2011 Exhibitions

“Cycles and Symbols: Nature in Glass”

April 1 through October 16, 2011

The Communal Nest  2008.  3’ x 10’ x 10”. By Susan Taylor Glasgow. Traveling installation.  Cast and fused glass, willow, found objects.  The work references the concept of home, shelter, and growth.

Cycles and Symbols: Nature in Glass examines some of the many ways that contemporary artists working with glass use nature as a source of their work and an inspiration for ideas they explore in relation to memory, time, transition, place, identity, origins of life, beauty, fragility, strength, and protection.

The Special Exhibition Gallery showcases work by Christine Barney, Christina Bothwell, Daniel Cutrone, Steffen Dam, Jim Harmon, Luke Jerram, Yasuko Miyazaki, Sibylle Peretti, Pike Powers, Ivana Sramkova, Paul J. Stankard, and Mark Zirpel. Work by Kathleen Mulcahy, Ron Desmett and Susan Taylor Glasgow will be on display in the museum lobby.

Mulcahy and her spouse, Ron Desmett, both independent artists, assist each other in the development of new works. Frequent collaborators for artwork and community development, each firmly believe in the idea of making communities grow with vitality through the arts. They have been working artists for over 40 years and are in many collections including: The American Art Museum – Smithsonian Institution, The Corning Museum, The Carnegie Museum of Art, as well as private and corporate collections worldwide. As part of their deep devotion to changing communities, they co-founded the Pittsburgh Glass Center, an internationally recognized public access art center for the education and creation of new voices with the medium of molten glass, now in its tenth year of programming.

Glasgow’s installation, “The Communal Nest,” is an eight-foot bird’s nest, comprised of several hundred glass twigs created by Glasgow and other artists from around the world. The installation originated from an existing series of her work involving the concept of the “bluebird of happiness.” In that series she combined images of bluebirds and housewives, and played homage to the feminine nesting instinct.

She states, “I wanted to explore the perception of home and happiness further with an installation representing growth and shelter. A piece that not only satisfied my own creative longing, but invited the community to take part also. With that in mind, I asked artists from around the world to contribute glass twigs to “The Communal Nest.” Each artist is invited to include a quote to be transferred onto vellum strips and woven into the nest. The initial installation of “The Communal Nest” benefited both the Pittsburgh Glass Center and the Bethlehem Haven, a local women’s shelter.