Back to Blog January 3, 2024

Exhibition Supported by Tyler Glass Program On View at Corning Museum of Glass

Author: Alina Ladyzhensky

Disclosure: The Whiteness of Glass, currently on view at the Corning Museum of Glass (CMoG) in upstate New York, addresses systemic racism, exclusion, and inequality in the field of glass through a research-based, collective exhibition. Previously hosted by the Center for Craft in Asheville, NC, the exhibition includes works that were created during a collaborative studio session hosted at Tyler’s glass studios in 2022. 

Disclosure is inspired by the 2020 essay “The Whiteness of Glass,” produced by the Related Tactics artist collective – a collaboration between transdisciplinary artists and cultural workers Michele Carlson, Weston Terayu, and Nate Watson. Commissioned by CMoG for their annual publication, New Glass Review, the essay included demographic data detailing the stark inequities around institutional representation of Black artists and other artists of color. 

At the time of its publication, the piece noted, “Less than 1% of tenured faculty in four-year university and college glass programs are Black,” while “0% of glass and craft museum leadership (director or board chair) is Black.” The essay also shared Related Tactics’ reflections on how institutions can meaningfully and materially address systematic racism and exclusion. 

“This failure to confront systemic barriers to access and retention for Black artists and other people of color, with a particular emphasis on queer folks and womxn, is all of our responsibility,” the collective members wrote. “While this concern is not unique to the glass field and is indicative of the problems facing the broader arts sector, it is amplified within this microcosm.” 

Following the essay’s publication, Related Tactics designed Disclosure in a three-stage iterative process. First, the collective created a set of data visualization-inspired drawings based on their equity research and the lived experiences of BIPOC artists in predominantly white spaces. 

Related Tactics then invited seven artists to respond to the visuals by devising sets of creative actions for others to carry out. These creative prompts were given to a second group of glass artists, who interpreted and enacted the prompts during a three-day collaborative session in Tyler’s glass studios. The group received studio support from Glass Program Head Jessica Jane Julius, along with Tyler graduate students and recent alumni. The project takes its final form in glass artworks created by six women artists. 

The Disclosure exhibition presents these final pieces, along with the initial sets of visualizations and creative actions. The show includes Related Tactics’ illustrations, as well as written prompts and works that artists including vanessa german, Pearl Dick, and Raya Friday, created at Tyler. 

“In opening the doors of Tyler to Related Tactics, it was more than just providing a physical studio— it was about creating a sanctuary for their creativity and their voices could resonate freely,” Julius said. “This residency was not just an event; it was a model for institutions to embrace alternative programs that challenge the norm, fostering support systems that assist in positive change within communities.” 

Disclosure: The Whiteness of Glass is on view at the Corning Museum of Glass through March 2024. 

Image: vanessa german, Ché Rhodes, and the Related Tactics collective, Surviving as the anomaly created by white supremacy, 2021–2022. Photo courtesy of Related Tactics.