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As a distinguished glass artist who was the resident evaluator on the Netflix show “Blown Away,” Katherine Gray, art professor at Cal State San Bernardino, continues to be recognized for her talent.
Gray has been honored as a Fellow of the American Craft Council (ACC), a national nonprofit dedicated to advancing American craft. She will be formally awarded on Saturday, Oct. 24, at the Baltimore Museum of Art during the 2020 ACC Awards, which honor individuals and organizations for exceptional artistic, scholarly and philanthropic contributions to the craft field.
“This feels like a lifetime achievement kind of award, and in my head, I feel still too young for this, but I am truly honored by this recognition,” Gray said.
“We – myself and my colleagues in the Department of Art and Design – are very proud of this honor that Kathy has been awarded. The invitation to the Fellowship of the American Crafts Council is bestowed on only very few of the best artists in the United States,” said Matthew Poole, chair of the Department of Art and Design. “Kathy continues to have an amazing career as one of the best glass-making artists in the North America, and the past couple of years have been particular impressive for Kathy’s achievements … We feel very lucky to have her working with us at CSUSB.”
To be named a fellow, an artist must demonstrate leadership in the field, outstanding ability as an artist and/or teacher, and 25 years or more of professional achievement as an American craftsperson.
Gray’s work ranges from blown glass to elaborate installations of found glass. Her immersive work draws on rich traditions of glass blowing, fearless experimentation, and a fascination with glass as both a visual and experiential encounter.
In 2017, she received the Libenský | Brychtová Award from the Pilchuck Glass School for her artistic and educational contributions to the field. Gray studied at the Ontario College of Art and received her MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design. She has had recent solo shows at Craft Contemporary and the Toledo Museum of Art. Her work can be found in the collections of the Corning Museum of Glass, the Toledo Museum of Art, and the Tacoma Museum of Glass, among others. Her work has been reviewed in New York Observer, Artforum, LA Times, and the New York Times design magazine.
“Since 1970, the American Craft Council has recognized significant contributions to the field of craft,” the American Craft Council website says. “Originally designated the Award of Merit, in 1975 the ACC adopted the distinction of Fellow of the Council, the body of awardees known collectively as the College of Fellows. Election to the College of Fellows continues to this day, the award a commitment ‘to honor those who have made an outstanding contribution to the crafts in America.’”
This year’s ACC winners include seven artists, a museum, and an advocate in the craft field who are continuing to uplift traditions while advancing the boundaries and impact of contemporary craft. Awarded biennially, the ACC Awards include the College of Fellows, the Gold Medal for Consummate Craftsmanship, the Award of Distinction, and the Aileen Osborn Webb Award for Philanthropy.