Ruth Reader

Artist Beth Lipman awarded prestigious $50,000 fellowship


Beth Lipman, a glass artist known for her austere three-dimensional still life sculptures largely devoted to examining extravagance, is one of 50 artists to be awarded theUnited States Artist Fellowship. Founded in 2006, the organization provides each fellow with a $50,000 grant to continue progress work in their given field. While many Americans see the struggling nature of being an artist as part of the territory, United States Artists believe artists should be duly compensated for their work. Actor and director Tim Robbins hosted the awards ceremony Monday night at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica, California. 

A graduate of the Tyler School of Art,Lipman has been showing her work in solo and selected group exhibitions since 2000. In ancient times, still life paintings were included in tombs as offerings that were believed to become real in the afterlife. But Lipman’s work dashes that notion, forcing her audience instead to carefully examine the timeless scenes. It’s this juxtaposition of luxury and chaos, a gluttonous bowl of fruit or a 10 foot tall dessert stand filled with a jumble of wine glasses and tableware, that makes Lipman’s work so engaging.

Beth Lipman in the studio. courtesy: corning museum of glass studio.

But it’s her cultural astuteness that makes Lipman’s work relevant, garnering it a place in many modern art museums. Her recent sculpture, One and Others(2011), features a table littered with toppled drink-ware and upturned remnants of a night’s festivities, serves as a reminder to many of the kind of attitude that landed Americans in the belly of a recession. The artist, who began creating these scenes at the tail end of former President Clinton’s economic surplus, an era filled with spending reminiscent of the the gilded age, often seeks to deconstruct the value in excess through her work. One and Others, featured above, is her most recently completed commission piece for the Norton Museum of Art in Florida

The Heller Gallery in New York, which represents Lipman, will feature her work  at the upcoming Art Palm Beach fair. The event will take place at the Palm Beach County Convention Center January 20-23, 2012, with an opening night preview on January 19.

—Ruth Reader

Glass Art Society announces award winners for 2012

Along with Joel Philip Myers, Bertil Vallien will be given the GAS Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to the field through works such as this one entitled The Bar (1999).[/caption] The votes are in. Glass Art Society has announced its 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award will go to Joel Philip Myers and Bertil Vallien. The wnners will accept their awards at the 42nd annual conferenc , which will be held at the Toledo Museum of Art on June 14, 2012. GAS has been giving the Lifetime Achievement Awardsince 1993 to acknowledge individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the development of the glass arts worldwide.

A ceramicist by training, Joel Philip Myers was the design director at Blenko Glass. In 1970, after seven years of working at Blenko and educating himself on glass working, he began the glass program at Illinois State University in Normal, which offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees, Students have the opportunity to work with ISU’s 5,000 square foot glass studio called the “Vitro House.“After 30 years of teaching Myers has retired and now works exclusively on his glass vessels, showing them in solo as well as group shows.

The other winner of this year’s award, Bertil Vallien, is a Swedish artist who also began as a ceramics designer. While working for HAL Fromholt Ceramics in Los Angeles, California, Erik Afors, owner of Afors Glass Company, offered Vallien a position as a glass designer back in Sweden. In 1964,  Vallien began his education in glass at Afors. Over the years he has received myriad awards such as the Second Prize at the Zweiter Coburger Glaspreis, the Visionary Award from New York’s Museum of Arts & Design, and a Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences Gold Medal. He is a key figure in developing sandcast glass techniques and has taught widely on this subject.

Both Vallien and Myers will be awarded during The 42nd annual Glass Art Society Conference.  The Lifetime Achievement Award winners will each give a lecture at the conference opening ceremonies. Myers’ lecture is entitled “En Lykkens Pamphilius” (One Lucky Guy) and Vallien’s is named “There Must Be a Reason.” Vallien will also give a demonstration as part of the conference program.

This year’s conference will explore 50 years of studio glass, with events ranging from lectures and demonstrations to exhibits and tours.  There will be a student specific education center where students can discuss career opportunities and have their portfolio reviewed.

The conference will run from June 13th – 16th, 2012. Registration is availableonline starting December 1st.

—Ruth Reader


June 13th-16th, 2011 Park Inn by Radisson 101 North Summit St

Toledo, Ohio


Tickets: Adults: $275 before March 1st Students: $145 before March 1st