From the historic Nuutajärvi Glass Village in Finland, Jonathan worked closely with a lively and involved community of independent glass artists to challenge the narrative that the longstanding tradition of Finnish glass has become a dying art. The aim of his research was to develop effective strategies for inclusion and cultural exchange within a cooperative studio practice. To that end, he separately collaborated with twenty-six Finnish glass artists to create distinct works of art, which underscored the importance of solidarity in studio glass and the evolving role that internationalization plays in its posterity.
The resulting summer-long exhibition, titled Why Not? Finnish American Art Glass, was the synthesis of his Fulbright experience. Free to the public, the exhibition embraced rich cultural heritage while showcasing contemporary innovation in artistic research. It was a form of public outreach giving visitors from all over Finland an active and memorable experience in glass. Particularly meaningful was the village’s decision to raise the American flag alongside the Finnish flag to both acknowledge and celebrate the partnership. Jonathan enjoyed strong support while in Finland, with a special thanks to his wife and two small children who served as natural ambassadors within the rural village setting.
While much of his Fulbright project was focused in the glass studio, Jonathan served as a visiting artist and lecturer at Aalto University and Tavastia Vocational College. He also wrote an article on his Fulbright exchange for the Finnish Glass Museum’s annual journal and engaged with various Finnish media to help promote the exhibition. Currently, Jonathan works as a professional glass artist in Columbus, Ohio, and teaches at The Ohio State University.
An overview of the works we created!
Check out this great video the Fulbright Finland Foundation helped me put to together!