2015 Visiting Artist Series
This year’s artists included Emilio Santini, Toots Zynsky, and Tom Moore.
Feb. 26–March 1: Emilio Santini
The Chrysler Museum Glass Studio launched this year’s Visiting Artist Series with an internationally acclaimed guest who hails from both an hour away and worlds away.
Emilio Santini lives in nearby Williamsburg, but was born on the island of Murano, Italy—a place well-known and greatly admired for its history of glassmaking. Like many families from this tiny part of Venice, the lineage of glassmakers in his family goes back hundreds of years, so his career path was nearly inevitable.
His ready sense of humor is apparent in Urna, a glass sculpture in the Chrysler’s collection. This perfectly balanced and elegantly symmetrically urn is elongated to the point that is no longer a useful object. Look closer and you’ll see a series of black and white monkeys with interlocking arms, flipping and falling every which way. Perhaps this is Emilio’s way of showing off his incredible skill while letting us know he is thinking about playfulness and connectivity—and how mixing humor with serious talent can ultimately lead to success.
September 10-13: Toots Zynsky
The glass art career of Toots Zynsky began at the beginning of the American Studio Glass movement.
In the early ’70s at the Rhode Island School of Design she was studying glass art under Dale Chihuly, and to underscore what a momentous time this was, her fellow classmates read like a who’s who of modern glass art—Therman Statom, James Carpenter, Bruce Chao, and Dan Dailey. She was part of the pioneering group that helped Chihuly establish the Pilchuck Glass School in Washington state.
In 1983 Zynsky left for a three-week trip to Europe and wound up living abroad for 16 years. She’s been based in Providence, R.I. since her return.
While known for her skillful use of color, much of her work has been done in black, grey, and red, what she calls “powerful colors, life-and-death colors.” She has work in more than 70 museum collections around the world.
To watch a short YouTube video featuring an interview with Zynsky, click here. The video was produced by the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Renwick Gallery.
October 16-18: Tom Moore
Tom Moore is an Australian glass artist who likes to combine natural and industrial elements and place them into dreamlike landscapes.
His creations, including Plantbird, Torpedoshark, and Potatofishcar blur the line between plants, animals and machines. He says he is inspired by sites such as old wrecked cars that have been overgrown by plants, what he calls “the triumph of nature over industry.”
The graduate of the Canberra School of Art is currently working on his Ph.D. He’s spent the last dozen years at Jam Factory in Adelaide, a combination studio/gallery art space. He’s described there as “one of Australia’s leading contemporary glass artists.”