The title of the current art glass show at the renowned Habatat Gallery in Royal Oak, tells the whole story in its title : Not Grandma's Glass – Yet!
Known as the largest and oldest gallery in the world dedicated to studio glass, Habatat represents the most established and recognized glass artists in the field. However, its young director, Aaron Schey, also has an eye to the future of the medium.
For 2021 he has called upon 12 glass artists from across the world who are known for the norm busting approach to creating glass art. These are the glass artists who are expected to be driving forces in the future of the medium. He has invited them to participate in an online glass art show featuring new works. One of the artists will be featured each month, including interviews with the artist and tours of each studio as well as videos of the artist at work.
All of the works will stay online for the entire year and each participating artist competes for the opportunity to be one of four artists who are asked back to also display their work in the 2022 edition of Not Grandma's Glass.
"The artists and collectors who have created the world of contemporary glass over the last decades are some of the most creative and future thinking artists and art appreciators in the world.” said Schey. "By inviting members of the new generation of glass artists to show their work, we are saluting not only up and coming artists and collectors, but established artists and collectors who will truly appreciate their vision. I have sometimes heard clients refer to the next generation as not understanding or caring about 'grandma's glass.' With this new show we are out to prove that the whole world of contemporary glass art appreciates the next generation of artists and collectors. This is artwork that is not in grandma’s art collection…yet".
Since its inception 48 years ago, Habatat has been instrumental in elevating the appreciation of art glass by major collectors and museums around the world. "When the galley was started by Ferdinand Hampson," says Schey. "He dedicated himself to knowing all of the artists around the world who were working in, what was then, the new medium of contemporary glass art. He encouraged the artists to push boundaries and grow the field.
"I feel like with this unique show, Not Grandma's Glass, we are taking the world of art glass to the next level with the next generation of artists. We are embracing their creativity and vision. The work in Not Grandma's Glass is provocative and challenging. It may not be for everyone but it is a look at the future and that is what is so exciting about it."The twelve artists invited to participate in the exhibition are: Morgan Peterson of Washington State, Matt Eskuche of Pittsburgh, Michael Janis and Tony Porto of Washington D.C. and Chicago respectively, John Moran of Ghent, Belgium; Jon Boley aka Shaggy of Oregon, Chad Fonfara of Omaha, Nebraska; Petra Herbacjova of Prague, Czech Republic; Caterina Urrata - Weintraub of Boston, Joseph Ivacic of Chicago, Dean Allison of Pittsburg, Anthony Amoako Attah of Sunderland, England and Ghana; and Krista Israel of The Netherlands. Each artist brings unique talent and forward thinking concepts to the work. Matt Eskuche has created a strong reputation and admiration for his iconic trash glass style. Caterina Urrata - Weintraub uses glass - a heavy fragile material - to create iconic toys or reimagined personal memories. Anthony Amoako Attah's work focuses on migration, integration and dislocation and the glass often looks like woven or printed fabric with traditional Kente designs and Adrinka symbols.
Artists Michael Janis and Tony Porto have collaborated from thousands of miles away from Chicago and Washington D.C., in the midst of the Covid crisis, to create large glass installations entitled My Hero! It explores pop iconography and incorporates action figures, including Star Wars, super heroes, WrestleMania, My Little Pony, and more.