Engaging With Glass:
a survey of contemporary Irish glass art

Engaging with Glass: A Survey of Contemporary Glass Art
Traver Gallery in Tacoma is proud to serve as the only United States venue for Engaging with Glass, the first comprehensive survey of Irish glass art in over a decade. The exhibition brings together a broad spectrum of work in glass, ranging from beautifully executed decorative objects to conceptual installation pieces incorporating video elements.


Originally presented at the Solstice Arts Center in Meath, Ireland, Engaging with Glass was organized by Solstice director Belinda Quirke, along with artists Caroline Madden and Deirdre Rogers. Irish artists working at home or abroad, as well as foreign artists living and working in Ireland, are included in the exhibition, which was juried by Dr. Audrey Whitty, Curator of Ceramics, Glass and Asian Collections at the National Museum of Ireland and Tina Oldknow, Curator of Modern Glass at the Corning Museum of Glass.


In essays included in the full-color catalog produced alongside the exhibition, juror Audrey Whitty notes that the show reflects an international trend to marry concept with an exceptional level of technical skill, while Tina Oldknow highlights two major themes seen in the show: narrative work addressing memory and time and objects exploring various perspectives on abstraction.


Seattle artist Paula Stokes, whose work is included in the show, was instrumental in bringing Engaging with Glass to the United States. After traveling to Ireland to attend the exhibition opening in Meath, Stokes was convinced that the work deserved to be seen by a wider audience and approached the Travers about mounting the show in their Tacoma location. Working with Solstice Art Center director Belinda Quirke, Stokes secured funding from Culture Ireland and the Crafts Council of Ireland to bring the exhibition to Tacoma.


The Seattle/Tacoma arts community has shown a great deal of enthusiasm for the exhibition, and several public programs have been developed around it. Dr. Caroline Madden, one of the exhibition's organizers and an artist featured in the exhibition, will teach a Master Artist class at Pratt Fine Arts Center in Seattle from April 13 - 15. Madden will also be featured as an Artist in Residence at the Museum of Glass in Tacoma from April 18 - 20.

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