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2017 Portfolio Reviewers

Clare Belfrage has been inspired by experiences in the natural world for many years now and has forged an international reputation for her distinguished work with detailed and complex glass drawings on blown glass forms. She has maintained a vibrant practice for over 25 years and was an active part of artists’ communities, particularly in Adelaide and Canberra. From 2009 to 2013, Belfrage served in the pivotal role of creative director at Canberra Glassworks. In addition to Australia, she regularly exhibits in North America, Europe, and Hong Kong and her work has been recognized for its innovation and originality. In 2005 and 2011, she was awarded the Tom Malone Glass Prize by the Art Gallery of Western Australia. In 2016, she received the inaugural FUSE Glass Prize for Australian and New Zealand glass. Belfrage’s work is represented in major public collections including the National Gallery of Australia; Corning Museum of Glass, USA; Museo do Vidro, Marinha Grande, Portugal; Tacoma Museum of Glass, USA; and the National Art Glass Collection, Wagga Wagga.

Laura Donefer has been using glass as her primary medium for more than 34 years, often in combination with diverse materials. Known for her innovative, colorful blown glass and ameworked Amulet Baskets, she also pushes the boundaries with work that explores ideas concerning memory, assault, bereavement, joy, and madness. Donefer has taught workshops and given lectures worldwide. Her work is many public and private collections, including The Corning Museum of Glass, the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, and the Museum of Fine Art in Montreal. Donefer has been honored with many awards, among them the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Glass Art Association of Canada, the Honorary Lifetime Membership Award from the Glass Art Society, and the International Flameworking Award. Every few years she organizes one of her wacky, exuberant Glass Fashion Shows, a fantastical spectacle for the international glass community to enjoy.

Beccy Feather is a glassmaker based in Philadelphia who maintains her own studio and flameworking business. She graduated with an MFA in glass from Rochester Institute of Technology. Feather has taught and demonstrated glassmaking in many institutions across the country.

Katya Heller Katya Heller was born and raised in Czechoslovakia by an American mother and Czech father. Heller moved to the United States in 1987 and by 1990 had begun a career as an arts professional, working with Dale Chihuly as the primary organizer of several of his international projects. From 1991 to 1994, she worked at the Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington in Seattle, WA. In 1996, she became associate director at the Elliott Brown Gallery in Seattle, and in 1998 moved on to spend a year working in the planning and development of the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, WA. In 1999, she relocated to New York City and began work as associate director of Heller Gallery. She is currently a member of the Board of Directors of UrbanGlass, and in 2006 was co-chair of the organization’s major fundraising event, the Glassblowers Ball and Auction. She also serves on the Advisory Board of the Czech Center - New York.

Helen Lee is an artist, designer, educator, and glassblower. She holds an MFA in Glass from the Rhode Island School of Design and a BSAD in Architecture from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her honors include the inaugural Irwin Borowsky Prize in Glass Art in 2013 and the Edna Wiechers Arts in Wisconsin Award in 2014. She was nominated for a Louis Comfort Tiffany Award in 2015 and a USA Fellowship in 2016. Most recently, Lee received the Gold Award in the 2016 Bullseye Emerge exhibition. Her work is in the collections of the Minnesota Museum of American Art, the Corning Museum of Glass, the Chrysler Museum Glass Studio, and Toyama City Insitute of Glass Art. Lee has worked as a freelance graphic designer for Chronicle Books and Celery Design Collaborative, and was an Affiliate Artist at Headlands Center for the Arts from 2009-2011. She has taught at Rhode Island School of Design, California College of Art, Toyama City Institute of Glass Art, Pilchuck Glass School, Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, Pilchuck Glass School, the Chrysler Museum Glass Studio, and the MIT Glass Lab. She is currently an Assistant Professor and Head of Glass in the Art Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Richard Marquis: I’ve always been short: barely five foot tall. I’ve also always had a short little span of attention; hence all the weird stuff I’ve made. In the army, I was always “short-sheeted” in the barracks. They thought it was funny but with my short-fused temper I blew them all away. The trial was short and I got a short sentence. Justice can be short, like me. 

John Miller began working with glass in 1987 in the undergraduate program at Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU) in New Haven, Connecticut. A decade later he earned an MFA in sculpture at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. From 1993 to the 2011, Miller was a staff member at Pilchuck Glass School in many different capacities: technician, coordinator, gaffer, and instructor. In 1998, he was awarded the CGCA Fellowship at Wheaton Village in Millville, New Jersey, where he continued to build on the concepts of his graduate work. Miller is currently an associate professor and head of the glass department at Illinois State University in Bloomington-Normal. He exhibits internationally and frequently tours the country lecturing and demonstrating with hot glass. Although, he has experimented with many different techniques and materials, his focus is blown and hot-worked glass sculpture.

Zach Puchowitz first experienced glassmaking in 1998. While attending Tyler School of Art, Puchowitz was able to develop his understanding of the arts, his creative process, and glass as a material. In 2007, he began transforming the space that would later become Ouchkick Studio. Since then he has experimented with different avenues of the conventional glass artist. He has shown work in galleries in Philadelphia, New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Scope Art Fair Miami as well as many other unconventional events and marketplaces. He has become immersed and well known in a subculture of taboo glass making. 

Karen Willenbrink-Johnsen and her husband, Jasen Johnsen, operate a studio in beautiful Bow, Washington. Their knowledge of the material, their passion for life, and their sharing quality has brought them around the world demonstrating and teaching glass sculpting.

The Glass Art Society reserves the right to deny applications for Technical Display, advertising participation, GAS membership or the conference from anyone for any reason.