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

Visions and Revisions: Renwick Invitational 2016

Four innovative artists are at the center of a new exhibit at the Renwick Gallery opening September 9, 2016. Visions and Revisions presents the work of Steven Young Lee, Kristen Morgin, Jennifer Trask, and Norwood Viviano. These artists work across numerous mediums, including raw clay, porcelain, metal, glass and gold. They take innovative approaches to their selected mediums and share a fascination with themes of transformation, ruin, and rebirth. Their visual sensibilities range from traditional Asian pottery to vintage Americana, and from the romance of the Victorian Era to the algorhythmic precision of the computer. Each is actively engaged in a dialogue with an idyllic past and in making sense of it for the present moment, investigating what we carry with us and what we leave behind as we remake ourselves time and again.

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Norwood Viviano; “Mining Industries: Downtown Boston”; 2015; Rapid prototyped pattern kilncast glass, mirrored glass, fabricated steel and transparency.

Norwood Viviano explores American cities and industry through glass and metal sculptures. He combines data from LiDAR scan technology, antique maps, and historical census data, and employs techniques as varied as bronze casting, kiln-fusing, glass blowing, and 3-D printing to map fluctuations of growth and decline as industry and other forces exert pressure on populations. His work engages not only the geography but also the history of a place, imbuing each object with layers of information to tell stories of how urbanization, immigration, and industry shape both personal and shared histories.

The exhibition includes more than 70 objects showcasing a range of early and new works by each artist. The artists were selected by Nora Atkinson, the museum’s Lloyd Herman Curator of Craft; Suzanne Ramljak, curator of exhibitions at the American Federation of Arts and editor at Metalsmith; and Anna Walker, the Windgate Foundation Curatorial Fellow for Contemporary Craft at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Visions and Revisions is the seventh installment of the biennial Renwick Invitational.

Visions and Revisions: Renwick Invitational 2016

September 9, 2016 – January 8, 2017
Renwick Gallery
17th and Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC

Smithsonian Renwick “Connections” Opens July 1, 2016

renwickThis summer the permanent collection returns to the Smithsonian Museum’s Renwick Gallery with a dynamic new presentation of 80+ objects celebrating craft as a discipline and an approach to living differently in the modern world.

       

The installation, titled “Connections” will include iconic favorites alongside new acquisitions made during the museum’s renovation, which will be displayed at the museum for the first time. Nora Atkinson, The Lloyd Herman Curator of Craft, selected the objects and conceived the innovative presentation. Atkinson’s arrangement breaks from typical display formats based on chronology or material to instead focus on the interconnectivity of objects and the overlapping stories they tell.

Steven Young Lee, "Vase with Landscape and Dinosaurs" 2014

Steven Young Lee, Vase with Landscape and Dinosaurs, 2014, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Richard Fryklund, Giselle and Ben Huberman, David and Clemmer Montague, and museum purchase through the Howard Kottler Endowment for Ceramic Art

In selecting both pioneering and contemporary pieces, Atkinson selections also explore the underlying current of craft as a balancing, humanistic force in the face of an ever-more efficiency-driven, virtual world. The exhibition highlights the evolution of the craft field as it transitions into a new phase at the hands of contemporary artists, showcasing the activist values, optimism, and uninhibited approach of today’s young artists, which in some way echoes the communal spirt and ideology of the pioneers of the American Studio Craft Movement in their heyday.

         

The artworks range from the 1930’s through today and span numerous media. New acquisitions such as John Grade’s Shoal (Bone Shoal Sonance), Judith Schaechter’s The Birth of Eve, Marie Watt’sEdson’s Flag, and Akio Takamori’s Woman and Child make their debut in the gallery while seminal works including Wendell Castle’s Ghost Clock, Karen LaMonte’s Reclining Dress Impression with Drapery, Albert Paley’s Portal Gates, and Lenore Tawney’s Box of Falling Stars return to view.

Sean Hennessey Lecture in Grand Salon of Smithsonian Renwick Gallery, Sat. April 6

Smithsonian Renwick Gallery’s Grand Salon, 1661 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W. (at 17th Street) Washington, DC. 20006

The James Renwick Alliance Spring Craft Weekend is Here! The theme of the show is The Stars of Today and Tomorrow – and to that end,  join our Rising Star, Sean Hennessey, this coming Saturday, April 6, at 10:30 am. Sean will be part of the museum’s panel discussion about the direction of contemporary craft. 

Click HERE to jump to Smithsonian website for more info.

When:                  Saturday, April 6, 2013, 10:30am

Categories:         Lectures & Discussions

Co-sponsor:        Support for this program from the James Renwick Alliance

Location:             Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Renwick Gallery

Event Location:  Grand Salon

Cost:                    Free

From the Smithsonian website: 

Two masters of their media, artists Bruce Metcalf and Adrian Saxe, and two up-and-coming young “stars of tomorrow,” Hunt Clark and Sean Hennessey, join moderator Cindi Strauss, curator of Modern and Contemporary Decorative Arts and Design and assistant director of programming at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, for a lively panel discussion about the direction of contemporary craft.

William Warmus Visits Washington Glass School

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William Warmus is introduced to the audience in the Renwick’s Grand Salon
The Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum held a lecture Grand Salon as part of its celebration of 50th anniversary of the Studio Glass Movement. 

L-R Toots Zynsky, William Warmus, Matthew Szösz
Author, independent curator and glass expert William Warmus moderated a conversation about the past, present, and future of studio glass between veteran glass artist Toots Zynsky and artist Matthew Szösz.  Matt’s work is part of the“40 under 40:Craft Futures” exhibit currently on view at the Renwick Gallery.
Matt Szösz at the opening of 40 Under 40. Photo by Smithsonian American Art Museum

William is the author of a dozen books including biographies of Tiffany, Lalique, and Chihuly. He was also a curator at the Corning Museum of Glass and was the editor of Glass magazine, faculty member and visiting artist at the Pilchuck Glass School, and executive secretary of the Glass Art Society. William is a member of the Collections Committee of the Museum of Glass (Tacoma) and a board member of the Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass. The New York Times has described him as a “Stylemaker”. The WGS blog has quoted often from William’s writings on the subject of Studio Art Glass, including his seminal essay on the end of the glass movement “The End?“.

After the lecture at the Smithsonian, William visited the Washington Glass School and chatted with the artists in the studio.

William Warmus takes photos of Erwin Timmers’ artwork.

William said this about the Washington Glass School: “It’s better than I thought it’d be…it’s not as bad as it could’ve been”. High praise indeed.
It was great to be able to meet and chat and have William share his unique perspective on the art scene with us, and he has promised to return!

Craft Will Save The World: Renwick Gallery’s 40 Under 40

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Stephanie Liner, Momentos of a Doomed Construct (installation detail), 2012, plywood, foam, Dacron, cotton, adhesive, live model

The Smithsonian Renwick Gallery’s Craft Futures: 40 Under 40 exhibit has just opened this week (on exhibit now thru February 3, 2013), and it is a must-see show! Nicholas Bell, the Curator of American Craft organized the exhibition which features forty artists born since 1972 – the year the Smithsonian established the Renwick Gallery. Evolving notions of craft within traditional media such as ceramics and glass, as well as in fields such as industrial design, installation art, fashion design, and mathematics are explored.

General view of gallery space - Artwork in foreground: Marc Maiorana, Renwick Gate, 2011, iron

Artwork in the exhibition was created since Sept. 11, 2001 and this new work reflects the changed world that exists today, one which poses new challenges and considerations for artists. Nicholas Bell talked about the work and the selection process at a noon lecture on Friday, July 20, outlining some concepts that included  underlying themes that could be seen within the works – including postmodernism, environmental and economic issues, and how the explosion in craft is based on a desire by artisans to try and fix the world via the process of creation. There was also mention of a topic at Nicolas’ talk that I want to investigate more: the ‘sloppy craft movement’ (!) – but that is for a later blog posting.

Some of the standout works seen at the opening nite include:

Stephanie Liner, Momentos of a Doomed Construct (installation detail), 2012, plywood, foam, Dacron, cotton, adhesive, live model.

Stephanie combines clothing and furniture forms into Fabergé egg-like armatures that are as fascinating as they are unnerving. It’s a rare opportunity to see them as they’re intended, with living, breathing (beautiful) woman inside of the bubble, gazing back at you.

Andy Paiko, Spinning Wheel, 2007, blown glass, cocobolo, steel, brass, leather

Great to see Matt Szösz and his inflated fused glass. Matt was recently awarded the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Grant. 

Korean born Bohyun Yoondescribes his work titled “Glass Tube”.

Opening nights are about networking. Above left image in center: Chris Rifkin, Fuller Craft Museum’s board chairman and Right rear image: Perry Price, Director of Education at American Craft Council.

Cristina Córdova, Dulce, 2011, ceramic, paper

Mia Pearlman’s paper works dominate one of the gallery spaces with massive installations and a video.

Olek, Knitting is for Pussies,2005-2011, mixed media, 100% acrylic yarn, live models

Detail from Olek’s ‘Knitting is For Pussies’ installation and of ‘yarn-bombed’ tricycle parked in front of Renwick Museum on Opening Nite.
The opening night gala was a spectacular event – very much with a retro art-happening vibe.

The fun, audacity, interesting & provoking attitudes of the show make it a winner and it should be added to one’s list of gallery/museum to-do lists for Washington, DC this year. Click HERE to jump to the Smithsonian Renwick Gallery website.

Craft Futures 40 Under 40 at Smithsonian Renwick

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40 under 40:Craft Futures features forty artists born since 1972, the year the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s contemporary craft and decorative arts program was established at its branch museum, the Renwick Gallery. 

Opening July 20, 2012, the exhibition investigates evolving notions of craft within traditional media such as ceramics and metalwork, as well as in fields as varied as sculpture, industrial design, installation art, fashion design, sustainable manufacturing, and mathematics. The range of disciplines represented illustrates new avenues for the handmade in contemporary culture.

Matthew Szösz, b. 1974

All of the artworks selected for display in the exhibition were created since Sept. 11, 2001. This new work reflects the changed world that exists today, which poses new challenges and considerations for artists. These 40 artists are united by philosophies for living differently in modern society with an emphasis on sustainability, a return to valuing the hand-made and what it means to live in a state of persistent conflict and unease.

Nicholas R. Bell, The Fleur and Charles Bresler Curator of American Craft and Decorative Art at the Renwick Gallery, organized the exhibition. The museum hopes to acquire works by every artist featured in the exhibition to commemorate the fortieth anniversary of the Renwick Gallery. 

Matthew Szosz Untitled (Inflatable no.46p)
Matthew demo’d his technique at the Washington Glass School – click HERE to jump to description and video.

Click HERE to jump to the list of the youngsters in the show.

40 under 40: Craft Futures July 20, 2012 – February 3, 2013
1st floor, Renwick Gallery (Pennsylvania Avenue at 17th Street N.W.) Washington, DC


Ginny Ruffner: A Not So Still Life

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Save The Date!
February 29, 2012 at noon, the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum will screen “Ginny Ruffner: A Not So Still Life.” “A Not So Still Life” peers into the kaleidoscopic mind of American glass artist Ginny Ruffner. The documentary explores Ruffner’s journey from her childhood in South Carolina to her emergence as a world-renowned artist. The film also highlights her influences, including Dale Chihuly, Graham Nash, and Tom Robbins. The film is 80 minutes in length and was directed by Karen Stanton; produced by Shadowcatcher Entertainment/Tom Gorai. The event will take place at the Grand Salon of the Renwick Gallery and admission is free. After the screening, Ginny will participate in a discussion about the film and sign copies of the DVD that will be available for purchase on site.

Glass artist Ginny Ruffner can’t be summed up in one word, but the most commonly used term is “inspiring”. Adding to Ginny’s extraordinary story is her astounding recovery from a near-fatal car accident in 1991 which left her in a coma for five weeks and confined to a hospital for five months. Doctors were convinced that she would never walk or talk again, but true to her indomitable spirit, Ginny Ruffner transformed a potentially tragic accident into a career of even more imaginative creations. From pop-up books, to room-sized installation pieces, to public works, Ginny’s art has blossomed and continues to expand. Ginny Ruffner: A Not So Still Life marks ShadowCatcher Entertainment’s first feature-length documentary, and one sure to challenge you to see the world from a new and unexpected perspective.

Following screening of the film, Maurine Littleton will feature an exhibition of Ginny’s work at the gallery. The gallery event will begin approximately at 2:00 PM and Ginny will be present.

The Maurine Littleton Gallery is located at 1667 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington DC.

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.