sound bites

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 16 July, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 16 July, 2006, 12:00am

You're a glass art enthusiast. Tell us about the art form.

Gallery owner Vanessa Lee Taub:

'Last month, one of the lectures I attended was about the state of glass from past and current curators from the Museum of Arts and Design [New York], who consider that glass is where photography was 10 to 15 years ago in terms of its recognition among mainstream fine arts museums, collectors and galleries.

'There's still a great misunder-standing of it among conservatives. In other words, it's for the adventurous and visionaries.

'I think semantics are important. The term 'glass art' is outdated and conjures images of American Depression glass or kitsch Italian factory glass. At best, the term leads one to understand that glass itself is the art.

'I'm always surprised by how many people are unaware of the differences between studio glasswork and factory glass. For sculpture, it should be understood as the artists' canvass.

'There's this mystical side to glass that is able to convey and seduce in a different way than other mediums of sculpture - but this is an added dimension, not the core.

'Mastery of the material is essential, but so is mastery of the paint brush for a painter. Many of the artists we represent who create sculpture in glass are also painters, ceramicists and photographers, but have chosen glass as their medium. They are first and foremost artists, rather than glass artists.

'It's a personal mission of mine to try to convey this difference and to raise the awareness and stature of glass among fine art collectors, institutions and galleries.'