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Artist of the Month
January 2017

Artist of the Month

Jennifer Caldwell

Washington-state-based artist Jennifer Caldwell (aka Umphress) began working with glass in 2000 and has studied with various master lampworkers over the years, more recently also venturing into cast glass sculpture. Narratively her work is a form of therapy that responds to the daily life of being a mother, traveling, and experiencing new people and places. Caldwell is represented by the Adam Blaue Gallery, based in Cleveland, Ohio.

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Jennifer Caldwell

Artist of the Month

Artist Statement:

Glass is, at once, fragile and strong, beautiful and dangerous, full of movement and static. These paradoxes lend themselves to speaking of conflicting ideas that inevitably accompany each other in the mind and throughout life’s experiences. 

Humor, whimsy, and imagination are a cathartic aspect of my studio practice that allow me to address more serious emotions from a place of playfulness. In my work, I observe objects from the world around me and convey ideas by identifying aspects of these object that I am drawn to. Color, form, or historical meaning become a point of departure and focus while aspects that make these objects live or function in reality, become secondary or completely denied during the creative process. In this way objects from my experience become beautiful, yet unfunctional, or are combined in a way to see the paradoxes through which I view the world.  

Working with the constant motion associated with hot glass forces me to intuitively engage with the material creating a constant collaboration between the material and myself. This is a connection that happens between my conscience and sub-conscience, my mind and hands, the motion of the material and my own emotions, resulting in a physical object that conveys my essence. 

About Jennifer Caldwell

Jennifer Caldwell AKA Umphress has spent most her life near the coast in California and Hawaii. She is a full time artist who began her career in 2000 as an apprentice in a small studio. She has since studied glass in an apprenticeship with Cesare Toffolo in Murano, Italy, with Silvia Levenson in a residency at Pilchuck Glass School, with Janis Miltenberger, Robert Mickelsen, and with Jason Chakravarty.

Caldwell’s primary technical focus is solid sculpting borosilicate glass using a torch. Responding to the fluidness of the material, she has mastered capturing the movement and gracefulness of sea life forms. The use of recognizable imagery allows the viewer to relate and get lost if even just a moment at sea. Narratively her work is a form of therapy that responds to the daily life of being a mother, traveling and experiencing new people and places. Her studio is located in Kingston, Washington.

Caldwell has taught workshops worldwide including Japan, Amsterdam and the United Kingdom. She has also taught at the Corning Museum of Glass, Penland School of Crafts, Pilchuck Glass School, and Pittsburgh Glass Center. She previously has received the Glasscraft Emerging Artist Award and the Rosen Group's NICHE Award in the category of lampworked glass. 

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Acknowledgment of Gallery:
We are grateful to Adam Blaue Gallery, Cleveland, Ohio, for providing the Artist of the Month.

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Our Mission

The Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to further the development and appreciation of art made from glass.

The Alliance informs collectors, critics and curators by encouraging and supporting museum exhibitions, university glass departments and specialized teaching programs, regional collector groups, visits to private collections, and public seminars.