Have you heard of Sheila and Neil, “the first non-flightless snails in the world?” How about a snoogle, kelpie, pegamallow, or preying beetis? Maybe you’re familiar with the candy corn creature that “helps foster kids find their forever home with his tiny little brain and his HUGE heart?”
Each of these wonderful, whimsical creatures — and many more — appear today, when the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center unveils the 2021 incarnation of GLASSTASTIC, a popular biennial collaboration between K-6 students and professional glass artists in New England. A total of 27 glass sculptures will be on display at the museum through June 13, alongside a digital gallery of nearly 800 drawings submitted by children across the United States. A reception for GLASSTASTIC and the museum’s other spring exhibits will take place later this year.
“After a year of uncertainty and myriad challenges, we are excited to celebrate the positive powers of creativity and imagination,” GLASSTASTIC co-curators Linda Whelihan and Sarah Freeman said. “This year, we also celebrate 10 years since our first GLASSTASTIC exhibit, and the show is bigger and better than ever. Our new ‘Blast From the Past’ gallery takes a fond look back at the first four incarnations of GLASSTASTIC in 2011, 2013, 2017 and 2019.”
This year’s student artists come from schools across Vermont and New Hampshire, and as far away as Washington state. They are: Aaron Archer (Vernon Elementary School), Sarah Balint-Wohl (Green Street School), Lucia Carr (homeschool), Sophia Cavanna (Hinsdale Elementary School), Josie Clough (Putney Central School), Rachel Cousino (Robinson Elementary School), Reed Cousino (Robinson Elementary School), August Davis (Oak Grove School), Jayden Genest (Salisbury Community School), Bennett Gerding (Twin Valley Elementary School), Charlie Hill (Robinson Elementary School), Timmy Hunt (Monkton Central School), Jake Jerome (Monkton Central School), Reagan LaFreniere (Robinson Elementary School), Madeline Latini (Peterborough Elementary School), Torielle Lee, John Max Malcovsky (Integrated Arts Academy), Austin Meader (Robinson Elementary School), Aliana Miller (NewBrook Elementary School), Harley Pecor (Beeman Elementary School), Ava Rich (Barnard Academy), Elijah Rodgers (View Ridge Elementary), Olivia Sawyer (Robinson Elementary School), Elizabeth Stark (Green Street School), Ayla Traeger (Hilltop Montessori School), Guinevere Velto (homeschool) and Marley Vose (Robinson Elementary School).
The collaborating glass artists, who give generously of their time and talent to make GLASSTASTIC possible, are Mariel Bass, Josh Bernbaum of JMB Glass, Marta Bernbaum of JMB Glass, Jocelyn Brown of JBFineArt, Robert Burch of Robert Burch Glass, Dominique Caissie of Terrapin Glassblowing Studio, David Colton of David Colton Glass, Dan Coyle of Coyle Glass, Robert Dane, Allie Dercoli of FinAllie Ferments, Robert Du Grenier of Robert Du Grenier Associates, Inc., Sandy Dukeshire of Sandys Glass Shack, Alissa Faber, Nic Flavin, Wesley Fleming, Zak Grace of Zak Grace Glass, Chris Hubbard, Claire Kelly of Claire Kelly Glass, Jordana Korsen of Hot Glass Art Center, Lynn Latimer of Latimer Glass Studio, Sally Prasch of Prasch Glass, Bryan Randa of Randa Glass, Chris Sherwin of Sherwin Art Glass, Randi Solin of Randi Solin Glass, Jen Violette of Jen Violette Glass and Andrew Weill of Manchester Hot Glass.
“I love turning unique drawings into three-dimensional glass art,” glass artist Randi Solin said. “I feel it validates the kids’ hard work, inspiring them to stick with their creative endeavors.”
Glass artist Chris Sherwin described GLASSTASTIC as “one of my favorite BMAC programs.” Sherwin added, “Bringing the stories and pictures from the kids to life in the medium of glass is exciting, challenging, and very rewarding.”
At the close of the exhibit, students will be able to take home their glass sculptures.
Four other new exhibits are also opening today: “All Flowers Keep the Light,” “Jennifer Mack-Watkins: Children of the Sun,” “Kenny Rivero: Palm Oil, Rum, Honey, Yellow Flowers” and “Adria Arch: On Reflection.”
The museum, 10 Vernon St., Brattleboro, is open Wednesday through Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with masks and social distancing required. Walk-ins are always welcome, or visitors can make a reservation in advance at brattleboromuseum.org.