Glass Break is an informal conversation series that lasts about 30 minutes and brings interesting people and ideas to the stage in the Museum Theater — free to the public.
MARCH 21: LOCAL ARTIST OLIVER DORISS Hear from Artist and Fulcrum Gallery Director, Oliver Doriss. A local artist and ‘Maker of Objects’, Doriss will share his experience and its impact on the Tacoma art scene. Topics will include his long history blowing glass, including with Dale Chihuly and Venetian Master Davide Fuin. We’ll also talk about the business of art, including production glassblowing, gallery ownership, and selling works of art.
Join me and my fellow creatives for an evening of locally crafted gifts, peculiarities and refreshments. Vermillion Gallery graciously hosts COAL a unique pop-up sale for this one night event. I will be offering my unique creations at amazing prices. The perfect gifts for those who have it all!
I am pleased to announce my participation in the NW Art Now exhibition hosted by the Tacoma Art Museum. It is an honor to be showing alongside so many of my good friends and peers. The piece I am presenting for this display is titled Alpine Panel – Study, it is a more intimate version of an earlier piece Alpine Panel. The show runs from May 14th to September 4th 2016
NW ART NOW @ TAM: social reflections within contemporary art
Tacoma Art Museum (TAM) debuts new and recent works by 24 regional artists in NW Art Now @ TAM, opening May 14. This exhibition highlights the current moment in Northwest visual arts with works that illuminate and respond to the social and environmental forces shaping our regional identity. Through their work, artists reveal tensions, provoke, delight, and inspire us to understand the challenging and urgent concerns of today. See how those themes appear in contemporary art through this special exhibition, on view through September 4, 2016.
“For the past 40 years, TAM has conducted regular surveys of contemporary art in the Northwest. We are proud that TAM takes on this important role to survey the art of our time and of our region,” said Stephanie Stebich, Executive Director at TAM.
Although the frequency and titles of TAM’s regional survey exhibitions has varied, the focus has remained constant – showcasing the achievements and advances made by artists working in the Northwest. Artists, curators, collectors, arts instructors, students, and art fans eagerly look forward to the surveys. You’d need to visit 24 art studios from Boise to Walla Walla and Seattle to Portland to see all of the works that NW Art Now @ TAM brings together in one stop in Tacoma.
How does a regional visual arts survey come together? Last winter, TAM issued an open call to artists, inviting them to submit digital images along with written statements about their work. Nearly 300 artists responded. This is a juried exhibition, meaning that the applications were reviewed and narrowed based on how the artworks and practices reflected the themes and goals of the exhibition. The co-curators then visited the studios or conference called each of the semi-finalists. The resulting show includes 24 artists and 47 works in a wide range of media, including painting, sculpture, craft-based work, as well as conceptual, performance, installation, and digital projects. Eleven of the original works will be on view for the very first time.
“It is fascinating to see how artists reach beyond the region and bring deep knowledge of contemporary art from around the world into their practices. They are raising the bar in really important ways,” observed Rock Hushka, Chief Curator and Curator of Contemporary and Northwest Art at Tacoma Art Museum. “These artists are changing our expectations about the role of art in shaping Northwest identity.”
The exhibition is co-curated by Hushka and Juan Roselione-Valadez, Director of the Rubell Family Collection (RFC), Contemporary Arts Foundation, in Miami, Florida. One of the world’s largest privately owned contemporary art collections, the RFC actively acquires and champions emerging artists working at the forefront of contemporary art. In addition to his work with the RFC, Roselione-Valadez has worked with some of the most prominent American and international artists, and is intimately familiar with the current trends of contemporary art, bringing broad and detailed background on current practices to this regional selection process. TAM frequently adds expertise and fresh perspectives from around the country, and has brought in art museum curators and scholars from New York City; Houston; Miami; Vancouver, BC; and other locations. Through this process the museum provides in-depth introductions to help specialists outside of our region become familiar with Northwest artists.
“I am extremely grateful for my time spent conversing with these compelling and generous artists in their studios and homes,” shared Roselione-Valadez. “Witnessing their process and listening to and seeing manifestations of their acute awareness of all that is working and all that is broken within the region, country, and world has left an indelible mark on me and the way I understand art, society, survival and our relationship to others and the environment.”
A few examples of the variety of interesting artworks in this exhibition include: Seattle artist Dylan Neuwirth’s 2014 Just Be Your Selfie is a large-scale neon installation that TAM will install under the canopy along Pacific Avenue, and which was much enjoyed during its previous installation in Seattle’s Pioneer Square. Section of the I-705, on a Wednesday, for Electric Piano is an audio and video projection project by Portland artist Lou Watson, derived from the patterns of traffic along I-705 as filmed from the museum’s rooftop. Seattle’s Joey Veltkamp is crafting his largest work to date for this exhibition, a quilt project titled Life is Beautiful. Sculptor Humaira Abid from Renton will present a talk at the museum on June 1 at noon, as part of TAM’s free Lunch and Learn series. Hushka noted the remarkable number of Tacoma artists in the show who are creating notable work, including: Oliver Doriss, Christopher Paul Jordan, Jeremy Mangan, Asia Tail, Jamie Marie Waelchli, and John Sutton of SuttonBeresCuller who was born in Tacoma and today lives in Seattle.
NW Art Now @ TAM is an opportunity to see art history in the making, with fresh creative works inspired by regional artists’ reactions to the considerations of identity, social justice, and environmental stewardship. For more information, call TAM at 253-272-4258 or visit www.TacomaArtMuseum.org.
Alpine Panel is a seven part installation comprised of cast glass elements that float just off the wall. The milky blue translucency allows light to flow through each piece illuminating an intimate composition of ferns and branches. These botanical vignettes are created through my signature casting process using locally sourced vegetation. Sterling silver accents and iridescent earth tones compliment the chilly glacial blues completing the work. The assembled composition ultimately forms a segmented alpine tree line with the ridge of Mt. Rainier in the distance evoking the same spatial dynamics of our grand North West landscape.
About 10 foot wide after install.
Ready to sooth & calm the patients.
Alpine Panel is part of the Permanent Collection of Mary Bridge Hospital in Tacoma Washington
It is installed in the lobby on the fourth floor of the new Rainier Pavilion
Clearly: Glass as Sculpture at Opening September 5 through November 15, 2015
Reception: September 10, 5:30-7 pm
Gallery Talk: September 10, 4 pm
In “Clearly: Glass as Sculpture”, the stage is set to explore a wide range of glass sculpture created by regional artists working in this medium. A few artists will be selected and recognized for their contributions by the director of the Fuller Craft Museum, Jonathan L. Fairbanks, who will also give a presentation on the history of glass. Informative demonstrations by participating artists on the various techniques used to create glass sculpture will be held in conjunction with the exhibition
The gallery talk will be held by Jonathan Fairbanks, director of Fuller Craft Museum. Fairbanks will be giving the Edmund L. Zachar Memorial Lecture.
This is a strong exhibition of contemporary glass, and I am thrilled to be showing alongside these artists. Additionally I am honored to accept the “Most Fitting to the Theme” award as presented by the Cape Cod Museum of Art. Thank you. -Oliver
In the chilly waters of the Thea Foss one may observe a unique phenomenon, an impossible view into the surface of the harbor. The crisp form of FLOW is the embodiment of negative space and speaks through reflection and diffraction. Its rigid form juxtaposed against fluid motions of the water. This piece works seamlessly within the aquatic environment cycling every 45 minutes it is synchronized with the rhythms of the natural world.
FLOW is visible from the promenade in front of the Museum of Glass just in the waters off Dock St. Marina. For me this piece is a proof of concept and I look forward to applying these dynamics in a permanent setting. FLOW is best viewed at an oblique angle.
I really enjoyed the process of creating of this dynamic piece. I have dedicated a significant amount time this year resolving the many complexities of both the fabrication of the acrylic form and the function of the mechanical aspects. FLOW challenged every one of my accumulated creative skills including electrical, acrylic fabrication as well as mathematics for the calculation of water levels, flow and displacement. The installation within the decidedly hostile waters Thea Foss Waterway added additional variables to this already complex project.
Because of the limited budget this project was designed around preexisting equipment and materials available in my community. I also familiarized myself with the laser plotter at FabLab in Tacoma to cut the acrylic components. Another hurtle was my lack of a testing pool and had to call in the help of my friends in the marina for assistance. Lastly I would like to thank the Tacoma Arts Commission for taking a chance on this project. Without the help of this organization I would never have embarked upon this fantastic voyage. -Oliver Doriss
FLOW is on display from September 6th to October 6th it cycles every 45 minutes and is illuminated for night time viewing.
This piece was realized through support, funding and donations from the following entities.
Special Thanks to:
-Tacoma Arts Commission
-Second Cycle Community Bicycle Shop
-Delin Docks / Dock Street Marina
FLOW is a structured formation of negative space within a body of water. This void will be created in the form of letters. The letters will spell out a word that is directly related to the location of installation.
This project will operate much like a boat. The main body of the boat will fabricated from clear Acrylic. It will float just at the surface of the water. Surface water will cascade over the leading edge of the vessel obscuring the outer wall. This “Vessel” will have a self-regulating bilge pump to maintain its level of buoyancy. The finished piece will be displayed summer of 2013 in the Thea Foss Waterway. The final text size and shape will be determined by location and engineering constraints.
FLOW will be on display in the Thea Foss September 2014
Lets go back in time to Boston Massachusetts 1993 (dream sequence sound) I was in my early twenties living out in Brighton at the time. Similar to many young adults my friends were able to rent this huge house and filled it with creative types. They all piled into this giant home with a band practice room in the basement. I spent many a fun filled evening at this house, parties, dinners and everything in between. It was known as the “Big House” Groove Butcher was the house band and everyone was playing shows and involved in the in Allston scene, AKA “Rock City” It was a creative and exciting time so much was going on. On a particular day one of the house members came home with two garbage bags full of doll parts, heads legs bodies. Needless to say our creativity got the better of us and the crafting began.
Doll parts everywhere. Have you ever seen an illuminated strand of baby doll Christmas lights, nope? They’re awesome! The eyes would glow through the creepy flesh tone empty socket. Our savior Jesus Christ with a doll head helmet? Fu*%ing perfect! This went on for months until we had worked though our stash. We would plant doll heads in each others stuff, it wasn’t uncommon to open up your courier bag at work the next day to find a doll head in there, they were in the cabinets, baby doll hand drawer pulls, even in the shower, you name it.
During this time I was producing glass and working through my degree at Massachusetts College of Art. It seems that every artist goes through a doll part phase. It is such powerful iconic image, I mean they don’t even look like children; it’s just this ready-made weird symbolic form that says creepy innocence. At Mass Art I had access to foundry equipment as well as hot glass so it wasn’t long before I crafted a two-part metal blow mold to make glass baby heads. My original concept had a long stalk for the neck topped with a doll head which was to be clustered in groups, totally immature, but awesome. Naturally money was becoming a factor in my life and it wasn’t long before I was making and marketing the Baby Head Bong, complete with these two adorable little horns on it. The Baby Head Cups has served as a macabre canvas for a many decorations. I mean I’ve made baby head everything, decanters, goblets, baby head devil horns, and the clown, complete with a red nose. This mold has been a part of my tool kit for many years. During my time producing work for Dale Chihuly any glass start with a flaw in the decoration like a bubble or scar would get blown into the baby head mold producing drinking glasses for the crew. Ultimately we had this amazing collection of Baby Head Cups with Chihuly colors and decoration. It was silly; you could track his design progression just by looking in our cupboard. Writing this piece makes me realize this Baby Head Cup thing I have created is so much bigger than me. Thankfully I copyrighted them years ago. –Oliver Doriss
The SkyPonds installation was part of the 2008 Centennial Celebration of the W.W. Seymour Botanical Conservatory. This collaboration between artists Joseph Miller and Oliver Doriss was a response to the unique aesthetic of this historic structure. The installation is a marriage of botanical properties and Tacoma’s tradition of glass making. The cloud forms balance each other symbolizing the delicate interaction of our own ecosystems. They participate in the daily cycles of the conservatory life, gentile condensations, rusting, growing, and evaporating. A closed little loop of life that mimics our own.
Photo Credit: Jason Ganwich
Photo Credit: Jason Ganwich
Photo Credit: Jason Ganwich
Photo Credit: Jason Ganwich
Photo Credit: Jason Ganwich
Photo Credit: Jason Ganwich
Of the original 8 mobiles 5 remain and are presently available for purchase if you’re that type. -Oliver & Joe