Laura Donefer was born in Ithaca, NY and raised in Quebec, Canada. In 1973, Laura studied sculpture for a year at the National Art School of Cubanacan in Havana, and in 1979 graduated with honours from McGill University in Montreal. After travelling the world and working with many interesting people, Laura trained as a glass artist at Sheridan College School of Craft and Design, graduating in 1985.
She has been using glass as the primary medium in her work for 30 years, often combining it with diverse materials. Creating her work is extremely important to Laura, but so is teaching. She has been staff in the glass department at Sheridan College and has been permanent part time faculty at Espace Verre in Montreal for over 25 years, helping to mold the school with her dynamic classes. Laura has spent many years teaching at Pilchuck, Penland, Corning, Red Deer, and conducts many workshops in schools throughout North America and beyond, including Japan and Australia.
As president of the Glass Art Association of Canada, Laura was instrumental in trying to unite of all the glass artists across Canada when she began publishing a quarterly magazine which has developed into the major voice of the Canadian glass artist today.
As well as all her teaching and lecturing, Laura keeps to a very busy exhibition schedule, presenting her work internationally since 1985. She has participated in many solo and group exhibitions, including shows at the Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art in Japan, the Museo del Vidrio in Mexico, the Museum of Fine Art in Montreal and the Museum of Modern Art in Shanghai, China. Her work is in many public and private collections, including the Corning Museum of Glass, the Museum of Art & Design in New York, and the Museum of Fine Art in Quebec City.
Laura has been given many awards, among them the “Lifetime Achievement Award” from the Glass Art Association of Canada, the “Honorary Membership Award” from the Glass Art Society and the International Flame Working award for “Extraordinary Contributions to the Glass Art World.” Laura loves organizing her wacky notorious GLASS FASHION SHOWS. The next one will be at the Corning Museum of Glass in 2016.
Laura lives near Harrowsmith, Ontario with her husband Dave. In her spare time she grows kale, hangs out with her dachshund, and kayaks the nearby waterways. Check out her website www.lauradonefer.com and see pictures of her installations “Shields to Ward off Madness” and “Bereft,” her latest series of Amulet Baskets, and of course some crazy pictures of the Glass Fashion Show costumes.
Laura Donefer is represented by Sandra Ainsley Gallery, located in Toronto, the leading contemporary glass art gallery in Canada.