MONTGOMERY MUSEUM of FINE ART | Lino Tagliapietra Exhibition

“Tagliapietra’s creativity and techniques have had a profound impact on generations of glass artists and on the medium itself. We are honored to have artwork from one of his most important series, Dinosaur, in our permanent collection. Many are in awe after seeing the beautiful elongated shape of the sculpture for the first time, and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to present a larger body of Tagliapietra’s work to the region.”  Angie Dodson, Director of the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts.

Jim Schantz, Jennifer Jankauskas. Lino, Kim Saul, Charles and Winnie Stakely.

We are very honored to be able to participate in curating this solo exhibition of Lino Tagliapietra, Master of Beauty.  This is the first time an exhibition of Tagliapietra’s extraordinary sculptures have been on view in the state of Alabama. The project began several years ago when our friends and clients, Charles and Winnie Stakely suggested having an exhibition of Lino Tagliapietra’s work at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Art. We have known the Stakely’s for many years and they certainly are very familiar with Lino’s work and we are thankful for their lead sponsorship of this exhibition. We are also grateful to our new friends, Laura and Barrie Harmon, and Dawn and Adam Schloss for their sponsorship and the AACG for a grant they provided.

Lino explaining his technique to the Collectors Tour participants.

We would like to thank Ed Bridges, Jennifer Jankauskas, Margaret Lynn Ausfeld and Sarah Kelly, and the many people on the staff at the museum for all their time and effort in arranging this exhibition. We would also like to thank James Bill and Kristen Johnson, from our staff back in Stockbridge and Jacopo Vecchiato, Lino’s grandson, who is Director of Lino’s U.S. operation.

It was my pleasure to be able to curate the 40 works in this exhibition to represent a cross-section of Lino’s work. With a career spanning more than 70 years, it would be challenging to exhibit the range works that represent his incredible career. The works in this exhibition span the past twenty years.

Below, photography by Becca Beers, provided by the MMFA.

                                   

The entire staff and board members of the museum planned a wonderful two days filled with dinners, talks, and a festive opening reception. We were treated to that warm Southern hospitality and charmed by each and every person we met there.  Lino Tagliapietra and Jim Schantz spoke at a lecture before a member-only opening for the show.  The Montgomery Museum of Fine Art is absolutely amazing, with regional and national collections of very important works, outdoor sculpture garden, the most creative and engaging educational art facility we have ever seen…. and the nearby Shakespeare Theater across the reflecting pond is state of the art. This museum is certainly a destination for the people of the region to learn from and too enjoy.

Lino with Ed Bridges.

Adam and Dawn Schloss with Lino.

The exhibition, Lino Tagliapietra, Master of Beauty runs through January 20, 2019. 

LINO TAGLIAPIETRA | SOFA 2018

This year is the 25th year for SOFA Chicago and we are proud to say that Jim Schantz has been there for 23 of those years! Unbelievable!!

 

Lino Tagliapietra has stated that SOFA Chicago is the most important show to present his newest creation, and he works towards that goal. When in the windy city, he enjoys meeting his fans, seeing long time friends, and the fine dining in Chicago. 

 

 

 

For the 25th Anniversary of SOFA, Lino has created the Secret Garden, a wall installation featuring leaf forms that are blown and hot sculpted.  Additionally he has taken his Florencia Series further… 

 

We hope to see you there and share these and other exciting works by the Maestro with you. Here is a catalog of a selection of works to be presented – be sure you view full screen to get the full effect.

2018 Schantz Galleries Seattle Tour photo album

These photos are taken by Roger Meyers. There were over 1600 images for us to choose from, and for those, he had to edit his images down from about 3000!  SO, this is a thank you to him and to all the other participants who journeyed on that 5-day tour and had the best time ever looking at glass, meeting the artists, touring around Seattle and dining on excellent food.

  

Walking into a hot shop is exhilarating, and even if you have done it before, that sense of wonder never lessens, believe us, as we have been going on these trips to Seattle for over 15 years, and some of our collectors have opted to go back with us 2 or 3 times…. It’s that good!

Below is a link to our online blog where many more photos are posted.

Enjoy!  Jim and Kim

 On this five-day Seattle Glass Collectors Tour, … Read More and see the photo album!

 

Distinctions in Glass

Distinctions in Glass | Bremers, Janecký, Shimomoto

 

Distinction can be defined both as a contrast between similar things, and an excellence that sets one thing apart from another. Two discrete meanings for the same word, yet both meanings apply easily to the glass work of the three artists—Peter Bremers, Harue Shimomoto, and Martin Janecký—featured in this exhibition. This gathering of three unique artists highlights the diversity of technique, form, and aesthetic which glass allows the maker. Bremers creates monumental cast glass sculptures—abstract, monochrome references to landscape and space. Shimomoto weaves glass threads into sculptural tapestries, employing clean lines to capture the essence of nature. Janecký is a modern-day Augustus Saint-Gaudens who sculpts molten glass into naturalistic, emotive busts and figures. Their commonality—a gift for manipulating this malleable material into astonishing works of art that elevate the viewer beyond the banal of the everyday.

Peter Bremers was an established light sculptor when he stumbled upon a glassblowing workshop in his native Netherlands, inspiring a journey of discovery in using glass to capture and bend light. The artist sculpts a model out of a dense foam block. By using the kiln cast method, the model is transformed into glass. He is well known for his awesome glass icebergs, inspired by a voyage to Antarctica in 2001, which bridge the psychic gap between humans and the natural world. He masterfully captures nature’s magnificence in flawless glass microcosms, bringing us intimately in tune with nature by kindling our sense of wonder and smallness around her majesty.

cast glass, 25 x 16 x 5.8"
cast glass, 26 x 5.2 x 6"
cast glass, 17 x 12.5 x 5.8"
cast glass, 19 x 25.8 x 3.2"
cast glass, 19.8 x 11.8 x 5.2
cast glass, 15 x 16.7 x 5.6"
cast glass, 17.5 x 12 x 6"

 

 

 

Bremers work in this exhibition turns the journey inward with metaphysical cogitations on space that offer a healing salve in a disconnected and anxious world. Bremers takes the interplay of positive and negative space—an element inherent in our physical experience of three-dimensional sculpture—and extends it in a metaphoric direction. He brings negative space into the sculpture in the form of holes and hollow sections; visible through an outer transparent shell of glass, their volume constantly shifts as the light flows through. These studies of space are monochromatic meditations on form and light—at times intricately faceted, gracefully arched, softly geometric, languidly amorphous. Eloquent descriptors such as Circumscribed, Honey Sweet, Illusional, Optical, Sensuous, and Connected title these “spaces,” signposts that encourage our understanding of Bremer’s artistic intention. Of this series, the artist has written, “Finding ourselves in a time of increasingly negative perception of everyday news events and an overall rising feeling of being unsafe in a world of religious, political, and social divisiveness, we may forget to focus on the possibilities and comfort offered by positive action and attitude. Positive space symbolizes tolerance, appreciation, hope, and opportunity.”

 

While Bremers articulates the grand physical phenomena of nature, artist Harue Shimomoto relishes in its small gestures and broad strokes. Diaphanous curtains of glass express abstract notions—weather shifting with the seasons, light morphing throughout the day, leaves changing their hue, air circling a pond, fields blowing in the wind. Simple colors and forms mingle in a complex but soothing mesh of layered glass rods. Illusionistic depth emerges as Shimomoto deftly wields positive and negative sculptural space and carefully handles light and shadow, distilling moments into shimmering immersive impressions. Like with Bremers, Shimomoto’s work goes beyond mere physical exploration, becoming a meditative journey that holds tightly to the impermanence of fragile moments and shifts the viewer’s gaze beyond the tangible.

fused glass, stainless steel wire, pigment, epoxy, metal hooks, 51 x 37 x 7"
(Sun Spring Light) fused glass, stainless steel wire, pigment, epoxy, metal hooks, 36 x 36 x 7"
(Freezing Night) Fused glass, stainless steel wire, pigment, epoxy, silver leaf, metal hooks, 36 x 36 x 7"

 

 

 

 

Shimomoto was born in Japan and received her BFA from Tokyo’s Musashino Art University, then came to the United States to get her MFA, settling afterwards in Rhode Island. Simplicity and ephemerality have a storied tradition in the Japanese aesthetic, a way of being that Shimomoto embodies, but also one from which she diverges. There is a quiet strength to her work—in its construction but more so it in its message—that makes her a unique amalgam. She has said: “I do not want the viewer to be too conscious of the glass. I almost believe that glass itself is too beautiful to be a medium. Many people see glass as functional object or decorative material. I want to break these images of glass and give it a different quality. Therefore, I am careful to make my work stronger than my medium.”

Sculpted glass 15.75 x 12 x 11.75"
alternate view approx. 27.5" h on stand
Sculpted glass 13 x 12.5 x 9.5"
alternate view

 

 

 

 

Martin Janecký is a master handler of the medium of glass, coaxing impossibly naturalistic figures and animals out of the material. Janecký was born to be a glassmaker, working in his father’s glass factory in the Czech Republic beginning at the age of 13. He likes to say “I didn’t pick glass, glass picked me.” After graduating from the glass school Nový Bor, he embarked on a path that has taken him to glass programs all over the world as a visiting artist and instructor to over 600 students a year. Teaching has been accompanied by endless learning, the time to formulate and hone his personal aesthetic, and the opportunity to push and perfect his innovative glass molding technique.

 

By “sculpting inside the bubble,” (blowing the basic bubble, then opening a hole and molding it with different tools from both the inside and the outside), Janecký achieves extraordinary realism and startling detail in his faces. Nooks, crevices, lines, and protuberances gradually emerge, a map of human emotion drawn in glass, radiating from within as is from a living, feeling soul. When asked about the meaning of his work, he has said: “I make things which fascinate me—not just from the workmanship point of view—I try to give them an expression. I don’t want to make just a realistic portrait. I want to capture feelings and emotions.” The external calm of the artist as he deliberately and slowly works the material belies his own creative mind—active, passionate, always seeking challenge.

 

A distinctive characteristic of glass as a medium is that it responds to challenge, yields to the vision of the passionate artist and skilled technician. A simple set of ingredients heated together to molten consistency, pushed, blown, poured, shaped, colored, etched, and altered in ways as myriad as the imagination can conjure. Peter Bremers, Harue Shimomoto, and Martin Janecký demonstrate the breadth of the physical and creative possibilities of glass because each brings deep devotion to the art, a unique ability to work with the material, and a drive to explore new experiences in glass.

Kelly O’Dell and Raven Skyriver Demo | Schantz Galleries June Weekend

Each year we feature artists to exhibit in Gallery One for the opening event of the summer in Stockbridge. This year, Paul Stankard, Kelly O’Dell, and Raven Skyriver were the featured artists and the gallery looks fantastic! These three artists are all deeply in tune with their environment and appreciate how glass can be a compelling medium for interpreting flora and fauna. Stankard’s floral paperweights are diminutive and detailed meditations on a flower’s elegant countenance—and the brimming underbelly beneath the soil. O’Dell’s sumptuous ammonites, coral, and fossil-like panels see the long view of nature—its far-reaching past, its captivating present, and its precarious future. Raven Skyriver also brings awareness to the fragility of the ecosystem through his glorious interpretations of marine icons of the Pacific Northwest, captured in an array of forms, colors, and textures as diverse as sea life itself.

Another aspect of the weekend is the Glass Demo which is held at a nearby hotshop in Canaan, NY, called hoogs and crawford. Nathan Hoogs and Elizabeth Crawford have been working in the area for over 20 years, and have a really nice shop.  

Following are photos of the demo, where Kelly and Raven created a Nautilus Cephalopod, an awesome sea creature, and an amazing feat in sculpting glass.  There was a rapt audience for over 4 hours as we watched the entire process from start to finish, supplied with breakfast and lunch, of course!  Assisting artists included Nathan Hoogs, Elizabeth Crawford, Bob Dane, Mike V, Jen Violette and Wren Skyriver.  The photos were taken by Amy Postlethwait, and videographer, Jeff Masotti will be sending us a video for our collection as well. 

Enjoy!
 

 

hoogs and crawford hot shop

Elizabeth Crawford

Nathan Hoogs

Mike

Jen Violette and Raven Skyriver

Raven Skyriver and Bob Dane

Kelly's special tool she invented to curl a nautilus!

Sculpting the tentacles or arms of the Cephalopod

Kelly O'Dell

Jen Violette

Kelly and Wren

High drama was featured here!!

Raven Skyriver | featured June 2-16 2018 | Nature in Glass | A Delicate Balance |

“Raven Skykriver’s glass sculptures immerse us in nature, allowing us to contemplate our mortality and encouraging us to change our way of being in the world.”

 

Raven Skyriver also brings awareness to the fragility of the ecosystem and the risk of endangerment in his breathtaking glass animals. Icons of the Pacific Northwest such as whales, tortoises, seals, and salmon feature prominently in his vocabulary, along with ancient shelled creatures and undulant octopuses. He expertly manipulates glass to express different textures—soft mat seal fur, rough patchy tortoise skin, glistening chromatophore’s cells, iridescent carapaces. Skyriver’s glorious creatures capture a panoply of forms and colors as diverse as marine life itself.

Raven Skyriver, Descent,2017, Off hand sculpted glass, 30 x 13 x 35″

Though Skyriver consults reference books and deliberately plans the shapes and coloration of each sculpture to achieve naturalistic accuracy, he also distills each creature to its essence and relishes the whimsical accidents of glass that can augment a piece. Skyriver suggests swimming bodies in their native marine habitat by giving the sculptures fluid movements reminiscent of real life—stretched necks and expansive flippers pushing through the water, arcing backs diving under the surface, waving tentacles riding the ripples.

Raven Skyriver, Adrift, 2017,  Off hand sculpted glass, 27 x 29 x 20″

The inherent viscosity of glass, its ability to morph in shape and color, and its seeming weightlessness as light filters through and around it, make it the ideal instrument for Skyriver. Though he originally did functional pieces in the traditional Venetian style, it is through working with glass that he has found his artistic voice. For him, there is great joy in making beautiful renditions of animals, bringing awareness to, and helping safeguard, the creatures with whom we share our planet. There is also great passion for both the medium of glass, an intriguing substance with many characteristics to learn and cultivate, and the process of glassmaking, a team effort that allows him to collaborate with creative talents.

Leviathan, 2018, Off hand sculpted glass 38 x 9 x 24″

Raven Skykriver’s glass sculptures immerse us in nature, allowing us to contemplate our mortality and encouraging us to change our way of being in the world. Humans cannot halt, but in fact will eventually be folded into, the inevitable circle of life. But humans do have a choice if they want to be forces of destruction or agents of preservation. 

Chinlook 2018 (detail), off hand sculpted glass. 30 x 8 x 19”

Kelly O’ Dell | featured June 2-16 2018 | Nature in Glass | A Delicate Balance |

“O’Dell’s glass pieces memorialize nature’s lost glories, endeavor to forestall future destruction, and contemplate the universal life cycle of life, death, and renewal.”

Veneration of nature defines glass artist Kelly O’Dell. O’Dell was raised in Hawaii, where the arts (her parents had a stained and furnace glass studio in their home) and the lush environment were woven into her upbringing. Kelly O’Dell sees nature in the long view—its far-reaching past, its captivating present, and its precarious future. Just as the phenomena of past millennia are written in the planet today, the actions of the present create ripples going forward. The Ammonite was a coiled cephalopod that became extinct 65 million years ago when a comet hit the earth near the Yucatan peninsula, altering the weather dramatically and making most life unsustainable. Exquisite shells were left behind, empty homes to animals no longer alive, embedding their intricate patterns in the earth. O’Dell mimics these fossilized impressions in panels, liquid glass melting like a massive glacier, suspending shell slices in perpetuity. Exposed anatomy is writ in delicately blown and sculptured turquoise, maroon, and golden glass, shapes juxtaposed with one another in elegant formations such as butterfly wings.

Kelly O’Dell, (R)evolutions: Chorus, 2017, Sculpted, cut, and cast glass, decal inclusions, gold leaf. Glass optic bricks rotate on stand, moveable by hand.

In other work, O’Dell revives the Ammonite in glorious dimensions. Glass is blown in varying thicknesses, carved to move light effortlessly through the helix-like form. With her sumptuous palette—at times opaque and creamy, at times delicately transparent, at times dusted with luster—the work blends realism with an aura of fantasy. O’Dell brings this amalgam of scientific accuracy and artistic license to endangered sea creatures of today such as coral, concerned that human impact on the natural world will mimic history’s astronomical disasters. The viewer’s eye dances around the craggy textures, milky colors, and clustered forms of her coral, compelling us to protect this threatened species. Themes of extinction and preservation invariably reflect back on the self and our own mortality; O’Dell’s glass pieces memorialize nature’s lost glories, endeavor to forestall future destruction, and contemplate the universal life cycle of life, death, and renewal.

Kelly O’Dell, Arora, 2017, blown, sculpted glass, carved by Ethan Stern, 10 x 7 x 10″

PAUL STANKARD | featured June 2-16 2018 | Nature in Glass | A Delicate Balance |

Elaborate and exquisite colors, patterns, and systems make nature a marvel of design. Abundance and majesty make it a source of inspiration and tranquility. Its continuum of birth, death, and renewal make it a symbol of life’s transience and mortality’s inevitability. Nature strikes a delicate balance between strength and fragility, sometimes stalwart against, sometimes victim to, the folly of humanity. Nature strikes a delicate balance between the seen and the unseen, sometimes displaying its glories proudly, sometimes teeming imperceptibly beneath the surface. Artists who take inspiration from nature inherently understand these qualities and act as stewards, honoring and preserving our planet.  

Paul Stankard, Emily Dickinson’s Garden Secrets, 2018, 3.5625 x 2.8125 x 2.8125″

“…metaphors for the sacred life cycle of creation and destruction”

Though Paul Stankard graduated from vocational school and worked various jobs in industrial glass early in his career, his creative side loved artistic things like poetry, and the wildflowers of his native rural Massachusetts. One of his favorite Walt Whitman quotes says that “the narrowest hinge of my hand puts the scorn on all machinery.” It is an apt description for someone who transitioned from mechanical work to fine art so successfully. He was drawn to the floral paperweights of 19th century France and present for the revival of this art in southern New Jersey in the mid-20th century. One of its finest practitioners, Francis Whittemore, happened to be Stankard’s factory supervisor. The two loved to talk about this common interest, though Whittemore shared few insights on his methods of production. So, Stankard applied the glassmaking techniques learned on the job to years of self-study in the art of paperweights to become a pioneer in the field of flameworking.

Paul Stankard, Cluster of Bulbous Forms: Flower, Bud, Honeybee and Figures, 4″ diameter (approximate)

Stankard’s process—using a torch with pincers, pliers, and other tools to precisely manipulate colorful, thin rods of glass—is about more than just making things. It is a spiritual exercise that brings the artist closer to the essence of nature. The monastic notion of laborare est orare (to labor is to pray) guides Stankard to see the miraculous in the ordinary. Diminutive and detailed meditations, his paperweights display not only a flower’s elegant countenance but the brimming underbelly beneath the soil, paying homage to what Stankard has termed “the mystery of unseen energy and the fecundity of nature.”

Paul Stankard, Cluster of Purple Pineland Pickerel Weed with Fruit, Honeybees and Walt Whitman Portrait Cane, 4″ Diameter (approximate)

Realism in his botanicals (carefully sculpted petals, pistils and stamens, and lovingly rendered insects) is coupled with mysticism and imagination (roots that morph into people and mosaic canes spelling words like “seed” or “wet” embedded in the design). The works are simultaneously referential to the idea of what a flower can be, and metaphors for the sacred life cycle of creation and destruction. Hot, viscous glass fills the crevices like dripping honey, crystallizing in the surrounding orb and creating a reverential memento mori in permanent suspension.

Detail with Walt Whitman Portrait Cane

2018 ART PALM BEACH

 

Exhibiting 25 new works at Art Palm Beach this January 14-21. Meet the Maestro!

Also, Pilchuck Director, Jim Baker will present a Tribute to Lino during the Speaker Series.  Prosecco Reception to follow at Schantz Galleries booth #308.

Contact the gallery for a VIP pass or a catalog… while they last!

Bertil Vallien at FORM Miami | December 6-10, 2017

“…knowing the exact moment at which to capture a shift of light or expression and wrench the secret from the glass is what it is all about.”

Bertil Vallien, Map IV, 2017, Cast glass, 20.27 x 16.53 x 3.14″

MIAMI, FL: From the Crystal Kingdom in Sweden to the FORM Miami Exhibition, comes this exhibition of Bertil Vallien’s signature sand-cast glass works reflecting the artist’s thoughtful exploration of the multi-faceted relationship of the human journey. Vallien will also be traveling to attend the show.

Bertil Vallien’s focus on looking inward is achieved in myriad ways, one of which is his unique glassmaking technique. A leader in the Swedish glass industry for more than 40 years, Vallien formulated his own method for casting glass in sand that creates depth and radiance in the material. Artworks are driven not by their final appearance—although their visual impact is stunning—but rather by their content. Vallien’s preparatory sketches are carefully considered blueprints of both the external form and the inner details. Layers—both physical and psychological—are created through a multistep process. Surface textures result from the imprint of objects placed on the walls of the mold, which are also dusted with powdered metal oxides to release color. As the molten glass is poured into the mold, Vallien incorporates a variety of objects from sheet metal and glass threads, to figures and other colored forms. Once the glass cools, the suspended animation reveals itself in full glory. Light reflects off the brilliant surfaces and assorted angles of the perimeter, but more dramatically it emanates from within.

Vallien has said that “knowing the exact moment at which to capture a shift of light or expression and wrench the secret from the glass is what it is all about.” Just as his technical approach unearths internal “secrets,” so his visual motifs are explorations of the subconscious. The artist is motivated by various things—from stories he hears on the news, to people he has met, to his religious upbringing and questions about faith, to wars both historical and contemporary. Despite these concrete inspirations, the work is not meant to pose facile questions with prescribed answers. Umberto Eco wrote “I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret is as though it had an underlying truth.” Vallien’s art embraces this idea, transforming the events and experiences that inspire him into universal archetypes and symbols, upon which viewers layer their own perspectives. A shifting “truth” is created when two spirits—that of the artist and that of the viewer—coalesce. Through both physical expression and symbolic associations, Vallien senses the world from the inside out and opens this channel of experience to his viewer. Definitive answers become unnecessary, and an enlightened, empathetic, and open-minded ethos rises.

If You Go:
December 6-10,  Bertil Vallien, FORM
The artist will be present.