Spring ’23 Studio Residents Discuss Importance of Residencies

This Spring, The Studio of The Corning Museum of Glass has a full and exciting lineup of Artists-in-Residence ready to go. Cedric Mitchell began his month-long residency last week and he will be joined shortly by Tobias Møhl. Hot on their heels, Eriko Kobayashi and Lisa Zerkowitz will be visiting later in April.

Cedric Mitchell.
Photo courtesy of the artist.

We asked all four very different artists why residencies at The Studio are so important to an artist’s work and the response was unanimous. So, let’s see what they had to say.

Cedric Mitchell (California, United States) March 20 – April 21

“Residencies at The Studio offer unparalleled opportunities for artists to create freely and explore their creativity. The Studio is fully equipped with a range of facilities, tools, and resources that allow artists to experiment and push their artistic boundaries. The supportive environment, coupled with world-class resources, gives artists the freedom to create without the constraints of time or financial pressure.

“Secondly, residencies here provide an ideal opportunity for artists to try new things. The Studio is equipped with a variety of glassmaking techniques, including hot glass, cold working, and flameworking, which provides artists with the opportunity to experiment with different techniques and explore new avenues of creative expression. Artists can also collaborate with other artists and learn from their peers, which can lead to exciting new ideas and techniques.

“Furthermore, residencies provide artists with a unique opportunity to engage with the Museum’s extensive collection of glass art. The Museum houses over 50,000 objects, including ancient glass and contemporary glass art, which can serve as a source of inspiration for artists. The opportunity to engage with the Museum’s collection and to learn from the Museum’s staff can enrich an artist’s work and deepen their understanding of the history and techniques of glassmaking.”

Tobias Møhl (Denmark) April 2 – April 22

“I’m very much looking forward to this residency. I feel lucky to have been given the opportunity to work in an excellent studio with excellent people. Opportunities like this are of great importance for an artist to continue making work through difficult times. This is an opportunity to let go of the constant economical pressure, representing the current situation in Europe, and to completely focus on the artistic development of my work. Furthermore, I believe The Corning Museum of Glass, with its collection and history, will be educational and inspiring for me. I am honored to have been given this opportunity.”

Cedric Mitchell and Tobias Møhl will both be presenting a lecture about their residencies at The Studio on April 6 at 12 pm. This lecture is free and open to the public, reservations are not required.

Tobias Møhl with several of his works. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Eriko Kobayashi (Japan, based in Washington, United States) April 24 – May 26

“I recently relocated to Seattle to continue my glass career after I received my Master of Fine Arts from Southern Illinois University Carbondale in 2022. I started working in glass nine years ago at the Toyama Institute of Glass Art, Japan. My glass journey in the US began in 2015 when I received my first scholarship from CMoG to attend a two-week workshop. At that time, my English and glass skills were still poor, but I was truly moved by the help I received from so many people in such a wonderful studio.

Gummy Bear Box by Eriko Kobayashi. Photo courtesy of the artist.

“Since then, it has been a dream of mine to participate in the Artist-in-Residence program at The Studio because it is world-renowned. I am extremely grateful to receive this opportunity. It is a dream come true to be invited as an artist eight years later at my milestone location. Since graduating last May, I have been working in Seattle, and since I don’t have easy access to equipment like I did when I was a student, it has been a precious opportunity for me to create large, time-consuming works of art. This residency program is a great way to make this dream come true. The work I will be making during the residency is a series of boxes from my past works, “Banan Box” and “Gummy Bear Box,” which will be hot-casting in the hotshop to make the parts and then fused into a box shape in a kiln. It takes a lot of hotshop working time and a long annealing program to make this work, so I can’t make it without this opportunity now.

“I believe CMoG to be a valuable hub of creativity, where you can get to know many people at once, learning from and supporting each other. I’m confident this residency at The Studio will allow me to connect with many artists, create unique new works, and that it will have a profound effect on my future career.”

Lisa Zerkowitz (United States based in Toyama, Japan) April 24 – May 26

“There are many reasons why residencies at The Studio are so important to an artist’s work. Here are several that are pertinent to me. It helps build confidence. When an artist receives a residency at The Studio, it shows a tremendous amount of recognition and support by the organization for the individual. It sends a positive message that people care, are interested in you and your artistic contributions, and that they believe in you. A residency of this nature is a significant acknowledgment that can help build one’s faith and conviction in the work they are doing.

“Financial and creative barriers come down. Often, artists don’t give themselves enough time to experiment or do research if they are focused on deadlines, finances, and everyday life. The residencies at The Studio are a great length of time, with access to state-of-the-art facilities, and are supported by a top-notch team of technicians and administrators who understand what it is to be an artist. Residencies at The Studio allow artists to take a break from their normal routine by giving them time to experiment, try new things, research, and grow. The financial support that is provided allows new doors to be opened, as artists can work outside constraints that may normally be in place.

A sculpture by Lisa Zerkowitz. Photo courtesy of the artist.

“It helps build community. Artists spend a great deal of time working in their studios in solitude. The environment at The Studio enables dialogue among colleagues about their life and work. Engaging with other artists who may also be in residence, as well as the Corning community, has the potential to create lasting friendships.

“The support and access that residencies at The Studio provide are immeasurable to an artist’s growth.  New discoveries can be made, techniques can be tested or mastered, and connections with the community can be built. Artists can engage with a town, a museum, a library, studios, and a community that places a focus on the material of glass. It is a unique experience, opportunity, and gift to be able to live in Corning for a month in this kind of total immersion.”

Eriko Kobayashi and Lisa Zerkowitz will also present a lecture about their residencies at The Studio on May 11 at 12 pm. This lecture is free and open to the public, reservations are not required, and we hope to see you there.

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