BGSU integral part of studio glass anniversary events

BOWLING GREEN, O.—This year art glass lovers and museums around the world are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the American studio glass movement. Bowling Green State University has been involved in studio glass arts for 46 of those years.

As the birthplace of the movement, Toledo is at the epicenter of the celebration and will host the national conference of the Glass Art Society June 13-17, expected to draw about 1,500 guests to events at the Toledo Museum of Art and SeaGate Convention Center. BGSU will sponsor the International Student Exhibition during the conference, along with other events on campus. This exhibition showcases and makes available for sale work by glass arts students from around the world. Awards are given for the best artwork.

"Blowing Glass State University: Forty-Six Years of Glass Arts" will be on exhibit from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 13-17, with the opening reception at 6 p.m. June 15 in the lobby of One SeaGate at 550 N. Summit St. Art Walk buses will run throughout the evening until 10 p.m., taking visitors to the other 25 or so galleries holding glass exhibitions in downtown Toledo.

BGSU alumni are also exhibiting in at least five other venues, including the 419 Gallery at 425 Jefferson Ave.; 20 North at 18 N. St. Clair St.; Gathered Art at 23 N. Huron St.; Hudson Gallery at 5645 N. Main St. in Sylvania; and the Parkwood Gallery at 1838 Parkwood Ave.

As part of the conference events, the School of Art is putting on an exhibition of Japanese, Japanese-American and Japanese-Canadian glass masters on campus at the Dorothy Uber Bryan Gallery, and will have demonstrations by two Japanese-American glass artists – Sayaka Suzuki and Hiromi Takizawa - on June 13.

"Glass Masters of Japan and the North American Studio Glass Movement: A Conversation" opens at noon June 13 in the Dorothy Uber Bryan Gallery during the Day of Glass in the Fine Arts Center galleries. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 14-16.

Buses to Bowling Green will run from the Jefferson side of the Seagate Convention Center in Toledo on the hour.

The University’s art-wrapped buses will also ferry visitors from Bowling Green to Toledo to the studio of glass artists Jack Schmidt and Shawn Messenger, and to Owens Community College for the various events. Schmidt, a BGSU alumnus and internationally recognized glass artist, was one of the first students to blow glass at the University and was honored in 1995 with the Glass Art Society Honorary Lifetime Membership Award.

It was at the Toledo Museum of Art in 1962 that three men, Dominic Labino, Harvey Leafgreen and Harvey Littleton, each with a variety of interests and skills in art and glass-blowing, found a way to create art glass in a small furnace they built themselves. Their first glass workshop spawned the American glass studio arts movement.

Labino, of Grand Rapids, Ohio, was a friend and colleague of several BGSU art faculty members and adviser to the BGSU program. Two of his pieces are on permanent display in the lobby of the Fine Arts Center and a third, three-dimensional sculpture, graces the lobby of the Mathematical Sciences Building.

During the anniversary celebration, BGSU will honor the memory of Robert (Bud) Hurlstone, who began its program and taught until his death in 2005. Hurlstone’s work is in the permanent collections of the American Crafts Museum in New York City and the Corning Museum of Contemporary Glass, the nation’s leading museum of modern glass art, among others.

Hurlstone was instrumental in developing the glass specialization within the school’s MFA program. He also designed and supervised the installation of the original glass facilities in the school. Today, the remodeled hot glass studio is among the finest in the area.

(Posted June 05, 2012 )

Updated: 07/27/2020 12:43PM