing readings, and leading hymns.
"I think my father possesses more than talent when it comes to stained glass. It’s more like a special gift," says daughter, Celeste Parrendo. “He has such a passionate love for what he does.”
In this interview from Glass Art magazine's archives, Tina Oldknow, former Curator of Modern and Contemporary Glass at The Corning Museum of Glass, discusses the museum's new Art + Design Wing. She also reveals her criteria for Rakow Commission award recipients and how museum donations were secured and incorporated into CMOG's collection. Part 2 of 2.
Have you ever wondered how artists are selected for The Corning Museum of Glass' survey of cutting edge glass - New Glass Review?
Well this is the podcast for you!
To celebrate the Glass Art Society's conference being held in Corning, New York, this weekend, Talking Out Your Glass podcast presents a two-part interview from its archives. This conversation with Tina Oldknow, former curator of modern and contemporary glass at The Corning Museum of Glass, begins with the evolution of Oldknow's career in glass. She also discusses her favorite special exhibitions and how her view of contemporary glass and glass artists has evolved over time.
The Big D.R.M.S. Project, Ben Belgrad's philanthropic glass enterprise, combines stems designed by collaborating artists with Belgrad’s borosilicate cups and glasses. Each color used is associated with a unique charity, and for every purchase, a minimum $100 donation is made. Belgrad attempts to partner with charities that have little to no overhead in terms of operational costs and staffing. Belgrad discusses the origins of The Big D.R.M.S. project and how collectors and artists can get involved.
Marquiscarpas, Potato Boxes and Slab Construction
Freely sharing his knowledge of the techniques he learned in Venice - murrine, millefiori and glassblowing - Richard Marquis demonstrated and taught throughout the United States, Europe, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand. The effect of Venetian glassblowing techniques on American studio glass enabled artists to expand their technical vocabularies and, combined with new and experimental approaches, led to the redefinition of glass as an artistic medium. Part two in a two-part series.
The American Flag, Acid Capsules and the F Word
Freely sharing his knowledge of the techniques he learned in Venice - murrine, millefiori and glassblowing - Richard Marquis demonstrated and taught throughout the United States, Europe, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand. The effect of Venetian glassblowing techniques on American studio glass enabled artists to expand their technical vocabularies and, combined with new and experimental approaches, led to the redefinition of glass as an artistic medium. Part one in a two-part series.
The biggest deterrent to people donating funds to charitable organizations is the fear that their money will not reach those in need but be squandered on overhead and administrative costs. This motivated Dr. Laura Schlessinger, America's number one relationship talk show host, to seek out Operation Family Fund (OFF), a private, non-profit, volunteer, charitable organization benefitting military veterans. An avid glass enthusiast, Dr. Laura devised a plan to use her glass art to raise money for OFF.
Her online Mother's Day Boutique sale of fused glass and jewelry takes place April 27 - May 2, 2016.