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Supercool Glass Opens on February 8

A new exhibition that highlights aesthetic and technological trends of glassmaking opens in the Pizzagalli Center at Shelburne Museum on February 8.

Supercool Glass juxtaposes 19th century objects from Shelburne Museum’s collections with contemporary works by more than a dozen glass artists whose works either reference, evoke or depart from the past.

“Before the development and refinement of plastics in the 20th century, glass was a universal material. Its unique physical and aesthetic qualities made it the ideal substance for use in virtually every aspect of life, from dining to fashion, from architecture to medicine, from entertainment to marketing. Supercool Glass explores the multifaceted nature of this miraculous material and its manifold uses in daily life, both past and present,” said Kory Rogers, curator of design arts, who organized the exhibition.

Objects on view from the museum’s collections include food vessels, architectural glass, medical instruments, beaded costumes, witch balls and paintings. Alongside these 19th century artifacts are innovative works by contemporary artists including Gary Bodker, Amber Cowan, Eric Franklin, Kim Harty, Steven and William Ladd, Alyssa Oxley, Andy Paiko, Stefanie Pender, Mark Reigelman II, Madeline Steimle and Bohyun Yoon.

Vermont artists Monique LaJeunesse of Little River Hotglass Studio in Stowe, Rich Arentzen and Tove Ohlander of Burlington-based AO Glass Works and Ethan Bond Watts of Charlotte are featured. In addition, Charlotte Potter, a native of Vermont who is manager of the Glass Studio at the Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk Va., is also featured.
Among the contemporary works exhibited in Supercool Glass are glass encrusted chairs, a table and a light fixture by New York City artist Reigelman. Potter has photographically mapped the surface of her body and printed the images onto thousands of glass microscope slides linked together with silver chains to form a chainmaille suit of armor. Franklin, of Portland, Ore., creates neon and anatomical sculptures based on human skulls, which relates to the museum’s collection of pharmaceutical lighting.

Supercool Glass is on view in the Diana and John Colgate Gallery of the Pizzagalli Center for Art and Education at Shelburne Museum, February 8-June 8. Opening reception with several of the artists is 7 to 9 p.m., February 6.

Also on view in the Pizzagalli Center through May 26 is John Bisbee: New Blooms, which features new work by the inventive sculptor from Maine. Bisbee’s works are created out of 12-inch bright common nails that are wrought individually and then welded together for the finished form.

About Shelburne Museum: Shelburne Museum in Shelburne, Vermont is one of North America’s finest, most diverse and unconventional museums of art, design and Americana. Over 150,000 works are exhibited in a remarkable setting of 38 exhibition buildings, 25 of which are historic and were relocated to the museum’s beautifully landscaped 45-acre campus. Shelburne’s collection includes works by the great Impressionists Claude Monet, Edouard Manet and Edgar Degas as well as a prized collection of folk art including trade signs, weathervanes and quilts. During the winter season, which runs through May 10, the museum’s main campus is closed except for the Pizzagalli Center for Art and Education and Museum Store, which are open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday. Please visit www.shelburnemuseum.org for more information.

IMAGE CAPTION: Mark Reigelman II (New York, NY), chair and light fixture from the Breaking the Bottle Collection, 2011, glass and wood. Private collection.

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