Professor Lauren Kalman Wins Esteemed Award in Glass Arts

Announced Friday Sept 9, 2022, Professor Lauren Kalman won the Elizabeth R. Raphael Founder's Prize in Glass from the organization Contemporary Craft. An exhibition entitled Transformation 11: Contemporary Works in Glass of the finalist work is currently on view. According to the website for Contemporary Glass, "seventeen contemporary artists from across the globe will explore creative concepts and innovative approaches in their use of the glass medium, with the winning artist sending additional works to demonstrate the breadth of their work."

The Elizabeth R. Raphael Founder's Prize was established to promote artistic excellence and encourage innovation in the contemporary craft fields. Transformation, which started in 1997, is a biennial juried competition that recognizes an emerging or mid-career artist. In choosing Kalman for this year's prize, Jurer Heather McElwee, who is also Randi & L. Van V. Dauler, Jr. Executive Director of Pittsburgh Glass Center, writes in the Transformation 11 catalog that Kalman brings together "creativity in technique, challenging viewers, and raising standards of excellence in the field. Her work represents both visually can conceptually the push and pull of the material and the constructs of the ideal and the feminine."

Kalman's work on display at the Main Lawrenceville Gallery in Pittsburgh, PA

Kalman's practice, which is rooted in contemporary craft, sculpture, video, photography and performance, investigates constructions of the ideal and the feminine and their impacts on self-image and identity, the politics of craft, and the built environment. Her winning piece entitled "To Hold" is "a meditation on building, control, and destruction- the desire to hold close, the ability to smother." explains Kalman.

"To Hold" in clear glass

Working in glass is a relatively new medium for Kalman, making the award an important mark of progress in her exploration of new concepts and materials. She says, "As an artist it is always an honor to have your work recognized by your field. This award was especially significant because working with glass as a primary medium is a relatively new shift in my work. It both recognizes the work I have accomplished and also encourages me to continue to explore glass as an expressive and conceptual material."

"To Hold" in grey glass

Transformation 11: Contemporary Works in Glass and the Elizabeth R. Raphael Founder's Prize are made possible by Cathy Raphael, The George G Fund, Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass, and JENDOCO Construction Corporation.


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