February 17, 2000, was a cold, clear day in Corning, NY. It’s not likely that many people remember that particular fact, but Rob Cassetti does. Cassetti is the senior director of creative strategy and audience engagement at The Corning Museum of Glass, and he remembers that day vividly, for just as the sun was setting the Museum opened its doors and welcomed the very first guests to 2300°.
It’s now 20 years later and the Museum is still throwing the hottest party in town. An excuse to get dressed up, have a drink, dance to incredible live music, and see some of the best glass artists working today. There aren’t many places you can do all that in one night—let alone in a small town during the “off-season”—and still call it fun and educational.
To celebrate the 20th anniversary year, the Museum has revamped festivities with a new look and feel, but still the same energy and excitement that made the original 2300° so groundbreaking at the turn of the millennium. As Scott Ignaszewski, events and program manager, describes it, “We’ve kicked it up a notch!”
Always happy to reminisce, Cassetti remembers the
planning of that inaugural event and the ways 2300° has evolved over the years.
I interviewed Mark Peiser, the 2019 recipient, shortly before he began his year-long residency in Corning, and what struck me most was his passion to develop a glass that might so closely resemble mist in a bottle, or “the haze on the Blue Ridge Mountains” as he described it, that you could be forgiven for thinking yourself lost in those Appalachian hills whenever you peer into the depths of his glass creations.
Peiser thought then that he might find a glass at Corning that would bring him closer to that goal. When I caught up with him more recently, that discovery was forefront in my thoughts, and it didn’t take long to get to the heart of the matter. “This residency is an extension of a body of work I started years ago,” he confirms. “Which is essentially an investigation into opal glasses and new forms of opal.” Here is his connection back to the mountains and valleys of home and the beautiful opal-blue aura to which his surroundings surrender themselves.
Visitors to The Corning Museum of Glass are often greeted with a loud and mysterious noise. But it doesn’t take long to discover the source of all the strange clattering and chiming. At the entrance to The Shops as you approach from the Admissions Lobby, sits S’Marblous by local artist George Rhoads.
Standing 6 feet on all sides, S’Marblous is a large glass-sided cube with a very commanding presence. But as you get closer you begin to see exactly what’s going on inside. S’Marblous is a rolling ball sculpture, a form of kinetic art that involves one or more balls rolling along different tracks and through specially designed obstacles in an endless, gravity-powered loop. Our machine features large colored marbles that roll along three separate tracks. Two of the tracks run marbles continuously up and down, around and around, while the third is reserved for when a special marble is purchased and released from a spiral dispenser. Sounds are produced intermittently by features such as a Hammer Chime and glass bells that the marbles interact with along their route. And there are lots of interesting obstacles too, such as a Loop de Loop and Catch Basket, to entertain the eye. Each mechanism is designed to reveal the way it works, and all the mechanisms are spaced far enough apart so they’re easy to see, which is important when the marbles pick up speed.
On an early morning walk in Corning, New York, there is a warm, electric glow likely to catch your eye on the corner of East First and Cedar Street. The light comes from a neon installation by James Ronner and is part of a stunning gallery exhibition, Nascent, in the Houghton Gallery at 171 Cedar Arts Center.
Upon entering the space, it is surprising to see that those dynamic neon paperclips are reflected on the surface of William Gudenrath’s precise, Venetian-style reticello glassware. An airy, precarious flameworked installation by Stephen Brucker, Illusion of Inclusion, is juxtaposed with the exuberant colors and inviting texture of Christa Westbrook’s blown sculptures, Yellow Jellyfish and Red Coral.
Today, The Studio announced the 2020 Artists-in-Residence recipients: twelve artists from around the world who will each spend one month at The Studio researching and experimenting with new techniques to further their work. Included in this group is the first recipient of the newly established Burke Residency created in partnership between The Studio and the Museum of Art and Design (MAD). Additionally, two artists and two scholars have been selected for the David Whitehouse Research Residency for Artists and the David Whitehouse Research Residency for Scholars, respectively. These recipients will spend up to three weeks in the Rakow Library utilizing the vast holdings to inform their practice or area of research. During their time in Corning, each resident will provide a public Lunchtime Lecture describing their inspirations and work at The Studio and the Rakow Library.
New this year: The Burke
The Corning Museum of Glass is going MAD! In partnership with the Museum of Art and Design, The Studio of The Corning Museum of Glass is introducing the Burke Residency. This residency will enable one artist from the Burke Prize exhibition at MAD to use the facilities and resources at The Studio to further their artistic exploration. The first recipient of the Burke Residency is Lauren Kalman, a contemporary American visual artist from Detroit, Michigan. Her residency will begin on April 30.
The Museum’s spring exhibition, In Sparkling Company: Glass and Social Life in Britain During the 1700s, will open May 9, 2020. With exhibition design by Selldorf Architects, In Sparkling Company will present the glittering costume and jewelry, elaborate tableware, polished mirrors, and dazzling lighting devices that delighted the British elite, and helped define social rituals and cultural values of the period. Through a lens of glass, this exhibition will show visitors what it meant to be ‘modern’ in the 1700s, and what it cost.
The exhibition will also include a specially created virtual reality reconstruction of the remarkable and innovative spangled-glass drawing room completed in 1775 for Hugh Percy, 1st Duke of Northumberland (1714-1786), and designed by Robert Adam (1728-1792), one of the leading architects and designers in Britain at the time. An original section of the room (which was dismantled in the 1870s), on loan from the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A Museum) in London, will be on view in North America for the first time as part of the exhibition. It will be accompanied by Adam’s original colored design drawings for the interior, on loan from the Sir John Soane’s Museum, London.
Corning Museum of Glass is thrilled to share news of an exciting collaboration
on the forthcoming Netflix series, Blown Away, which will bring the art
and beauty of glassblowing to television screens around the world. A visually
compelling process often described as “mesmerizing” and “captivating,”
glassblowing has never been the subject of any major TV programming—until
The art glass competition show created by Marblemedia, an award-winning entertainment company based in Toronto, Canada, Blown Away features a group of 10 highly skilled glassmakers from North America creating beautiful works of art that are assessed by a panel of expert judges. One artist is eliminated each episode until a winner is announced in the tenth and final episode. A co-production with Blue Ant Media of Toronto, Blown Away will air on the Makefulchannel in Canada before coming to the Netflix platform worldwide later this year.
Today, The Studio announced the 2019 Artists-in-Residence recipients: twelve artists from around the world who will each spend one month at The Studio, researching and experimenting with new techniques to further their work. Additionally, two artists and two scholars have been selected for the David Whitehouse Research Residency for Artists and the David Whitehouse Research Residency for Scholars, respectively. These recipients will spend up to three weeks in the Rakow Library, utilizing the vast holdings to inform their practice or area of research. Each resident will provide a public Lunchtime Lecture during their time at the Museum, describing their inspirations and work at The Studio and the Rakow Library.
Translated literally, the Japanese word tonbodama means dragonfly ball. Since
2000, flameworker Shinobu Kurosawa has been making tonbodama beads that depict traditional Japanese landscape and
nature scenes in glass.
In her March 2019 residency, Kurosawa will use The
Studio’s resources to continue her research on tonbodama and expand her flameworking skills as she explores new
possibilities in Japanese beadmaking.