Japanese sojourn inspires BGSU student’s glass art

 

Adam Goldberg at work on a glass piece for his upcoming exhibit in BGSU’s Hiroko Nakamoto Gallery.

 

BOWLING GREEN, O.—When glassblowing student Adam Goldberg set out for Japan last summer, he did not speak the language or know anyone there personally. But the welcoming community of artists he found has given new direction to his art.

The resulting creations will be on display in Bowling Green State University’s Hiroko Nakamoto Gallery, beginning with an opening reception from 5-7 p.m. Feb. 12. The gallery is in the Fine Arts Center.

Goldberg, a senior from Toledo, was the recipient of a Stuart R. Givens fellowship from BGSU, which offers students the money and time to explore learning outside the classroom in an experience of their own design.

Intrigued by his glass-blowing teacher Scott Darlington’s stories of living and making glass in Japan, Goldberg said he became interested in how local history and tradition can affect a country’s art and architecture. “Our country is so young, and American glass art has a European influence, mainly Italian. But Japan has an ancient culture that still plays a large role in Japanese life today. Even their modern architecture is infused with their culture.”

Backpacking and sightseeing around the country, Goldberg visited a number of schools and glass studios. ”Students there have an amazing work ethic. It was definitely inspirational, and I’ve been working hard since I came back. The world is getting smaller and more competitive. I want to emulate their level of commitment,” he said.

While in Japan, Goldberg also had support from BGSU faculty and students. He met with BGSU students in the study-abroad program in Hiroshima and Kyoto, and received guidance from faculty member Akiko Jones. “I could e-mail her with questions and she gave me so much good information and advice,” he said gratefully.

Goldberg said the level of hospitality shown by the Japanese artists and students was deep. He worked and stayed with several well-known artists around the country.

Darlington arranged for him to stay in the visiting artist residence at the Toyama Institute of Glass Art, where he had taught, and with Darlington’s best friend in Japan, Shunji Omura, who has now offered Goldberg a job as his assistant when Omura teaches at the prestigious Pilchuck Glass School in Washington state next summer.

“The Givens fellowship has opened up all these opportunities for me. It’s amazing,” Goldberg said. He learned of it from School of Art Director Katerina Ray. “She’s always telling us “Take every opportunity! Get your name out there.’”

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(Posted February 08, 2011 )