Paperweights in Bloom: Selections from Bergstrom-Mahler Museum of Glass is being exhibited at the Paine Art Center and Gardens in Oshkosh, WI.
Paperweights in Bloom highlights more than fifty antique, vintage and contemporary glass paperweights from the collection of Bergstrom-Mahler Museum of Glass. Featuring floral motifs in the lampwork and millefiori styles, this exhibition serves as a companion to Rooms of Blooms and Ubuhle Women: Beadwork and the Art of Independence showing at The Paine in Oshkosh and is held in conjunction with the biennial meeting of the Paperweight Collector’s Association, May 18-22 in Appleton.
The Paperweight Collectors Association, Inc. (PCA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to appreciating and collecting glass paperweights. For over a half century, PCA has championed the study and collecting of antique, vintage, and contemporary glass paperweights. The mission of the PCA is to promote education: to increase knowledge about paperweights, their creators, and the astounding glass medium from which they are created.
Bergstrom-Mahler Museum of Glass is excited to announce an exhibition of new acquisitions to the museum’s permanent collection. On from March 26th thru December 4th in the Museum’s Blue Gallery, this exhibition will highlight work by artists such as Howard Ben Tré, Kari Russell-Pool, Rick Ayotte, Lisabeth Sterling, Stephen Hodder, Audrey Handler, Richard Ritter, Klaus Moje, Marvin Lipofsky, Barry Sautner and Eric Hilton. This exhibition continues the museum’s tradition of celebrating the philanthropy of our generous donors. Through these gifts, we are able to continue engaging and educating our audiences about the exciting world of glass art.
Primordial Shift is an installation dealing with the implications of genetic modification of corn. It consists of 32 hand-blown glass ears of corn averaging 4′ high suspended on stalks of cast bronze and blown glass, tethered with rope from the ceiling combined with audio and video projected as a backdrop to create an illusion of corn gently swaying in the field.
The creative force behind the project is Michael “Mick” Meilahn, who like others of his generation, learned glassmaking as a university student in Wisconsin in the 1970’s, and subsequently participated in the wave that became The American Studio Glass Movement. In the 20th Century, a paradigm shift occurred in genetics, when scientists discovered how to unravel genetic code; the genetic code itself, DNA; and the commodification of GMOs and implications for consumers. Meilahn’s installations are about the fragility of glass and genetic modification. They afford museum patrons the opportunity to experience the story of corn, its production, and agriculture from the perspective of this unique and amazingly talented and visionary artist. Furthermore, his work speaks to the importance indigenous peoples have played in cultivating corn, “… a symbol as sacred to Native Americans as the cross was to Christianity.”
Other works of Meilahn’s creation, including Bonanza Blue, a seven foot diameter basket featuring large ears of blue corn, are slated for inclusion in the Primordial Shift exhibition and serve to broaden the viewers’ understanding of the artist’s relationship with agriculture and the natural beauty associated with earth. Works selected for inclusion in the exhibition will be drawn from the artist’s personal collection, private lenders, and the permanent collection of Bergstrom-Mahler Museum of Glass.
Friday, April 22, 2022, 6:00 – 8:00 pm CT
Members enjoy early access to the exhibit, a gallery talk with the artist and museum staff, hors d’oeuvres, wine, beer, and beverages.
Thursday, July 28, 6:00 – 7:00 pm CT
Join artist, Mick Meilahn and museum staff as he presents his inspiration, concepts, and development of Primordial Shift, as well as select pieces within his retrospective exhibition. This event is FREE and open to the public.
About the Artist:
Michael “Mick” Meilahn grew up on a family farm near Pickett, in Central Wisconsin. After graduating in 1964 from high school in Ripon where he excelled in art, he entered the University of Wisconsin-River Falls to study agriculture. He subsequently switched his major to art, after he realized agri-business was not his passion. At UW-River Falls he took his first course in glass, and in 1966 he started blowing glass. As an undergraduate, Mick Meilahn spent a Quarter abroad working with glass legend Erwin Eisch in Frauenau, Germany (on the Bavaria/Czech border, an area with a rich tradition of glass making). After graduation in 1971, he spent a year in Bolivia as an idealistic Peace Corps volunteer intent on helping people in South America by sharing the knowledge he’d learned from farming. After that, he enrolled at Illinois State University in Normal, where Joel Philip Myers had begun a glass program, and earned his Master’s degree in art.
Bergstrom-Mahler Museum of Glass is grateful to David J. Wagner, L.L.C. for providing assistance with the display of Primordial Shift.