Glass Art Society Announces 2021 Saxe Emerging Artists Winners

SEATTLE, WA – The Glass Art Society (GAS) is pleased to announce the winners of the 2021 Saxe Emerging Artists Award: Bri Chesler, Morgan Gilbreath, and Erin Hoffman. These three winners receive the opportunity to present at VIRTUAL 2021, placement in an upcoming digital artist exhibition, and an honorarium to support their artistic endeavors.

Through a competitive jurying process, GAS recognizes emerging artists every year based on their promising talent with glass. Applicants, nominated by academics and curators, are evaluated by a professional panel of jurors. This year’s jurors were Jen Elek, Kazushi Nakada, and Jenni Sorkin. Not currently enrolled in a training or education program, emerging artists have never presented at a Glass Art Society Conference. Out of 38 nominated artists from 10 different countries, Bri Chesler, Morgan Gilbreath, and Erin Hoffman were selected to receive the 2021 Saxe Emerging Artist Award because of their fresh and unique approaches to working with glass.

All interdisciplinary women artists, each of our three winners uniquely incorporate glass with other media. Bri Chesler explores ideas of intimacy and desire through her three-dimensional designs and sculptural installations. Focusing on process-driven work, Morgan Gilbreath investigates the intersections between religion, history, and labor in her work. Through sculpture, installation, and video, Erin Hoffman studies the subtle transmission of messages and the complexity surrounding conversation. 

This award, named after Dorothy & George Saxe, is made possible by the Saxe Emerging Artists Lecture Fund. The Saxes worked to build one of the most notable contemporary glass collections in the United States, and in 2015, the Emerging Artist Award was renamed in their honor by the Glass Art Society. When talking with Dorothy Saxe about this program, she reflected that the award “gives young artists the opportunity to present their work at a conference – it gives [them] exposure… and people would be well to attend and hear the revolutionary ideas of these young artists.”

Join us in March as we launch the Saxe Emerging Artists online exhibition and again from May 20-22 during VIRTUAL 2021 as our award winners showcase their work in featured presentations. Focusing on how glass can build community all over the world, VIRTUAL 2021 reimagines the annual Glass Art Society conference in a digital landscape. Highlighting ways of working with glass from around the globe through live and pre-recorded presentations, VIRTUAL 2021 will feature an interactive conference platform, opportunities for networking, and so much more.

Visit to learn more about this award, our 2021 winners, and VIRTUAL 2021. 


The Glass Art Society (GAS) is an international non-profit organization founded in 1971 whose purpose is to encourage excellence, advance education, promote the appreciation and development of the glass arts, and support the worldwide community of artists who work with glass. The Society strives to stimulate communication among artists, educators, students, collectors, gallery and museum personnel, art critics, manufacturers, and all others interested in and involved with the production, technology, and aesthetics of glass. We are dedicated to creating greater public awareness and appreciation of the glass arts worldwide.


Bri Chesler is a multidisciplinary artist focusing on three-dimensional design and sculptural installation. During her studies at the Kansas City Art Institute, a strong interest in transparency and molten media led her to explore glass. Chesler’s work is known for its nontraditional approach, combining different glass techniques with other media. By fusing similar elements found in biology and botany, she creates forms that ‘flirt’ with the audience, exploring ideas of intimacy and desire. Bri Chesler was a 2019 Pilchuck Emerging Artist-in-Residence and recipient of the 2020 Chihuly Gardens and Glass Anniversary Scholarship.


Morgan Gilbreath is a glass and mixed-media artist whose process-driven work investigates the intersections between religion, history, and labor. She holds a BFA in Glass and a BA in Art History from Tyler School of Art (Temple University) in Philadelphia. She has completed residencies at the Creative Glass Center of America (Wheaton Arts), Pilchuck Glass School, and the University of Texas Arlington. In addition to being exhibited nationally and internationally, her work is in the permanent collection at the Museum of American Glass (Millville, NJ) and the Aldo Bellini Glass Collection at Castello Sforzesco (Milan, Italy). Morgan lives and works in Richmond, Virginia.


Erin Hoffman is an interdisciplinary artist investigating the subtle transmission of messages. Her work deals with the complexity surrounding conversation via glass sculpture, installation, and video. She graduated with her BFA at Tyler School of Art (2015) and received her MFA at Alfred University (2020). Hoffman has worked and exhibited at the University of Louisville, Pilchuck School of Crafts in Washington, Urban Glass in Brooklyn, and Peter’s Valley School of Craft in New Jersey. A large part of her practice includes traveling to cultivate conversation, assist other artists, and spark curiosity with the unlimited possibilities of glass.

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