‘Studio Glass: The 50th Year Celebration’ begins next month
UM-Dearborn’s Alfred Berkowitz Gallery will host Studio Glass: The 50th Year Celebration, from May 11 through June 29, 2012. The exhibition spotlights studio glass art from the University’s permanent collection, by the major artists working in the medium, including William Carlson, Dale Chihuly, Václav Cigler, Michael Glancy, Dominick Labino, Marvin Lipofsky, Harvey Littleton and Richard Ritter.
The curation of the exhibition was also a learning experience for UM-Dearborn students who participated in a seminar given by Bonita Fike, lecturer, College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters. Students went on five fieldtrips, supported by a grant from UM’s James and Maybell Loeb Creative Teaching Fund, and learned the history of glass and information on glass techniques. Internationally known flameworking artist Frederick Birkhill, who also gave the students a tour of his collection, demonstrated one technique, called flameworking. Students visited the collection at the Detroit Institute of Arts and glass students at the College for Creative Studies (CCS) where, as one CCS student blew a glass vase another used hot glass to cast an object as professor Herbert Babcock described the processes. The students also visited with Ferd Hampson, owner of the Habatat Glass Gallery in Royal Oak, Mich., which is the oldest and largest contemporary glass gallery in the country.
Not only did the seminar students study glass history, visit historical and contemporary glass collections and see demonstrations of glass making, but they were also required to research a studio glass object of their choice from UM-Dearborn’s permanent collection, write the accompanying exhibition catalogue, and be involved in all aspects of the development of the exhibition.
Studio Glass: The 50th Year Celebration, which is free and open to the public, will launch with a reception on Friday, May 11 at 5 p.m. in The Alfred Berkowitz Gallery. The Gallery is open Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is located on the third floor of UM-Dearborn’s Mardigian Library, 4901 Evergreen Road, Dearborn, MI 48128-2406. Studio Glass: The 50th Year Celebration is funded by UM-Dearborn to encourage educational excellence and cultural enrichment for students and the public. For more information call the curator, Joseph Marks, at 313-593-5087.
The exhibition is part of a national celebration featuring 168 glass demonstrations, lectures, and exhibitions throughout the year in museums and galleries nationwide. The American studio glass movement started with two glass workshops held at the Toledo Museum of Art in 1962. The workshops, taught by Harvey Littleton along with scientist Dominick Labino, introduced a small furnace built for working glass that made it possible for individual artists to work in independent studios. The movement quickly spread north to Michigan, and in 1982, a decision was made that studio glass would be the focus of UM-Dearborn’s permanent art collection. Today the collection contains 306 pieces of studio glass.