Glass Center series presenting artists from around the world


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The Pittsburgh Glass Center has announced its 2013 Summer Lecture Series. The image- and video-illustrated talks and discussions are given at the center, 5472 Penn Ave., Garfield, by glass artists who have come to Pittsburgh from across the country and globe to teach. Talks begin at 6 p.m. Admission is free. Information: 412-365-2145 or www.pittsburghglasscenter.org, which has links to artists' websites.

May 22 -- Three speakers:

• Central Pennsylvania native Dave Walters earned a bachelor's degree in fine arts in glass from Rhode Island School of Design, then moved to Seattle. He's been an assistant to Dale Chihuly and a glassblower for Chihuly Inc. since 1993, and assistant to Venetian maestro Lino Tagliapietra since 1995. Inspired by characters from fairy tales and children's stories, he incorporates a sense of his own history to give them a more contemporary and intimate relevance. He says a function of art which most interests him "is its ability to hold up the mirror and be relevant to the era from which it was spawned."

• DH McNabb, a Tampa, Fla., native whose pursuit of glass has supported his wanderlust to locations such as Prague, Lybster, Weil am Rhein, Murano, Nuutajärvi and Istanbul, says: "Glass is a communicative endeavor, a struggle. It's not something you get in a year or five or 10. It is about being an ambassador and a translator for a material."

• Richard Parrish, owner of a kilnformed glass studio in Bozeman, Mont., holds architecture degrees from Cranbrook Academy of Art, Mich., and the University of Idaho, and, as artist and architect, finds inspiration in both the human-made and natural environments. "I am particularly interested in the interaction of light and color in the environment and in my own work."

May 29 -- Two speakers:

• U.K. native Janusz Pozniak has blown glass for more than 27 years and worked with some of the best glassblowers in the world including Dante Marioni with whom he shares a Seattle studio. Mr. Pozniak is acclaimed as a reticello maker, a Murano technique in which glass rods are crossed to form a grid.

• Christopher McElroy, a transplant from the Appalachian Mountains of southwest Virginia to the Rocky Mountains of western Montana, "explores the intricacies, contradictions and tension that lies between what mankind has created and wilderness, that which has been traditionally viewed as an obstacle for man to overcome."

June 5 -- Karen Willenbrink-Johnsen and Jasen Johnsen, married bird watchers and collaborators on sculpture fed by the natural world. He was head studio technician at Pilchuck Glass School for a decade. She was "raised in southwest Ohio, the naturalist daughter of a naturalist father," who earned a bachelor's degree in sculpture from Ohio University, moved to Washington state in 1987, where she was an assistant to noted glass artist William Morris for 16 years.

June 12 -- No lecture.

June 19 -- Two speakers:

• Glassblower Nancy Callan studied with Tagliapietra and has worked for him for 17 years. She says she is "influenced by the bright colors and inflated shapes found in comic books and toys, and by the playful spirit of the unconscious mind." She is the Glass Center's honorary artist for its fall "Art on Fire" gala.

• Kathy Gray, teaching at the center with Ms. Callan, is a glassblower who wants "to represent the inequity that exists between sublime beauty and manufacturing extravagance." She says she finds affirmation "by the value in making things in a society increasingly ruled by machines and simulated experiences."

June 26 -- Frantisek Janak, master glass artist from the Czech Republic, was born in 1951 in Havlickuv Brod. He learned to cut glass as an apprentice at Bohemia Glassworks, the largest Czech producer of hand cut lead crystal. Now a studio artist, Mr. Janak has worked in both commercial settings and as a professor at the oldest glass school in the world, the Secondary School of Glassmaking in Kamenicky Senov.

July 3 -- Friends Raven Skyriver and Martin Janecky began working with glass early, at ages 16 and 13, respectively. Mr. Skyriver learned Venetian technique from Lark Dalton, soon joining the William Morris team at Karen Willenbrink-Johnsen's request. His depiction of marine life is inspired by his island upbringing and informed by the creatures that inhabit this fragile ecosystem. Mr. Janecky studied sculpting methods in the Czech Republic and has been instructor, visiting artist and gaffer at major glassmaking schools like Penland School of Crafts and Pilchuck Glass School.

July 10 -- Two speakers:

• Granite Calimpong, Seattle glassblower who "grew up the son of a potter in Northern California, so my hands were covered in clay long before I discovered glass," and has a lifelong honed appreciation of the "subtleties of function and form."

• Tim Drier, a glassblower for 25 years who applies his extensive scientific glassblowing expertise to artistic flameworking.

July 17 -- Three speakers:

• Ed Schmid, glassblower influenced by "nature, both human and terrestrial."

• Heather Trimlett, a beads, buttons and jewelry flameworker with nearly a quarter century of experience.

• Anna Boothe, whose kiln-cast figurative work is in the collection of the Corning Museum of Glass, studied sculpture at Rhode Island School of Design, holds a master of fine arts from and was Glass Program faculty for 16 years at Tyler School of Art, served on Glass Art Society's Board over nine years, three as president.

July 24 -- Matthew Cummings, glassblower who uses "the aesthetics of fields of study [such as microscopy, astronomy, particle and quantum physics] to create abstract novellas about how we see the world around us and organize that knowledge through visual systems."

July 31 -- Two speakers:

• Theo Keller, a glassblower influenced by the industrial design world and the teaching of Bauhaus.

• Erika Tada, a native of Tokyo who strives through cast work to preserve memories of family and childhood.

Aug. 7 -- Two speakers:

• Patrick Martin, a glass sculptor who teaches at Emporia State University, Kansas, transforms mundane objects through scale and material, giving them a different identity in time and space, and/or suggests narrative, often based upon current sociopolitical issues.

• Corina Tettinger, author of "Passing the Flame," an instructional book often referred to as "The Beadmaking Bible."

artarchitecture

Post-Gazette art critic Mary Thomas: mthomas@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1925.


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