Monday, January 23, 2012

Catching up with Yvette Sterbenk from The Corning Museum of Glass

Recently I had the opportunity to catch up with Yvette Sterbenk, Communications Manager at The Corning Museum of Glass.  Last year the Museum, located in Corning, NY, celebrated its 60th anniversary and this year, the Museum is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the American Studio Glass Movement.  Yvette explains why this is so important to the museum, as well as some exciting Make Your Own Glass experiences available right now. Take a few minutes to watch the video below to learn more.  For more information about planning your trip to Finger Lakes Wine Country, visit

1.     How would you sum up the experience at The Corning Museum of Glass to someone who hasn’t had the chance to visit?
The Museum is unique, in that it explores glass from all angles. For art lovers, we present incredible works of art in glass, from miniature portraits made in the ancient world, to contemporary sculpture made by living artists. If history is your passion, we showcase glass made in every civilization and time period throughout its 35-century existence. An exploration of glass would not be complete without looking at the science and technology of the material. In our Innovations Center, we offer live glass demos and hands-on displays that shed light on the amazing properties of glass. Live, narrated Hot Glass Shows give even greater depth to the experience by allowing visitors to experience the art of glassblowing first-hand. Then, they can go across the parking lot to our state-of-the-art glassmaking school to try it themselves with our 40-minute Make Your Own Glass experiences, available for all ages!

2.     What exciting events and exhibitions do you have on display in 2012?
The American Studio Glass movement began in 1962, bringing glassmaking out of the factory and into the artist studio. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the workshops that started the movement, and the Museum is celebrating with a variety of exhibitions focused on contemporary glass:
·       Founders of American Studio Glass: Harvey K. Littleton
Now through January 6, 2013
·       Founders of American Studio Glass: Dominick Labino
Now through January 6, 2013
·       Masters of Studio Glass: Erwin Eisch
March 15, 2012 – February 3, 2013
·         Making Ideas: Experiments in Design at GlassLab
May 19, 2012 – January 6, 2013

3.    What kind of hands-on activities are available at the museum?
In addition to 3,500 years of glass art and history on display, the Museum also features the science and technology of glass in the Innovations Center. Here, guests can enjoy live glass demos and an array of interactive displays. Make Your Own Glass sessions offer all ages the opportunity to have the ultimate hands-on glass experience. The Museum’s trained artists work closely with guests, helping them each step of the way to create a personalized glass project. Options range from sandblasting drinking glasses and fusing colorful designs, to blowing glass ornaments and shaping glass flowers.

4.    How much is admission? What about a Make Your Own Glass session?
The Museum is committed to offering guests an affordable and fun destination. Admission for kids and teens, 19 and under, is always free. Adults in the 148, 149, and 169 ZIP codes pay only $6 with valid ID. Adults from outside the area pay $15. Make Your Own Glass experiences start at just $9. Reservations are recommended (visit

5.    What’s one of your favorite pieces of glass on display in the museum?
Choosing a favorite object in the Museum’s collection of almost 50,000 pieces is close to impossible. I have many favorites but one that particularly sticks out to me, and to many visitors, is Karen LaMonte’s Evening Dress with Shawl. A life-sized, cast-glass dress, draped to the floor and complete with a free-standing shawl, this piece is incredible, not only for its immense beauty and technical excellence, but also for the individual images it can evoke for the viewer. For instance, I can easily imagine the woman for whom that dress was made, standing elegantly on the stair and taking a deep breath before gliding effortlessly down the mahogany staircase to join her guests below.

6.   What do you love about living and working in Finger Lakes Wine County?
By making a life in the Finger Lakes Wine Country, I have the best of all worlds. The area is full of cultural institutions and activities, without the traffic and smog of a big city. We get to enjoy world-class museums and events, as well as the incredible array of outdoor activities the region has to offer. In the warmer months, we can swim in any number of natural lakes, hike through beautiful hillsides, and explore the many waterfalls. My family and I especially love taking advantage of the culinary bounty of the region. We spend all summer visiting farms and picking fruit at local orchards.  In the cooler months, we can ski, snowshoe, and enjoy the many regional festivities. As the halfway point between New York City and Niagara Falls in Corning, NY, we also have the opportunity to experience all the major hubs have to offer without driving too far.

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