Mel Douglas is a graduate from the Australian National University, School of Art, Glass Workshop. Douglas has exhibited in many group and solo exhibitions both nationally and internationally including the United States of America, Singapore and Italy. Douglas has been featured in numerous publications and her work is held in permanent collections such as the National Gallery of Australia and the Corning Museum of Glass.
Her delicate, subtle work comes from the slow and considered process of engraved mark making. This process of mark making is influenced by the objects physical and linear relationships. Douglas’ mastery of her craft is highly regarded and has earned her many awards including the 2014 Tom Malone Prize, 2007 International Young Glass Award, Ebeltolft, as well as the 2002 Ranamok Glass Prize.
Tim Edwards’ new body of work explores how the use of line can at once define, describe, and distort our perception of form in two and three- dimensional space. A child of the 70’s and 80’s media culture, Edwards has a deep-seeded interest in how we understand, and consume images and graphics in our modern lives. He is also a passionate drawer, filling his sketchbooks with line drawings of everyday objects, patterns, and shapes. Edwards’ passion for illustration and graphics has long been at the core of his sculptural work in glass, but this most recent body of work precisely highlights how blown glass and drawing can work together to define and contort both form and our perception of it
Originally trained in ceramics, Edwards has devoted himself to glass art since 1997. From 1992 to 1996, he served as the Associate Designer of ceramics and glass at the Jam Factory in Adelaide, AU. In addition to Traver Gallery, Edwards’ work has been exhibited at SOFA Chicago, The Institute of Science and Arts in Venice, Italy, The Mitsukoshi International Glass Art Festival in Taiwan, and many more internationally known institutions. In 2006 Edwards was the recipient of the prestigious Rakow Commission from the Corning Museum of Glass in New York.
Jun Kaneko was born in Nagoya, Japan in 1942. He studied painting with Satoshi Ogawa during his adolescence – working in his studio during the day and attending high school in the evening. He came to the United States in 1963 to continue his studies at Chouinard Institute of Art when his introduction to Fred Marer drew him to sculptural ceramics. He proceeded to study with Peter Voulkos, Paul Soldner, and Jerry Rothman in California during the time now defined as The Contemporary Ceramics Movement in America. The following decade, Kaneko taught at some of the nation’s leading art schools, including Scripps College, Rhode Island School of Design and Cranbrook Academy of Art.
Based in Omaha since 1986, Jun Kaneko has worked at several experimental studios including European Ceramic Work Center in The Netherlands, Otsuka Omi Ceramic Company in Japan, Fabric Workshop in Philadelphia PA, Bullseye Glass in Portland OR, Acadia Summer Arts Program in Bar Harbor ME, and Aguacate in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Over the course of his career he has partnered with industrial facilities to realize large-scale, hand-built sculptures. The first was his 1982-1983 Omaha Project at Omaha Brickworks. Later sculptures include his Fremont Project, completed in 1992-1994 in California, and most recently his Pittsburg Project completed in 2004-2007 in Kansas. Both of these later series of sculptures were created at Mission Clay Products. This past spring, his exhibition Myths, Legends and Truths opened at Millennium Park in Chicago. The exhibition features thirteen nine-and-a-half foot tall Dangos and twenty-three of his Tanukis. This new body of work by Kaneko draws upon the myths and legends of the tanuki figure.
His artwork appears in numerous international and national solo and group exhibitions annually, and is included in more than seventy museum collections. He has realized over thirty public art commissions in the United States and Japan and is the recipient of national, state and organization fellowships. Kaneko holds honorary doctorates from the University of Nebraska, the Massachusetts College of Art & Design and the Royal College of Art in London.
Kaneko is increasingly drawn to installations that promote civic interaction. He has completed over fifty public art commissions, including his two three hundred and fifty foot long Tile Walls at Aquarium Station in Boston, MA (1993-2000), a 3-story high wall in the Biology library at The University of Connecticut (1997) and at the the Mashima Sports Arena in Osaka Japan (1994); permanent plaza installations in Council Bluffs and Des Moines, IA (2007 and 2013), at Bartle Hall and Convention Center in Kansas City, KS (2006), and at the International Finance Center in Shanghai, China (2012). In 2014 his fifty-six foot tall Glass Tower, Plaza Design, and Tile Wall will be permanently installed in Lincoln, NE.
Jun Kaneko’s new design for San Francisco Opera’s production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute is currently touring the United States. It opened in San Francisco, Omaha, Kansas City. Its final performance will take place at The Washington National Opera at The John F. Kennedy Center. His production of Puccini’s Madame Butterfly, which premiered at Opera Omaha in March 2006, will open in June 2014 at the San Francisco Opera.
In 1998, he and his wife Ree Kaneko formed a non-profit cultural organization in Omaha Nebraska called KANEKO that explores and encourages the process of creativity. KANEKO is headquartered in landmark, turn-of-the-century warehouses in the Old Market District of Omaha, Nebraska. Jun Kaneko continues his dedication to life as an artist and as a cultural catalyst for the region.
Michael Peterson was born in 1952 in Texas and lives with his wife, Jean, on Lopez Island. Introduced to wood in 1975, Michael’s work continues to explore the potential of process and material. Central to the work is evoking a sense of naturalness, landscape, object and coastal influence.
April Surgent started working with glass in 1997, at open access hot shop studios in her hometown of Seattle, WA. She went on to study at the Australian National University, Canberra, Australia where she graduated with honors in 2004. In 2003, she changed her focus from blown to wheel engraved glass after studying under Czech master engraver Jiri Harcuba at the Pilchuck glass school. She has been engraving for 14 years, interested in contemporary approaches to the traditional craft of wheel engraving. Notable recognitions for her work include a 2009 Behnke Foundation Neddy Fellowship and a 2016 USA Ford Fellowship.
Surgent’s interest in applied conservation science led her to Antarctica in 2013, with the National Science Foundation’s, Antarctic Artist and Writers Program. Her research there focused on remote conservation fieldwork and the effects of anthropogenic impacts on vulnerable ecosystems. Currently, she is working with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s, Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program continuing that research. She lives and works on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington.
As one of the founders of the international Studio Glass Movement, Ann Wolff was at the center of attention as early as the end of the 1960s. In her 50-year career, the sculptor has repeatedly created works that make people think. Especially because the glass, on the one hand, is transparent, yet is a solid material. The translucency intensifies the sensual perception. There is no other material that will allow you to look at it and at the same time through it.
The artist has dealt with glass all her life. With glass, she has allowed the world a glance at her esthetic sentimentality, and she has created homogenous objects. Ever recurring themes predominant in her works are womanhood and habitation. Her objects are mostly monochrome, often kept in warm earthy tones. They radiate calmness and strength. Ann Wolff wanted more than shaped surfaces; she processed the material in several different aggregate phases, shaped it, cast it, painted it. Sometimes abstract objects emerged, sometimes figures that tell stories. What makes me strong? When does something become art? All these questions keep Ann Wolff moving. To her, movement and dance are important. In dance-theater, she was allowed to experience rehearsals with Pina Bausch, made views from it and then formed glass objects.
Ann Wolff was born in Lübeck, Germany in 1937, studied at the Hochschule für Gestaltung (University for design and art) in Ulm, Germany, then she worked as a designer in Sweden. Between 1993 and 1998, Ann Wolff worked as a professor at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste (University of arts) in Hamburg. Today, she works as a freelance artist in Sweden and Berlin. The Swedish Royal family has acquired several of her works.
She has been awarded numerous international awards, among them the renowned Coburger Glaspreis (1977), the Bayerischen Staatspreis (1988), the Jurypreis of the Toledo Museum of Art (2005), and the Award of Excellence of the Smithsonian Renwick Collection, Washington, USA (2008). Her works have been repeatedly exhibited in several solo exhibitions worldwide.
Jiro Yonezawa has been a bamboo craftsman and artist for almost 40 years. He trained at the Beppu Vocational Arts Training Center in 1981 and spent a year as an apprentice to Masakazu Ono. He continued his training at the Oita Prefectural Beppu Industrial Art Research Institute. In 1989 he moved to the United States and lived and worked there for almost 20 years. While in the US, his work became bolder and larger and he started making sculptural pieces influenced by art he saw there. In 2008 he returned to his hometown in Japan and built a new studio in Saiki City, Oita Prefecture. Since his return he has been active in the Japanese New Art & Craft (Nihon Shinkogei) organization and has received several national awards. He has also shown in Nitten, the annual National Fine Arts Exhibition.
He has had numerous solo exhibitions and has shown in group exhibitions internationally. His work is in many public and private collections such as the Microsoft Corporation in Seattle, the Mint Museum of Art in Charlotte, North Carolina, the Portland Art Museum in Oregon, and the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia. He is one of the bamboo artists selected to participate in an exhibit of Japanese bamboo art at the Musée de quai Branly in Paris this coming November.