Outlaw Glass

curated by David Bienenstock

Outlaw Glass installation view.
As cannabis legalization takes root and spreads, much of the media discussion surrounding this societal sea-change has focused on the economics or the politics involved. But how will ending the War on Weed transform us culturally?

The hottest hot take seems to be "marijuana is going mainstream," an analysis that rather snobbishly presumes this cultural exchange will be a one-way street. So to better understand what authentic underground cannabis culture has to offer, Outlaw Glass examines work from leading "functional" glass artists and traces the history of this legally grey art form through its birth, the coordinated arrests of some of its leading practitioners, and on into a new golden age of increasing acceptance, and incredibly advanced works. For just as author Michael Pollan once described black market cannabis growers as "the best gardeners of my generation," the most exciting movement in art glass today comes from those creating innovative, high-end artifacts that just happen to double as tools for getting high.

Featured artist Bob Snodgrass pioneered the craft, building his legend by selling one-of-a-kind hand-blown glass pipes outside Grateful Dead concerts as the band endlessly toured the country. When Snodgrass finally settled down in Eugene, Oregon, in the 1990s, hordes of young artists flocked there to learn the craft and trade knowledge. Today, this new generation of practitioners pushes the art form to previously unimagined new heights.

Outlaw Glass will display major works from leading contemporary flameworkers, plus multimedia examinations of these artists' lives, and the sub rosa subculture that supports them.

In addition to historic and aesthetic pipes, several notable glass designers will also be invited to round out the exhibition and show new developments in pipe making. Pipes made at a "mostly for fun" competition held in collaboration with and at Brooklyn Glass, juried by David Bienenstock, will also be featured.

  • artists:
    Alex Aitken
    Joseph Aitken
    Stan Alba
    Kristian Alex
    Kurt B
    Tommy B
    Ben Barocas
    Big Z
    Jarred Dlux
    Chandler Ellis
    Kiva Ford
    Dan Getz
    Jonathan Gietl
    Michael Helt
    Richard Hollingshead II
    Justin Jenicke
    Joe Itza
    Garry Lauderman
    JD Maplesden
    Dylan Matthess
    N3rd Glass
    Jeff Newman
    Jupiter Nielsen
    Stevie P
    Joe P
    Joe Sandler
    Miguel Santamaria
    Rob Scarpati
    Jordan Smith
    Bob Snodgrass
    Bobby Snodgrass IV
    Virginia Snodgrass-Gietl
    Phil Sundling
David Bienenstock is the author of How to Smoke Pot (Properly): A Highbrow Guide to Getting High (Penguin / Random House - 2016), and Legalized It!. Previously he was the Head of Content at HIGH TIMES and a columnist, frequent contributor, and video host/producer at VICE Media, where he co-produced the series Bong Appetit, including viral episodes like A Gourmet Weed Dinner at Hunter S. Thompson's House and Marijuana Nonna. A contributor to VICE, VICE News, GQ, Motherboard, Salon, Munchies, the Guardian, the Wirecutter, and other publications, he has been profiled by Vanity Fair, The Los Angeles Times, Rolling Stone, Food & Wine, Slate, Alternet, Mashable, and elsewhere, while making frequent media appearances, including on CNN, NPR, MSNBC, HBO, and Fox News.

apexart’s program supporters past and present include the National Endowment for the Arts, Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation, the Kettering Family Foundation, the Buhl Foundation, The Martin and Rebecca Eisenberg Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Spencer Brownstone, the Kenneth A. Cowin Foundation, Epstein Teicher Philanthropies, The Greenwich Collection Ltd., William Talbott Hillman Foundation/Affirmation Arts Fund, the Fifth Floor Foundation, the Consulate General of Israel in New York, The Puffin Foundation, the Trust for Mutual Understanding, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, and public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, public funds from Creative Engagement, supported by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Governor and administered by LMCC, funds from NYSCA Electronic Media/Film in Partnership with Wave Farm: Media Arts Assistance Fund, with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature, as well as the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature.