Visiting Artists to Demonstrate Czech Glass Techniques at the Museum of Glass in April

Tacoma, Wash. (March 27, 2006)— The Museum of Glass: International Center for Contemporary Art is honored to host two five-day Hot Shop Visiting Artist residencies in conjunction with the exhibition, Czech Glass, 1945 – 1980: Design in an Age of Adversity. René Roubíèek, a legend of Czech glassmaking, will visit April 12 – 16. Seattle artist Charlie Parriott, who has traveled to the Czech Republic since the mid-1980s to work, study and teach, will demonstrate his techniques April 26 – 30.

In his 84 years, René Roubíèek has experienced profound artistic, political and social change. Born in 1922, he was 17 when German troops occupied Czechoslovakia and 26 when the country, then under Communist control, was isolated behind the Iron Curtain. Roubíèek was instrumental in regenerating the Czech glass tradition and ensuring its rightful place in the world of both art and architecture. His work, which ranges from whimsical to monumental, is included in the Czech Glass exhibition. His visit to the Museum of Glass is an unparalleled chance to see one of the world’s most influential, prolific and immensely creative designers at work.

During his residency, Roubíèek will work with fellow Czech artists Petr Novotný and Jirí Pacinek and the Museum’s resident team to orchestrate the fabrication of his designs for vividly colored and stamped bowls and vases, jazzy glass clarinets and 10-foot-tall glass columns. He will also create giant contemporary, color-rich clews (balls of yarn) designed by his wife, Miluše Roubíèková, whose work is also included in the Czech Glass exhibition. In honor of these Czech artists who are fans of jazz, the Nick Johnson Trio will perform in the Hot Shop on Saturday and Sunday afternoon.

On Sunday from 2 – 3 p.m., Roubíèek, Novotný, Pacinek and Parriott will participate in a moderated panel discussion to share their experiences working in the changing Czech political environment.

Charlie Parriott became familiar with Czech glass while studying for his BFA at the California College of Arts and Crafts. In 1980, he met renowned Czech artist Stanislav Libenský at Pilchuck Glass School in Stanwood, WA, and was invited to study in the Czech Republic. He was able to do so in 1985-86 and again in 1995-96 under a Fulbright Scholarship. Parriott has also worked as a designer and colorist at Chihuly Studios for 13 years and has led numerous glass casting workshops around the world. His current projects include collaborations with artists Mike Kelley, Corbin Walker and Chihuly Studios. Soldier Factory, an exhibition comprising 15 of his soldier head sculptures, will be on display at Tacoma's William Traver Gallery, located next to the Museum, between April 15 and May 7, 2006.

Parriott was the founding Hot Shop director at the Museum of Glass. He oversaw the design and construction of the glass studio and cold shop and assembled the Museum’s resident glassblowing team. For his Visiting Artist residency, Parriott will use sculpted metal molds to create hunters or soldier heads, work that is inspired by political and social issues at home and abroad. In addition to participating in the panel discussion on April 16, Parriott will host a Conversation with the Artist lecture and slide presentation of his work at 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 30.

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