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November 13, 2008 to January 5, 2009

Transformation 6: Contemporary Works in Glass

Organized by the Society for Contemporary Craft, Pittsburgh, PA

Transformation 6 examines contemporary glass not a just as categorical medium within craft, but as a conceptual framework itself. In this exhibition, glass is an active subject that opens a dialogue about its position within the discipline as well as its relationship to other media such as installation art, painting, and sculpture. Some works reference its everyday use as a vessel form, architectural element, or as a means of protection and containment. Yet others examine its potential associations with kitsch and the decorative arts. Multiple techniques surface throughout the exhibition, from blowing to casting, cold working,
slumping, and fusing.

Participating artists: Jennifer Blazina, Victoria Calabro, Robert Carlson, Sydney Cash, Nicole Chesney, Michael Crowder (Honorable Mention), Rene Culler, Daniel Cutrone, David Fox, Susan Tayler Glasgow, Hunter, Kazumi Ikemoto, Ben Johnson, Jeremy Lampe, Paul Moroni, John Miller, Stephen Protheroe, Kait Rhodes (Merit Award), Michael Rodgers (Honorable Mention), Amy Rueffert (Merit Award), David Schnuckel, Boris Shpeizman, Susanna B. Speirs, Penelope Comfort Starr, Atsuko Tajima, Tim Wagner, and Mark Zirpel (The Elizabeth R. Rapheal Founder!s
Prize Winner).

 

Selected Highlights:

Jennifer Blazina: Recollection

Recollection is an installation consisting of six antique school desks and a salvaged chalkboard. Stemming from Blazina's interest in the historic Wheaton Arts' schoolhouse, the multimedia installation casts an uncanny otherworldly presence in its portrayal of a classroom from the early 1900s. The desktops and sets are composed of fabricated steel and cast glass complete with inkwells and slats. Images of teachers and classmates from the early 1900s have been screen printed onto the underside of each glass desktop. Captured within the desks, each tells the story of a group of individuals bound together in history. As Blazina states, “Each desk holds a story, a moment in time belonging to multiple lives and captured in one frame.”

Blazina received a M.F.A. from Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, MI and received a B.F.A. from Purchase College, State University of New York as well as a B.A. in Art History from Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, NY. Blazina lives and works in Philadelphia, PA.

 

Michael Rogers: Evoking Nabakov - Honorable Mention

Michael Roger's work Evoking Nabakov focuses on the concept of transformation and metamorphosis as seen in nature and literature. The piece was inspired by a trip to the Harvard Natural History Museum where the artist encountered a display of Vladimir Nabakov's butterfly collection. A widely recognized lepidopterist, Nabakov was known in scientific circles for his research of the Blue Morpho Butterfly. The piece, consisting of a glass case containing an obvious reference to Nabakov in the placement of the typewriter, also includes photographs of butterflies covered with glass lenses on the shelf above. The glass panels enclosing the cabinet are covered with engraved text, adding to the reference of Nabakov as both scientist and important literary figure.

Rogers received a M.F.A. from the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign; and a M.A. and B.A. from Western Illinois University. He lives and works in Rochester, NY.

 

Mark Zirpel: Pair - The Elizabeth R. Raphael Founder's Prize Winner

Designed as a machine, Mark Zirpel's Pair reconsiders the vessel form as metaphor for human emotions. A simple mechanism holds two glass containers filled with water that are sealed with rubber gloves. As the glasses rise and lower alternately from each other, the white gloves expand and retract never to reach each other while in motion. This transference of air from one glove to another references the interconnection between the two objects, metaphorically suggesting a relationship that exists between two people that appears destined to
remain unfulfilled.

Zirpel received a M.F.A. from San Francisco Art Institute and a B.F.A. from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, AK. He now lives and works in Seattle, WA.

Tags: glass, installation