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Jaroslava Brychtova, Creator of Monumental Glass Art, Dies at 95 – The New York Times

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Jaroslava Brychtova, an internationally acclaimed Czech artist who made large-scale glass sculptures with her husband and collaborator, Stanislav Libensky, pioneering new ways to work with glass, form and light, died on April 8 in Jablonec nad Nisou, a town in the Czech Republic. She was 95.

Her death, from what was thought to be heart failure, was confirmed by Katya Heller, whose Heller Gallery in Manhattan represents the couple.

From the late 1950s until 2002, when Mr. Libensky died, Ms. Brychtova and her husband created an ambitious body of work that could be likened more to painting, sculpture and architecture than to something that rests on a tabletop. Some works topped 13 tons and towered 14 feet. Many featured negative space, like cuts, to allow light to penetrate. The best of them merged art and science through the material of colored glass to profound effect.

Red Pyramid” (1993), one of several works by the couple in the permanent collection of the Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, N.Y., is a simple pyramidal shape, almost three feet tall, that looks to be glowing dramatically from within. It was created using a technique the artists developed called mold melting, whereby chunks of glass are placed in molds and left to slowly melt inside a kiln.

“When you stand in front of one of their works, you feel the power they brought to it,” said Susie J. Silbert, curator of postwar and contemporary glass at the Corning Museum. “The forms are so bold, so strong, and the glass is so expressive.”

Mr. Libensky made the paintings and drawings, while Ms. Brychtova translated and interpreted his designs into three dimensions, using clay models to perfect the shapes and surfaces.

She played another essential role behind the scenes: She was in charge of the architectural glass studio where their work was produced, in her hometown, Zelezny Brod. While Mr. Libensky spent weekdays in Prague teaching at the Academy of Decorative Arts, Ms. Brychtova pushed the studio workers under her charge to achieve their vision.

“The sheer will and determination she had to get this all done is remarkable,” Ms. Heller said. “Particularly when you see the scale of these pieces.”

In a documentary film about the couple, “The Space of Light,” Ms. Brychtova acknowledged that she was “pretty tough within the factory environment,” adding, “I wasn’t very popular because I was always striving for the best.”

She and her husband sought to make glass sculpture that could stand alone without a pedestal. They achieved it with the Vestments, a series made in the late 1990s. On its website, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, which owns “Vestment II” (1997), described the sculpture, of muted gray glass, as “reminiscent of a liturgical garment,” appearing “opaque and grandiose but at other times almost weightless.”

Though admirers and critics focused on the massiveness of her work, Ms. Brychtova insisted in the documentary that scale was not the biggest challenge. “It’s ideas that are hard to get to, not size,” she said.

Jaroslava Brychtova was born on July 18, 1924, to artistic parents. Her mother, Anna Pekarkova, created hand-woven textiles. Her father, Jaroslav Brychta, was a sculptor and glassmaker who also founded a local school that taught glassmaking techniques as well as design, chemistry and technology. He was a major influence on her life.

Ms. Brychtova followed her father into the arts, studying sculpture at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design and at the Academy of Fine Arts, both in Prague, before returning to Zelezny Brod, a small town in north Bohemia with centuries-old glassmaking tradition. She spent nearly all her life there.

It was in Zelezny Brod, in the early 1950s, that Ms. Brychtova met Mr. Libensky, who was the director of the glass school and, like her, married at the time. They divorced their spouses, causing a minor scandal, and embarked on the fruitful partnership that first drew notice at the 1958 World’s Fair in Brussels, where they showed colored glass blocks with reliefs of wild animals.

In Communist Czechoslovakia, where the couple made their seminal work, artists who might have otherwise been censored could hide out in the “minor” art of glass while pursuing ideas like abstraction. The couple’s work was underwritten by the state, at least initially, and they exhibited at World Expos in Montreal in 1967 and Osaka, Japan, in 1970.

They also created many public works in the Czech Republic, including the facade of the National Theater and the stained-glass windows for St. Vitus Cathedral, both in Prague, as well as a relief inside the striking Jested Tower.

After the 1968 Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia, the Communists cracked down on artists. Ms. Brychtova and Mr. Libensky were expelled from the party and forbidden to travel abroad together for a time.

Over the decades, as their international reputation grew and their work was displayed at the Met and the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, a younger generation of female glass artists drew inspiration from Ms. Brychtova.

She is survived by two sons, Jaroslav and Milos Zahradnik, and a daughter, Alena Vavrikova, all from her first marriage.

A stylish woman with a distinctive mop top of gray hair, Ms. Brychtova retained an “age-defying curiosity” about art and culture to the end of her life, Ms. Heller said. But she stopped making glass works after the death of Mr. Libensky, telling the Czech News Agency on the occasion of her 90th birthday: “It is impossible without Stanislav. I am used to working in a couple. Without him, it just isn’t right.”

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Ottawa business faces backlash after posts on Blackout Tuesday – CTV News Ottawa

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OTTAWA —
Expressing outrage over racism can be a complicated and sometimes divisive action. One Ottawa business that tried to share its opinion on social media this week found out exactly how hard that can be.

Blackout Tuesday is a collective action to protest racism and police brutality. The action, originally organized within the music industry in response to the killing of George Floyd in Minnesota.

Earlier this week, Art-Is-In Bakery, a popular eatery in Ottawa, posted a ‘black-tile’ for #BlackoutTuesday on its Instagram page. Stephanie Mathieson owns the business, along with her husband,

“We’re a family run business, and IG is run by a few members of this family, I posted the black square.”

Then, according to Mathieson, another family member created a promotional post – celebrating the stores re-opening; something that you are not supposed to do once you post a “black-tile” on social media; creating a backlash.

“Unfortunate that we hurt people along the way, and we are terribly, very sorry about this… We made a mistake, but our heart was at the right place; we deeply care what happened, that’s why we posted the black square in the first place.”

Comments then flooded the Art-Is-In Bakery Instagram account. Makda Kidane used to shop at Art-Is-In and she left comments, which were deleted. According to her, she was then blocked by Art-Is-In.

“We put money in your pocket, we support your business; we share this business with other people when I have my friends coming in from out of town, it’s an establishment that I frequent with them, and it was disappointing that they don’t see the value in our dollar or our voice.”

Kidane does not think the use of the “black-tile” is appropriate, if used along side a marketing campaign,

“The plight of black people is not a trend; it is our life, it is our reality; and, we need allies and we don’t need people to just follow a trend.”

Yodit Haile also saw the post, comments, and then the deletion.

“What they did was wrong; it’s clear that they used the Black Lives Matter movement for their own benefit, for their own advertising, and that’s not what this movement is about.”

Art-Is-In deleted the post, now making their Instagram page private.

SO HOW SHOULD BUSINESSES USE THE BLACK TILE?

“There’s no appropriate way to use that,” says Boulou Ebanda de B’béri, Professor of Media, Communication, and Cultural Studies at the University of Ottawa’s Department of Communication, whose areas of expertise include history, culture, and racism in Canada.

“When some businesses, particularly white businesses – white owned businesses are trying to all of a sudden become black, that is problematic; there is not an appropriate way to recycle pain.”

He says that businesses should participate more with their actions – who they hire, and who they employ in management positions.

As for Art-Is-In?

Mathieson says, “All our intention by posting this black square were good; it came from a concerned and caring place.”

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New works selected for Yukon Permanent Art Collection – Whitehorse Star

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Eleven new artworks have been selected for the Yukon Permanent Art Collection, the territorial government said Thursday.

By Whitehorse Star on June 4, 2020

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Art and Entertainment should not have the Limitation of the Boundary – Net Newsledger

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Today, when the entire world is running after a mundane lifestyle, the artists are the only souls who fill up their life. They project complex notions and performances as they breathe life into the world.

Bahadır Ünlü is a Turkish actor who plays a crucial role in spreading positivity and entertaining millions with his witty thoughts and stellar performances. He firmly believes that entertainment and Art should not have any boundaries, both metaphorically and physically. He explained, “Art and entertainment are kindred spirits. People should be able to experience them without any restrictions or inhibitions. Boundaries should be blurred, and people should come together.” Bahadir is a leading actor in Turkey, and he is keen to explore international projects and reach a broader audience.

Now his ambition is to reach out to the global audience so that he can connect with them through his Art as an actor. He is also a social influencer and enjoys interacting with his audience, fans, and followers. He enjoys social media as it is a medium that also transcends boundaries.

The actor, director life, was not a bed of roses. Bahadir has also gone through some challenging times, but experience taught him the critical aspects of life, and he knows how to connect the dots to achieve new heights. He believes that the best way to approach life is by being optimistic in the face of adversity. According to Bahadir, artists and entertainers are not bound by borders, and it is entirely correct. Bahadir believes that art and entertainment as mediums have the power to reach millions of people, surpassing boundaries like language, distance, and culture.

Bahadir has more than 600 thousand followers who regularly follow him on Instagram. Bahadır Ünlü has been very active recently on his social media. Bahadir has numerous upcoming international projects and is excited to reach out to a brand new audience, with whom he can connect and interact. Bahadir’s devotion to his Art is commendable as he continues to grow and evolve as an actor and director.

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