Ruth Reader

OPENING: Hungarian artists hope to change perceptions with major exhibition

Hu Glass
Hu Glass


Despite sharing a border with Austria, and practically being neighbors to the Czech Republic and Poland, Hungary has never been known as a force in the glass arts. It wasn’t even until the 1950s that Hungary had any kind of glass art education.  Porcelain designer  turned glass artist Julia de Bathory developed the first glass art classes at theSecondary School of Fine and Applied Arts in 1953. Since then, the country has made major strides to train and educate students in the material. The Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design hosts a glass program at the undergraduate and graduate level, and the Hungarian Glass Art Society, formed in 1996 , has helped promote glass artists countrywide. This week, the society will show work by 45 local artists at it’s “HuGlass” exhibition. Continue reading →

OPENING: Bullseye Gallery turn its focus to the glass canvas



With an opening reception this evening, Bullseye Gallery kicks off a month-long celebration of two-dimensional painting on glass in their exhibit, “Facture: Artists at the Forefront of Painterly Glass.” The group exhibition will showcase kilnformed glass paintings (mostly frit on sheet glass) from the artists Kari MinnickMartha PfanschmidtTed SawyerAbi SpringJeff Wallin, and Michael Janis. In an telephone interview, Janis, told the GLASS Quarterly Hot Sheet that glass as a canvas adds texture to a painting’s storyline in a way opaque fabric cannot: “It’s shiny, it’s matte, the finish is so malleable it adds to the story.” Beyond the finish, Janis talks about the role of light and opacity in glass paintings versus their canvas counterparts. He says, “some of [the image] is obscured, some of it’s transparent. My glass panels are 3/4ths of an inch thick. Shadow and depth are something I couldn’t achieve as a painter or collage artist. Even the temperature of the material adds to the narrative. Glass has something that translates, that’s tactile.” Continue reading →

OPENING: Shanghai Museum of Glass celebrates Venini’s 90th anniversary



From now until February 8th, 2012, the Shanghai Museum of Glass will host a series of events surrounding the 90th anniversary of the Venetian glass design house Venini. The second-floor exhibit will pay homage to the various artists who have made their mark through their iconic designs for Venini. The exhibition will feature work from each decade of Venini’s 90 years with a look at a single artist and their work, starting with Zecchin and Paolo Venini’sVeronese vase and ending with a series of angular vases designed by Japanese architect Tadao Ando in 2011. Tapio Wirkkala, famous for the Bolle Bottles will represent the years between 1961 and 1970.

The Shanghai Museum of Glass opened in May of this year and is the latest addition to China’s growing glass art field. Just five years ago, China didn’t even have an operational hot shop for artistic use of the material. Now the country boasts a a couple of university-level glass art programs, and, as of this year, a whole museum devoted to the pursuit. The Shanghai Museum, a gorgeous sprawling reuse of the former Shanghai Glass Company factory transformed by German architecture firm Logon, is a modern venue for glass artwork. The Shanghai Glass Company, a major industrial glass maker, sponsors the Museum in hopes of educating Chinese on the history of glass and provide a forum for artistic inspiration. The museum not only showcases international glass artwork, but also houses a public glass hot shop. Despite the fact that the country produces 80 percent of the world’s processed glass, there are limited venues for creative glass making. Having a hot shop was a top priority for the museum.

Bolle Bottles for Venini by Tapio Wirkkala, 1968.

In addition to celebrating Venini’s 90th anniversary, the Shanghai Museum of Glass is running their series “Transmission of Imagination — Infinite Possibilities No.4″ which features contemporary glass art from the China Academy of Art. Another contemporary exhibit that just finished its run in October, featured the work of American artist Steven Weinberg. The retrospective focused on the optical, transparent, and reflective qualities of glass in his solid, kiln-cast sculptures.

The Shanghai Museum of Glass hopes to expand the museum to include a whole campus dedicated to exploring the world of glass. The campus, titled G+ Theme Park, is planned to include a sculpture park, science park, studio, and business park.

—Ruth Reader

OPENING: Jeff Zimmer’s political indictment at the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show


Glass artist Jeff Zimmer calls his work “politically charged,” but not necessarily polemic. In his most recent series “Whitewash,” on display at the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show from November 10th through the 13th, he explores the American tendency to gloss over past failures through his out-of-focus snowy landscapes. The solo show, his first in the U.S., is a part of the Craft Scotland delegation at the museum’s 35th annual Craft Show.

It is fitting, given his subject matter, that Zimmer is originally from Washington, D.C.. After studying at the Washington Glass School, he left the U.S. to study glass painting at the Edinburgh College of Art. It was there that he began layering his hand-painted and kiln-fired glass sheets in a light box to achieve a 3-D effect. Zimmer’s paintings are often eerie and look like holographic vintage photographs.

The work in the “Whitewash” series carries that sentiment. The series of seemingly deserted urban and rural scenes set in the U.S. and Scotland depict things that feel left behind or forgotten. The images are dense with snow and fog. Each painting shares the title We Were All Wrong, with parenthetical subtitles individual work. The global title is a direct quote from former weapons inspector David Kay’s testimony regarding the U.S. invasion of Iraq. They are differentiated by subtitles noted in brackets.

Since graduating from Edinburgh College of Art in 2005 Zimmer’s work has been selected for two British Glass Biennales in 2008 and 2010, and is work is currently on display at the European Museum of Modern Glass in Coburg, Germany, as part of the group exhibition “50 Years of British Studio Glass.”

Zimmer will be one of 25 artists traveling from Scotland to show during the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show in an effort coordinated by CraftScotland to offer wider exposure to its artists. Tickets can be purchasedonline or by calling (215) 684-7930, or at the door.

—Ruth Reader


The Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show

November 11th – 13th, 2011

One Day Adult ticket: $15

Two Day: $20

Children under 12: $5

The Smithsonian’s “Craft 2 Wear” debuts in Washington D.C. this weekend

[caption id="attachment_322" align="alignleft" width="235"] Melissa Schmidt, Jaqueline Necklace, hand blown glass beads with film slides.[/caption] This weekend, the Building Museum in Washington D.C. will be the site of a special fashion show called “Craft 2 Wear”, a sale and exhibition of 40 craft artists’ work that can be termed “wearable art.” The pieces on display range from fabric to metal, ceramics to glass; and they are drawn from previously juried Smithsonian Craft Fairs. It all kicks off tonight with an “Advance Chance Party” hosted by ABC World News weekend anchor, David Muir. The Smithsonian promises an evening full of wine, food, a fashion show, and first pick at the crafts that will be sold on Saturday and Sunday.

Glass collectors in attendance are sure to be dazzled by Melissa Schmidt‘s bubbly glass jewelry. Her non-traditional glass beads are hand-blown globes, strung together in clumps on sterling or gold-filled neck wires. The beads are stunning on their own, but Schmidt is known to fill these globules with origami and slide film. The string of glass encased slides, illuminated by light passing through, form an interesting narrative. The one she most prominently showcases on her website was a gift to her mother on her sixtieth birthday. The necklace is comprised of over 60 glass globes each containing sentimental film slides collected by her mother. Schmidt makes earrings, bracelets, and necklaces and prices range from $75 to $1500. Her jewelry, along with the designs of 39 other artists, will be on display starting tonight at 5:30 p.m. and will conclude this Sunday, October 23rd, at 5pm. Tickets can be purchased online, at the door, or by calling 1-888-832-9554.

—Ruth Reader


Craft 2 Wear: Advance Chance Party                                                                              
October 21, 2011                                                                                                                     
5:30 pm – 8:30pm                                                                                                                            
Admission: $50
Craft 2 Wear Exhibit                                                                                                                        
October 22 – 23, 2011                                                                                                        
10:00 am – 5:00 pm                                                                                                              
Admission: $5
Craft 2 Wear Panel Discussion: Curating Your Closet                                      
 October 23, 2011                                                                                                                 
 11:00 am                                                                                                                              
Admission: $30
Building Museum 401 F Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001
Metro – Red Line – Judiciary Square Station

OPENING: Kate Baker’s new exhibition “Cipher” debuts at Bullseye Gallery

  [caption id="attachment_327" align="alignleft" width="300"] Kate Baker, Untitled Tetraptych (from the "Cipher" series), 2011. Kilnformed glass. H 22, W 37, D 1 3/4 in.[/caption]


This evening at Portland’s Bullseye Gallery, Australian artist Kate Baker opens her new show “Cipher,” a series of glass artworks that combine color with ghostly photographic portraits and textured engravings. This is Baker’s first solo exhibition at Bullseye. Concerned with the way culture and technology occupy both internal and external space, Baker imprints thick blocks of glass with texture and language, ranging from binary code to alphabetic, and uses vibrant colors to challenge the brilliance or opacity.

Since graduating from the Glass Workshop at the Australian National University School of Art, Baker has been a finalist for the Ranamok Glass Prize three times and was included in the 2007 International Exhibition of Glass Kanazawa in Japan. Last year, she won the Gold Award at Bullseye’s biennial juried competition, emerge-2010. She is also the co-founder of Locus Gallery in Sydney, Australia, which focuses on coldworking and kilnforming glass.


For a preview of her work click hereCipher, will be on exhibit at the Bullseye Gallery until November 26, 2011.




Kate Baker
October 5th – November 26, 2011
Opening reception, October 5th, 5:30 – 7:30 PM
Bullseye Gallery
300 NW Thirteenth Avenue
Portland, OR 97209
Tel: 503.227.0222


WE ARE: Cash, Guns, and Money

[caption id="attachment_165" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Sarah Frost Browning's Paper Gun @ NURTUREArts WE ARE exhibit."][/caption] BY RUTH READER AUGUST 4, 2011

A 50 caliber M2 lays loaded and ready on the ground next to a thousand-dollar stack of cash. One of the walls of this sparsely lit room is pocked with a dark viscous substance.  No, this is not a crime scene. This is NUTUREart’s WE ARE: exhibit Live and Let Die, presented by curatorial platform Fortress to Solitude...

Skolimowski Revisited

BY RUTH READER JUNE 22, 2011 Just when you thought Jerzy Skolimowski had dipped into the shadows never to produce a film again, he emerged from a 17-year hiatus with two films: Four Nights with Anna and Essential Killing.

The critical acclaim for both films prompted the chief curator of the Museum of the Moving Image, David Schwartz, to host a retrospective of the artist’s work, showing films made throughout the course of his over 50-year career...