Premier international glass show has large RIT imprint

Jul 12, 2017

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Thumbnail for Premier international glass show has large RIT imprint

Photo by Ray Gumbley: Jennifer Halvorson’s cast glass work, “Inhale Exhale,” is in the 2017 Young Glass exhibit that is currently showing in Denmark. 

A handful of youthful artists with RIT connections created projects that are being featured in a once-in-a-decade, competitive, ongoing exhibition that will touch three European countries across 16 months.

Four graduates of the School for American Crafts’ glass program, plus a 2017 MFA candidate, had their art selected for the exclusive 2017 Young Glass show, held by Denmark museum Glasmuseet Ebeltoft. They were chosen from a worldwide pool of candidates, with glass works by 57 artists under the age of 35 picked for the exhibit by a high-profile, international jury.

The RIT glass graduates and student who have pieces being shown overseas include: Rebecca Arday (BFA glass, 2008), Karen Donnellan (MFA glass, 2011), Sarah Gilbert (BFA, 2005), Jennifer Halvorson (MFA, 2011) and Jamie Katz (MFA candidate). Katz anticipates graduating from the program this summer.

Photo by Elizabeth Torgerson-Lamark: Jamie Katz' "Being a Passenger" is a large piece that was selected for the Young Glass show.

Young Glass is a major global competition started by Glasmuseet Ebeltoft in 1987. Now in its fourth iteration, Young Glass is repeated every 10 years to highlight fascinating pieces and innovation by up-and-coming artists working with glass.

All of the chosen artists’ projects went on display at Glasmuseet Ebeltoft June 10, remaining there until Oct. 29. The show is then set to go on a lengthy international tour. The works are scheduled to also be showcased at the Glass Factory in Sweden (November to March 2018) and the National Glass Centre in Sunderland, England (March 2018-October 2018).

Arday was able to make a trip to Denmark and see the exhibit in person.  

"Young Glass is essentially a time capsule exhibition that occurs every 10 years, and in effect, has become known as a method gauging thematic shifts in our field,” Arday said. “To have my work represented in the exhibition as one of the pieces creating this type of marker is a true honor.

"I can’t say enough about RIT's glass program and how it has shaped me as an artist,” she added. “It gave me my foundation, and I have been building on it ever since."

Photo by KP Studios: Rebecca Arday has two pieces in the international Young Glass exhibition, including this work, titled “Put to Rest.”

Donnellan had similar sentiments about how she developed as an artist at RIT, which has had a lasting impact on her.

"The glass program at RIT is highly regarded in the U.S. and internationally," she said. "During my time there, my work changed a lot and the experiences, conversations and critiques continue to influence my practice." 

Donnellan's piece in Young Glass is a 4-minute, 15-second, two-channel video called "Arc (Wax and Wane)." She said it's exciting to be included in a show that is "packed with conceptual and experimental work that is expanding the perception and definition of the field."

Cash prizes and artist residencies were awarded to some of the exhibit’s participants. 

A still from Karen Donnellan’s “Arc (Wax and Wane),” a two-channel video. Videographer: Yuanyuan Zhang.

Photo by Elizabeth Torgerson-Lamark: Arday’s other piece in the show, “Re-Emerging.”

Photo by Derek Kline: "Signs and Signifiers (Mothers Eyes)" by Sarah Gilbert is a featured work in Young Glass, currently on view in Denmark. The piece is part of a larger grouping of works called "Signs and Signifiers."