Anna Mlasowsky Wins Award at the BAM Biennial Exhibition

'Chorus of One' by Anna Mlasowsky Winner of the BAM Glasstastic! Show 2019 Chorus of One by Anna Mlasowsky. Photo courtesy of the artist with permission from Bellevue Arts Museum.

 

This stunning work of glass art by Anna Mlasowsky is the one of many PNW works on display at Bellevue Arts Museum. As winner of the John & Joyce Price Award of Excellence, Chorus of One represents the spirit of exploration in which the Glasstastic exhibition was conceived.

As a malleable material, glass offers so many options to the artist. On view through April 14, Glasstastic explores the medium of glass in all its many forms.

 

The Year of Glass

Glasstastic showcases 49 Pacific Northwest glass artists, each with a unique approach to the medium. This exhibition tops off the museum's biennial exploration of media-based exhibits. From here forward, the BAM biennial will explore art on the basis of central themes.

Given Seattle's prominence in the artistry of glass, the focus on glass during this culminating show makes perfect sense. Of course, glass expands beyond art, serving vital functional purposes in life. The works on view in Glasstastic explore some of this functionality and also highlight the malleability of glass as art.

Though simple in its composition, glass provides many forms to work with in creating art - stained glass, blown glass, cast glass. Within each approach, an infinite number of outcomes. Glass can be stretched into razor-thin delicacies, or cast into dense blocks of color.

It can be cast or blown with smooth, even surfaces. It can also be texturized, imprinted with any pattern under the sun. Glass art stands at a distance, inspiring us with its colorful delights. It also beckons us closer, inviting us to run our hands along its smooth surfaces, or feel the divots and lines of texture it holds for us to enjoy.

The medium of glass truly stands above so many other media, being so malleable, so easily colored and manipulated, so interactive with light, so ethereal and yet so grounded in everyday reality.

One piece of glass art shown at the Biennial stands apart from the rest, as a Chorus of One.

 

Chorus of One

Anna Mlasowsky works with many materials to produce her art, including glass. For Glasstastic, she exhibited Chorus of One, a cloak made of plates of a special glass created by Corning Inc., which she mounted on fabric.

When worn, Chorus of One produces a multitude of tones activated by the movement of the wearer. For its creation, Anna Mlasowsky deeply explored the protective and inhibitory nature of armor. How it both protects and inhibits movement and communication.

Each plate of this unusual cloak is fashioned from a specialty glass created by Corning Inc. Rhino glass was created for the production of military-grade body armor. It proves shatter-resistant, protecting the wearer from impact.

Inspired by a rock, each scale of the cloak resembles one face of said rock. The elements of rock and glass armor infuse Chorus of One with their inhibitory properties, constraining movement. Yet, when worn by a dancer, whose sole intention is to fluidly move, this protective shield becomes part of the dance.

Indeed, it plays the music for the dance. Not surprisingly, Chorus of One won the juried prize for Glasstastic. Not only will Anna Mlasowsky receive a $5,000 cash prize, she also earned a solo exhibition at BAM.

 

Anna Mlasowsky

Anna Mlasowsky moved from Germany to Denmark to study at the Royal Danish Academy. After graduating with a BA in Glass, she moved to Seattle, where she earned her MFA in sculpture from the University of Washington.

Anna calls glass an analog - a signal, or visual symbol, demonstrating the complex and ever-shifting nature of reality. As a foreigner, in her physical body, her sexuality, and her cultural tradition, she feels the transitory nature of reality more deeply than most.

In her studio, Anna Mlasowsky immerses herself in a context which highlights the suffering and injustice of the outside world. Within this context, she provides her answers. Using processes and materials which transmute and transform, she creates works of art which express her desires for justice.

Anna Mlasowsky envisions a social culture with fluid norms, one that embraces a multitude of truths. She longs for a place to call home, where culture, gender, sexuality, and mental state inscribe themselves upon a person like badges of honor.

Where reality is both what it is and what we make it. A process that involves the cyclical nature of existence - immaturity, pain, violence, suffering, growth, birth, and death.  Not just in the human experience, but also in the experience of flora and fauna, animals and geography.

If you get a chance to visit Bellevue soon, not only do we hope you'll stop by our Bellevue showroom for a look at our fantastic jewelry. We also hope that you'll spend an hour walking through the Glasstastic exhibition at BAM. To plan your trip, we invite you to visit their website.