View Full Version : Lifeforms - Competition and Exhibition

Robert Mickelsen
12-16-2011, 03:53 PM
I just want to let you all know about an event that will occur during the GAS conference in Boston in 2013. It will be an exhibition/competition inspired by the famous Blaschka botanical and marine models. It is open to all glass media and there will be cash prizes. For detailed information please visit the Lifeforms web site: http://glasslifeform.org/ Click on the title to enter the site.

There is no entry or jury fee. You do not have to attend the Boston conference. But you do have to be a member of GAS to enter and your entry has to actually be present at the conference for the exhibition. You can post questions/comments here or email me or PM me.

We are also looking for sponsors. If you are interested you can find the information here: http://glasslifeform.org/overview.html


Victor Chiarizia
12-17-2011, 09:10 AM
now this is right up my alley Robin. Vic

Robert Mickelsen
05-28-2012, 07:11 PM
The GAS conference in Boston will be June 12 - 15, 2013. This means the "Lifeforms" competition/exhibition is now just over a year away. It is never too early to register for this event. You do not have to have your entries done or even designed to register. You just have to intend to participate. Remember, membership in GAS is the only requirement. There are no entry fees and no jury. The competition/exhibition is open to everyone!

So register today! Here is the link: http://www.glasslifeform.org/registration.html

Of course, as soon as you have photos of your entry, send them to me and I will post them on the Lifeforms web site. This is going to be a great event so don't wait another minute. Start planning your entry now!

- Robert Mickelsen

Robert Mickelsen
06-25-2012, 09:26 AM
have just made arrangements with the Pittsburgh Glass Center to extend the "Lifeforms" exhibit beyond the two days at the Boston GAS conference. The exhibit will be shown in the Hodge Gallery! This means the show will travel to Pittsburgh and remain on exhibit for a period between 6 and 10 weeks! Unfortunately, we cannot move the entire show (likely 100+ pieces) so we will jury the extended show as follows: The 22 prize winners + 18 more juror's choice to be selected without category by the judges.

This is a very exciting development. It means the show's significance will expand from a two-day exhibition/event to a multi-week show at an important exhibition space. This should be strong incentive to make your model the very best you can so that it will be one of the 40 selected to travel.

Start planning now and please register now if you intend to participate!


- Robert Mickelsen

Robert Mickelsen
07-02-2012, 07:35 AM
Due to overwhelming response we have had to make some changes in the rules. Formerly, we had allowed each participating artist to enter up to three models in up to three different categories. But we already have 24 artists registered, most of whom state they will send two or three models which means we already have 50 - 60 models coming! And we are still eleven months out! At this rate we could see hundreds of models - maybe as many as 400 - 500!

Obviously, this number is totally un-managable. So we will now only accept one model for each artist or collaborative team. We still expect to see at least 100 - 150 models! It will still be a gigantic exhibition and a real chore to manage, but we knew that going in.

Secondly, many artists will make models and presentations that will have both plant and animal elements in them. This makes categorization difficult. So we have decided to eliminate the categories. This should allow for maximum creativity without compromising the quality or spirit of the exhibit. The awards structure has changed accordingly. There will still be the same number of awards and the same amount of prize money, but categories are eliminated. All awards will now be given without regard to category.

I sincerely hope that these changes do not discourage anyone from participating and I apologize if they inconvenience anyone in any way. I am sure you all can understand the need for the changes. By making them so far in advance we hope that everyone will be able to adjust because most people have not made their models yet.

So put all your best efforts into one, great, awesome, pull-out-the-stops model and we will have a great show next June!

Robert Mickelsen
12-09-2012, 08:14 AM
These are people who are currently registered to participate in "Lifeforms". It is an impressive list. Now imagine your name added to this list! Register today!

Register! (http://www.glasslifeform.org/registration.html)

Nathan Aweida, Seattle, WA

Rachel Elliott, Edinburgh, Scotland

Siobhan Healy, Glasgow, Scotland

Jason Stiles, Denver, Colorado

Jeremiah Kern, Denver Colorado

Jupiter Nielson, Kahalui, Hawaii

Victor Trabucco, Clarence, NY

Edward Clark, Kailua, Hawaii

Wesley Fleming, Ashfield, MA

Jay Whyte, Knoxville, TN

Kathleen Elliot, Cupertino, CA

Michael Mangiafico, Pittsburgh, PA

Bandhu Dunham, Scottsdale, AZ

Joe Peters, Brattleboro, VT

Sally Prasch, Montague, MA

David WIllis, Portland, OR

Jason Howard, Skaneateles, NY

Theo Keller, Pittsburgh, PA

Carmen Lozar, Normal, IL

Carolyn Baum, Gardiner, NY

Beth Ann Ballek, Breinigsville, PA

Eoin Breadon, River Falls, WI

Susan Silver Brown, Paradise Valley, AZ

Jacque Pavloski, Buckinghamshire, England

Elin Christopherson, Oakland, CA

Marcy Lamberson, Marietta, GA

Margaret Neher, Ithaca, NY

Tom Zogas, Rochester, NY

Lisa Demagall, Twinsburg, OH

Bernie D'Onofrio, Millis, MA

Kimberly Fields, Metamora, MI

Jeremy Sinkus, Shelburne Falls, MA

Nancy Arthur-McGehee, San Diego, CA

Evan Kolker, Emeryville, CA

Evan Voelbel, Roxbury Crossing, MA

Mauro Vianello, Venice, Italy

Pete VanderLaan
12-09-2012, 12:08 PM
I think GAS needs a pumpkin show. It could be titled "Out of our Gourds"

Robert Mickelsen
12-09-2012, 07:32 PM
I think GAS needs a pumpkin show. It could be titled "Out of our Gourds"

You can run that one, Pete.

Pete VanderLaan
12-10-2012, 06:04 AM
I'm pretty sure I already am Robbin. There are sightings almost daily here.

Robert Mickelsen
01-03-2013, 11:30 PM
As you probably know by now, the Boston conference has been cancelled. There is no replacement site. There will be no GAS conference in 2013. This puts my "Lifeforms" event in a difficult spot. My first inclination is to go ahead with it anyway without GAS. But I am not sure how to do this. I will need a few days to figure out how to proceed from here, but I will make an announcement in a week or so here.

I am open to suggestions.

Pete VanderLaan
01-04-2013, 06:10 AM
How about a "best rendition of a dying swan".

We be in a similar boat Robbin.

Randy Kaltenbach
01-04-2013, 12:16 PM
Here is a great alternative to GAS for those in the NW and Canada.

The Glass Art Association of Canada will hold it's conference in Calgary in Calgary. Speakers plus our very own Hugh Jenkins will offer a course in recuperation, where he will actually build a glory hole recuperation system. Our very own Pete Bowles will offer an advanced blowing techniques course. Richard Huntrods will be talking about low cost blowing studios.
Etc. etc.

More details in a couple of weeks.

Pete VanderLaan
01-04-2013, 12:36 PM
Plus Calgary Culture! ( Hell I'd probably even come).

Franklin Sankar
01-04-2013, 01:59 PM
Randy I knew that was coming. Are you doing your famous lecture " what is art?" When is it again?

Randy Kaltenbach
01-04-2013, 03:01 PM
Plus Calgary Culture! ( Hell I'd probably even come).
Hell, I didn't mean that our party is restricted to people in the NW only ;) You are more than welcome! And, comments from B.C. notwithstanding, there are definitely some interesting cultural elements around here.

Randy I knew that was coming. Are you doing your famous lecture " what is art?" When is it again?
I may have to do a monologue accompanied by an interpretive dance to explain my ideas about art.

Robert Mickelsen
01-04-2013, 03:08 PM
The shock of losing the GAS conference has started to subside and we have been in contact with the people involved and made some changes to "Lifeforms" that will allow it to move ahead without GAS. These changes have been posted on the "Lifeforms" web site, but I will list them briefly below. I hope that these changes will not deter any of you from participating in this event. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to ask.

1. Lifeforms will not occur in any form in Boston. That part of the event will now be replaced by an online exhibition. As originally planned, this part of the exhibition is open to everyone and free of charge. The major change here is that membership in GAS is no longer a requirement to enter. Anyone may enter.

2. Entry will now be done with photographs. Digital images of your actual model must be submitted to me no later than May 1. The online catalog will be posted using those images by June 1. You may send more than one image of your entry if you choose, but I reserve the right to choose which images to use in the online catalog.

3. The judging will also be done from those images, so make sure they are good photographs! The judging will be done by Susan Rossi-Wilcox, former curator of the Harvard Glass Flowers. She will select the 40 best models to be included in the extended "physical" exhibition to be held at the Hodge Gallery at the Pittsburgh Glass Center July - Sept. 2013. The deadline for submissions is May 1. Notifications will be sent out on May 15.

4. Awards have been modified slightly as follows: Three awards of excellence at $1000 each. Three awards of achievement at $500 each. Three awards of merit at $200 each. Total: $5100. Note that honorable mentions will no longer have cash awards. This is to help pay for another change: return shipping of work from the physical show will now be paid for by "Lifeforms".

5. Selected models must be shipped to the PIttsburgh Glass Center between June 1 - 21, 2013. The deadline to receive models is June 21. Set up for the show will be June 27, 28. The opening reception will be July 5. Everyone is invited to attend the opening! The physical show will run until sometime in September. At the end of the show, the work will be shipped back to the artists.

6. There is a possibility of extending the show beyond Pittsburgh. We are looking for venues for a traveling show. Suggestions are welcome.


Robert Mickelsen
01-18-2013, 09:36 AM
The Pittsburgh Glass Center has decided they want to extend the timeframe of the "Lifeforms" exhibit two months! They now want the show to be up until sometime in November! This is very exciting because it increases the visibility of the show. More people will see it! This is all the more reason to register as soon as possible and start working on your models NOW!

Remember, the new deadline for submissions is May 1. Be sure to have your models made and professionally photographed and sent to me no later than that date!

I am currently looking into venues for the show to travel. I will let everyone know as soon as I have something. Thanks for your support!


Robert Mickelsen
02-11-2013, 10:34 AM
Press Release! Here is a link to the official "Lifeforms" press release on the "Lifeforms" web site: http://glasslifeform.org/press.html
Please forward to anyone you think might be interested.

************************************************** ********************

The Rudolph and Leopold Blaschka Glass Biological Model Exhibition

Call for Entries

Submission deadline - May 1, 2013

Contemporary artists working in glass are invited to create accurate models of biological life forms in the spirit of the Blaschka glass flowers, but using contemporary techniques and aesthetic values. Types of Biology acceptable:
Botany models may consist of any recognized plant species. They may be a life-size reproduction or a proportionally scaled (larger or smaller) model. Magnified plant parts may also be included as part of the work or as an individual entry.

Zoology models may include any recognized invertebrate or vertebrate species, including insects and birds. Skeletons or other anatomical features, in part or whole, life-size or proportionally scaled, may also be individually represented.

Scaled models of microorganisms are also acceptable and can include microscopic plants (such as algae), animals (as plankton), fungi, lichens, diatoms, bacteria, viruses, and so on.

The show will occur in two parts. The first part is free and open to everyone. There will be no entry fee or jury fee. This part of the show will not be juried. Every entry will be shown in an online exhibition on the "Lifeforms" web page. The second part of the show will be juried from the first. The 40 best models will be selected for a live exhibition that will be at the Hodge Gallery at the Pittsburgh Glass Center from July through November of 2013. The jury selections will be based on accurate representation, creative presentation, and originality. There will be cash awards given to artists selected by the jury. There will be three awards of excellence ($1000 each), Three awards of achievement ($500 each), and three awards of merit ($200 each). These awards will be announced at the opening reception, Friday, July 5, 2013.

Please visit the Lifeforms web page at www.glasslifeform.org for information and registration details.

- Robert Mickelsen - Coordinator

Pete VanderLaan
02-11-2013, 01:10 PM
What? No graphic sex toys?

Robert Mickelsen
02-21-2013, 11:41 PM
Hello everyone! I know I tend to be slow with these things, but I have finally posted an image submission form to make your entry into "Lifeforms" easy and neat. Here is the link:


The form is straightforward and self-explanatory. When you have your model completed and photographed, go to this page and fill out the form and submit your entry! Remember, the deadline is May 1, 2013. You may submit up to three images of your model. Also remember to include an image of a photo or scientific diagram of your chosen species.

If you have not registered yet, you can do so at anytime! You do not have to have your model completed to register!



Robert Mickelsen
03-08-2013, 03:15 PM
I have started to receive submissions and, so far, the work looks great! I am really excited to see what you all are going to submit. Remember, the deadline is May 1 and that is sooner than you think!

You can look and see what has been submitted so far by clicking here: http://glasslifeform.org/gallery.html

Robert Mickelsen
04-02-2013, 03:58 PM
I have received an incomplete submission. All I got is this image, no name, no phone, no address, no email. The IP address indicates it came from Australia:

The image is below. If you have any idea whose work this is please let me know. I am afraid they think their submission was successful and I will not find out who it is until they write to me wondering why they are not in the show.

Robert Mickelsen
04-03-2013, 07:28 PM
Her name is Tegan Hamilton. She is from Australia.


Robert Mickelsen
04-10-2013, 02:18 PM
I knew this was going to happen. As of today, three weeks from the May 1 deadline for submissions to "Lifeforms!", I have only ten entries. I have 53 registered artists. So that means everyone is waiting until the last minute meaning I am going to be getting dozens per day down the stretch. Since they each take about 20 minutes to process I am looking at hours and hours at my computer getting all the images up on the gallery and uploaded to the jury page.

Would it help if I extended the deadline? Thought so. OK, midnight, May 8 is the new deadline. I cannot extend it beyond that so NO EXCUSES! Get your submissions in pronto!


Pete VanderLaan
04-10-2013, 05:46 PM
You are such an unbridled optimist!

I think it means that everyone is waiting until the last minute meaning you are going to be getting dozens per day down the stretch. Since they each take about 20 minutes to process You are looking at hours and hours at your computer getting all the images up on the gallery and uploaded to the jury page.

But you actually already know that. No good deed shall go unpunished but you can put it off.

Robert Mickelsen
05-02-2013, 10:29 AM
There is one week until the May 8 deadline for image submissions. GET YOUR SUBMISSIONS IN ASAP!!!!

Here is a link to the image submission page:


A few people are having trouble with the submission form stalling for no reason. If this happens to you, email me at rm@mickelsenstudios.com and you can upload your submission directly to me.

As of this writing we have 32 submissions and over 75 registered artists. The bulk of submissions are going to come in the last week. The quality is really good so far so do your best work and take your best photos. This is going to be a great show!


Robert Mickelsen
05-09-2013, 06:53 PM
Submissions for Lifeforms are now closed. I received almost 40 on the last day alone! I have processed all entries and posted them in the galleries. We have some really great stuff! Check it out!


The jury will convene in a few days to select the works for the live show. Thanks to everyone who entered!


Franklin Sankar
05-11-2013, 06:07 AM
How do you judge the impossible.? Ans. by knowing what is Art.:)
Please let us know who won.


Pete VanderLaan
05-11-2013, 08:42 AM
I see fierce competition in the Mermaid's purses! Who knew!

Nice work on collating this Robbin!

Robert Mickelsen
05-11-2013, 03:20 PM
Winners will be announced at the opening in the gallery on July 5. The four jurors will all be there to select the winning entries from the 40 juried artists. As soon as they are picked, I will post those winners here. Thanks to all who entered for submitting some really great work. I am glad I am not a juror. Their job is not going to be easy.

Robert Mickelsen
05-20-2013, 08:47 AM
To all Contributors to “Lifeforms!” –

Monday night, the “Lifeforms!” jury convened and selected the work for the live show. The task was a very difficult one given the high quality of the entries. If it were their choice, nearly every one of the 102 entries would have been included! But space constraints at the Hodge Gallery at the Pittsburgh Glass Center make it necessary to make difficult choices and our jury rose to the challenge.
The original premise for the live show was to exhibit the top 40 models submitted. But the choices at that cut-off point were so difficult to make that the jury agreed to expand the selection to 50.
The list of selected entries is below. If you are on the list, a contract and set of instructions for shipping your work will be sent to you next week. If you are not on the list, please take some comfort in the knowledge that your work will be displayed in the permanent online “Lifeforms!” exhibit along with every other entry.
The awards will be selected from the work at the live show the afternoon of Friday, July 5 by our four jurors, and announced at the opening that evening. You are all invited to attend.
In the coming weeks, the “Lifeforms!” web site will change into the online show. Instead of the galleries that are there now, thumbnail galleries will be set up that will show the entire entry of each participating artist including all submitted photographs, their statements and scientific reference images. These new galleries will be the permanent online show.
For everyone of you who made a model and submitted it to “Lifeforms!”, we thank you sincerely.

- Robert Mickelsen

Alex McDermott
Beau Tsai
Brent Cole
Carmen Lozar
Carolyn Baum
Cas Davey
David Willis
Demetra Theofanous
Donna Sakson
Elizabeth Johnson
Emma MacIntosh
Evan Kolker
Karina Guévin and Cédric Ginart
Jacci Delaney
Jahnny Rise
Jason Howard
Jennifer Umphress
Jeremy Sinkus
Joe Peters
Julie Conway
Jupiter Nielson
Kait Rhodes
Kathleen Elliot
Kimberly Fields
Lisa Zerkowitz
Lisa Demagall
Lyla Nelson
Mark Elliott
Marta Bernbaum
Mathieu Grodet
Mauro Vianello
Mike Mangiafico
Mike Shelbo
Nancy McGehee
Rachel Elliott
Randy Scott Harris
Robert Mickelsen
Ronnie Hughes
Sally Prasch
Sam McMillan
Sean Taylor
Shane Fero
Suellen Fowler
Ted Clark
Theo Keller
Toby Upton
Victor Trabucco
Vittorio Costantini
Wesley Fleming

Greg Vriethoff
05-20-2013, 10:51 PM
We are looking for venues for a traveling show. Suggestions are welcome.

I know this may be jumping the gun, but...

I'd like to suggest somewhere close to where I am in Portland ('cause I'd like to see it), but I don't have anything yet.

In the meantime I'll suggest the Museum of Jurassic Technology (http://mjt.org) in Los Angeles.

I lived for a while within walking distance of this place, and I jump at the chance to promote it. I thought of them when I read your request 'cause they have the catalog for the Blaschka flowers for sale in their store.

Their space is small, so I don't know if they could accomodate a show of your size. Your show may also be a little too "straitforward" for them, but it's worth a try.

I recommend anyone that lives in the area, or will be visiting, to try and stop in.

I really like the Dogs of the Soviet Space Program Commemorative Glass Lockets (http://www.mjtgiftshop.org/products/commemorative-glass-locket-dogs-of-the-soviet-space-program).

Robert Mickelsen
06-21-2013, 11:50 AM

Robert Mickelsen
07-09-2013, 04:47 PM
I have posted a video tour of the live show for those who cannot make it to Pittsburgh to see it: http://glasslifeform.org/overview.html

The award winners are posted on that page too. Over 400 people showed up for opening night! The show has exceeded my expectations by a good long way. Thanks to everyone who participated!


Robert Mickelsen
08-17-2013, 02:56 PM
"Lifeforms!" will live beyond the dates of the Pittsburgh show! We have secured the dates of May 7 - August 20, 2014 at the Merwin and Wakeley Galleries of Illinois Wesleyan University! There is also the possibility of another venue between November of 2013 and May of 2014. We will post it here as soon as we know for sure.

Robert Mickelsen
02-12-2014, 03:13 PM
The "Lifeforms!" exhibition is now open at the Liberty Museum in Philadelphia. The show will remain open until April 12. I will be there on March 6 to do a lecture and a demonstration. If you would like to attend, please click on the link below to RSVP. Hope to see you there!