The residency is a joint program of the Museum and Corning that gives the selected artist access to specialty glass materials, scientists, and curators to experiment and explore new areas of their practice. LaMonte is the fifth specialty glass resident since the program’s inception in 2014. Her residency will begin on January 1 and will continue through the end of the year.
LaMonte is best known for her life-sized, ethereal glass dresses, which she casts in the Czech Republic, using the lost wax casting method. Her work employs translucent glass to show the division between our private selves and public personas, shaped by cultural and societal influences. She uses clothing as a metaphor for identity and to explore the human form in absentia.
“I’m extremely nervous, slightly intimidated, and super excited all at the same time,” said LaMonte of her upcoming residency. “It’s like being given tools and a vocabulary that isn’t available to a common individual no matter how specialized or devoted they are to the material. I’ll be able to ask questions that are always on my mind, and get real answers. I imagine my residency will be like an all-you-can-eat smorgasbord where I’ll consume so much information while I’m there, and then I’ll be digesting that information and letting it flow into my creative process. My learning will be expansive and will likely influence projects for the rest of my life.”
“Karen LaMonte is a visionary in the field of glass, and her stunning work has long captivated the imagination, challenging preconceptions and urging the onlooker to explore more deeply,” said Susie Silbert, curator of modern and contemporary glass. “It’s exciting to think about the ways in which Karen’s work may expand as a result of the residency.”
“I was very impressed with Karen LaMonte when we met and even more so when I became familiar with her full portfolio,” said Dr. David L. Morse, chief technology officer for Corning. “For this residency, we want the world’s best glass artists who are willing to explore the attributes of technical glass for their work. Karen fits that objective so very well. Her work uses glass in a way that is completely unique to her. It’s exciting to think about the conversations she’ll have with our scientists as they work together to better understand what this versatile material can do.”
“I think an increasing number or artists are gaining a better understanding of science and phenomenology to extend their range,” added LaMonte. “That’s what I’m hoping for with this residency—that whatever I learn and start to understand will extend my ability to perceive and understand as an artist.”
LaMonte holds a B.F.A. from Rhode Island School of Design, and did postgraduate study at the Academy of Art, Architecture, and Design in Prague. She has received many awards for her work, including the Fulbright Grant (1999-2000) to cast sculpture in the Czech Republic and the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Biennial Award (2001) in recognition of her investigation of clothing as a divider between public and private space, and of transparency and transience. She has held many previous residencies, including the joint Kohler Arts Center and The Corning Museum of Glass residency (2009) for working with ceramic and glass. She also spent seven months working in Japan, after receiving the Creative Artists Exchange Fellowship (2006) from the Japan-United States Friendship Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts. During this time, she studied the kimono to better understand the Japanese use of clothing as social language.
Today, LaMonte lives in the Czech Republic, and in addition to glass, works in other materials including ceramic, marble, iron, and bronze to monotype prints. Her work is in the permanent collections of museums across the United States, including The Corning Museum of Glass, as well as in Europe and Australia.
Specialty Glass Artist Residency Program
Corning Incorporated, which has developed and patented many specialty glass formulations over the past century of research in glass, provides the resident artist access to a variety of glass materials and to staff having technical expertise in glass formulation, melting and forming.
The Corning Museum of Glass provides access to its extensive resources, including its glassmaking facilities, collection, and the Rakow Research Library. The resident artist works closely with the Museum’s glassmakers, research scientist, curators, and other staff to better understand glass and its historical and artistic contexts. LaMonte is the fifth artist to take part in the residency, which is by invitation only, following metal sculptor, Albert Paley (2014-2015), and glass artists Tom Patti (2015), Toots Zynsky (2016) and Anna Mlasowsky (2016).
About Corning Incorporated
Corning (www.corning.com) is one of the world’s leading innovators in materials science, with a 166-year track record of life-changing inventions. Corning applies its unparalleled expertise in glass science, ceramics science, and optical physics along with its deep manufacturing and engineering capabilities to develop category-defining products that transform industries and enhance people’s lives. Corning succeeds through sustained investment in RD&E, a unique combination of material and process innovation, and deep, trust-based relationships with customers who are global leaders in their industries.
Corning’s capabilities are versatile and synergistic, which allows the company to evolve to meet changing market needs, while also helping our customers capture new opportunities in dynamic industries. Today, Corning’s markets include optical communications, mobile consumer electronics, display technology, automotive, and life sciences vessels. Corning’s industry-leading products include damage-resistant cover glass for mobile devices; precision glass for advanced displays; optical fiber, wireless technologies, and connectivity solutions for state-of-the-art communications networks; trusted products to accelerate drug discovery and delivery; and clean-air technologies for cars and trucks.