Summer 2022 American Craft Forum
Summer 2022 American Craft Forum
Celebrating the United Nations International Year of Glass in 2022, this forum conversation explored the deep relationship Preston Singletary and Leo Tecosky have with this notoriously tricky medium, and how they shape it to express their equally deep connection to their respective cultural histories and communities.
Singletary’s exploration of his Tlingit heritage has resulted in work that is both personal and universally powerful to the larger indigenous community. Tecosky’s work emulates not only the forms of graffiti and street art, but also the tone, tempo, and movement of hip hop culture at its height in the ‘80s and ‘90s. What is the significance of working in glass within the context of their respective practices? And how do they see the exchange of influence between art and culture?
This American Craft Forum is tied to the forge-themed Summer 2022 issue of American Craft magazine.
ABOVE LEFT: Preston Singletary at work in his studio. Photo by Jovelle Tamayo. ABOVE RIGHT: Leo Tecosky at work in his studio. Photo courtesy of The Corning Museum of Glass.
Elizabeth Essner is the newly appointed Windgate Foundation Associate Curator of Craft at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Previously a New York–based independent curator and writer, she has organized exhibitions for institutions including the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, UrbanGlass, Arizona State University Art Museum, The Clay Studio, and the Hunterdon Art Museum. In 2019, Elizabeth curated Graffiti & Ornament in Philadelphia, inviting artists Leo Tecosky and Roberto Lugo to create site-responsive work for The Woodlands, a historic estate in Philadelphia. An author and co-author of numerous exhibition catalogs, Elizabeth's writing has been featured in publications including Shapes from Out of Nowhere: Ceramics from the Robert A. Ellison Jr. Collection, for which she also served as collection researcher. A 2017 Curatorial Fellow with the Center for Craft in Asheville, North Carolina, Elizabeth received her MA from the Bard Graduate Center in New York.
Leo Tecosky works at the intersection of cultural and craft traditions in the pursuit of knowledge of self. His work mixes deconstructed elements of hip hop with technical glass making processes. Recent exhibitions include TECO037 at Alma’s RVA and collections by the Chrysler Museum and the Corning Museum of Glass. Tecosky lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. Read more about his work in the Summer 2022 American Craft article "Hip Hop Glassmaker."
Preston Singletary is a glass artist based out of Seattle. Singletary developed and honed his craft at the Pilchuck Glass School in Stanwood, Washington, over many years and studied with some colossal figures in the medium, including Lino Tagliapietra, Benjamin Moore, and Dan Daily. Known for his luminous cast and carved glass, he draws deeply from his Tlingit heritage and over the years has become a major influence on contemporary indigenous art. Singletary is being honored this year as a 2022 American Craft Council Fellow.
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This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.