Toots Zynsky is known internationally as one of the most innovative voices in the American Studio Glass Movement. Born in Boston, and raised in Massachusetts she earned her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1973. In 1971, she assisted Chihuly and others in the founding and early development of Pilchuck Glass School.
From 1980- 83, she was a key participant in the re-building and development of the second New York Experimental Glass Workshop, now UrbanGlass. While living in Europe from 1983-1999, she developed her renowned and unique “filet-de-verre” technique.
Ms. Zynsky has been the recipient of many awards, including two National Endowment for the Arts Grants, as well as The Pell Award for Excellence in the Arts, and recently elected to the prestigious American Craft Council College of Fellows.
Her work is represented in over 70 museum collections around the world, in the words of Tina Oldknow, curator of modern glass at the Corning Museum of Glass, “She is one of a small, core group of pioneering artists who made contemporary glass a worldwide phenomenon, and her distinctive kiln-formed vessels enjoy widespread popularity for their often magnificent, and always unique, explorations in color.”
Toots Zynsky has received the 2013 Glass in Venice Award, Istituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettre ed Arti and the Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia, where she recently traveled to Venice to accept this honor. The award is to acknowledge her “for the excellent quality of her artistic production where glass is enhanced through absolutely original techniques and ideas, with an exceptionally elegant result. In addition, the prize is an ideal link between her research on expression and technique and the city of Venice and its glass traditions in Murano, thus acknowledging her role as one of the protagonists of international glass work”.
Toots Zynsky is represented by Sandra Ainsley Gallery, located in Toronto, the leading contemporary glass art gallery in Canada.