Cast glass | 29-06-2021

Belgium’s GlazenHuis highlights summer exhibitions

Three floors of contemporary glass artworks await visitors to Belgium’s GlazenHuis gallery and glass studio this summer.

The lower floor of the iconic, 30m high glass-towered building houses the work of the BKRK craftsmanship award nominees. The ground floor is dedicated to Shoerealism, an exhibition of fantastic glass shoe designs, by Japanese artist Simsa Cho. The top floor features The Residents – glass made by artists who have used the GlazenHuis facilities to create new work.

The glass cone at the GlazenHuis makes a bold centrepiece to the Summer Exhibition. Photo copyright: GlazenHuis.

BKRK award nominees

The BKRK award is an established competition that puts a different craft in the spotlight each time. The latest iteration focuses on glass and the GlazenHuis partnered with the organisers to support the 10 nominated artists. It provided them with expertise and practical help to realise their ideas in the glass workshop, with resident master glassblower, Gert Bullée, on hand to assist.

In the BKRK exhibition, glass craft, visual arts and product design meet. Room dividers, lighting fixtures, carafes, jewellery and paintings all vie for first place. Every visitor can vote for their favourite. The public votes, along with those of a professional jury, will decide the winner. For anyone who cannot visit in person, you can see the entries and vote via this link. The winner will be announced on 14 October 2021.

Shoerealism exhibition

The Shoerealism exhibition features many amazing shoes created by Japanese artist Simsa Cho, who is based in Amsterdam, and graduated from the Dutch Gerrit Rietveld Academy in 1989.

Over the course of his 30-year career, the shoe has become a recurring theme for Cho. GlazenHuis is the first museum to present a retrospective: more than 30 objects from private and museum collections, including three from the city of Lommel’s urban glass art collection, showcasing glass shoes.

To mark the exhibition, Cho has created a special limited edition of only 10 pieces of a new shoe design, which are for sale in the glass shop.

For those who cannot visit in person, watch this video, in which Cho tours the exhibition and explains the story behind his shoes. If you can visit, the Shoerealism exhibition is on until 10 October 2021.

The Residents exhibition

In normal times, the GlazenHuis organises annual residencies (AiR – Artists in Residence) for international glass artists to develop knowledge and use the studio facilities. In return, they donate one of their creations to Lommel’s urban glass art collection. However, this year, restrictions because of the pandemic meant GlazenHuis staff and local freelance glassblowers were able to take advantage of the residency period instead. See the work of these artists/designers on the top floor: Jente Ruts, Marcel Haccuria, Jeroen Maes, Eric Pipien, Ingrid Arts, Ivo Henkens, Ryoko Sato, An-Valerie Vandromme, and Eline Deboiserie.

This exhibition also runs until 10 October 2021. Please check the website for the latest rules for visitors, as you may have to book a space in advance via a telephone appointment.

The GlazenHuis is located at: Dorp 14b, 3920 Lommel, Belgium. Website:

Main image: A close-up of a shoe from the Shoerealism exhibition, designed by Simsa Cho. Photo copyright: GlazenHuis.

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