CORNING, N.Y. (January 28, 2016) — The Corning Museum of Glass and Corning Incorporated (NYSE: GLW) announced today the selection of Toots Zynsky, known for her distinctive heat-formed filet de verre (glass thread) vessels, as the first of two Specialty Glass Artists-in-Residence for 2016.

The residency is a joint program of the Corning Museum of Glass and Corning Incorporated that supports artists in exploring the use of specialty glass materials to inform their body of work. Zynsky is the third specialty glass resident, following metal sculptor, Albert Paley from 2014-2015, and glass artist, Tom Patti in 2016.

Zynsky, who has worked with glass since her time at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in the early 1970s, has gained widespread popularity and acclaim for her intricate filet de verre vessels. She was the 2015 recipient of the Smithsonian Institution's Visionary Award.

Zynsky has always been inspired by music, which for her, translates to color. As such, her vessels are unique explorations of color that defy categorization and weave together traditions of painting, sculpture, and decorative arts.

Zynsky has spent her career focusing on the study and manipulation of colored glass through the vehicle of these distinctive, undulating forms. Continually evolving, her work is a formal exploration in color and composition that has no end.  

“Through the Specialty Glass Residency, artists, designers, and scientists are able to push the boundaries of glass as a medium, challenging and manipulating it in new ways, ultimately leading to a better understanding of this endlessly versatile material,” said Karol Wight, president and executive director of The Corning Museum of Glass. “As a pioneer of the Studio Glass movement, Toots Zynsky’s life’s work has revolved around experimentation and discovery.”

During Zynsky’s residency, Corning Incorporated, which has developed and patented more than 150 specialty glass formulations, will provide her with access to specialty glass, as well as staff with technical expertise in glass formulation, melting, and forming. The Museum will provide access to its extensive resources, including its glassmaking facilities and collection.

"Toots' vision of innovation through art will be a great add to our Research Center at Sullivan Park" said Dr. David Morse, executive vice president and chief technology officer, Corning Incorporated. "Utilizing her creativity, diversity, and global experience as an artist - it will be exciting to see what kind of pieces she can create."

Zynsky has worked with The Corning Museum of Glass before, receiving one of the first Rakow Commissions, an annual award given to artists not yet represented in the Museum’s collection. In 1988, she created Pajaritos en la Cabeza and Cabellos de Angel ("Tierra del Fuego" Series) for the Museum.

During her Specialty Glass Residency this winter, Zynsky will work extensively at Corning Incorporated’s research facility Sullivan Park. She will also be the featured artist at the Museum’s popular 2300° program from 6-8 p.m. on March 17, where she will work in the recently-added Amphitheater Hot Shop, which seats 500 people. The event is free and open to the public.

“I am approaching this residency with great curiosity and a wide open mind as to the new possibilities I am about to encounter upon my first visit with the scientists and engineers I will be collaborating with at Corning in the specialty glass research center,” said Zynsky. “As I learn more, I am sure it will ignite new ideas and experimentation for my work.” 

About Toots Zynsky
Zynsky’s work is included in more than 70 international museum collections, including The Corning Museum of Glass, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Musée des Arts Décoratifs du Louvre in Paris, and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Zynsky earned her BFA at RISD in Providence, Rhode Island, in 1973. During her time there, she was one of a group of pioneering studio glass artists who studied with Dale Chihuly in Washington state, founding and developing Pilchuck Glass School. In 1980, Zynsky became assistant director and head of the hop shop at the New York Experimental Glass Workshop in New York City, which is now known as UrbanGlass, located in Brooklyn. Zynsky went on to live and work in Amsterdam and Paris, traveling to Murano, Italy, and Ghana, West Africa, to work for periods of time. In 1999, she moved her family back to Providence where she lives and works today.

Video interview with Toots:

Specialty Glass Artist Residency Program
Corning Incorporated, which has developed and patented many specialty glass formulations over the past century of research in glass, provides the resident artist access to a variety of glass materials and to staff having technical expertise in glass formulation, melting and forming.

The Corning Museum of Glass provides access to its extensive resources, including its glassmaking facilities, collection, and the Rakow Research Library. The resident artist works closely with the Museum’s glassmakers, research scientist, curators, and other staff to better understand glass and its historical and artistic contexts.

Zynsky is the third artist to take part in the residency, which is by invitation only. The first selected artist was American sculptor Albert Paley, best known for his large-scale works in metal, and the second was glass artist Tom Patti, known for his small-scale sculptural glass works and large-scale public commissions.

About Corning Incorporated
Corning ( is one of the world’s leading innovators in materials science. For more than 160 years, Corning has applied its unparalleled expertise in specialty glass, ceramics, and optical physics to develop products that have created new industries and transformed people’s lives. Corning succeeds through sustained investment in R&D, a unique combination of material and process innovation, and close collaboration with customers to solve tough technology challenges. Corning’s businesses and markets are constantly evolving. Today, Corning’s products enable diverse industries such as consumer electronics, telecommunications, transportation, and life sciences. They include damage-resistant cover glass for smartphones and tablets; precision glass for advanced displays; optical fiber, wireless technologies, and connectivity solutions for high-speed communications networks; trusted products that accelerate drug discovery and manufacturing; and emissions-control products for cars, trucks, and off-road vehicles.

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