2012 Student Scholarship Recipients and Jurors
2012 Becky Winship Flameworking Scholarship Recipient
Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY USA
Identifying that a problem exists, and in turn finding its most practical and intelligent solution, is an act that is engrained into humans. These elegant solutions draw an unparalleled amount of my attention, and in every aspect of life are present, necessary, and sometimes undiscovered. When these solutions are put into use, they become immutable and unchallenged, and are not affected by the passing of time. Ideas are often born in the form of objects. These elegant ideas, developed to their extent, produce objects that are anonymous and invisible because of their iconic status and firm standing in the unconscious.As a craftsman and an artist, the forms and techniques that have attained this level of quiet elegance continually influence me. I attempt to give new iterations to such preexisting archetypes, while making sure not to compromise the attributes that lent them their status as models for the future. I hope that the objects I create make meaningful contributions to the encyclopedia associated with each archetype, and still retain the anonymity that each one displays.
2012 General Scholarship Recipients
Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA USA
A fossil is an object from which we make educated guesses that there was life before us. This carbon-based remnant of earth is the only presence of that idea. The idea there was something once and now it only lives in the imagination of human beings. I find myself obsessed in the curiosity of impermanence. I use glass in my art as a tool to further expanding my vocabulary to explain feelings, ideas, messages, and hopes. Using flameworking, hot glass, and fabrication techniques I experiment in order to understand this idea of impermanence.
University of Wisconsin Madison, Madison, WI USA
Inspired by our relationships with objects, I am attracted to the creative freedom that any child has when they pick up a stick, a rock, or a rope and translate it into a gun, sword, magic wand, or any other extension of the body. The greater social connotations and personal interactions define our personalities through objects, our empirically defined sight manifesting daydreams based upon our perceptions. Drawing from the idea of play I use the hat as a signifier of different professions or times frame representative of a masculine ideal. Through the medium of glass I explore these links between form, function, and an idolized persona that existing in a limbo between the psyche and reality. Deciphering how and why a particular vestment embodies a particular nostalgia is key to deciphering my attraction to the façade of a personality based upon objects.
The ghostly-vacated spaces created by the glass hats are used as a metaphor for the vessel of the human body. Employing their basic iconography serves as a direct association with the viewer to identify the fragile translations that these objects come to define. As a balance to the standardized interpretation of the head ornament I have included an unconventional or fictional firearm. This juxtaposed object is an abstruse creation of function and absurdity. There are elements of science fiction, quack medicine, and exotic peculiarity, which permeate the bizarre amalgamations of representation and the imaginary. They can range from the abstracted representations of the cowboy six shooter, the concocted forms of the Buck Rodgers atomic disintegrator, to a clandestine cane of cold war proportions. These arms serve to amplify the power of a persona, whether functional or symbolic it serves as the potential for action even in a resting state. The hats serve as a simply translated signifier, while the accompanying objects function in greater absurd subjectivity. Through translation these pairing have the ability to manifest the symbol and archetype of an idea. The role of the visual artist is to consume the visions and experiences of our world, deconstruct and embrace them, then to reinterpret them into evocative offering as a means to communicate with and influence society.
Aalto University School of Arts, Design & Architecture, FINLAND
I am interested in human and its existence particularly in the society. I want to bring out perspectives on the evil of the society as well as to touch the aching parts of our culture. Significant themes and starting points in my working have been suicide, the culmination points of violence, mental disorders and problems, and (mal)function in the human mind. I focus on the modern society: the expectations, limits, requirements, ideals, and conventions especially in connection with the distinctions between reality and unreal, normal and abnormal.
How do artists relate to and work with glass? What are the characteristics of this particular material? What is so special in glass? I am concerned about the future of glass art and the possible new directions this particular material might take in the field of art. I wish to cast light on the teaching and learning methods of glass art and question the status of it. In addition, through my work I hope to point out that an artist should be able to kill their own darlings in order to become better in their field.
My working always starts with research and working on the abstract thought-level. The material or medium of the physical work is defined by the thought/ message of the work. However, I prefer to work with glass and video especially in installation. The play with existence and non-existence is crucial in my working, and most often the materials allow this to a certain extent. Other relevant points are time and space that set the framework for my working but never become the point in itself. Recently the participation of the viewer has become especially important to me and I have focused on project- and research-based artworks instead of physical works.
Alexander Hayden Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA USA
Unscrewed, the cream-colored exterior of grandmother’s telephone popped open in my tiny hands. I pulled the two halves apart; wires snapped, the dial tone died, mom walked back into the room, “Alex! what the hell...”.
My first experience with a screwdriver revealed the basic questions that I still ask today. Everyday objects contain mystery: a telephone is a system that allows sound to be transferred to another location. A conversation, a system of shared information unto itself, might never take place if the needed phone is defective. What fascinates me most particularly is how to define a conversation with a device that changes the context of that interaction.
Exploring social communication I connect active engagement with empathy. I intend for my audience members to navigate their own avenues of questioning, arriving at similar conclusions. Playing on easily discernible explorations I create moments that enable a visceral tension to be experienced. Primal instincts engaged, the participant must decide what their action will be. Drawing back out of fear or reach out with curiosity, the audience responds and interacts, becoming an integral part of this work. I aim to generate opportunities for unique personal encounters that reflect on broader, more universal associations.
Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY USA
In Korea, have you known more than 50% children want to be a doctor or a lawyer in a future goal research in an elementary school? And have you known this result is not come from children’s voluntary will?
I have grown up in the culture. Painting and scrawling on a text book was an only my pleasure that I had without any oppression. I always had questions. “Why should we have a certain job for having a respectable life? Why people who have lower-level job cannot live well?” As time passed by, I have seen much more absurdities and a side effect of capitalism. In my mind, insubordination always keeps a position and it increases my eagerness to the art that was my only an escape hatch.
My works of art talk about our society, pressure, absurdities and human instinct. I usually use source of fairytales for telling my critical perspective to our world. We tell fairytales to our children because they have important and basic lessons for life. Parents want their children to learn and keep lessons from the stories but they know that they are not keeping the lessons anymore. As the reason, I use fairytale to method of storytelling to audiences and hoping they can look back their conscious and their childhood which was much more innocent than today’s they are.
I am not a pessimist or an optimist. I’m not a talker or a writer. I express my thought and perspective through work of art. For me, work of art is my language and also my only hatch.
California State University-San Bernardino, San Bernardino, CA USA
I learned glass art from Peter Ivy for four years at the university in Japan. From my time assisting and working with him, I learned the possibilities which glass has from him. And, he expanded my world toward glass.
I usually make my art work with blown glass. The More knowledge I obtain about glass, the more I feel I would like to make glass sculpture to show how glass is amazing because it is really an unlimited material. I started making abstract work after that. It let me express my work through glasswork as only glass can.
Finally, I always try to interpret the common techniques of glass so that I can find new expression from the glass. It lets me make intriguing work and catch the eye of the audience. I would like to use the characteristics of glass to express its charm. That is the reason why I choose to be a glass artist.
Jurors for the 2012 Student Scholarship Awards
The Glass Art Society would like to thank this years jurors, Deirdre Feeney, Judy Hill and Kim Mawhinney for their time and expertise.
STATEMENT: It was a really interesting experience to be one of the jurors for this year’s student GAS awards. I was surprised by the high technical standard of many of the entries. However, with such a high level of technical proficiency, I would have liked to have seen a little more experimentation within the work being developed. But overall, it was a pleasure to see such diverse approaches to the material of glass.
Throughout the years, teachers and mentors always told me the importance of submitting high quality images for prize selections. To all those who are contemplating next years awards – it’s true! It’s so important to have great images that convey the essence of the work.
BIO: Deirdre Feeney is a mixed-media artist, based in Australia, Feeney works interchangeably with the translucent material of glass and the moving image to investigate themes of memory, time and empty space. Using architectural glass structures to play with the interaction of internal and external space, she explores how memory infiltrates inside and outside, past and present. Feeney completed a Bachelor of Visual Arts in 2005 at the Canberra School of Art having previously gained a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at Trinity College Dublin. She has exhibited in Australia, Asia and the UK. Feeney is the recipient of many grants and awards for her work including the Stephen Procter Fellowship, the Tom Malone Prize, and an Ian Potter Trust Grant. In 2012, she is representing Ireland at the European Glass Context in Bornholm.
BIO: Judy Hill received her BA from the Falmouth School of Art, Falmouth, Cornwall, England, and her MFA from Louisiana State University. She is on the Art Department faculty at Portland Community College and is represented by Grover/Thurston Gallery, Seattle. Recent shows: The Bronson Fellows: 20 Years, Hoffman Gallery, Lewis & Clark College ,Judy Hill: The Self Transparent, From the Collection of Driek and Michael Zirinsky at the Bellevue Arts Museum.
BIO: Kim Mawhinney was appointed Head of Art in 2009 at the National Museums Northern Ireland. She was Curator of Applied Art at the Ulster Museum for 15 years with responsibility for the glass, ceramic and furniture collections. Kim was a member of the Project Board for the redevelopment of the Ulster Museum, which reopened in October 2009. She is currently a Director on the Board of Craft NI and sits on the main Board for the Art and Architecture Ireland, a cross-border major research publication. Kim was the examiner for the BA and MA Craft Design course at the National College of Art and Design in Dublin until last year, but still remains as a MA tutor for Craft and Design. Kim was one of the jury for the British Glass Biennale 2008 and in 2003 she juried the first ever exhibition of contemporary Irish glass. Throughout her career she has curated exhibitions, lectured and written about the history and development of museums, accessibility of art collections, glass and ceramics, both nationally and internationally.