Here, There & Everywhere

Here, There & Everywhere


The Myrna and Sheldon Palley Pavilion for Contemporary Glass and Studio Arts at the University of Miami’s Lowe Art Museum.
Carlos Domenech.

Lloyd Herman, founding director of the Renwick Gallery in Washington, DC, from 1971 through 1986, has made a challenge gift of $800,000 to the Smithsonian American Art Museum to jump-start the endowment of a curator of craft position at the Renwick (to donate, contact Ross Randall, 202-633-8393)... Anders Ruhwald, a Danish-born, London-based artist noted for his conceptual work in clay, has joined Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, MI, as artist-in-residence and head of the ceramics department, succeeding Tony Hepburn, who retired last spring.

Check out...
The University of Miami's Lowe Art Museum has unveiled its new Myrna and Sheldon Palley Pavilion for Contemporary Glass and Studio Arts. The light-filled, 3,500-square-foot space is named for the couple who gave their alma mater 150 works by glass masters (Chihuly, Ben Tré, Littleton, et al.), along with $1.7 million to construct the wing and $1 million to endow the glass collection... Craft is a special focus of the Racine Art Museum in Wisconsin, where important new gifts of glass, ceramics, baskets and other media from longtime patrons-Karen Johnson Boyd, Donna Moog, Dale and Doug Anderson, and David and Jacqueline Charak-are on view through December 7... Aid to Artisans, the nonprofit group that promotes economic development in struggling countries around the globe, has posted a series of short videos on YouTube that bring artisans' stories inspiringly to life.

Janel Jacobson of Harris, MN, known for her small, exquisitely carved wood sculptures, is one of three winners of the first Bush Foundation Enduring Vision Award, a new annual prize of $100,000 supporting "the artistic investigations of mature artists" living in Minnesota and the Dakotas... The Swedish artist Bertil Vallien will receive the “Pilchuck Glass School“:'s 2008 Libensky Award... The Archie Bray Foundation in Helena, MT, presented its 2008 Meloy-Stevenson Award of Distinction to ceramic sculptors Robert Harrison and *Richard Notkin*... Martin Puryear, the sculptor, and H. Peter Stern, head of the Storm King Art Center in the Hudson Valley, were honored at a summer gala July 19 at LongHouse Reserve in East Hampton, NY... The Northern Clay Center in Minneapolis announces its latest McKnight awardees: Andrea Leila Denecke and Marko Fields received fellowships of $25,000 each; Yoko Sekino-Bové, Ilena Finocchi, Margaret O'Rorke and Elizabeth Smith, residencies of $5,000..."For me, it came at such a good time, an interesting transition time," the Seattle jeweler Mary Lee Hu says of winning the 2008 Irving and Yvonne Twining Humber Award, a $10,000 prize given annually to an outstanding woman artist in Washington state, age 60 or over. Hu is settling into a new life, having retired from 26 years of teaching at the University of Washington. She's doing things she never had time for: organizing her library of 2,000 books on body adornment; planning a trip to Guizhou, China, to research the jewelry of hill tribes; and, not least, pondering her next direction in the studio. "I've noticed my work has really taken a jump every 10 years. I'm overdue."... Hiroe Hanazono is the 2008-2009 Evelyn Shapiro Foundation Fellow at The Clay Studio in Philadelphia.

In remembrance...
Oppi Untracht, 85, an enamelist, metalsmith and jeweler, and the author of definitive technical and scholarly books on those subjects, succumbed to a long illness July 5 in Finland, where he had lived since 1967.

Born in New York City, Untracht earned degrees in fine arts and art education from NYU and Columbia, respectively, and studied photography with Lisette Model and Berenice Abbott. From the 1940s on, he was variously a photojournalist, exhibiting artist, high-school art teacher, and writer. He was the author of Enameling on Metal (1957) and Metal Techniques for Craftsmen (1968), as well as Saara Hopea-Untracht: Life and Work (1988), about his late wife, a Finnish glass designer. He spent years documenting the historical, ethnic, and contemporary jewelry of many lands, which resulted in two encyclopedic volumes of in-depth text and stunning field photography: Jewelry: Concepts and Technology (1982) and Traditional Jewelry of India (1997).

Ralph Bacerra, 70, died June 10 of lung cancer at his home in Los Angeles, where he was a prominent and well-loved member of the ceramic art community. He was renowned for his impeccably crafted and highly decorative sculptural vessels and platters whose painterly surfaces he adorned in rich, opulent swirls of color and geometric shapes and patterns.

A native of Southern California, Bacerra studied ceramics with Vivika Heino at Chouinard Art Institute, and established his studio in L.A. in 1963. He became an influential teacher, serving as head of ceramics at both Chouinard (1963-71) and the Otis Art Institute (1983-96). Widely exhibited and collected, his work brought him many honors, including induction into the American Craft Council College of Fellows. Memorial donations may be made to the Pasadena Art Alliance.

Ursula McCracken, director of the Textile Museum in Washington, DC, from 1986 to 2004, died of cancer at her Baltimore home on March 17. She was 66. She broadened the museum's audience through exhibitions and publications.