Harvey Littleton & Friends

Press Release for the Exhibition

FAYETTEVILLE, NC—A new art exhibition of vitreograph prints, “Harvey Littleton & Friends,” opens Thursday, Feb. 7, at the David McCune International Art Gallery in the William F. Bethune Center for Visual Arts.

On Feb. 7, there will be an opening reception from 6 to 9 p.m., with a gallery talk at 7 p.m. by Littleton’s daughter, Carol Littleton Shay. The exhibit will run through April 7.

Vitreography is the process of printing using glass plates, which can produce a wide range of results, depending on the technique of the artist. Littleton, now 90 and living in Spruce Pine, N.C., is considered the father of the American Studio Glass Movement. He developed the modern vitreograph process in 1974. Before that, he is credited with introducing the concept of studio glassblowing to artists.

Previously, glass was considered an industrial material, and any glasswork beyond fusing existing glass required factory facilities. Littleton challenged that notion in 1962, when he led two seminal glassblowing workshops at The Toledo Museum of Art. In 1963, he taught the first university program for glass in the United States, at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.

Littleton retired from teaching in 1976 to focus on his own art. He moved to Spruce Pine and set up his glass studio, which included a press for vitreographs. Since 1981, artists from a variety of disciplines have worked with Littleton Studios to publish vitreograph prints.

“The prints are from over, more or less, 100 artists who co-published over a thousand individual editions, each contributing to the process of vitreography,” Shay said. “The artists were friends, former students, former colleagues, and almost anyone else Harvey could talk into trying out the process. Many of the artists did not have printmaking as their major media of artistic creation. They are glassblowers, ceramicists, or painters, for example.”

Many of the vitreograph prints featured in the exhibit were created by artists who are nationally and internationally known, such as Dale Chihuly, Erwin Eisch, Herb Jackson, Clarence Morgan, and Tom Nakashima, among others.

Gallery Executive Director Silvana Foti was also one of the artists who visited the Littleton Print Studio, taking a workshop with master printer Judith O’Rourke in 2009.

“Last year, 2012, was the 50th anniversary of studio glass in America, so this exhibit is very timely,” Foti said. “Harvey is such a well-known and respected artist, as are the many other high-caliber artists whose work is in the exhibit, I think a lot of people in the arts community will want to see these prints. We’re very excited to have this vitreograph show at Methodist University.”

Click below for brief biographies of the 23 artists featured in this exhibit.

Opening Night