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Racine, WI     October 25, 2012

Art Jewelry Meets Glass:

Contemporary Artists Create
Cutting Edge Glass Jewelry


The Racine Art Museum (RAM) announces the opening of a second show organized this year that focuses on artwork created with glass. These exhibitions reflect RAM's participation in the nationwide 50th anniversary of the Studio Glass Movement in America. A series of lectures, demonstrations, and exhibitions are taking place across the United States.


At RAM, the work of over 20 artists is featured in Cutting Edge: RAM Explores Contemporary Glass Jewelry, open October 28 - February 17, 2013. Organized by RAM Curator of Exhibitions, Lena Vigna, this show highlights work by artists from around the world who utilize a variety of techniques-from glass blowing to casting to beadwork-in the creation of jewelry.

Elsa Freund, Bracelet, 1961, Glass, glazed ceramic, and sterling silver 
2 x 3 x 2 inches, Racine Art Museum, Gift of Betty Gregg Black  
Photo: Jon Bolton, Racine 

Following a historical precedent for utilizing glass in adornment, contemporary artists create dynamic art jewelry that underscores the aesthetic and theoretical potential of this ancient material. Cutting Edge represents the intersection of two important elements of artistic production-art jewelry and glass. Whether engaging with long-standing traditions, such as producing millefiore beads, or utilizing glass in equally compelling, yet inherently modern, conceptual frameworks-these artists emphasize the flexibility and variability of glass as a medium for expression.

Melissa Schmidt, Absolute Necklace, 2011
Glass, 7 x 7 x 2 inches, Collection of the Artist, Photo: Don Casper

While given more attention recently, art jewelry made using glass represents an important yet sometimes overlooked element of contemporary glass. Cutting Edge highlight artists who regularly utilize glass in their work and consistently address the medium in their practice. Earthenware and fused glass jewelry by modern maker Elsa Freund will add historical dimension.


Significantly, several of the artists who are featured are also represented in RAM's permanent collection through jewelry, small objects, or both-artists such as Donald Friedlich, Jacqueline Lillie, Linda MacNeil, James Minson, Wendy Ramshaw, Axel Russmeyer, and Joyce Scott. Others whose works are included: Dolores Barrett, Patty Cokus, Jane D'Arensbourg, Charlene Foster, Foster and Malone, Carrie Garrott, Karen Gilbert, Gesine Hackenberg, Valerie Hector, Kristina Logan, Pavel Novak, Kait Rhoads, Joyce Roessler, Erica Rosenfeld, Philip Sajet, Melissa Schmidt, Blanche Tilden, and Jetta Vogt.


Cutting Edge: RAM Explores Contemporary Glass Jewelry is supported by both the Midwest Contemporary Glass Art Group and Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass.


This exhibition is made possible at Racine Art Museum by: Presenting Sponsors - Karen Johnson Boyd and William B. Boyd, Emile H. Mathis II Estate, in Memory of his Parents: Emil H. and Anna T. Mathis, RAM Society Members, S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc., Windgate Charitable Foundation; Gold Sponsor - Racine United Arts Fund; Silver Sponsors - Elwood Corporation, Osborne and Scekic Family Foundation, Racine Community Foundation, W.T. Walker Group, Inc., Wisconsin Arts Board; Bronze Sponsors - The A.C. Buhler Family, Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass, CliftonLarsonAllen LLP, CNH America LLC, E.C. Styberg Foundation, Inc., Educators Credit Union, In Sink Erator, The Marjorie L. Christiansen Foundation, Midwest Contemporary Glass Art Group, The Norbell Foundation, Real Racine, Runzheimer Foundation, Wisconsin Public Radio.


Together, the two campuses of the Racine Art Museum, RAM in downtown Racine at 441 Main Street and the Charles A. Wustum Museum of Fine Arts at 2519 Northwestern Avenue, seek to elevate the stature of contemporary crafts to that of fine art by exhibiting significant works in craft media with painting, sculpture and photography, while providing outstanding educational art programming.

Docent led contemporary craft and architectural tours of the museums are available. Both campuses of the Racine Art Museum, are open to the public Tuesday - Saturday 10:00 am - 5:00 pm, and are closed Mondays, Federal holidays and Easter. RAM is open Sunday Noon - 5:00 pm, while Wustum is closed Sundays. An admission fee of $5 for adults, with reduced fees for students and seniors, applies at RAM. Admission to Wustum is free. Members are always admitted without charge to either campus.

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For more information or to request images, please contact:

Laura Gillespie
RAM Marketing Assistant
262.638.8300 x 114