Glass Alliance-New Mexico

In Memoriam: Tony Jojola

The light behind the glass dimmed on December 28 with the passing of the renowned Native glass artisan, teacher, and mentor Tony Jojola. He was 64 years old.

An Isleta pueblo citizen by birth, Jojola was a talented and committed artist who was the first Pueblo artist in New Mexico to explore the creative possibilities of glass. He rapidly emerged as a teacher of, and inspiration for the next generation of Indigenous glass creators, and was widely recognized as one of the country's leading glass artists.

Look at almost any pivotal point in New Mexico's Native glass art timeline and you will find the presence of Tony Jojola. He was at the Institute of American Indian Arts when Dale Chihuly (on loan from the Rhode Island School of Design) taught there. He was a student at the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Deer Isle, Maine. He was later an assistant when Chihuly founded Pilchuck. Jojola founded the Taos Glass Workshop, which encouraged at-risk youth to find self-fulfillment through glass art. 

The grandson of a potter, Jojola gracefully brought to Native art the expressive medium of glass, while incorporating traditional pueblo cultural themes. Glass, Jojola once said, is, "a way to take old traditions and apply them in a new and very beautiful way." 

The influence of Tony Jojola is seen in many ways, including the recognition he received. His work was exhibited at the National Museum of the American Indian, the Heard Museum, and the Burke Museum. Jojola had an expansive solo exhibition at the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian, and was featured in the recent Clearly Indigenous exhibit at the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture in Santa Fe.

Jojola was a bridge between the original generation of New Mexico Indigenous glass artists and the emerging generation who are now making their mark.

His light and his presence will be missed.

Glass is a fascinating medium of artistic expression that has inspired creativity in those who shape it—and wonder in those who see it—for centuries.

Glass Alliance-New Mexico brings together all those with an interest in glass art, from beginners to experts. We welcome everyone who has an interest in learning about glass art, whether you are a collector, artist, gallery, or "just curious."

We invite you to browse this website, and we encourage you to become a member. Membership in Glass Alliance-New Mexico is the portal through which you will enter the fascinating, ever-changing world of glass art. You will have an opportunity to learn about the medium, take classes, meet artists, and stay up-to-date on the latest happenings in the glass art world. 

Photos: Corning Museum of Glass

International Year of Glass 2022 Concludes

With the new year coming in, the UN-declared International Year of Glass (#IYOG2022) concluded.

IYOG was a recognition and celebration of all-things glass, from studio glass art to laboratory glass to the fiberoptic cables that carry much of the internet traffic.

Tens of millions of people around the world heard about glass, in its many forms. Now Glass Alliance-New Mexico has the opportunity to translate this increased awareness into an interest in studio glass art.

Last year was also the 60th anniversary of the American Studio Glass Movement, which began when Harvey Littleton and Dominick Labino held a glass workshop in a storage shed at the Toledo Museum of Art. This is generally recognized as the seminal event that ignited interest in individual artists having studios with small furnaces where they could create glass art, rather than having to beg time after hours at large, industrial facilities. Littleton, a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, went on to found the hot glass program at an American university. He became teacher and mentor to a generation of glass artists, including Marvin Lipofsky, who started a glass program at the University of California at Berkeley, and Dale Chihuly, who developed the glass program at the Rhode Island School of Design and later was a founder of the renowned Pilchuck Glass School in Stanwood, Washington and an instructor at Santa Fe's Institute of American Indian Arts.

The international studio glass movement started by Littleton (who was originally a ceramics professor), spread to Europe, the United Kingdom, Australia and Asia, transforming what had been a largely utilitarian medium into an artistic one.

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Make Something at MAKE Santa Fe

Creating glass art often requires something more than just glass and a furnace or kiln. When that "something" is a Dynatorch Super B plasma cutter, a BOSS laser cutter, a MIG welder, or other tools for working non-glass media including metal and wood, the answer can usually be found at MAKE Santa Fe.

MAKE Santa Fe MAKE Santa Fe is a non-profit community workspace where glass artists (and regular people, too) can access tools, resources and workshops in order to make, repair, invent or create. Need to make a metal stand for your glass object d'art? Building a glass thing-a-ma-gig for the garden, and need to make a frame? Make it at MAKE Santa Fe. It's like all our dream workshops combined into one, and MAKE Santa Fe is like a gym, but with powerful tools instead of exercise equipment and skilled craftspeople instead of personal trainers. Perhaps you have never used some of the tools you now need to use. No problem, MAKE Santa Fe offers workshops in everything from standard woodworking tools to laser cutters, MIG welding, and 3D printers. Once you've taken a workshop and earned a badge certifying you as safe on a particular tool, you can sign up to reserve what you need to cut, print, weld, shape, bend, and otherwise make a wide variety of materials do what you want.

The monthly membership fee is a fraction of what you'd pay to have a fraction of the workshop you'll have access to at MAKE Santa Fe. For more information, visit their website.

Glass Alliance-New Mexico is a non-profit and tax exempt (501)(c)(3) organization.

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