Mint Museum of Craft + Design
Glass Wall Installation Graces New Mint Museum of Craft + Design
A 40-foot monumental glass wall, the largest art work ever attempted by Pittsfield, Massachusetts studio glass artist Tom Patti, was publicly unveiled in the interior carriageway of the new Mint Museum of Craft + Design (MMCD) on January 10, 1999. Patti uses glass materials and techniques to interpret North Carolina's textile heritage. The glass wall serves a functional and artistic complement to the first floor entrance and defines architecture as integral to the museum's permanent collection.
The installation was made possible by Philip Morris Companies Inc. and Philip Morris U.S.A. "We are so pleased to fund the permanent installation of Tom Patti's glass wall in the new Mint Museum of Craft + Design as a continuation of our 20-year relationship with the Mint Museum," stated Stephanie French, vice president of corporate contributions and cultural programs for Philip Morris Companies Inc. "Our support of craft has played an important role in our 41-year commitment to the arts and we are thrilled to be able to help share this vibrant art form with North Carolina audiences and to know that it will have an impact in the community for years to come."
Patti is a nationally-renown studio glass artist known for transforming familiar materials and integrating them in useful ways into architectural environments. He recently completed a three-year project with noted architect Cesar Pelli on the Owens Corning World Headquarters building in Toledo, Ohio. His exploration of art and technology and his knowledge of glass as a building material have placed him at the forefront of innovation in art and industry. "I'm pleased with how the light reflective properties change the piece at every viewing angle," stated Patti.
An unusual footnote to Tom Patti's glass wall for MMCD is that it's bulletproof and bombproof. Patti purchased the compression machinery used in manufacturing the skin of the Stealth bomber for compressing the glass for the project.
The Mint Museum of Craft + Design will showcase the technical virtuosity and inspirations of craft artists throughout the world in exciting collections of ceramics, fiber, glass, metal and wood. It will offer a unique permanent collection, educational programs, changing exhibitions and collectors' programs.
From top to bottom: Tom Patti, Special Boundary, 1998, Currents in Craft, Permanent Collection, MMCD; Dale Chihuly, Chandelier, 1998, MMCD. Photos by Michael LoBiondo
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