The Studio Glass movement accelerated in the 1970s at Pilchuck Glass School in Stanwood, Washington. This pivotal time in the cultural history of the Pacific Northwest has reverberated throughout the international art world. The innovations of Dale Chihuly, William Morris, and Lino Tagliapietra, key figures in this field, have been extensively examined. The collaborative team of Joey Kirkpatrick and Flora C. Mace are also pioneers of early contemporary glass and were close colleagues of Chihuly and Morris, often trading skills to develop signature works. Despite their prominence alongside other major glass artists, Kirkpatrick and Mace have not been afforded a review of their careers, which now span thirty-six years. This survey exhibition will highlight their prolific bodies of work.
Kirkpatrick and Mace began their collaboration at Pilchuck Glass School in 1979. Their first series evolved out of Mace's desire to devise a methodology of incorporating Kirkpatrick's delicate line drawings on paper as surface design onto blown cylinders. Kirkpatrick made elaborate "drawings" in bent wire that were colored in with glass cane. These drawings were then "picked up" onto the vessel in the hot shop. The process was groundbreaking in its innovation.
Throughout these artists' productive careers, Kirkpatrick and Mace have consistently explored seminal themes: principles of "drawing" as incorporated into glass, the metaphoric content of humanity's relationship to nature, and the appropriation of materials to support a visual idea. This exhibition will bring the depth and richness of these foci into a comprehensive overview of their careers.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website