Karen LaMonte is an American artist known for her life-size sculptures in ceramic, bronze, iron, marble, cast glass, as well as large scale monotype prints and photography. Across all materials, LaMonte’s work is focused on the central themes of beauty and loss. It explores the fragility of the human condition via a sartorial lens. This year, she was invited to participate in an exhibition during the Venice Biennale. Several sculptures in white bronze and glass are on exhibition in the Palazzo Franchetti from her recent body of work Nocturnes. In addition, LaMonte’s major new marble sculpture, Cumulous, is on exhibit for the first time. This new work meditates on the contradictions of weight and weightlessness, the material and immaterial, presence and absence. Karen LaMonte came to Prague in 1998 on a Fulbright. Presently she lives and works in Europe.
Maria Gálová is the director of Dorotheum, the largest auction house in the Czech Republic with art objects and antiques. She studied natural sciences at the University of Košice. In 1994, she joined the Prague Castle Administration, where she worked as a director of the program department. Under her leadership, dozens of exhibitions, music and theater projects took place at the Castle, such as the Strings of Autumn, the Summer Shakespeare Festival or the Bořek Šípek exhibition „Designnomad“. She considers the management of the largest cultural project in the Czech Republic, Ten Centuries of Architecture, as her greatest managerial success. In 1998, she was awarded an MBA at Sheffield Hallam University. Since 2003, she has been in charge of the Czech subsidiary of Dorotheum, which was founded in Vienna by Emperor Joseph I in 1707 and is the oldest continuously operating auction house in the world. It focuses on the sale of artworks in a broad timeframe – from old masters to contemporary authors, and it is the only auction house in the Czech Republic to specialize in the auction of historical and studio glass.
Marta Ģibiete, Latvian glass artist, lives and works in Riga, Latvia. She has graduated the Art Academy of Latvia with Master’s degree in 2005. Marta works in different techniques, but she is most recognised by her author technique, resembling unique knitwork of glass. Marta creates geometrical, but at the same time poetical objects of various scales. She invented this technique already during her studies, receiving two international awards – “Young Glass’97” prize and „The Jutta Cuny-Franz Memorial Award” in 1998. Since then Marta participates in international exhibitions, mostly in Europe – for example, Glass Context in Denmark, Coburg Glass prize in Germany, Biennale Internationale du Verre in France, and frequently shows her work in personal exhibitions. Marta Ģibiete also uses other glass techniques – she loves to form glass objects using mirror, playing with its versatility and character. At her studio in Riga, she creates pieces of fine art and design, as well as commissioned works using fusing and stained glass techniques. Her works are also a part of several museum collections in Europe.
Jaroslav Polanecký is a university professor, historian and theoretician in the field of applied art and design. He worked at the Secondary School of Glassmaking in Kamenický Šenov, before moving to the Faculty of Art and Design at Jan Evangelista Purkyně University in Ústí nad Labem in 1997, where he remains to this day. Jaroslav Polanecký has taken part in a number of glass symposiums and exhibitions in the capacity of organiser and curator and organised the Sanssouci Junior Glass Match, an international competition among glassmaking schools, from 2008 – 2015.
As the artistic director, Jeroen Maes was in 2007 among the founders of the progressive glass museum GlazenHuis in Lommel, Belgium. From a theoretical and practical knowledge of old and new glass, of concept and technique, he has compiled 24 heterogeneous exhibitions confronting high-quality contemporary art and design with unique historical decorative and utility glass as well as paintings, jewelry, photography, video and performance. On the initiative of the Charlotte van der Seijs Foundation, Jeroen Maes developed in 2012 a triennial competition for glass art and design, the International Glass Prize.
The professional supervisor is Milan Hlaveš an art historian and curator. He is the head of collections of glass, ceramics and porcelain in the Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague. He worked at the National Technical Museum and at the Museum of Glass and Jewellery in Jablonec nad Nisou. He is the author and co-author of more than forty exhibitions, numerous articles in professional journals and a member of many competition committees.