Remembrance and Celebration: Glass Installation Honors the Liberation of Kuwait

On the 26th of February 1991, Kuwait, a small nation on the northern shores of the Persian Gulf, sandwiched between Iraq and its southern neighbor Saudi Arabia, was liberated from the Iraqi forces that had invaded and occupied the country seven months earlier. The victory was achieved through a coalition of 35 nations led by the United States, and the short but devastating conflict became known as the Gulf War.

This small slice of history may seem a distant memory and its 30th anniversary of little importance, but for the people of Kuwait and the Allied forces that served during Operation Desert Storm, the occasion remains an emotional and poignant one.

The Corning Museum of Glass is honored to help acknowledge and remember Kuwait’s liberation by participating in a collaborative project launched by two Kuwaiti artists in conjunction with the U.S. State Department and the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait.

Kuwaiti artists Mohammed Al Duwaisan and Lubna Saif Abbas.

The project, which paired artists Lubna Saif Abbas and Mohammed Al Duwaisan with American glass artists Claire Kelly and Jeffrey Stenbom, was spearheaded by Amy Schwartz, director at The Studio of The Corning Museum of Glass.

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Donor Profile: David C. Burger

As a boy growing up near Corning, NY, David C. Burger visited The Corning Museum of Glass numerous times. He loved to watch the Steuben glassblowers at work. He decided that someday he would attempt glassblowing himself. When he was sixteen years old, he was invited to apply for and was accepted into, a one-year program combining his senior year in high school and his freshman year in college at the New School for Social Research in Greenwich Village, New York City. After attending Columbia College and law school, clerking for a federal judge, and then beginning work as a litigation attorney in NYC, David finally had the opportunity to try glassblowing.
 
He learned about the Experimental Glass Workshop (EGW) in Manhattan and signed up for an initial glassblowing class. He came to know William (Bill) Gudenrath, a glass artist intimately involved with EGW, and Amy Schwartz, who was also taking a glassblowing class there. Coincidentally, this is when Amy and Bill—who married and left NYC to build and run The Studio at the Museum—first became acquainted.  

This 12″ diameter Ruba Rombic vaseline glass fishbowl in David’s collection appears to be a unique prototype for a similar patented 14″ diameter fishbowl that was marketed.
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Blown Away Contestant Cat Burns, a Star on the Rise

Glass artist Cat Burns, had a pretty interesting year in 2020, but she wasn’t able to talk about most of it until now. From studio instructor to TikTok sensation to star contestant on season 2 of the Netflix series Blown Away, Cat’s year was full both on and off the screen.

Cat Burns on the set of Blown Away Season 2. All Blown Away photos by David Leyes for marblemedia.

But it wasn’t always easy. Success, just like glassblowing itself, can take hours, weeks, months, and years to master. Ambition, hard work, dedication, and a belief that you can do anything can lead you to success, and these are all qualities that Cat has in abundance.

While Cat is enjoying her moment in the sun, we carved out a few minutes to ask her about the big reveal and discover what made 2020 so great.

 

What made you decide to apply for Blown Away Season 2?

I decided to try out for Blown Away to challenge myself. I live by a rule that if something scares me, I should try it, just to prove that I can. I applied to the first season and didn’t get in so I honestly applied thinking I wouldn’t get in again.

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Kris Wetterlund, inspiring us all

A good educator leaves their mark. On one person or a classroom, an institution, and sometimes an entire profession. Educators guide people down new paths and reveal truths that once seemed incomprehensible. They share their own experiences in order to learn from the past and improve on the future. They interpret the world and make it easier for the rest of us to understand. And, of course, they inspire.

Kris Wetterlund

It’s no surprise, then, that Kris Wetterlund, an educator of the highest order, who retired from The Corning Museum of Glass in the fall of 2020, left her mark on those she worked so closely with, and even those who may never know the ways they interacted with Kris’s work.

Kris joined the Museum in 2014 and served as director of education and interpretation. Although her time at the Museum was short it was impactful. With more than two decades as an art museum educator, spanning multiple countries from the US to Europe and China, Kris brought a level of experience that helped develop a reimagined Education Department. Kris efficiently built a new team of young educators around her who will continue to pursue the high degree of excellence she insisted upon.

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Blown Away Season 2! Catching Up with the Judges

Arguably the hottest show on Netflix, the glassblowing competition series Blown Away–once again featuring expert glassmakers from The Corning Museum of Glass–returns for a second season tomorrow, January 22, 2021.

Blown Away Season 2 starts streamingon Netflix tomorrow, Friday, January 22, 2021.

The Museum will also host Blown Away Season 2, an exhibit of work made during Season 2, featuring one object from each of the 10 contestants. You can view the exhibit on the Museum’s West Bridge starting tomorrow.

When the first season of Blown Away launched in the summer of 2019, CMoG was invited into the spotlight, bringing to the program its expertise in an artform that much of the world was discovering for the first time through the show.

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Rob Cassetti, the creative way

2020 has been a monumental year. There have certainly been times of difficulty, but also moments of innovation and progress. And for some, that change has been positive, a steppingstone to new roads and new adventures. This is certainly true for Rob Cassetti, who announces his retirement from The Corning Museum of Glass after more than 20 years of service.

A career of creative excellence is something we can all strive to achieve. For Rob, that endeavor has been essential; it’s a deeply rooted way of thinking, a calling, and a joy for him to practice. It’s the only way his brain works. Rob’s professional life has been one steeped in creative people, energy, places, and experiences, and for many of these moments, he has been the instigator, the spark that brought it all together.

Read more →

Meet Penguin Pierre: From the Shelf to the Spotlight

Meet Pierre!

He sat casually in the corner of an office workspace, just waiting for his unlikely rise to fame. Born of sand and fire during artist Catherine Labonté’s live stream demo, this goofy-looking character could make you smile just by looking at him. And really, what more could he have hoped to accomplish than spreading simple happiness to an office filled with museum marketing employees? Then COVID-19 hit, and those employees packed up their desks and left to work from home for the foreseeable future, leaving Penguin Pierre in solitude—with no more faces to light up.

Then, when Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium shared videos of a penguin called Wellington waddling around their empty spaces; inspiration struck! Only, Pierre couldn’t waddle around the Museum… he’s made of glass. Except, could he?!

Penguin Pierre has the whole Museum to himself.
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Going His Own Way: Victor Nemard, a memorial

The Corning Museum of Glass has lost one of its warmest, kindest smiles. It is with deep sadness that we share the news of the passing of our own Victor Alexander Nemard, who died suddenly on March 17, 2020. He was 61.

Victor joined the Museum in 1996 and began his career as a buyer for the Museum Shops, which was known as the Glass Market at the time, before taking the reins as Senior Manager, a post he held for more than 20 years.

In that time, Victor oversaw two major renovations. The first was an expansive redesign of the retail space during the Museum’s 2001 renovation, which created one of the largest museum gift shops in the United States with eight boutiques devoted to various glass shopping experiences. The second came in 2015-2016 with the redesign and renaming of The Shops in conjunction with the opening of the new Contemporary Art + Design Galleries, creating the world-class retail experience we know and love today.

Walking through The Shops, Victor’s presence was felt in every small detail. From the seasonal bouquets and decorations to the visionary strategy that makes The Shops unique. And if you were lucky, you might have found Victor slowly walking the aisles, his hands clasped behind his back, carefully looking at the displays, the positioning of a piece of glass and the way the light fell on it, or the way a glass-beaded scarf was draped across a hanger. He was a quiet, ever-smiling presence and if you found him ruminating in this way, he was always one to stop, to talk, and ask you how you were.

Read more →

Blown Away Season 2! Catching Up with the Judges

Arguably the hottest show on Netflix, the glassblowing competition series Blown Away–once again featuring expert glassmakers from The Corning Museum of Glass–returns for a second season tomorrow, January 22, 2021.

Blown Away Season 2 starts streamingon Netflix tomorrow, Friday, January 22, 2021.

The Museum will also host Blown Away Season 2, an exhibit of work made during Season 2, featuring one object from each of the 10 contestants. You can view the exhibit on the Museum’s West Bridge starting tomorrow.

When the first season of Blown Away launched in the summer of 2019, CMoG was invited into the spotlight, bringing to the program its expertise in an artform that much of the world was discovering for the first time through the show.

Read more →

Rob Cassetti, the creative way

2020 has been a monumental year. There have certainly been times of difficulty, but also moments of innovation and progress. And for some, that change has been positive, a steppingstone to new roads and new adventures. This is certainly true for Rob Cassetti, who announces his retirement from The Corning Museum of Glass after more than 20 years of service.

A career of creative excellence is something we can all strive to achieve. For Rob, that endeavor has been essential; it’s a deeply rooted way of thinking, a calling, and a joy for him to practice. It’s the only way his brain works. Rob’s professional life has been one steeped in creative people, energy, places, and experiences, and for many of these moments, he has been the instigator, the spark that brought it all together.

Read more →

Meet Penguin Pierre: From the Shelf to the Spotlight

Meet Pierre!

He sat casually in the corner of an office workspace, just waiting for his unlikely rise to fame. Born of sand and fire during artist Catherine Labonté’s live stream demo, this goofy-looking character could make you smile just by looking at him. And really, what more could he have hoped to accomplish than spreading simple happiness to an office filled with museum marketing employees? Then COVID-19 hit, and those employees packed up their desks and left to work from home for the foreseeable future, leaving Penguin Pierre in solitude—with no more faces to light up.

Then, when Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium shared videos of a penguin called Wellington waddling around their empty spaces; inspiration struck! Only, Pierre couldn’t waddle around the Museum… he’s made of glass. Except, could he?!

Penguin Pierre has the whole Museum to himself.
Read more →

Going His Own Way: Victor Nemard, a memorial

The Corning Museum of Glass has lost one of its warmest, kindest smiles. It is with deep sadness that we share the news of the passing of our own Victor Alexander Nemard, who died suddenly on March 17, 2020. He was 61.

Victor joined the Museum in 1996 and began his career as a buyer for the Museum Shops, which was known as the Glass Market at the time, before taking the reins as Senior Manager, a post he held for more than 20 years.

In that time, Victor oversaw two major renovations. The first was an expansive redesign of the retail space during the Museum’s 2001 renovation, which created one of the largest museum gift shops in the United States with eight boutiques devoted to various glass shopping experiences. The second came in 2015-2016 with the redesign and renaming of The Shops in conjunction with the opening of the new Contemporary Art + Design Galleries, creating the world-class retail experience we know and love today.

Walking through The Shops, Victor’s presence was felt in every small detail. From the seasonal bouquets and decorations to the visionary strategy that makes The Shops unique. And if you were lucky, you might have found Victor slowly walking the aisles, his hands clasped behind his back, carefully looking at the displays, the positioning of a piece of glass and the way the light fell on it, or the way a glass-beaded scarf was draped across a hanger. He was a quiet, ever-smiling presence and if you found him ruminating in this way, he was always one to stop, to talk, and ask you how you were.

Read more →