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Toledo Museum of Art to host virtual lecture series with stained-glass artist Judith Schaechter

A woman with glasses and a purple sweater leans on a table. She is smiling.
Artist Judith Schaechter at the Toledo Museum of Art Saturday, Oct. 3.

In conjunction with the special exhibition The Path to Paradise: Judith Schaechter’s Stained-Glass Art, the Toledo Museum of Art (TMA) is hosting a four-part, lecture-based workshop with artist Judith Schaechter. The online series focuses on the theory and practice of creativity and inspiration.

These virtual lectures with Schaechter are scheduled to take place at 10 a.m.­-noon and 2-4 p.m. on both Saturday, Oct. 24 and Sunday, Oct. 25. The registration deadline is Thursday, Oct. 22. Registration is available at tickets.toledomuseum.org or by calling 419-254-5080 during Museum hours. Registration for the series is $90 for Museum members and $100 for nonmembers. The virtual lecture series is geared towards adults; artists and creatives of all skill levels are encouraged to enroll.

About the Artist

Judith Schaechter (born 1961) grew up in suburban Massachusetts, regularly visiting museums with her family, but it wasn’t until she took a stained-glass class at the Rhode Island School of Design that she discovered the medium. Always slightly uncomfortable with the speed and fleeting nature of painting, Schaechter found that the deliberate, painstaking nature of working with glass allowed her to focus on process while giving her imagination free reign.

Working from her home studio in Philadelphia, Schaechter has honed her craft based on a technique born in the 1880s – stacking layers of glass to create figures and composite images with complex shading and coloring. She creates multiple sketches and drawings of her works in advance and uses computer programs to develop composites and seek unexpected pairings between her subjects and backgrounds. She has also created new by-hand techniques – such as scratching off a colored layer of glass with a diamond file ­– and uses a sandblaster to add texture to her work.

Schaechter’s work underlines her extraordinary confidence in the ability of stained glass to communicate with and illuminate an audience. Whether exploring themes of feminism, climate change or treatment of animals, Schaechter says she strives to awaken empathy and compassion through her work. The deeply personal narratives tap into what she believes to be a collective consciousness and universal human experience. She also embraces the inherent contradictions of her work, gleefully melding the opposing currents of high and low, beauty and gore, sacred and profane, and transcendence and defeat.

About the Exhibition

The Path to Paradise: Judith Schaechter’s Stained-Glass Art is the first survey and major scholarly assessment of this groundbreaking artist’s 37-year career. Organized by the Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester, the exhibition opened in Rochester, New York. After Toledo, the show will end its run in Iowa at the Des Moines Art Center.

More than 40 of Schaechter’s stained-glass panels are featured along with a selection of related drawings and process materials. The objects are drawn from both private and institutional collections. The exhibition is on view in the Museum’s Levis Gallery through Jan. 3, 2021.

The Path to Paradise: Judith Schaechter’s Stained-Glass Art is sponsored by 2020 Exhibition Program Sponsors Taylor Cadillac and ProMedica with additional support from the Ohio Arts Council, the TMA Ambassadors and the Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass. Admission to the exhibition is free.