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Panel discussion June 27 will mark 50th anniversary of art glass in U.S.

Lines-into-Shapes Art Glass
Lines-into-Shapes Art Glass View print-quality image


June 14, 2012

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Ardent collectors of art glass Linda and Zeke Friedlander wanted to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the medium in the United States. A selection from their collection will be on display as a part of the Indy Collects show, which opens June 15 and continues through July 26 in Herron’s Berkshire, Reese and Paul Galleries.

Herron’s Gallery Director Paula Katz paired the Friedlanders with decorative arts and antiques expert Dan Ripley and glass artist Ben Johnson and put a panel discussion together. The event will cater to glass aficionados and those who want to learn more about this gorgeous, evolving art form. The event will take place at 7 p.m. June 27 in the Basile Auditorium and feature brief talks by the panelists on their relationship with glass as connoisseur, collectors and artist.

Christopher West, of Antique Helper, and Judy Wells, of the Indiana Glass Arts Alliance, were instrumental in getting the panel together.

“Glass is one area that is definitely underrepresented and misunderstood as a medium in contemporary art,” Katz said. “The success of Dale Chihuly has been great but also has served to limit the exploration of glass art in museums and public collections. Glass is one of the most versatile and malleable materials. The work categorized as ‘glass’ is broad. Simply amazing things can be done with this medium.

“The collection the Friedlanders have put together is a testament to the diversity of this material. It’s especially relevant to Herron because, under the guidance of professor Mark Richardson, Herron began a new glass program last fall. We had the opportunity to show the first work in the Marsh Gallery this spring, and I am excited to see what creations come out of the program as it grows.”

According to the Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass, the American Studio Glass movement began with two glass workshops conducted by Harvey K. Littleton at the Toledo Museum of Art in 1962.

Littleton, along with scientist Dominick Labino, introduced a small furnace built for glassworking that made it possible for individual artists to work in independent studios. He established a glass program at the University of Wisconsin; soon Marvin Lipofsky at the California College of the Arts and Dale Chihuly at the Rhode Island School of Design followed. Now there are hundreds of instructional programs around the country. Herron introduce a survey course in art glass last semester to rave reviews and requests for more.

“The golden anniversary of American glass art is the perfect opportunity to celebrate artists nationwide and showcase exquisite glass collections, as well as introduce sculpture in glass to others through education, awareness and community," said Harlan Fischer, Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass president elect. "We’re thankful to be celebrating this art medium’s first 50 years.”

Special events and displays are planned all over the country to mark the golden anniversary of art glass. For more information, visit the Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass website.