GlassWeekend ’17 Presenters

Ancient Truth InvestigatorsVisiting Artist Group

Rachel Rader is a storyteller and maker living in Brooklyn, NY, and she is the Chief Investigator of ATI, seeking to unite Humanity with the once-lost ancient knowledge of the Sea People. Born in Orlando, FL in 1984, Rachel earned a Bachelor in Fine Arts in Material Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA in 2006. She has since exhibited her work at several venues including the Society for Contemporary Craft in Pittsburgh, PA; Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art in Virginia Beach, VA; Racine Art Museum in Racine, WI; Bullseye Glass Resource Center at Westchester, NY; and the UrbanGlass Window Gallery in Brooklyn, NY. She received both the Artist Trust Fellowship in 2012, and the Jon and Mary Shirley Scholarship in 2010 which continue to aid in her confidence as an artist. Rachel also has an extensive background sharing her passion for glass as an instructor at institutions including Bullseye Glass Resource Center in Portland, OR and Westchester, NY, Penland School of Crafts in Penland, NC, Pratt Fine Arts Center in Seattle, WA and UrbanGlass in Brooklyn, NY.

Sarah Archer, Guest Curator

I am a writer, critic, and curator based in Philadelphia. My first book, Midcentury Christmas, which explores the material culture of Christmas during the Cold War in the United States, was published by Countryman Press/W.W. Norton in 2016. I’m currently a contributing editor for the American Craft Council’s new journal, American Craft Inquiry, and a regular contributor to Hyperallergic. My articles and reviews have appeared in The Journal of Modern Craft, Modern Magazine, Metalsmith, Studio Potter, The Huffington Post, Slate, The New Yorker online, and The Washington Post. I have contributed essays to exhibition catalogs for the Portland Art Museum, the Milwaukee Museum of Art, and the Museum of Arts and Design. I have contributed essays to the anthologies Shows and Tales, edited by Art Jewelry Forum, and The Ceramic Reader from Bloomsbury Press. I have curated exhibitions at Urban Glass and Pratt Manhattan Gallery. Prior to moving to Philadelphia to become Senior Curator at the Philadelphia Art Alliance, I was the Director of Greenwich House Pottery. I have taught at the Westphal College of Media Arts and Design, Drexel University, and the Tyler School of Art, Temple University. I hold a BA from Swarthmore College, and an MA from the Bard Graduate Center.

Dolores Barrett, Presenting Artist

Dolores Barrett was born in San Mateo, California in 1961 and pursued a career in music, specializing in orchestral and choral conducting. In 1999, she began a career as a fine porcelain artist and her meticulous canine portraiture soon appeared at prestigious kennel clubs across the United States. She was introduced to the medium of glass in the summer of 2002 while attending an international porcelain conference. The allure of art glass ignited a new passion in her work and she soon devoted her energies to the evolution of glass adornment in both fused and laminated forms. Ms. Barrett’s unique style of glass jewelry regularly appears in various national and international exhibitions. She was a finalist in the 2004 international Emerge glass competition sponsored by Bullseye Glass Company, and has been selected to participate in the Pilchuck Glass School’s annual exhibition and auction in Seattle since 2005. She was awarded a scholarship to attend the prestigious Pilchuck Glass School during the summer of 2008. In the 2009, she was selected as a featured artist in The Ventura Museum’s special exhibit of Telling Our Stories, and participated in Wheaton Art’s GlassWeekend from 2011 to 2015. She was an invited artist in the Racine Art Museum’s exhibition Cutting Edge in 2012-2013, and was also an invited artist for the California Museum of Art’s collector’s tour series in 2014. Her work has appeared in a variety of national and international art books and magazines. A keen eye for color and design, as well as atypical use of the glass medium, has garnered her representation by a growing number of galleries and collectors around the United States and the world. The artist currently resides in Southern California.

Robert Bender, Presenting Artist

Robert attended Syracuse University graduating with a B.F.A. in Illustration. In the fall of 1984 he moved to New York, producing freelance illustration. Clients included New York Times, Psychology Today, Billboard Magazine, among others. In 1992, he segued into writing/illustrating children books. Several of his illustrations were included in The Original Art Show at the Society of Illustrators in New York City. In the early 90’s, Robert’s wife, Christina Bothwell, went from painting to sculpting. With his history in clay, he introduced her to some of the basics in ceramics. Eventually they both ended up casting glass, and in 2010 Robert transitioned to glass full time. In 2011 and 2015 he was included in New Glass Review, an international competition featuring outstanding work from that year. Since 2012 he has been included in Hababtat Galleries Annual Glass Invitational Awards Exhibition. He was also featured in a show titled Glass Secessionism at Blue Spiral Gallery in Asheville, NC. Other selected shows are Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art Biennial, Fort Wayne Museum of Art, Cape Cod Museum of Art, and Pittsburgh Glass Center’s Turned on: Lighting Hooks Up With Sculpture. He is currently in a two person show at the Alfred Berkowitz Gallery in Dearborn, Michigan (May, 2017). Robert’s work is represented by Sherrie Gallerie, Habatat Galleries, and Morgan Contemporary Glass.

Jennifer Blazina, Presenting Artist

Jen Blazina resides and has a studio in Philadelphia where she is a working artist exhibiting in solo and group exhibitions nationally and internationally. She has been awarded numerous residencies including: Bezalel Art and Design Academy in Jerusalem; Corning Artist in Residency in New York; European Ceramic Work Centre in the Netherlands; Djerassi Resident Artists Program; NEA, Women’s Studio Workshop in NY; Frans Masserel Centre in Belgium; CGCA; Leeway Foundation Grant, and Independence Foundation Grant. Her work is in the collections of various private collections and museums internationally, including the California Community Foundation; the Toledo Museum of Art; Corning Museum of Glass; Neuberger Museum of Art; Museum of American Glass; and Cranbrook Museum of Art, to name a few. Jen Blazina received her M.F.A. in printmaking from Cranbrook Academy of Art, her B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College in New York and her B.F.A., cum laude, from the State University of New York at Purchase College. She is a currently a Professor of Fine Arts at Drexel University.

Barbara BoroffCollector

Barbara Boroff of Wayne, PA collected, with her late husband Alan, over 650 contemporary art glass goblets. Collectors by disposition, their first goblet was purchased over 25 years ago as a memento of a ski vacation. Both were graduates of the Barnes program. As they learned more about glass, they became, “conscious of trying to make an historic collection once we started. I didn’t want just what I liked. We both felt we…were collecting to make it a worthwhile collection for people to see.” The Boroffs enjoyed collecting a contemporary art form in part because, “90% of the people are still alive. The magic of the goblets, of the glass, is that you could really have your footnotes not be in a book but from a real person, and we have met many, many of the glass workers, and that again is so much of the draw of why it’s so important.” The Boroffs were instrumental in starting Contemporary Glass Philadelphia, a group that focused on raising money to support artists. Barbara remains committed to supporting artists. “I was always very conscious and very caring about the artist making a living, and I still feel very strongly. I’m upset when I hear people pushing artists to get a better price. It’s more than just ‘I got a good buy on this’ kind of thing.” Pieces from the collection have been exhibited at the Museum of Art and Design, the Berkshire Museum, and, currently, the Museum of American Glass at WheatonArts. Today Barbara is disseminating the collection to her children, grandchildren, as well as through donations to museums.

Jennifer CrescuilloCGCA Fellow

Jennifer Crescuillo is an internationally exhibited artist currently living and working in Silver Point, Tennessee with her family. She was first introduced to glass at Bowling Green State University where she completed her Bachelor’s of Fine Art in glass. Jennifer continued her research at Southern Illinois University where she earned her Master’s of Fine Art in glass. She has worked and taught at various glass studios, such as UrbanGlass, Pilchuck Glass School, The Studio of the Corning Museum of Glass, Pittsburgh Glass Center, and others. Together with her partner, Andrew Najarian, Jennifer operates High Polish Studio specializing in custom and contract cold working services for artists and designers.

Eamon DeFabbia-KaneCGCA Fellow

Eamon DeFabbia-Kane is an artist and fabricator currently living and working in Brooklyn, NY with several different artist and design studios. His current jobs primarily include welding, coldworking, and doing carpentry/studio maintenance, along with maintaining his own studio practice of making sculpture and other
artwork. Eamon is originally from the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York, and lived in Philadelphia for four years while completing a Bachelors of Fine Arts in glass from Temple University’s Tyler School of Art. While living in Philadelphia and in Brooklyn, he has gained much experience working as an artist assistant and fabricator, which has been essential in developing a very diverse skill set working with a wide variety of materials and techniques.

Ben Johnson, Presenting Artist

Benjamin Johnson grew up in Indiana where he was first introduced to glass at the Indianapolis Art Center. He went on to earn his BFA in glass from Kent State University and his MFA in glass from Ball State University. His education in glass extended beyond university at the Corning Museum of Glass, Pilchuck Glass School, and Scuola del Vetro Abate Zanetti in Murano, Italy. Johnson’s desire to pursue glass has taken him from the coast of New England to the mountains of North Carolina where he was a resident artist at the EnergyXchange, a renewable energy center. Johnson’s artwork is regularly shown in venues throughout the United States. It can be found in the permanent collection of the Indiana State Museum and the Glick Eye Institute. His work has been published in Art Glass Today and New Glass Review. Johnson’s work has received best in show awards in Indiana, Ohio, Louisiana, and Florida, and he has been the recipient of a Windgate Fellowship Grant Award, an Efroymson Contemporary Arts Fellowship, a Metropolitan Contemporary Glass Group Jerry Raphael Fellowship and a Creative Renewal Arts Fellowship. He was recognized as a Rising Star in contemporary glass at the Museum of American Glass in Millville, NJ. Currently, Benjamin is home in Indiana sharing his passion for glass as the Glass Studio Chair and Skip McKinney Faculty of the Year at the Indianapolis Art Center.

J. Kenneth Leap, Presenting Artist

J. Kenneth Leap began his career in stained glass in 1987 when he opened his studio The Painted Window a year after earning a BFA in Glass from the Rhode Island School of Design. A few years later he received a fellowship from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and is primarily know for his public art installations throughout New Jersey, including numerous stations for NJ Transit. He is an ambassador artist for the Wheaton Arts and Cultural Center in Millville, NJ where he has maintained his primary studio since 1994. He is a certified teaching artist with the New Jersey State Council of the Arts. In 2006 he was recognized with the title of artist-in-residence at Glencairn Museum in Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania. In 2010 he began teaching stained glass at Bryn Athyn College. He directs the Building Arts Summer Program. From 2012 to 2014 he served as president of the American Glass Guild and served 6 years on their board of directors, and is currently Chair of the Education Committee.

Jennifer-Navva Milliken, Guest Curator

Jennifer-Navva Milliken is a curator, thinker, and writer whose work gives voice, narrative, and meaning to the objects we live with and the people who imagine and create them. An independent curator and an embedded staff member in international art museums and cultural outreach organizations with a solid academic background in fine arts and design, she brings a fresh yet comprehensive approach to a broad diversity of arts initiatives. As founder and director of INTER ALIA projects—a multidisciplinary, transnational collaborative that creates, realizes, and presents exhibition and publication packages for art museums and galleries, events, organizations, artists, and designers—Milliken uses her uniquely global perspective, honed through years of living on three continents, to bring together people, media, and contemporary work in new and surprising ways. Milliken recently completed a three-year assignment as Curator of Craft at Seattle’s noted Bellevue Arts Museum, where she broadened the museum’s exhibitions program to include in-depth explorations of contemporary practices among designers and makers in projects such as The New Frontier: Young Designer-Makers in the Pacific Northwest; Atoms + Bytes: Redefining Craft in the Digital Age; and BAM Biennial 2016: Metalmorphosis. Milliken, who studied at Western Washington University and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, lives in New York and Tel Aviv.

Pam Sabroso, Presenting Artist

Pam Sabroso is a glassblower living in NYC. She attempts to use glass in a creative, unconventional way. Currently, she is collaborating with Alison Siegel. Their work is a series of assembled parts made using the hot blow mould technique. Pam learned to blow glass at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia. She relocated to NY in 2008, since then she’s worked as a technician, freelance assistant, and instructor in the glass community.

Biba Schultz, Presenting Artist

Trained as a graphic designer and printmaker, Biba Schutz has been a practicing, self-taught metal smith and jeweler for more than 20 years. Inspired by her surroundings, contrasts of texture, form and space are paramount to her approach to wearable jewelry. Her work is known for combining many different materials with metal.

After a long fascination with glass as a medium, Schutz began incorporating glass into her jewelry designs in 2012 and was the recipient of an Artist Residency at The Corning Museum of Glass in the spring of 2014. Three pieces of her glass collection have been acquired for the permanent collections in Boston’s Museum of Fine Art, the Newark Museum in Newark, NJ and the Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, NY. Her work can also be found in public and private collections around the world including the Racine Art Museum, Racine, WI and the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington. She currently lives and works in New York City.

Alison SiegelCGCA Fellow

Alison Siegel is a Brooklyn based artist who has been using glass since 2007. She makes both utilitarian and sculptural objects, as well as working for several New York based designers. She has taught classes in New York and around the country.

Susie J. Silbert, Keynote Speaker & Panelist Moderator

Susie J. Silbert was appointed Curator of Modern and Contemporary Glass at The Corning Museum of Glass in 2016. Prior to joining the museum, she was an independent curator as well as a lecturer on the History of Glass at the Rhode Island School of Design. Her recent exhibitions include #F*nked!, exploring the relationship between digital interfaces and handmade objects, Concept: Process, at Parsons The New School for Design, Material Location at UrbanGlass, and SPRAWL, an interdisciplinary exhibition interpreting urban development at Houston Center for Contemporary Craft. Her writing has appeared in exhibition catalogs for the Chrysler Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, and UrbanGlass as well as American Art Collector, GLASS Quarterly, Metalsmith, the American Craft Council website and the forthcoming book CAST, oncasting in all media, edited by Jen Townshend and Renee Zettle-Stirling. She holds an MA in Decorative Arts, Design History, and Material Culture from the Bard Graduate Center.

Anna Walker, Guest Curator

Anna Walker is the Windgate Foundation Curatorial Fellow for Contemporary Craft at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH) where she is responsible for the exhibition, research and publication of the craft collection, the proposal of acquisitions, and the development of a long-term collections strategy. Prior to joining the MFAH, she was the Curator at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft (HCCC) where she organized exhibitions including SPRAWL, Ctrl+P, and Beyond Useful & Beautiful: Rethinking Domestic Craft. She has lectured widely on craft and was on the curatorial selection committee for the 2016 Renwick Invitational: Visions and Revisions at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. She has contributed essays for Metalsmith, Ctrl+P catalogue, and 2016 Renwick Invitational: Visions and Revisions catalogue. Her
most recent curatorial projects include #F*nked! at the Kansas City Art Institute in conjunction with NCECA 2016 and the upcoming exhibit In the Studio: Craft in Postwar America, 1950-1970 at the MFAH.

William Warmus, Moderator, The Secondary Market and Glass Road Show

William Warmus is a Fellow and former curator at the Corning Museum of Glass, where he was the Founding editor of the New Glass Review. The son of a Corning Incorporated glassblower, he studied with art critic Harold Rosenberg and philosopher Paul Ricoeur while at the University of Chicago. As advisor to the estate of the modernist art critic Clement Greenberg, Warmus engineered the acquisition by the Portland Art Museum (Oregon) of Greenberg’s collection of Abstract Expressionism. Warmus is the author of more than a dozen books and is a member of the Board of Urban Glass.

Art Appraisals – Warmus enjoys the interplay between art criticism and art valuation: he has been appraising modern art and studio glass since the 1970s, and has written about several thorny intellectual areas: provenance and the chain of custody; the determination of damage and subsequent loss of value. Warmus has taught seminars about the history and appraisal of modern glass as part of the Appraisals Study program at the Rhode Island School of Design. In 2006 he lectured about the value of 19th through 21st century glass at the American Society of Appraisers International Conference in New York City. In his role as a forensic appraiser, Warmus has testified as an expert witness in United States Federal Court (Bellis v. Tokio Marine; Southern District of New York) regarding the condition and valuation of a group of masterworks by Louis C. Tiffany. In 2006 he was an expert witness for the artist Dale Chihuly in a highly publicized copyright case (Chihuly v. Kaindl, Western District of Washington).

Lewis Wexler, Moderator, The Secondary Market and Glass Road Show

Gallery owner Lewis Wexler began his career in the arts in the late 1980s as Assistant Vice President of 20th Century Decorative Arts at Christie’s auction house in New York City. Following his work at Christie’s, Lewis worked with world-renowned French art Deco dealer Anthony Delorenzo at his Madison Avenue gallery. He has lectured extensively throughout the United States at institutions including The Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery, The Furniture Society Conference, UBS’ Annual Global Media & Communications Conference, and SOFA Chicago (Sculptural Objects Functional Art fair). He has been featured in various national publications and appeared on the cover of Art & Antiques magazine in October 2005. Committed to the promotion of finely crafted work that pushes the perception of art, craft, and Design, Lewis has also been on the jury to select work for important exhibitions throughout the US.