AU Press Releases

New faculty member's work displayed in Kilkenny (Ireland) Arts Festival exhibitions

New work by Karen Donnellan, set to begin her first semester as assistant professor of sculpture and glass in the School of Art and Design at Alfred University, is currently on view in “Cercle,” a solo show, and “Resonance,” a two-artist exhibition, both in the Kilkenny Arts Festival at the National Craft Gallery, Kilkenny, Ireland.

Donnellan’s art is concerned with the intangible essence of things. Affected by her interest in the metaphysical, her work draws on a wide range of media including blown and cast glass, woodturning, sound, light, and film. The circle - a universal symbol and a symbol of the universe - is a recurring motif in her art as an invocation of the divine feminine, balance, and infinity. Working with composer Alma Kelliher, her work also explores the boundaries of sound technology and experimental glass art. The exhibits run through October 27, 2014.

Donnellan, a native of Ireland, said she is “nervous and excited” about the “first solo show of my glass work in Ireland. I’m so happy to have found the thing I love to do, and to be able to do it every day.”

Donnellan earned a bachelor of design degree in glass from the National College of Art & Design, Dublin, Ireland, and a master of fine arts degree from Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), Rochester, NY.

She has had previous solo exhibits at the Burchfield Penney Arts Center, Buffalo; the Gallery Kunstler at BookSmart Studio, Rochester; and the National College of Art & Design, Dublin. Her work has also been included in group shows in Dublin; the United Kingdom; and Shanghai, China.

Donnellan was an artist in residence during the 2013-14 academic year at the National College of Art & Design, Dublin, teaching undergraduate kiln forming. She was also an academic tutor in the Glass & Ceramics Department, National Glass Centre, University of Sunderland, United Kingdom. In addition, she had a two-week artist retreat residency at Cill Rialaig, Kerry, Ireland. Donnellan presented an Emerging Artist Lecture at the Glass Art Society Conference in Chicago this past spring.

Her work can be found in the Morrison Hotel, Dublin; the Wallace Memorial Library Collection, Rochester, NY; and the College of Imaging Arts and Sciences, Dean’s Collection, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY.

During this year, Donnellan was awarded the Future Makers Practitioner Grant for Exhibitions Assistance by the Design and Craft Council of Ireland; the Continued Professional Development Grant by the Design and Craft Council of Ireland; and the Artist Award from the Cavan Arts Council, Ireland.

Also a writer, she has been a member and media committee member for GASNews since During the past year Donnellan has published: “Review: Ulysses Cylinders by Dale Chihuly and Seaver Leslie,” Glass Quarterly Fall 2014; “Interview: Emma Woffenden” Glass Quarterly, Winter 2014; “The Intangible in Practice: Karen Donnellan, Emerging Artist Lecture, Glass Art Society Journal 2014; and “Member Profile: Namdoo Kim,” GAS News Summer 2014, Glass Art Society.

Established by the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland in 2000, the National Craft Gallery is Ireland’s leading center for contemporary craft and design. Its programs feature Irish and international designers, artists, and makers across a variety of disciplines who push the boundaries of their chosen materials and techniques in their engagement with the making process.