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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>