COLD, WARM, HOT
Glass Art of New England
Curated by Genevieve C. Cole
Rebecca Lawrence Gallery Entry and the E. N. Wennberg Gallery
April 9 – May 8, 2010
A lot of talented artists call our area home. Many are painters, sculptors and printmakers, quite a few more practice traditional crafts such as woodworking, pottery and jewelry design. On most any given day of the year it is possible for one to walk into an art or craft gallery and find examples in the aforementioned media, but there is one category of “art” that is often underrepresented. This illusive medium is glass.
Is it fine art? Is it craft? The answer is YES! Glass is a very versatile medium.
Its uses can range from the very mundane window pane, to extremely intricate sculptures constructed of dozens, sometimes hundreds, of hand made components. Many galleries shy away from showing “glass art” for a variety of reasons; it doesn’t fit the mold of “traditional fine art” or at the other end of the spectrum; “the work is too expensive to sell as craft.” Very few schools and universities have glass programs due to the cost of equipment, materials and maintenance, and compared to the well known, long practiced, arts of painting, drawing and sculpture, glass art is a “youngster,” having only been introduced to the American art scene in the 1960’s. Despite these obstacles, the popularity of glass art has grown, and more and more people are making glass, seeking out workshops, apprenticeships and degree programs.
I have been teaching glass fusing and mosaics workshops at AVA Gallery and Art Center in Lebanon, NH for the past year and have to say I am thoroughly impressed with the facility and professional work being shown in what I call its “big city quality gallery spaces.” The classes were a hit from the beginning. This started me wondering “has AVA ever hosted a glass art show?” And if not “how can I make it happen?” There are dozens of accomplished glass workers in the area, practicing almost as many different methods of glass making, ranging from “Cold to Warm to Hot.”
The answer to the first question was “No.” And the second “The ball is in your court…make it happen!” So I did! My hope was to represent a diverse variety of glass makers and the methods they employ to create their work. I knew there were quite a few glass artists in the area when I dove into this project but I didn’t really expect to find over 100 living and working in New England. From my initial list, 26 accomplished glass blowers, sculptors, lamp workers, (people who use a torch) kiln workers, mosaics and stained glass artists have stepped up to the challenge. There will be something for everyone to enjoy; from the crystal clear, functional vessels of a household name like Simon Pearce, to people creating and restoring traditional cathedral windows like Rick Neumann and Liza King of Brattleboro. Also included in this impressive group, contributing their “Landscape Series” of hand blown pieces, are the president of the Vermont Crafts Council, Harry Bessett and his partner and wife, Wendy Bessett, wearable art by jewelry artists Beth Williams and Marjorie Oxman, collectable paperweights by Melissa Ayotte and the sculpture of award winning designer Robert DuGrenier of Townshend, VT.
AVA Gallery and Art Center presents:
“Cold, Warm, Hot” Glass Art of New England
Featuring the work of 26 established and up-and-coming glass artists
April 9 – May 8, 2010
Opening Reception – Friday April 9, 2010 ~ 5:00 p.m. – 7:00
Including works by:
Harry & Wendy Besett
Jonathan Betsch & Emily Abbott
Genevieve C. Cole
Marie Formichelli Walker
Michael Kraatz & Susan Russell
Thanks to all who participated in the exhibition and all who made it to the opening reception!
Please check back for more photos and upcoming events!