Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia on July 11, 1976 · Page 72
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Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia · Page 72

Charleston, West Virginia
Issue Date:
Sunday, July 11, 1976
Page 72
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Page 72 article text (OCR)

Mark Peiser, "Blue Opal Vase with Butterfly." New American Glass: Focus on West Virginia Photos by Frank Wilkin vWHHB^K Roberto Moretti's "TYie Hand of God." By Harold C. Gadd Phase Two of a three-part, ambitious glass project now is on exhibit at the Huntington Galleries. It is a major national exhibition, the first since "American .Glass Now," co-sponsored in 1972 by the Toledo Museum of Art and the Museum of Contemporary Crafts. The whole project is the brainchild of Roberta Shinn Emerson, director of Huntington Galleries, who believed that the time had come for the West Virginia glass industry -- which turns out 80 percent of all the handblown glass produced in the United States --'to see what creative minds and hands could bring about here. Phase One was a series of workshops in February and March of this year during which time six of the nation's most outstanding glass artists each spent a week in a state glass plant to see if he could enhance that plant's creative potential. The visiting artists and the plants they worked in are: Mark Peiser. independent studio craftsman: Fenton Art Glass Co. Henry Halem. Kent State University : Viking Glass Co. Fritz Dreisbach, Rhode Island' School of Design: Blenko Glass Co. Harvey Littleton. University of Wisconsin: Pilgrim Glass Corp. Jamie Carpenter. Rhode Island School of Design: Fostoria Glass Co. Gm CHARLESTON. W.VA. Joel P h i l l i p s Meyers, former Blenko designer now at I l l i n o i s State University, visited Seneca Glass Co. He was project coordinator of Phase One. Actually, the exhibition now on display at Huntington Galleries is not just one exhibit, but four. In addition to the 80 pieces resulting from the workshops, there is an exhibit of 135 pieces from 51 artists in an "Invitational Exhibition of Works by Studio Glass Artists." and a third called "Off-Hand Glass for Production."which displays 59 pieces designed by Winslow Anderson, former Blenko designer. The fourth exhibit is about 60 pieces of "Historical Glass" from the six W.Va. factories that participated in the workshops: · For the most part, all the pieces on exhibit from the workshops and studios of i n d i v i d u a l artists are rare, "one of a kind" works -- iTh- duplicated anywhere in the world. Although many are not for sale, some are. but the prices may boggle your mind! They range from $75 for a set of Henry Halem's five offhand blown white op'al goblets, to$6.700 for Harvey Littleton's "Upward Undulation." created in 1974. If you are looking for something in between those extremes, you can buy Roberto Moretti's "Hand of God" for $1.200. or William Happel's "Grace" for $600. or Harvey -lul\ II. KITH. Siin(ln\-Hi:i'tl'--.' Littleton's':Amber 'C' Forms" for $1.675. ! In a separate "Workshop" catalogue, available at the exhibition, the visiting artists describe their experiences while working in West Virginia. Without exception, they were wellireceived and treated courteously. In most cases the complete f a c i l i t i e s of the host plants were at their disposal, but there were some amusing attitudes --' including surprise that the "visiting f i r e m e n " could blow glass themselves. According to Mrs. Emerson. Phase Three of "New American Glass: Focus West Virginia." will be a conference from Sept. 24 through 2fi. 1976. It will be attended by the workshop artists, glassblowers. glass factory owners and managers, c h a i r m e n of art departments, and leaders in the museum and curatorial world ofjjlass. The program of the conference will be devoted to an evaluation of the workshop and exhibition aspects of the total project for the purpose of d e t e r m i n i n g w h a t substantive forms or directions should develop from this purely experimental project. "New American.Glass: Focus West Virginia" was made possible by granls from the "National Endowment for the Arts, and the West Virginia American Revolution Bicentennial Commission. N/n/v; M(ii!ii:iii.'. -hi.h J

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