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You Visit Tour. Webb Lion Fountain. June 1 2017. Photo David B. Hollingsworth

ODU Renews Chrysler Glass Partnership

By Amy Matzke-Fawcett

A renewed partnership between the Chrysler Museum of Art's Perry Glass Studio and Old Dominion University's Department of Art will give students the opportunity to learn glassmaking in a hands-on environment.

The partnership began 10 years ago to allow ODU students to use the facilities of the Chrysler's then-new studio glass workshop.

"It allows us to offer something to students that we couldn't otherwise," said Peter Eudenbach, professor and chair of the art department.

The cost of running a studio glass hot shop is prohibitively expensive, so partnering with the Chrysler made sense for both the museum and ODU. The university can confer academic credit to students while the museum cannot, and the museum can provide specialized instruction and resources.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most in-person classes at ODU were moved online, and the partnership was put on hold. But with much of the state reopening, the partnership is again active, and the class will be taught again in the fall 2021 semester.

As a survey class, students will learn about a variety of glass work, said Katey Murphy, program coordinator for the Chrysler Museum and adjunct professor who will teach the class this fall. An artist herself, Murphy said the class will include the widely recognized method of glassblowing, as well as flamework (molding and bending heated glass tubes), fusing (melting layers of glass in a kiln), and coldworking (using tools instead of heat to change the shape).

"Using a little bit of all of those processes, they'll be able to have a taste of all the kinds of glasswork," Murphy said. "It's really cool for the students to be able to talk about the processes and then participate in the physicality of glassmaking."

Students will have access to the museum's glass curator and resources, including the opportunity to study its collection of more than 10,000 works in glass. The partnership also includes two six-month studio assistantships, allowing two students to teach and continue learning in the glass studio environment.

While the class is part of the 3-D Media and Material Studies degree in the Art Department, it is open to any student who is enrolled in good standing at the University on a first-come, first-served basis.

"Art allows you to look at the world through a different lens, and in the case of glass, a fiery, molten lens," Murphy said.


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