Arlon Bayliss, Professor of Art and co-chair for the Department of Art and Design, recently returned from an annual trip with glass majors and fellow glass students to Corning, New York.
Included during the trip were visits to The Corning Museum of Glass (more than 45,000 objects trace 3,500 years of glassmaking history at Corning), The Rakow Research Library (the world's library of record and the finest collection of research materials related to the art, history, craft and technology of glass), and The Studio (a comprehensive educational glass workshop for visiting artists, summer classes, and visitors).
At The Corning Museum of Glass, glass isn't just for looking at or looking through. At the Museum, you can explore, research, touch, work with, and interact with glass.
This is the 19th year for the one-week field trip. According to Bayliss, the Corning Museum of Glass holds the largest and best collection of glass in the world. The art department’s Glass History course uses many examples from the museum. When Bayliss takes students to Corning, there are many scholars from other countries that have come to Corning to study and research.
“I think Arlon is a wonderful teacher and a wonderful artist, and I look forward to his yearly trip to Corning,” said Tina Oldknow, Curator of Modern Glass at Corning. “In spite of the fact that Arlon has been here many times, he is always excited to be here, and he is so engaging.”
In 1990, AU wanted to provide art students with a glass-making major for the first time. Bayliss relocated from London to help start the program with professor Ken Ryden. They were able to connect Jerry Child, who at the time was a scientific projects worker at Corning. Child was able to supply AU with 20 tons of glass making equipment including a kiln, a glass furnace, a mechanical press, optic molds and numerous other furniture and equipment. Bayliss commented much of the original donations from Corning are still used today.
A glass piece created by an AU student was offered by Steuben Glass in 2006. The work created by Melissa Taylor (BA ’07) entitled “The Nutcracker” marked the first time that Steuben had offered a piece created by an undergraduate university glass student. The piece was featured on the front cover of the Steuben Christmas catalog in 2006. [Pictured on the left.]
Four students made the trip with Bayliss this year though in the past, Bayliss has been able to fill two vans full of students.
“Next year, we except a larger number of students going because of the freshman glass cohort waiting in the wings,” said Bayliss. “That specific cohort is working on foundations this year and will be in Intermediate Glass this time next year for the trip.”
Bayliss stated that Corning is a vital part of the glass curriculum. Students do research projects in writing and glass making based on the work they see on the trip. The program puts a lot of emphasis on historical research and analysis generally in AU Art and Design.
“It’s so gratifying to hear the museums staff time and time again say how much they enjoy working with our students,” said Bayliss. “They say it’s refreshing to see their enthusiasm for historical objects.”
Three AU majors have completed internships at the museum: Michael Frazier, Joy Jackson and Shawn Matson.
“The Museum welcomes students from all areas of study, and especially art students,” said Oldknow. “I love to see undergraduates as well as graduate students at the Museum: everyone has a good idea to share.”
This year, alum David Schnuckel (BA ’03) was able to join the AU students for a day. He has his masters in glass from R.I.T. and is teaching glass classes at Alfred University in New York. [Pictured on the right.]
Offering majors in fine arts studio, studio glass, graphic design, general studies in art and art education, Anderson University’s Department of Art and Design challenges and prepares students to bring their best contributions to their chosen field. Students accomplish this through scholarly research, intensive studio practice, professional work experience and working closely with skilled faculty of artists and designers.
—Stefanie Leiter is the Web Content Manager at Anderson University.
Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,750 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson continues to be recognized as a top Christian college: in 2008, U.S. News and World Report ranked Anderson University among the best colleges and universities in the Midwest for the fourth consecutive year. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing and theology.