Centre College is known for being a hub of global learning, not only because students have the opportunity to experience the world through study abroad but also because the College regularly brings world class opportunities to campus. Such is the case of internationally acclaimed Italian glass artist Lino Tagliapietra’s recent visit to Centre, when he returned to campus for a seventh time to offer open studio sessions, student instruction and public demonstrations.
Born on the island of Murano, a place with a rich history of glassmaking, Tagliapietra started working at glass furnaces and factories at a young age. He was regarded as a master glass blower in his early 20’s and has gone on to win many awards for his pieces, including the Glass Art Society Lifetime Achievement Award and the glass industry’s prestigious Phoenix Award. His pieces can be found in some of the world’s most famous museums, including the De Young Museum of San Francisco, the Victoria and Albert Museum of London and the Metropolitan Museum of New York.
Tagliapietra began visiting Centre’s campus in 2000, when the College named him a Humana Distinguished Professor and later awarded him an Honorary Doctoral Degree in 2004. His connection to Centre comes by way of the College’s own internationally recognized glassblower, H.W. Stodghill, Jr. and Adele H. Stodghill Professor of Art Stephen Rolfe Powell. The two first met when they exhibited together in 1996.
“Lino lives with an unparalleled curiosity and a zest for life that is contagious to all of us that are around him,” Powell says. “Lino has taught me so much about glass and about creating, but more importantly, Lino has taught me how to live, how to respect and how to experience the world around me. Thanks to Lino, I feel, taste, smell and see things more intensely.”
During his two-week visit to campus during October, Powell’s students worked directly with Tagliapietra to study his glassmaking techniques.
“Lino Tagliapietra’s seventh visit to campus represents a unique relationship that no other university or college shares,” Powell explains. “I think Lino is proud of his Humana Professorship and his Honorary Doctoral degree from Centre, but more than that, Lino enjoys the students and the hospitality that only the Centre community can provide.”