Gabe Feenan: Home Shop Advantage

By Serena Berry, Audio/Visual Department

Often found dancing around the Hotshop while wailing along to ‘80s power ballads a member of our glassblowing team, Gabe Feenan, was last week’s Visiting Artist. The self-proclaimed jokester shifted focus during the week from creating pieces for the MOG’s wide breadth of artists to creating his own work.

1According to Feenan, he happened upon glass art as a profession, but after 18 years it’s plain to see that he hasn’t taken his passion for granted. As a member for our team for the last 12 years, Feenan’s had a hand in creating pieces with world-class glassblowers such as Dante Marioni and Lino Tagliapietra. He’s a guy that likes to work hard while always continuing to be a student of his craft.


As a continuation of his previous body of work, Center of Gravity, Feenan created modern compositions comprised of blown cane and tightly assembled geometric shapes. His previous work in this series consisted of mostly blown forms colored in earth tones, inspired by the Pacific Northwest; however this week he’s going to experiment with adding more solid forms and new colors, “I’m going to work with a little bit different palate than I’ve worked with in a long time. I’m going to try to brighten it up a little bit,” said Feenan.

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The parts of these sculptures were formed simultaneously using three different teams, then assembled item-by-item by Feenan in a delicate process. The work involved in creating these pieces was misleading, in relation to their design, because although they seemed simplistic in nature once finished they took about three hours to complete on the floor. 5

Feenan felt fortunate to be working with his co-workers and friends to complete these pieces. The blowers who assisted him during the week have a combined glass working knowledge of close to 100 years. Three of whom blow glass with Feenan five days a week and operate more as a family; we saw some great work out of Gabe Feenan and his team this week. To see more sculptures from Center of Gravity Feenan currently displays his work at the Vetri International Gallery in Seattle, WA.

Postcard From Beijing

Museum of Glass curator David Francis, who took a five month leave of absence to join his family in China, has sent us an update on how his stay in Beijing is going. It appears he’s getting a bit homesick.

Postcard front

Postcard back

Off the Beaten Path at GAS Conference Chicago, March 19 – 22, 2014

By David Francis, Museum of Glass Curator

The weather gods were kind to the glass world, as temperatures warmed up to the low 50s during the conference. With piles of dirty snow around, it seemed like the worst winter since the late 70s was on the way out. And yet the snow returned after we left.

While it was boxed away in a small, darkened room, the “Enlightened Glass” exhibition at the 2014 Glass Art Society Conference in Chicago a few weeks ago was a best-kept secret.  I crept in during a break in the action on Saturday and was hugely impressed with the range of vessel forms and sculptural work. Hopefully, GAS will eventually get some images from the show online; in the meantime, here is John E. Bannon’s “Bored of Frustration”, a whimsically titled, sculptural work that I enjoyed for its subtle juxtapositions: the figure is relaxing – but on a bed of nails. It also took a minute to realize that what at first appeared like an abstract line of glowing tube was actually a figurative sculpture. Instead of neon, the gas in this case in krypton, and a transformer enables the gas to appear to be moving, as little balls of light move from one end to the other.

John E. Bannon_Bored of Frustration

Friday night, Made Gallery hosted “How Glass Is…,” an exhibition of flameworking that ranged from pipes to sculptures. There was an immense line of people out front and for the rest of the evening, perhaps 200 strong, with a handful allowed entry every few minutes. So much for escaping the beaten path!

GAS 2014_Made Gallery


GAS 2014_Sibelle Yuksek_Dans Les Nuages

At the Made show, Sibelle Yuksek’s piece, “Dans Les Nuages” (“In the Clouds”), consisted of a lampworked borosilicate sculpture that functioned as a fashion accessory or elaborate hat – the installation included a great photograph of a model wearing the piece. Check out Sibelle’s line of wearable boro glass.

David Francis works primarily as an artist-curator with a practice informed by poetics, critical theory and archaeology (MFA, PhD, University of Washington). As an adjunct college professor for almost 20 years, he taught in Delaware, Washington, Kentucky, Poland (Fulbright), Semester at Sea, and Hungary (Fulbright), finally settling at Cornish College of the Arts from 1999 – 2006, when he began to focus on making visual art, joining Center on Contemporary Art (CoCA) as an artist- curator in 2005 – 2013. From the mid-1980s until 2011, he also pursued a parallel career in archaeology, surveying, testing and excavating numerous sites in four states. In addition to more than 20 curatorial essays in exhibition catalogs, his publications include numerous technical reports, an award-winning collection of poems and a book on the indigenous Zoque region of Oaxaca, Mexico.