Toots Zynsky has established an international reputation for making exquisite, richly colored vessels that appear to have grown organically. Zynsky’s sensually undulating vessels made of fused glass threads blur the border between glass and fiber and reference glass’ hybrid nature as a solid and a liquid.
Zynsky received her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1973. She was one of the only women in a group of pioneering artists studying with Dale Chihuly, who made studio glass a worldwide phenomenon. In conjunction with Chihuly, she participated in the founding and early development of Pilchuck Glass School in Washington State. She later became assistant director and head of the hot shop at the New York Experimental Glass Workshop in New York City, now Brooklyn-based UrbanGlass. Curator and art historian Tina Oldknow said that ‘Zynsky has made a life’s work of studying and manipulating colored glass through the vehicle of her distinctive forms. Continually evolving, her work is a formal exploration in color and composition that has no end.’
Zynsky’s work is included in more than 75 international museum collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Cooper-Hewitt in New York City; the Musée des Arts Décoratifs du Louvre in Paris, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and Australia’s National Gallery of Victoria. She is the recipient of numerous prestigious honors and awards including the 2015 Smithsonian Visionary Award, the Women’s Center of Rhode Island Annual Women of Excellence Award in 2013 and the Rhode Island Pell Award for Excellence in the Arts in 2006.