‘Transparency in Translation’ is a juried collaborative Virtual Exhibit between the Hawaii Watercolor Society and Glass Fusion Collective. “Transparency in Translation” seeks to bring together two different practices: transparent watercolor and glass works, which both use varying degrees of transparent color. The theme will explore each medium and how it’s use of transparency affects the colors that are utilized. Originally this exhibit was to take place in the Honolulu Museum of Art School Gallery, however, due to the pandemic and closure of the Art School, we have been offered a virtual exhibit to take place on the Honolulu Museum of Art website opening December 18, 2020.

Our vision is to bring together the best work from throughout our Islands to showcase the variety and quality of Hawaiʻi’s glass art and to foster stronger bonds in the greater Hawaiʻi glass community. All artists working in glass in Hawaiʻi are eligible to enter. Work may be functional, sculptural, traditional, or contemporary, mixed media, 2D or 3D, fused, blown, cast, stained glass or cold work.


Rick Mills
Professor, Glass Area Chair, University of Hawaii, Department of Art and Art History

Thank you to The Glass Fusion Collective’s board for inviting me to juror the inagural exhibition “Transparency in Translation”. What a better way to show case all that is happening in glass in Hawaii than an open survey call for glass art? It is an honor to be entrusted with the responsibility of selecting the best work for this year’s exhibition
and I am humbled by the challenge. Overall, the quality and range of work entered in this year’s exhibition is impressive and demonstrates the sincere commitment to glass making in Hawaii. I was pleased to see the support the exhibition received from The Hawaii Craftsmen, local benefactors and the great number of quality entries this year.
For glassmaking to develop and grow in Hawaii this effort needs to be bolstered by all of us.

In selecting the work for this exhibition I weighed three distinct yet interrelated areas when assessing each artwork. To do so, I spent time with each work getting to know it, picking it up when possible and looking carefully for the marks of it’s making. The questions below are embedded in the jurying process under the categories of “Form and
Concept”, “Materiality”, and “Craftsmanship”. I handled each piece, felt it’s mass, touched it’s surface, smelled the finish and closely studied the details. As an artist/ sculptor /maker and professor I looked for artifacts in the artist’s process, imagined the decisions each artist made in creating the work and considered how each may have solved technical and creative problems. This is the most engaging part of the jurying experience. The effort each of you put into your work did not go unnoticed.

  1. Form and Concept: What does the overall form convey, is the artist’s concept legible? Is the composition, and design successful? What does the artist / work say? Is there ingenuity, originality…imagination? Is there an awareness of tradition, history? The clarity of form and concept is paramount to the success of the artist’s intentions.
  2. Materiality: How has the artist worked /dealt with their material? What does the chosen material bring to the work’s form and concept? Is there a balance between eliciting technical control through technique, skill, ability and letting the material speak for itself? Is there an inherit understanding (on the artist’s part) of the qualities of the material, ie: transparency, translucency, fluidity, fragility, rigidity?
  3. Craftsmanship: Does the work demonstrate a mastery of technique and a finesse in coaxing the material to do what the artist envisioned to express their concept? Is there virtuosity? Is the level and type of craftsmanship appropriate to the artist’s form and concept? Is there a spark of ingenuity in the process? Is there risk taking evident in pushing the limits of glassmaking?

In the final assessment it is only one person’s opinion. I have been rejected from far more exhibitions than I’ve ever been accepted, lost more prizes than I’ve ever won. There were good works that I did not accept for basic but important reasons. Several times the compositions were awkward, or there were technical flaws in an otherwise successful work or the work simply didn’t speak to my sensibilities. For those who were accepted to “Transparency in Translation” and for those who were not… the message is the same “Keep Working.” Celebrate this time you have for self-determination, and the freedom we so dearly hold. I encourage you all to continue working and I thank you each for the opportunity to view your work.

If you have questions about your entry, accepted or not I welcome the opportunity to discuss my decision with you.

Please feel free to contact me at rlmills@nullhawaii.edu or call me at (808)-349-0289,
Rick Mills

Spirit of Manoa by Rick Mills
Nyx Crucuble by Rick Mills
Topaz and Amethyst Botanicals by Rick Mills


Photos from TnT Exhibit Jury Selection 10/25/20:

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Juror Rick Mills at Temple Emanu-El
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Sidney Lynch (Board Treasurer) and Rick Mills (Juror)
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Marie Kastensmith (Board Member), Rick Mills (Juror), and Jeff Hawe (Photographer)
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Art Entries
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Art Entry
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Art Entries
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Art Entry
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Art Entries
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Photographer Jeff Hawe