Artist Tom Patti Commissioned by Berkshire Museum

Stuart Chase, Executive Director of Berkshire Museum announced that Tom Patti, one of the world’s mostly highly regarded artists working in glass, has been commissioned to create an original work of art for the Museum’s entry vestibule. This major commission, the Museum’s first since 1937, when Alexander Calder received his first public commission for two mobiles in the Museum’s Ellen Crane Memorial Theater, is expected to be completed and installed in 2011.

Tom Patti was honored in 1987 as the first Massachusetts Living Treasure by the Foundation for the Arts. He has received international acclaim for both small-scale sculptural works in glass and large architectural art commissions. His work is included in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art; the National Museum of American Art in Washington, D.C.; the Chicago Art Institute; the Victoria and Albert Museum in London; the Louvre, and numerous cultural institutions.

Patti was raised in Pittsfield. He received a master’s degree in Industrial Design from Pratt Institute in 1969. His career began with a project co-founded by Robert Rauschenberg to promote collaboration between artists and engineers, a theme that became predominant in his later work. An artist, designer, and materials scientist, Patti has received numerous awards for his work with architects on projects using high-performance glass, including work with architect Cesar Pelli on integrated art for the Owens-Corning World Headquarters in 1994. Patti’s museum commissions include SPECTRAL BOUNDARY for the Mint Museum of Craft and Design in Charlotte, North Carolina and SPECTRAL-LUMA ELLIPSE, an entrance wall and glass doorway at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. His most recent commission, MIAMI RAIN was installed in January 2010, and is a monumental artwork at 1100 Biscayne Boulevard that serves as the iconic gateway to the performing arts district of Miami. The Berkshire Museum project will be Patti’s first commission for a public institution in the Berkshires.

“We are thrilled to commission work by an internationally recognized artist from our own community,” said Stuart Chase. “Having a vestibule designed by Tom Patti was something we have dreamed of.

“I am honored to receive this major commission from Berkshire Museum,” said Patti. “The Museum has long held an important place in my career. As a young person growing up in the community I had no formal art training. Wandering the Berkshire Museum’s galleries afforded an oasis of inspiration and presented me with a world of discovery in natural history, science and fine art. It served my creativity as a child without it ever occurring to me that I would become an artist. Hopefully this commission will stir the imagination of others – just as the Berkshire Museum inspired me as a boy growing up in Pittsfield.”

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