GASnews provides an ongoing exchange of ideas and information, and a place for regular communication between glass artists around the world. It is published online via issuu.com four times a year and is available to all current GAS members. Archives are also available in digital and PDF formats. To send in ideas for articles—or to comment to the editor—write us at
‘Tis the season for shopping, buying, making, and selling. Whether we are out binge buying mass-produced goods on black Friday, or making carefully curated selections from a boutique, we all consider the act of acquiring, gifting, and ultimately collecting, over the holidays.
This issue of GASnews expands the definition of “collector” and looks at the varying ways artists collect. John Drury talks with me about his extensive collection of art from untrained artists, and how this practice of acquiring work influences his own art practice. Suzanne Peck explores Erica Rosenfeld’s frenetic practice of collecting and processing objects into surreal installations. Jon Rees considers the wet plate collodion process for “collecting” memories. Amanda Wilcox profiles SIU Carbondale grad student, Kit Paulson, who makes haunting work from large collections of delicately flameworked botanicals. The Rakow Research Library shares their collection of sometimes-serious and sometimes-hilarious collector newsletters. Grace Meils offers readers a humorous take on this group in her “field guide” to the different types of glass collectors.
The “collector” has always occupied an exalted and mysterious place in the mind of artists, particularly glass artists. In the contemporary glass world, a relatively small and tightknit group of collectors has generously kept the glass economy – artists, craft schools, art centers, and universities – running for the past 30 years. Though all artists are indebted to this generosity, sometimes the collector feels that they are oppositional to the artists – they are the arbiters of taste, gatekeepers of financial success, they consume our most precious creations, and their motivations are a mystery.
The artists in this issue give readers a way to connect to the collector, by showing that collecting can be an act of love, memory, or preservation. Collectors can build community through shared interests and can be stewards of objects and their histories. These artists show us that collecting is not about consuming, it’s about a deep affection they have for the world around them.
-Kim Harty, GASnews Editor
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