Conrad M. Bishop
April 6 – May 4, 2021
Vetri is pleased to announce the first solo exhibition, Select Works, by Seattle-based artist Conrad M. Bishop. Featuring ten intricate works, this exhibition highlights Bishop’s original use of material and expert craftsmanship across media. The 2019 recipient of the Jon and Mary Shirley Scholarship in Glass, Conrad Bishop’s work, exemplifies this scholarship’s purpose: to pursue new or experimental directions in glass art. Bishop says of this exhibition:
“As I create my work, I often think of my Grandfather, a life-long fine craftsman living in rural Oklahoma. His exquisite hand-made jewelry and antique clock restoration stand in contrast with the modest farmhouse bedroom where he works. His clean and organized workspace – a table filled with his craft’s tools and the intricate, refined elements of his current project – sits opposite the bed where he and my grandmother sleep each night. This visual dichotomy has made a lasting impression on me and is reflected in my artwork.
As a glassblower, I also create work that visually contradicts the environment that it was made in. I love how the glass, a luminous, glossy, color-rich material, contrasts with the corroded, metal-laden, industrial hot-shop. The shop’s textures and colors – rust, welded steel, glowing furnaces, concrete, and burn marks – make the glass’s precious luminescent qualities seem all the more potent. In my work, I often incorporate metallic surfaces and industrial references, giving the contrast I encounter in the hot-shop a permanent place in my sculpture.
For the past several years, I have been exploring how to seamlessly combine my glassmaking interests with other materials and processes, actively incorporating woodworking, printmaking, and ceramics into my artistic vocabulary. This past year brought many challenges to the glass-blowing community, forcing shared studios to close and altering how we work. The work in this exhibition reflects how having interests outside of the glass shop sustained my studio practice during the pandemic. Again tapping into what I learned watching my Grandfather at work, I dove into work at my home studio, focusing on crafting small intricate elements for my sculptures. Slip casting thousands of tiny bricks kept me plenty busy when my factory production job was on hold. These other materials gave me purpose and reassurance that there were creative outlets to explore here at home.”
Conrad M. Bishop enjoys the challenge of crafting glass and other elements into cohesive, intriguing, well-made sculptures. He is heavily influenced by historic glass as a benchmark of craftsmanship and excellence. Conrad received a BFA from the Alberta College of Art and Design in 2012. He returned to the United States in 2015 and is currently working and living in the Seattle area. Conrad was the 2019 recipient of the Jon & Mary Shirley Scholarship in Glass awarded through the Pratt Fine Arts Center. This scholarship is awarded to emerging artists who wish to pursue new or experimental directions in glass art.
Please join Vetri and Conrad Bishop for a special virtual exhibition walkthrough. We will tour the exhibition with Conrad and kick-off our 2021 exhibition schedule. CLICK HERE here to register for this Zoom event.