Weekend with Bernstein! JRA Distinguished Artist Alex Bernstein

The James Renwick Alliance’s (JRA) annual Distinguished Artist Series (DAS) brings notable craft artists from around the country – and the season started off great with Alex Bernstein as the distinguished artist in Glass. 

DAS Alex Bernstein begins his workshop demo at the Washington Glass School. photo by Diane Charnov

DAS Alex Bernstein begins his workshop demo at the Washington Glass School. photo by Diane Charnov

Alex took the JRA workshop attendees along a journey from billet to awesome in about 3 hours! 

Alex outlined his process with copious notes on his process. photo Laurie Brown

Alex outlined his process with copious notes on his process. photo Laurie Brown

The JRA Distinguished Artist walked the audience thru his signature process of “Bernstein-ing” his work, and everyone loved it!

Alx Bernstein outlines his glass grinding process with notes about the grit sizes used. photo Diane Charnov

Alx Bernstein outlines his glass grinding process with notes about the grit sizes used. photo Diane Charnov

Alex carved fine slices into the glass slab, much like a stone carver would approach a marble block. photo by Diane Charnov

Alex carved fine slices into the glass slab, much like a stone carver would approach a marble block. photo by Diane Charnov

Alex then masks off the glass before he "Bernsteins" his glass. photo by Diane Charnov

Alex then masks off the glass before he “Bernsteins” his glass. photo by Diane Charnov

With great flourish -using a metal grinder and showering all in a hail of sparks - Alex fuses bits of steel into the exposed glass area and patina's the metal finish. photo by Diane Charnov

With great flourish -using a metal grinder and showering all in a hail of sparks – Alex fuses bits of steel into the exposed glass area and patina’s the metal finish. photo by Diane Charnov

Alex's finished demo piece, titled "Blue Mountain" was later auctioned off to support the DAS program.

Alex’s finished demo piece, titled “Blue Mountain” was later auctioned off to support the  JRA DAS program.

The next day, Alex Bernstein presented a talk at the American University Museum Katzen Arts Center, where he talked more about his work, history and how he balanced his concepts, process, career and family. An incredible story! 

bernstein.jra.katzen.DAS_talk

Alex connected with the audience on a personal level.

 

Smithsonian Curator Abraham Thomas talks with Judith Schaechter about her influences, including high culture,  pop culture... and the Ramones.

Smithsonian Curator Abraham Thomas talks with Judith Schaechter about her influences, including high culture, pop culture… and the Ramones.

The glass weekend kept going strong – later in the day, at the Smithsonian Renwick Museum, glass artist Judith Schaechter talked about her work and influences.

The Smithsonian also honored the JRA’s Paul & Elmerina Parkman for their years of service to the glass art world as they prepare to move to their home in New York.

SAAM Director Stephanie Stebich honors the Parkmens.

SAAM Director Stephanie Stebich honored the Parkmens.

This weekend will take while to assimilate all the information and craft exuberance that took place! Alex did achieve the Awesomeness promised.

The JRA mission is to advance scholarship, education and public appreciation of craft art as well as promoting individual achievements of excellence and innovation in the craft field.  The JRA is made from a vibrant group of art enthusiasts, collectors, artists, educators, students and art professionals who share a passion for contemporary American craft.  For more info – click HERE to jump to the JRA site.

WGS Hosts James Renwick Alliance Distinguished Artist Alex Bernstein Workshop

Alex Bernstein, Morning Balance - 26x26x5" - Cast and cut glass, fused steel

Alex Bernstein, Morning Balance – 26x26x5″ – Cast and cut glass, fused steel

The James Renwick Alliance’s annual Distinguished Artist Series brings notable craft artists from around the country to provide insight into their work. Each Distinguished Artist weekend includes a Saturday workshop and free Sunday public lecture at which the artist will discuss their technique, background, artistic influences, and career. 

Alex Bernstein

Alex Bernstein

The JRA named Alex Bernstein as one of this year’s Distinguished Artist and he will be at the Washington Glass School for a demo workshop on Saturday, September 23rd, 2017 from 9:30am-12:30pm where Alex will discuss the making of his artwork and demonstrate some of his cold-working techniques. Participants in the workshop will participate in the design the sculpture Alex will make at the studio. The morning begins with a brief meet-and-greet with the artist over coffee and pastries. Workshop participants will have the opportunity to attend a potluck dinner with the artist on Saturday evening. On Sunday, September 24th, 2017, the JRA will provide a free public lecture by the artist at American University’s Katzen Arts Center from 10 AM – 11AM.

Alex Bernstein, "Black Mountain 2", Cast & cut glass, fused steel

Alex Bernstein, “Black Mountain 2″, Cast & cut glass, fused steel

Award winning artist Alex Gabriel Bernstein grew up in a creative environment with access to many of the artists of the American studio glass movement. As the child of two established glass artists, William and Katherine Bernstein (Billy is one of the founding members of the Glass Art Society), the beautiful surroundings of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Western North Carolina where they lived played almost as much of a part in his inspired upbringing as did the breadth of teachers around him.

Alex will talk about his family’s influence, how he pushed the boundaries in glass sculpture technique and how he found his voice.

The James Renwick Alliance (JRA) is a vibrant group of art enthusiasts, collectors, artists, educators, students and art professionals who share a passion for contemporary American craft.  JRA members enjoy a diverse year-round schedule of programs including, social events, educational lectures and tours, and art-inspired excursions.

The JRA is committed to advancing scholarship, education and public appreciation of craft art as well as promoting individual achievements of excellence and innovation in the craft field.  As an independent non-profit organization, the JRA has provided more than $3 million for acquisitions, exhibitions, public programs, and publications to Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Renwick Gallery – our nation’s showcase of contemporary American craft.

Alex Bernstein Distinguished Artist Workshop:
Saturday, September 23  |  9:30am – 12:30pm
Washington Glass School  |  3700 Otis St, Mt Rainier, MD 20712
$50 members  |  $60 non members

To register for Alex Bernstein workshop at the Washington Glass School – click HERE.