2020: Working towards a lively glass art community
In the past years, The Glass Virus has become the platform for glass art education that we envisioned. The community is growing and so is the demand for collaborate endeavors that bring people together and strengthen the network of artists, educators and thinkers in glass.
We want to thank all our supporters, helpers and advisors who helped The Glass Virus with their good spirits, their active help or financial support.
As our grid is growing, we can see plenty of opportunities worth being tackled. More than ever, this growing structure depends on your dedication and support. Many of our activities can only happen with your individual commitment by being part of the virus and contributing to the discussion. There is a greater need for financial support to achieve our goals. As a foundation, we do not have memberships but depend solely on your gifts.
If you are in a giving mood, please consider to contribute to the success of The Glass Virus. Your gift of literally any amount will help us build this community into a strong network.
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The Glass Virus was asked to do a mini-think tank-workshop at the Robert M. Minkoff Foundation’s Academic Symposium at Urban Glass, Brooklyn, NY, titled "Issues in Glass Pedagogy: Criticism, Critique, and Critical Thinking".
This was a great opportunity to re-introduce the Glass Virus, after we had launched it at the first Academic Symposium in 2013.
Here is Jens’ short report of Think Tank#5 at Urban Glass.
“Critique in the Classroom”
To do a mini think tank-workshop at the Academic Symposium at Urban Glass was a new experience for us and given the limited timeframe, it was questionable if the talks could reach the intensity and depth that we are used to. But all concerns seemed redundant as we divided the guests of the symposium in groups and started discussing the topics.
After a short definition of my personal perception of critique in the classroom, the participants were challenged to break down a number of questions, which were in direct relation to the preceding talk or came about in previous lectures at the symposium.
After just 40 minutes of concentrated discussions, all groups were able to present their résumés. Those notes are by no means final answers to the questions, nor do they intent to create a common definition of critique in the classroom. Sometimes even, a group would follow its own dynamic and find other issues more significant.
All those findings are equally valuable. As in many practices, think tanks are about the content an process. They are by definition enclosed gatherings in which all sorts of issues can be discussed, in order to find a common strategy and maybe give advice to other authorities. Our think tanks are about the process much more than the result. We do find that it can be more challenging to proceed with the notes and other outcomes of the discussions rather than dealing with predetermined results. One of the biggest accomplishments of the think tanks is the understanding that frequent communication is the key to progression.
Provided questions to discuss in groups during the mini think tank:
Look at the course of critique – as a teacher, a student, a researcher or former any of that –
• Do we know what’s best for our students and how much of that can we provide?
• Is glass education per definition too monastic?
• Do we allow critique in the classroom?
• Are we fit enough to educate our students to become what we want them to become? (do we even know what that is?)
• Has glass education failed?
• Looking at your own approach: where do you stand, how can you improve your practice?
Think Tank #6 will be launched in November 2020 in Amsterdam!
In fact, you can pencil it down for the next years to come: The Glass Virus will return biannually in October or early November and very possibly it will be organized in different cities throughout Europe.
As our web is growing constantly, we just need more time and effort to organize the events. Besides, The Glass Virus wants to establish other activities alongside the biannual meetings, which also need some attention.
So, from now on, we take turns with the Robert M. Minkoff Academic Symposium at Urban Glass and seek to build a transatlantic educational forum, of which educators and artists both in Europe and in the USA can benefit equally.
The next Think Tank will be held on November 6th and 7th 2020.
More info will be shared in the beginning of next year. Keep checking the website and make sure to mark your calendar.
Jens Pfeifer will lead one of his signature Glass Virus ‘Think Tanks’ on the subject of effective critique. In a mini-think tank, we will discuss and explore various ways of constructive critique in the academic classroom. Find out more about this event and many more exiting workshops, panel discussions and lectures and get your tickets at "Issues in Glass Pedagogy: Criticism, Critique, and Critical Thinking"
Jan Egbers and Celine Hurka made a big effort to get a complex website going that is easy to navigate and full of information.
The website is made to spread information about our activities and offer a platform for critical dialogue.
In the reading section, we publish your essays, theses or other texts that you want to share with our audience.
On the map you will find a vast collection of universities and academies with glass programmes. This information comes in handy for potential glass art students, when looking for the most appropriate school. It provides an interesting overview of the diversity of European glass art education and we hope for it to be the most complete source of reference on European glass education very soon.
Your contribution is vital! Be it the practical information about your education, your graduation thesis or your PhD paper. If you send it, we will publish it on the website. See examples and information here.
But we also depend on your generous financial support, which will allow us to do research, accelerate the discussion about the future of art education in the glass field or simply maintain the website. Please spare a minute to check out our sponsors and become one yourself: support
After several years of building an international platform to communicate, debate and exchange, we thought it was about time for the next step. Just before the summer, the Glass Virus became a foundation. With this legal status we hope to be able to appear and perform on more levels, broadening the operating range and team up with other organizations and professional partners. The board consists of Marie De Bruyn, Jens Pfeifer and Bert Willems and has various advisers, who are all giving shape to the content and the appearance of the Glass Virus activities. Please check here for more information.