Judith Schaechter at Renwick Gallery & Parkmans Celebrated!

judith

This Sunday afternoon (Sept 24, 2017) join Abraham Thomas, Curator-in-Charge of the Smithsonian Renwick Gallery, as he talks with acclaimed glass artist Judith Schaechter about her work and creative process.  Known for her remarkably intricate and provocative pieces, Judith is collected by numerous museum including the Met in New York, the Victoria and Albert in London, the Hermitage, the Corning Museum of Glass, and the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian.

Elmerina and Paul Parkman

Elmerina and Paul Parkman

The day concludes with a presentation at the Renwick Gallery in honor James Renwick Alliance founders Paul and Elmerina Parkman and celebrate their contributions to the Studio Glass Movement 

Sunday, September 24, 2017, 2 – 3 PM

Smithsonian Museum’s Renwick Gallery’s Rubenstein Grand Salon
1661 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20006
Cost: Free

Judith Schaechter Keynote Speech @ GlassWeekend

Judith Schaecter issues the command to us, her willing minions.

Super-Supreme glass artist Judith Schaechter delivered the keynote address at the biennial GlassWeekend held at WheatonArts this past weekend.

Her talk was referenced throughout the conference and, happily, she has posted it on her blog: “Late Breaking Noose“.

Judith’s talk muses on the now maligned notion of “craft” –
“I started out as a young Turk completely rebellious against skill.  I was conceptual!  I knew what was important!  And it wasn’t some type of mindless devotion to creating perfect solder seams.  I was so bad, and this is true; that on at least one occasion, my work fell apart at the opening… 
But then something happened…and it wasn’t horror or shame at presenting sub-par workmanship to a possibly paying public. What happened was 30-some years of practice. With little thought to the matter, I gradually improved.  Until, to make a long story short, I now find myself highly skilled.  And having come to this place, I now have the perspective to understand why it is worthy.”

Judith’s talk is filled with great images.


She continues – Its preposterous to not value skill—it has undeniable practical value!  We want our surgeons and plumbers to be skilled!  We admire, reward and even worship the skill of athletes.  We even have these weird talent shows on TV that seem to be about skills.  We fetishize craft in so many areas of life, but not in the arts!”
What happened to the idea of mastering one’s art?  Why did it become so déclassé to master one’s medium?  Why did it become de rigeur to make work that is constructed like junk (and looks like junk too?)
Read the entirety of Judith’s  talk – where she asks if skill and art are mutually exclusive – to read her full text – click HERE to jump to her posting.

Yet another tragic craft catastrophe that could have been avoided.

UK Hosts 2nd International Symposium of Architectural Glass

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The UK International Institute of Research in Glass (IIRG) presents the 2nd International Symposium in Architectural Glass, focusing on ‘Working with light as a means of interaction between space and the mind’.

The emphasis of this event is on how flat glass is used three dimensionally in space and as a creative means of expression. This will explore both the theoretical and practical aspects of this process: idea exploration; design development; use of new technologies; the possibilities of technical restrictions; and the multi-disciplinary approach prevalent in many projects.

The Symposium will run on Thurs/Friday, May 17 &18, 2012 at the National Glass Centre in Sunderland, England. The event will take the form of traditional lectures, panel discussions, workshops demonstrations and informal networking opportunities. Speakers include:

Marian Karel

Dana Zamecnikova

Judith Schaechter

Algirdas Dovydenas

Daan Roosegaarde

Rodney Bender

Tim Macfarlane

Alexander Beleschenko

Early bird fees, if you book and pay before the 1 May:

One day £55, Two days £90

You can book your place through the University online shop, just search Conference/Events International Glass Symposium.

http://onlinestore.sunderland.ac.uk

University of Sunderland, National Glass Centre

Liberty Way

Sunderland, UK, SR6 0GL

Judith Schaechter on "Beauty"

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Tim Tate and Judith Schaechter in DC

With the Washington Post writing a review about the guilty pleasures of some of the artwork in the WGS show at Long View Gallery – “isn’t contemporary art supposed to be ugly…?”

Superstar stained glass artist extraordinaire – Judith Schaechter – wrote about this very subject as a paper she presented at the last Glass Arts Society conference – titled “Beauty & the Beef” .

She has a version of the paper on her blogLate Breaking Noose - which includes comments like:

“why did beauty go out of style in the art world?

First of all technique, materials and process became an issue. After the Industrial Revolution, a pernicious mind/body split became manifest in the art world. One might observe that mass production was, in part, to make things more democratic—decent plates and bed sheets for the proletariat at last! But at a cost—I don’t just mean that machine-made things are bereft and depressing. They ARE bereft and depressing (as the social experiment with public housing so deftly illustrated) or “objects always reflect the character of their maker so when that maker is a soulless automaton, you will be eroding the human condition” I do believe that, but perhaps that’s an argument for another day. —But I refer to the unwinnable contest between hand and machine—I am saying when machines do it cheaper, beauty becomes a social and economic battle and extremely undemocratic as unique human made objects (objects made with love and intelligence) are mostly available only to the wealthy (and those who can make them, of course!). Albeit, beautiful objects have always been more valuable and the better they are the less affordable. So status is always lurking in the margins making kind, generous, liberal people very uncomfortable. When the middle class arose, it was out with the “wall bling” and in with the Wal-Mart.”

Judith recently taught a creativity workshop at the Washington Glass School.

Click here to jump to her full blog posting.

Judith Schaechter Workshop

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Judith Schaechter, Widow, (2008), Collection of Colleen and John Kotelly, Photo by Dominic Episcopo/Renwick Gallery, SI

The Grand Poobah Savior of Stained Glass – Judith Schaechter – who single-handedly revolutionized the craft of stained glass through her unique aesthetic and inventive approach to materials is one of the featured artists at the Smithsonian Institute‘s exhibition, “History in the Making: Renwick Craft Invitational 2011.”

Judith held a Creativity Workshop as part of the James Renwick Alliance‘s “Distinguished Artist” series this past weekend at the Washington Glass School. photos by Miriam Rosenthal / Third Eye Photography

The workshop participants re-enact Da Vinci’s “Last Supper with Judith Schaechter

Judith workshop was geared towards getting the participants to expand their creative practice, and had some fun creative exercises for everyone.

Judith has plans for the unsuspecting class.

L-R Jimmy Powers, Clemmer Montague, Sherry Selevan, Diane Cooper Cabe begin unleashing their creative wills.

Judith shares her thoughts with Elmerina and Paul Parkman.

Soon creativity is flying around the school – unstoppable. Ideas for artwork, fashion, events – everything at once. The innermost thoughts of the participants are explored.

Judith indicates her approval of the designs.

What one of the students was contemplating.

See more of Judith Schaechter’s work in the exhibition “History in the Making: Renwick Craft Invitational 2011,” on display at the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Renwick Gallery through July 31. The show was curated by Renwick curator Nicholas R. Bell. The artists were selected by Bell, Ulysses Dietz, senior curator at The Neward Museum and Andrew Wagner. The exhibition also features the work of silversmith Ubaldo Vitali, ceramic artist Cliff Lee and furnituremaker Matthias Pliessnig.

Washington Post on Renwick Craft Invitational

>The Post arts critic Michael O’Sullivan has a very insightful review of the Renwick Craft Invitational.

Of the work shown by Judith Schaecter, Michael writes: “… I stood at that midpoint for several minutes, listening to the reaction of random visitors as they crossed the unseen threshold.

“Now this is disturbing” was a typical comment. “It’s a nightmare” was another. Both statements, I would like to believe, were intended as compliments.

The artwork inspiring such strong sentiments is by Schaechter, whose postmodern twist on the stained-glass window has more in common with comic books — albeit darkly subversive, R-rated ones — than ecclesiastical decoration.

Death, arson and lust are just a few of the themes of Schaechter’s bold and striking, if ambiguously narrative, works. Mounted in softly luminous lightboxes, Schaechter’s pictures transform the part of the Renwick where they’re hung into a church of the weird and wonderful. They’re easily the most powerful, and disturbing, things in the show…”

Click here to read the full review.

The Craft Invitational exhibition (March 25 thru July 31, 2011) features works by four extraordinary artists, who are creating works of superior craftsmanship that address the classic craft notion of function without sacrificing a contemporary aesthetic:

  • Cliff Lee (b. 1951), a former neurosurgeon who works in Stevens, Pennsylvania, creates elegant porcelain vessels with the exactitude of a doctor, often using his knowledge of chemistry to re-create medieval Chinese glazes long thought lost to history.
  • Matthias Pliessnig (b. 1978), a furniture maker in Philadelphia, uses boat-building techniques in new ways to create graceful forms with curved wood strips that may have up to 5,000 points of contact without the aid of hardware.
  • Judith Schaechter (b. 1961), a glass artist based in Philadelphia, brings a wealth of knowledge about traditional stained-glass practice to her moody windows.
  • Ubaldo Vitali (b. 1944), a fourth-generation silversmith and master conservator of historic silver working in Maplewood, New Jersey, uses classical techniques he learned in Rome to create luminous works for popes, kings, and presidents.

The Renwick Craft Invitational is a biennial exhibition series established in 2000 to honor the creativity and talent of craft artists working today.

If Its Tuesday, It Must Be Belgium

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Michael Janis’ glass artwork is on exhibit at Belgium’s Glazen Huis as part of an international show titled “The Glass Canvas”, curated by J. Maes. The gallery exhibition is seen as a meeting between old and new in a glass context of religion, architecture, art and entertainment. The show contrasts historical glass artwork with contemporary glass work, from 14th and 16th century stained glass, 19th century glass photo negatives to work from current art glass leaders.
This exhibition is an investigation into the use of glass as a canvas. It is a series of confrontations of the glass canvas in its physical appearance (smooth-rough light-dark transparent screen-reflection miniature-monumental), but also in the psychological experience (accessible-unreachable reveal-blur protect-invite). Going from the canvas as a mediator between inside and outside, to the glass surface as an image former or transformer, as a classical canvas or carrier of a concept that appears as a rigid skin or as a flexible weaving. The glass canvas presents itself as a breakable membrane that gives access to the unreachable reality, which it reflects or deforms, fragments or defragments.The glass canvas is a virgin surface that is covered with paints and emulsions or damaged by chemical or mechanical attacks, but in its clear state can be used as a high gloss protector.”
Artists exhibited : J.Schaechter [US], A.Salvador [IT], W.Berckmans [BE], M.Dukers [IT], F.Jespers [BE], F.Federer [GB], L.Semecka [CZ], S.Peretti [DE/US],M.Janis [US], R.Hawes [CA], N.Sandberg [US], T.Lahaie [US], J.Röder [DE], D.Sandersley [GB], K.Vanderstukken [BE/CA], I.Rosschaert [BE], M.Martens [BE], G.Pierson [BE], J.Caen [BE], E.Leibovitz [BE], W.Delvoye [BE].
‘The Glass Canvas – Glass as a canvas, as carrier through history’
April 10 – September 25, 2011
Het Glazen Huis
Flemish Center for Contemporary Glass Art
Dorp 14b, B-3920 Lommel, Belgium
http://www.hetglazenhuis.be/

Click here to jump to Glass Quarterly’s comments on “The Glass Canvas”

Visit to the Glass School

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L-R Gallery Owner Jane Sauer, UrbanGlass Director Fred & Susan Sanders, Judith Schaechter, Tim Tate


This weekend’s busy social calendar included the events of the James Renwick Alliance Spring Craft Weekend.

Some of the visitors to the events dropped by the glass school for a visit – including Renwick Craft Invitational 2011 artist Judith Schaecter. Judith will be back to teach a creativity workshop for the JRA, to be held at the glass school on May 21, 2011.

Also visiting were collectors Fred & Susan Sanders - who recently had their art collection featured in American Style Magazine. Fred is the President of the Metropolitan Contemporary Glass Group and is on the Board of UrbanGlass in Brooklyn. Jane Sauer, the eponymous owner of beautiful Jane Sauer Gallery in Santa Fe, NM joined the tour thru the glass school.

The events include the Benefit dinner and auctions at the Renwick Gallery’s Grand Salon. It was a great chance to rub elbows with some glass superstars.

Michael Janis and Erin Timmers enjoy drinks at the Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery, looking overlooking the art scene.

Erwin Timmers chatting with Lino Tagliapietra about new trends in glass.

Tim Tate & Judith Schaechter enjoy the view.

A good time was had by all!

Judith Schaechter Creativity Workshop

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The Sin Eater Glass 25 x 46 x 6 inches

As part of the James Renwick Alliance Distinguished Artist Series, Judith Schaechter will teach a Creativity Workshop on May 21, 2011. Designed to help artists explore ways to break through “artists block” and expand their creative practice, participants will engage in group discussions as well as individual exercises. On Sunday, May 22, Judith Schaechter will present a lecture on her work in the Grand Salon at the Renwick Gallery. The lecture will be free and open to the public.

Lockdown Glass 21 x 31 x 6 inches

Judith Schaechter, renowned stained glass artist, is the recipient of many grants, including the Guggenheim Fellowship, two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships in Crafts, The Louis Comfort Tiffany Award, The Joan Mitchell Award, the Pew Fellowship in the Arts and a Leeway Foundation grant. Her work is in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Corning Museum of Glass, The Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Renwick and numerous other collections. Judith’s work was included in the 2002 Whitney Biennial, and she is a 2008 USA Artists Rockefeller Fellow.

The Minotaur (detail) Glass 38 x 25 x 6 inches

Workshop Description:
Creativity is mysterious, miraculous and utterly crucial to an artists’ practice. Because Judith Schaechter herself experienced some difficult bouts of artist’ block, she did a great deal of research into this fascinating and elusive subject. How does one become inspired? How does one choose the one idea to pursue amongst many ideas? Are there techniques to improve oneself creatively?


Ultimately, Judith divided creativity into the following: Inspiration, Perspiration (developing ideas into pieces), Practice (work habits, motivation), Audience and Beliefs.
This workshop will begin with a questionnaire, which should identify areas of interest to the participants. Judith will then share a presentation on what she has discovered. Lively group discussions and individual exercises will follow.

Distinguished Artist Series workshops are $30 for members, $40 for non members. The subscription cost for all four programs is $100 for JRA members and $140 for non-members.
For more information or to register for any of these programs please e-mail: admin@jra.org