Western North Carolina is important in the history of American glass art. Several artists of the Studio Glass Movement came to the region, including its founder Harvey K. Littleton. Begun in 1962 in Wisconsin, it was a student of Littleton’s that first came to the area in 1965 and set up a glass studio at the Penland School of Craft in Penland, North Carolina. By 1967, Mark Peiser was the first glass artist resident at the school and taught many notable artists, like Jak Brewer in 1968 and Richard Ritter who came to study in 1971. By 1977, Littleton retired from teaching and moved to nearby Spruce Pine, North Carolina and set up a glass studio at his home.
Since that time, glass artists like Ken Carder, Rick and Valerie Beck, Shane Fero, and Yaffa Sikorsky and Jeff Todd—to name only a few—have flocked to the area to reside, collaborate, and teach, making it a significant place for experimentation and education in glass. The next generation of artists like Hayden Wilson and Alex Bernstein continue to create here. The Museum is dedicated to collecting American studio glass and within that umbrella, explores the work of Artists connected to Western North Carolina. Exhibitions, including Intersections of American Art, explore glass art in the context of American Art of the 20th and 21st centuries. A variety of techniques and a willingness to push boundaries of the medium can be seen in this selection of works from the Museum’s Collection.
Asheville Art Museum