Celebrating The Studio: Amber Cowan

Rakow Commission Artist Amber Cowan and her piece, Garden of the Forgotten and Extinct

Rakow Commission artist Amber Cowan

Amber Cowan is an artist and educator working out of Philadelphia, PA. In 2014, she was awarded the Museum’s Rakow Commission.

She has taught alongside, and been the teaching assistant to, many prolific artists, including Paul J. Stankard, Gianni Toso, Lucio Bubacco and Emilio Santini. Cowan also taught glassblowing and flameworking at One Sixty Glass and UrbanGlass. She was awarded the 2012 International Procter Fellowship at The Australian National University, The Steve Stormer Award from Temple University, and was a demonstrating artist at the 2011 International Flameworking Conference.  Cowan was one of the featured artists in The Toledo Workshop Revisited, 1962–2012, a documentary film produced by the Robert M. Minkoff Foundation.

She is a faculty member in the glass department at Tyler School of Art. Her work is represented by Heller Gallery in New York City and she had a solo show at The Museum of Craft and Design, San Francisco, in fall 2014.

What has your involvement been with The Studio over the years? I took my first class at The Studio over 10 years ago with Bill Gudenrath. The class was magical, and I have remained friends with several of the students to this day. Since that class, I have gone to The Studio almost every summer either as a teaching assistant or instructor. I have met countless numbers of new friends and contacts in the glass community from all over the world. I felt as though I grew up at The Studio as an artist.

What do you like about working at The Studio? The Studio is the most top-notch school that I have had the privilege of working in. The equipment, support and supplies are unmatched anywhere else. The ability to walk across the street to the Museum, and next door to the Rakow Library, is an invaluable resource that is unique only to Corning.

As The Studio celebrates its 20th birthday, what would you say about its effect on the glass community? Living on the east coast for all of my life, The Studio was my go-to place to travel and take a class. The resources of The Studio, the Library and the Museum combined are truly an artists’ dream lab come true. I have a real place in my heart for The Studio because I have met so many lifelong friends during a summer session. Just the other day, I was speaking to a friend I had met during my first class 10 years ago. We were both pretty young during that session, but have both since come into our own as artists known in our field. I feels good to see our journey and know that, in a way, it started at Corning.

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Thanks, Amber!

May 2016 marks the 20th anniversary of the opening of The Studio of The Corning Museum of Glass, one of the foremost teaching schools for glass in the world. To celebrate, we are featuring 20 artists in the 20 weeks leading up to the birthday. These artists have studied, taught, and created at The Studio. Each Saturday, we’ll share words and work from the artists who have formed a connection with our Studio and our staff.

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