2014 Visiting Artist Series
Each year the Chrysler Museum Glass Studio Visiting Artist Series brings some of the world’s top glass art talent to the Coastal Virginia area. The 2014 lineup, detailed below, included a long-time figure in the American Studio Glass movement, an innovative artist who has been blowing glass since he was 13, a long-time colleague of Lino Tagliapietra and a woman who has worked with top artists all around the world.
Jan. 8-22: Sarah Gilbert
The Robert M. Minkoff Foundation, in partnership the Chrysler Museum of Art, sponsored Sarah Gilbert as the inaugural artist for 4Front: Innovation from All Angles, a residency at the Chrysler Museum Glass Studio.
Gilbert was selected after an international search and competitive submission process. Her project, Laboring, involved body castings of members from the Hampton Roads community, and will be the subject of an upcoming documentary. Selected pieces are now on view at the Studio.
Gilbert, an artist and educator based in Portland, Oregon, is a graduate of Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design. Her work spans a wide range of materials and processes, and is detailed in depth at sarahgilbert.net.
The Robert M. Minkoff Foundation is focused on furthering the use of glass in the field of contemporary art and advancing technical knowledge about glass art processes.
June 5-8: Richard Marquis
You know you’ve had a good career when you have not one but two lifetime achievement awards. So it goes with Richard Marquis, one of the first Americans to ever work in a Venetian glass factory, and a major player in the American Studio Glass movement.
Born in Arizona and educated at Cal-Berkeley, his year in Murano, Italy came as the result of a 1969 Fulbright Scholarship. By 2010 his fame had grown to the point where he had come full circle. He had a solo exhibition in Venice.
His work often contains an element of humor, and he has pieces in museum collections across the United States and around the world. You can find his work not only in museums with strong glass collections—Corning or Toledo, for instance—but also in places such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York or London’s Victoria and Albert Museum.
While widely considered a top-flight artist, he’s also proud of his teaching. As he explains on his website: “The effect of Venetian glassblowing techniques on American Studio Glass enabled glass artists to expand their technical vocabularies and, combined with new and experimental approaches, led to the redefinition of glass as an artistic medium.”
Aug. 7-10: Martin Janecky
Martin Janecky’s father was a technician in a glass factory, and even though what was being produced was completely functional, dishware and vases and things, he found something mesmerizing about molten glass. No surprise he started blowing glass when he was just 13.
Early on, he did whatever jobs necessary just to be around the glassmakers. His focus was on learning techniques because he knew that down the road, he didn’t want to make to vases. He wanted to make sculptures. Has he ever.
His Facebook page includes incredible examples of his human figures. This native of the Czech Republic is rapidly making a name for himself as both an artist and as an instructor. Recent American teaching stints include the Corning Museum of Glass, Toledo Museum of Art, Pilchuck Glass School and the Penland School of Crafts, NC. International teaching stints include stops in Holland, Turkey, Japan, and India.
Janecky is currently based in Fairbanks, Alaska.
Nov. 13-16: Nancy Callan & Katherine Gray
Nancy Callan and Katherine Gray are highly respected artists who travel extensively as part of the glass art scene and are considered among the finest glassblowers working in the United States today.
For more than a decade, Callan has been a member of Lino Tagliapietra’s glassblowing team and has traveled throughout the world as his assistant. Her work can be found in many museums and private collections, including the personal collection of Elton John.
Gray is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, and has won numerous awards. She originally studied furniture and lighting, but after investigating glass to get better at that kind of work, she fell in love with glass art. As she once put it: “I’m fascinated that glass is this ubiquitous material whose main purpose is to be invisible.”
Shown below is an interview with the two artists conducted by Charlotte Potter, our Glass Studio manager. Scroll down to see examples of their work.