Anna Boothe

With degrees in sculpture and glass from Rhode Island School of Design and Temple University’s Tyler School of Art, Anna Boothe has worked with glass since 1980. Her primarily kiln-cast sculptural and decorative works have been exhibited at numerous venues including the Tittot Glass Art and Bergstrom-Mahler Museums, Museum of American Glass, Museum of Greater Lafayette, and Kentucky Museum of Art and Design, and are included in the permanent collections of the Corning Museum of Glass, Racine Art Museum and Tacoma Museum of Art. In 2012, Anna was awarded a Corning Museum of Glass Collaborative Artist Residency with New York City area sculptor Nancy Cohen, the result of which was exhibited at the Accola Griefen Gallery in Chelsea, NYC in 2013, and expanded in 2017 for exhibition at the Philadelphia Art Alliance. Both shows were reviewed by Glass Quarterly Magazine.
In 2018, the piece will be installed at Philadelphia’s International Airport. In 2016, via another ongoing collaboration, Anna’s cast flacons were exhibited with Frances Middendorf’s paintings and Leonardo Opali’s perfumes at the Downing- Yudain Gallery (Stamford, CT) and Villas Pojana and Cornaro, both located outside of Venice, Italy. The trio’s current works were shown at NYC’s Tambaran Gallery in 2017. Anna exhibits her decorative works at select trade shows. As a first-time participant in each, at the 2015 Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show, Anna received the Cohn Family Award (Best in Glass) and an Award of Excellence at the American Crafts Council’s Baltimore venue in 2016. After 16 years as a Tyler glass faculty member, Anna helped develop Salem Community College’s (New Jersey) glass art degree program and chaired its International Flameworking Conference.
She has lectured and/or taught at numerous venues, some that include the Corning Museum of Glass, Pittsburgh Glass Center, Urban Glass, Pilchuck Glass School, Rhode Island School of Design, Rochester Institute of Technology, Virginia Commonwealth University, University of Wisconsin at Madison, Illinois State Universtiy, Illinois Wesleyan University, Sheridan College (Toronto) and the Everhart Museum (Pennsylvania), as well as at schools in Belgium, Israel, Japan, Switzerland and Turkey. Anna served on the Glass Art Society Board of Directors (’98-’06) and as President (’04-’06). Until recently, she was Director of Glass at Philadelphia’s National Liberty Museum where she curated glass exhibits and organized the Glass Now auction (one of the two largest annual contemporary glass auctions in the US).
That which deals with human visceral response, compassion, vulnerability, and the metaphors that can be woven from these elements, are the conceptual grist for the sculptural work I have made over the last several years. As individuals, what kinds of veneers do we create, and why? What are the messages we project? Where do the perspectives that drive our responses originate and how can we steer them? What tools do we use to interpret the projections of others? Basically, I am curious about the relationships between our internal reactions and external projections, and ultimately, how we communicate with each other on conscious and subconscious levels. My work is an effort to reach an understanding of these inquiries. I set-out visual networks, or radii, that connect the various factors related to my investigations. The resulting pieces are meant to be icons, pseudo-mirrors, or even prosthetics, that aid in self-comprehension.
The multi-part objects I create provide objectivity to issues or feelings that are often difficult to articulate. Many of the current works employ body parts, such as hands, hearts and brains. The hands represent holding on, letting go and giving as themes that recur in our everyday emotional lives. Hearts and brains refer to the tandem, yet often polarized, sources from which our reactions come. I attempt to create new contexts for these common symbols in an effort to reaffirm them, metaphorically, as essential ingredients of a balanced stance from which to generate healthy interaction. Glass, as a material, is appropriate for what I seek to express because it is capable of conveying the simultaneous strength and fragility, as well as the translucency, or degree of visibility, of these associations. I’m thirty years into my love affair with this elusive stuff and there is so much more to explore.

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