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Buddha (Fire & Water), 2013, glass, beads, wire, thread. (Photo by Francesco Allegretto)


Venice’s 1000-year-old tradition of glassblowing is not an art stuck in the past. A new exhibition at the Boca Raton Museum in Florida displays the work of international artists who collaborated with Murano glass factory Fondazione Berengo to tackle issues of climate change, racism, sexual abuse and government authority through glass sculptures, while also challenging preconceptions about the artistic medium.

The Glasstress exhibition, showing at the Boca Raton Museum of Art in Florida until September 5th, is a result of a collaboration between 34 contemporary artists, including Ai Weiwei, Fred Wilson and Joyce J. Scott, and Fondazione Berengo. Fondazione Berengo is a cultural institution on the island of Murano, near Venice, that seeks to marry its ancient glass tradition with contemporary art. Its Glasstress exhibitions actually began ten years ago, in a bid to showcase contemporary art in glass. “As time went on it developed into a travelling show as part of our mission to spread the word about what we were doing and creating a platform for the incredible contemporary artists using glass as a medium to create sculptures,” says Adriano Berengo, founder of Fondazione Berengo.

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