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Caucus Learning Adventure with Michael Sherrill and Ginny Ruffner
Sunday, June 30, 2019, 10:30 AM EDT

Caucus Learning Adventure with Michael Sherrill and Ginny Ruffner

June 30, 2019 | 10:30am | $49 Caucus Members
Home of Arnold and Barbara Berlin
To register by phone, call: 301.907.3888


Caucus Members are invited to enjoy brunch with 2019 Master of the Medium Michael Sherrill and notable glass artist Ginny Ruffner at the home of collectors Barbara and Arnold Berlin.

Each artist has a featured solo exhibition at the Renwick Gallery:

Ginny Ruffner: Reforestation of the Imagination
June 28, 2019 - January 5, 2020

Ruffner Exhibition

Ginny Ruffner is an artist best known for her elegant sculptures and mastery of glass techniques. Recently, she has created work that combines traditional glass sculpture with Augmented Reality (AR) technology to create an interactive viewer experience. Visitors to the exhibition Reforestation of the Imagination will use a downloadable app that superimposes digital information over seemingly barren sculptures, creating two distinct realities to explore.

The installation consists of six islands, each featuring colorless glass sculptures of tree stumps. The landscape appears barren and bleak. Ruffner has imagined a gloriously complex and colorful alternative environment that viewers can access using AR’s technological lens. In this second reality, the stumps grow unique appendages of mythical flora. Ruffner designs these fictional species to adapt to their surrounding conditions in a means unexpected, beautiful, and optimistic. These plants have evolved from existing fruits and flowers, developing dramatic appendages and skills necessary to flourish in this radically different environment. Reforestation of the Imagination calls into question our very notions of reality and fantasy, of concrete and abstract, and of desolation and hope, all while drawing attention to contemporary ecological issues. The installation also includes nineteen drawings that were the inspiration for the AR images.

Ginny Ruffner currently resides in Seattle, Washington where she moved in 1984 to teach at the influential Pilchuck Glass School, founded by Dale Chihuly fifty miles north of Seattle in Stanwood. Originally a rustic summer camp where artists taught artists nestled in the foothills of the Cascade mountains, it is now a world-renowned glass school. Her work is in over forty museum collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Renwick Gallery, and she has produced numerous public art commissions. She was the subject of an award-winning feature length documentary, “A Not So Still Life” in 2010, chronicling her artistic journey after a life altering, physically debilitating car accident.


Michael Sherrill Retrospective
June 28, 2019 - January 5, 2020

This retrospective, organized by The Mint Museum, illustrates the artist’s evolution over his more than forty-year career. The presentation at SAAM’s Renwick Gallery includes more than seventy-five objects, from Sherrill’s earliest teapots and functional clay vessels to his mixed media sculptures inspired by nature, such as Temple of the Cool Beauty (Yucca) and Yellowstone Rhododendron.

Primarily a self-taught artist, Sherrill moved from Charlotte, North Carolina to the Western North Carolina mountains in 1974. His early influences came from the North Carolina folk pottery tradition and the community surrounding Penland School of Crafts, where he is a frequent instructor, and the Southern Highland Handicraft Guild. Sherrill’s mature style marries his intimate observation of the natural world with his own psychology, imbuing the work with a powerful emotional layer. Sherrill’s exceptional skill that allows him to seamlessly incorporate iron, bronze, and flameworked glass into his compositions is based in his innovative approach to using tools, technology, and his keen sense of materials to achieve what he calls his “natural narratives.”

Michael Sherrill considers himself a materials-based artist experimenting primarily in the media of clay, metal, and glass. At the heart of his interest is the intersection of where humans and materials meet in both handmade objects and the natural world. Michael's work is in several public collections, including the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Renwick Gallery; the Mint Museum of Art and Design, Corning Museum of Glass; and the Takoma Glass Museum; among others. In the summer of 2004, Michael was one of 10 artists invited to participate in a residency focused on creating outdoor sculptures to be permanently placed at the International Ceramic Museum in Inchon, South Korea. His other residences include the Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts (2005), the John Michael Kohler Arts Center (2006), the Museum of Glass (2010), and the LH Project (2015). His first retrospective opened at the Mint Museum in Charlotte, NC and will be on display until April 7, 2019. It will arrive at the Renwick Gallery in June 2019 and will then travel to the Arizona State University Art Museum in early 2020.



Contact: [email protected]