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Oral history interview with Boris Bally, 2009 May 26-27

Interviewee:
Bally, Boris, 1961-  Search this
Bally, Boris, 1961-  Search this
Interviewer:
Riedel, Mija, 1958-  Search this
Subject:
Agro, Elisabeth R.  Search this
Ballay, Joe  Search this
Bonner, Jonathan  Search this
Cianci, Vincent Albert, Jr.  Search this
Dahm, Johanna  Search this
Ebendorf, Robert  Search this
Fuller, R. Buckminster (Richard Buckminster)  Search this
Gialamas, Rosemary  Search this
Greenbaum, Toni  Search this
Holt, Steven  Search this
Ilse-Neuman, Ursula  Search this
Kangas, Matthew  Search this
Kington, L. Brent (Louis Brent)  Search this
Kowal, Dennis  Search this
Kumata, Carol  Search this
Künzli, Otto  Search this
Lechtzin, Stanley  Search this
Metcalf, Bruce  Search this
Nasher, Patsy  Search this
Nasher, Raymond  Search this
Raab, Rosanne  Search this
Schaffner, Alexander  Search this
Simon, Marjorie  Search this
Skov, Mara Holt  Search this
Warhola, Paul  Search this
Wood, Joe  Search this
Carnegie-Mellon University (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)  Search this
Snyderman Gallery  Search this
Comedy Central (Firm)  Search this
Massachusetts College of Art  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Penland School of Crafts  Search this
Society of Arts and Crafts (Boston, Mass.)  Search this
Society of North American Goldsmiths  Search this
Tyler School of Art  Search this
Velvet da Vinci Gallery  Search this
Works Gallery  Search this
Type:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Place:
Haiti -- description and travel
Switzerland -- description and travel
Topic:
Art -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art and computers  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Designers -- Rhode Island -- Interviews  Search this
Furniture making  Search this
Jewelry making  Search this
Metal-work -- Study and teaching  Search this
Metal-workers -- Rhode Island -- Interviews  Search this
Models and modelmaking  Search this
Theme:
Craft  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)15682
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)282774
AAA_collcode_bally09
Theme:
Craft
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_282774
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Boris Bally

Interviewee:
Bally, Boris  Search this
Interviewer:
Riedel, Mija, 1958-  Search this
Creator:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Names:
Carnegie-Mellon University (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) -- Faculty  Search this
Carnegie-Mellon University (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) -- Students  Search this
Comedy Central (Firm)  Search this
Massachusetts College of Art -- Faculty  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Penland School of Crafts -- Faculty  Search this
Snyderman Gallery  Search this
Society of Arts and Crafts (Boston, Mass.)  Search this
Society of North American Goldsmiths  Search this
Tyler School of Art -- Students  Search this
Velvet da Vinci Gallery  Search this
Works Gallery  Search this
Agro, Elisabeth R.  Search this
Ballay, Joe, 1938-  Search this
Bonner, Jonathan, 1947-  Search this
Cianci, Vincent Albert, Jr., 1941-2016  Search this
Dahm, Johanna  Search this
Ebendorf, Robert, 1938-  Search this
Fuller, R. Buckminster (Richard Buckminster), 1895-1983  Search this
Gialamas, Rosemary, 1962-  Search this
Greenbaum, Toni  Search this
Holt, Steven, 1957-  Search this
Ilse-Neuman, Ursula  Search this
Kangas, Matthew  Search this
Kington, L. Brent (Louis Brent), 1934-2013  Search this
Kowal, Dennis  Search this
Kumata, Carol  Search this
Künzli, Otto, 1948-  Search this
Lechtzin, Stanley, 1936-  Search this
Metcalf, Bruce, 1949-  Search this
Nasher, Patsy  Search this
Nasher, Raymond  Search this
Raab, Rosanne  Search this
Schaffner, Alexander  Search this
Simon, Marjorie  Search this
Skov, Mara Holt  Search this
Warhola, Paul  Search this
Wood, Joe, 1954-  Search this
Extent:
4 Sound discs (Sound recording (5 hr., 55 min.), digital)
109 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sound discs
Pages
Interviews
Sound recordings
Place:
Haiti -- description and travel
Switzerland -- description and travel
Date:
2009 May 26-27
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Boris Bally conducted 2009 May 26-27, by Mija Riedel, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, at Bally's home and studio, in Providence, Rhode Island.
The artists speaks of his current studio in Providence, Rhode Island; working without a studio assistant; the benefits of working with studio assistants without an art-school background; apprenticing with Swiss metalsmith Alexander Schaffner when Bally was 19; his own de facto apprenticeship program with his studio assistants; his parents as role models; his vision at age 19 for his career plan; his early interest in CAD; growing up with Swiss-born parents, both with art/design backgrounds; visiting Switzerland as a child; his father's studies with Buckminster Fuller in the late 1950s; his mother's class with L. Brent Kington, whom Bally later studied with; growing up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; his first home metal shop at nine years old; his first formal metal class at about 14 years old; making and selling jewelry throughout his teens; informal apprenticeship with Jeff Whisner; his father's design firm, launched in his last year of high school; summer studying at the Pennsylvania Governor's School for the Arts; year-long apprenticeship in Switzerland; watching Schaffner make and sell a wide variety of objects, which later informed Bally's own perspective; his continuing relationship with Schaffner; undergraduate studies at Tyler School of Art, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; studying with Daniella Kerner and Vickie Sedman at Tyler; transferring to Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to study with Carol Kumata; making a "happiness machine"; transition from jewelry to larger sculptures; using found and scavenged materials; meeting Rosemary Gialamas (Roy) and their eventual elopement; moving to the Boston area; work as an industrial design model-maker; the New York art scene of the 1980s; representation with Archetype Gallery, New York, New York; slow but steady artistic recognition and commercial success of his functional objects; Sliding Perfections, flatware; teaching Gialamas metalsmithing and collaborative works by the two; early teaching experience in adult education classes in Cambridge, Massachusetts, then at Massachusetts College of Art, Boston; return to Pittsburgh in 1989, where Bally took a teaching position at Carnegie Mellon in the design department; studio on Bigelow Boulevard; difficulties in his marriage; a commission from the Society of Arts and Crafts, Boston, Massachusetts, and the beginnings of his traffic sign pieces in a collaborative piece with Gialamas; starting his platters series; the dissolution of his marriage to Gialamas in 1993; meeting Lynn, whom he later married; his love of teaching and his teaching philosophy; teaching at Penland School of Crafts, Penland, North Carolina; move to Providence, Rhode Island, to devote his time to studio work; the pros and cons of craft and arts schools versus university settings; the intersection of art, design, and industry: his Humanufactured line of products; functional work in the late '80s, and the influence of a trip to Haiti in the 1980s; bottle cork pieces; Trirod vessels; "More than One: Contemporary Studio Production" exhibition, American Craft Museum, New York, New York, 1992-94; philosophy of making; working in series form; truss pieces; perforation pieces and Vessel with a Silver Heart (1993); armform series; "Jewelries, Epiphanies" exhibition, Artists Foundation Gallery at Cityplace, Boston, Massachusetts, 1990; inclusion in One of a Kind: American Art Jewelry Today, by Susan Grant Lewin. (New York, NY: Harry N. Abrams, 1994); series Dig Wear and Eat Wear bracelets; Calimbo vessel and the Fortunoff prize; gold Tread Wear brooches in the mid-1990s; creating his first chair; moving from hand-made solo work to furniture and a design and production focus; starting to patent his designs in the mid-1990s; further exploration of design and technique in his chairs; "GlassWear: Glass in Contemporary Jewelry," Museum of Arts and Design, New York, New York, 2009; Pistol Chalice and work with the Pittsburgh gun buyback program; traveling exhibition for the project; Gun Totem; Brave necklace; BroadWay armchair; Subway chair; new techniques for graphics on the furniture; his relationship with former scrapyard Paul Warhola, brother to Andy Warhol; commission work, and the importance of commerce in his career and worldview; commission for Comedy Central television network; the changing craft market and the boom times of the 1980s; work with galleries, including: Patina, Santa Fe, New Mexico; Velvet da Vinci, San Francisco, California; Snyderman-Works, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Nancy Sachs Gallery, St. Louis, Missouri; the Society of Arts and Crafts, Boston, Massachusetts; seeing one of his pieces used on a set for a daytime television soap opera and in the movie Sex and the City ; the recent "green" (environmentally conscious) trend; blurring boundaries of design and art and craft; growing acceptance of artist-made and -designed multiples; pros and cons of computer technology in art and craft; the pros and cons of the DIY (do-it-yourself) craft movement; influential writers, including Rosanne Raab, Marjorie Simon, Steven Skov Holt and Mara Holt Skov, Bruce Metcalf, Toni Greenbaum, Matthew Kangas, Gail Brown; his involvement in the Society of North American Goldsmiths; making metal benches for his children. He also recalls Heather Guidero, Julian Jetten, Pam Moloughney, Dennis Kowal, Ursula Ilse-Neuman, Bob Ebendorf, Jason Spencer, Rob Brandegee and Ava DeMarco, Stefan Gougherty, Flo Delgado, L. Brent Kington, Curtis Aric, Ralph Düby, Steve Korpa, Joe Wood, Joe Ballay, Yves Thomann, Andy Caderas, James Thurman, Nicholas (Nico) Bally, Elena Gialamas, James Gialamas, Elvira Peake, Ronald McNeish, Johanna Dahm, Jerry Bennet, Kathleen Mulcahy, Nelson Maniscalco, Tom Mann, Otto Künzli, Stanley Lechtzin, Christopher Shellhammer, David Tisdale, Dean Powell, Daniel Carner, Donald Brecker, Robert Schroeder Phil Carrizzi, Lucy Stewart, Elisabeth Agro, Rachel Layton, Sarah Nichols, Peter Nassoit, Dan Niebels, Mary Carothers, Ward Wallau, Ivan Barnett and Alison Buchsbaum, Jonathan Bonner, Raymond and Patsy Nasher, Beth Gerstein, George Summers Jr., Pavel Opocensky, Buddy Cianci, David Cicilline.
Biographical / Historical:
Boris Bally (1961- ) is a metalsmith and designer who lives and works in Providence, Rhode Island. Bally was educated at Carnegie Mellon University and Tyler School of Art.
General:
Originally recorded on 4 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 11 digital wav files. Duration is 5 hr., 56 min.
Provenance:
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.
Restrictions:
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
Occupation:
Sculptors  Search this
Topic:
Art -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art and computers  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Designers -- Rhode Island -- Interviews  Search this
Furniture making  Search this
Jewelry making  Search this
Metal-work -- Study and teaching  Search this
Metal-workers -- Rhode Island -- Interviews  Search this
Models and modelmaking  Search this
Function:
Artists' studios
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Identifier:
AAA.bally09
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-bally09

Ominous Ikon #7, (sculpture)

Title:
Ominous Ikon no. 7, (sculpture)
Ominous Icon Series 8, (sculpture)
Sculptor:
Kowal, Dennis 1937-  Search this
Medium:
Sculpture: Cor-Ten steel; Base: concrete
Type:
Sculptures-Outdoor Sculpture
Sculptures
Owner/Location:
Federal Reserve Bank of Boston 600 Atlantic Avenue Lawn Boston Massachusetts 02106
Date:
1977
Topic:
Abstract--Geometric  Search this
Control number:
IAS 65320002
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_291585

Waves of Another Dimension, (sculpture)

Sculptor:
Kowal, Dennis 1937-  Search this
Medium:
Sculpture: Cor-Ten steel; Base: concrete
Type:
Sculptures-Outdoor Sculpture
Sculptures
Owner/Location:
Administered by Milton Academy Milton Massachusetts
Located Milton Academy Between Wigglesworth & Strauss Hall Milton Massachusetts
Date:
1977
Topic:
Abstract  Search this
Control number:
IAS 87740237
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_299836

Winged Migration, (sculpture)

Title:
Winged Migration #2, (sculpture)
Winged Migration no. Two, (sculpture)
Sculptor:
Kowal, Dennis 1937-  Search this
Medium:
Sculpture: Cor-Ten steel; Base: concrete
Type:
Sculptures-Outdoor Sculpture
Sculptures
Owner/Location:
Administered by National Fire Protection Association Quincy Massachusetts
Located Batterymarch Park Granite Street Quincy Massachusetts
Date:
1980-1981
Topic:
Abstract  Search this
Control number:
IAS 87740257
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_299856

Ominous Icon #6, (sculpture)

Sculptor:
Kowal, Dennis 1937-  Search this
Medium:
Sculpture: Cor-ten steel; Base: concrete
Type:
Sculptures-Outdoor Sculpture
Sculptures
Owner/Location:
Administered by Babson College Center for the Arts Wellesley Massachusetts 02457
Located Babson College Courtyard between Horn Library & Kriebel Hall Wellesley Massachusetts
Date:
1976
Topic:
Abstract  Search this
Control number:
IAS 87740295
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_299894

Yaddo Study, (sculpture)

Sculptor:
Kowal, Dennis 1937-  Search this
Medium:
Sculpture: Cor-Ten steel; Base: concrete
Type:
Sculptures-Outdoor Sculpture
Sculptures
Owner/Location:
Administered by Babson College Center for the Arts Wellesley Massachusetts 02457
Located Babson College Kriebel Hall, under entrance porch Wellesley Massachusetts
Date:
1976
Topic:
Abstract  Search this
Study  Search this
Control number:
IAS 87740296
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_299895

(Three Flames), (sculpture)

Sculptor:
Kowal, Dennis 1937-  Search this
Medium:
Sculpture: Cor-Ten steel; Base: wood
Type:
Sculptures-Outdoor Sculpture
Sculptures
Owner/Location:
Southern Illinois University Stone Center Carbondale Illinois 62901
Date:
1976. Dedicated 1985
Topic:
Abstract  Search this
Control number:
IAS IL000146
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_311492

(Abstract), (sculpture)

Sculptor:
Kowal, Dennis 1937-  Search this
Founder:
Contemporary Art Foundry  Search this
Medium:
Sculpture: bronze; Base: chipped marble concrete
Type:
Sculptures-Outdoor Sculpture
Sculptures
Owner/Location:
Sacred Heart Hospital 900 Seton Drive On patio to right of entrance Cumberland Maryland 21502
Date:
1966
Topic:
Abstract  Search this
Figure group--Family  Search this
Control number:
IAS MD000269
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_330699

Odious Icon, (sculpture)

Title:
Ominous Icon, (sculpture)
Sculptor:
Kowal, Dennis 1937-  Search this
Medium:
Sculpture: bronze; Base: concrete
Type:
Sculptures-Outdoor Sculpture
Sculptures
Owner/Location:
Allegany Community College Willowbrook Road Cumberland Maryland 21502
Date:
Cast 1968. Dedicated 1970
Topic:
Abstract  Search this
Object--Weapon--Ammunition  Search this
Disaster--Accident--Explosion  Search this
Control number:
IAS MD000418
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_335401

Forward Moving Landscape, (sculpture)

Sculptor:
Kowal, Dennis 1937-  Search this
Medium:
Cor-Ten steel
Type:
Sculptures-Outdoor Sculpture
Sculptures
Owner/Location:
Ravinia Festival 1575 Oakwood Avenue Highland Park Illinois 60035
Date:
1982
Topic:
Abstract  Search this
Control number:
IAS 66810009
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_621

Sculpture casting; mold techniques and materials, metals, plastics, concrete, by Dennis Kowal and Dona Z. Meilach

Author:
Kowal, Dennis  Search this
Meilach, Dona Z  Search this
Physical description:
viii, 264 p. illus. 27 cm
Type:
Books
Date:
1972
[1972]
Topic:
Modeling  Search this
Precision casting  Search this
Call number:
NB1180 .K68 1972X
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_644408

Dennis Kowal [Folder]

Contents:
Folder(s) may include exhibition announcements, newspaper and/or magazine clippings, press releases, brochures, reviews, invitations, illustrations, resumes, artist's statements, exhibition catalogs.
Topic:
Artists  Search this
Location:
Art & Artist files at the Smithsonian American Art Museum/ National Portrait Gallery Library
Data source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:SILAF_72883

Vertical Migration, (sculpture)

Sculptor:
Kowal, Dennis 1937-  Search this
Medium:
Steel
Type:
Sculptures
Owner/Location:
Mount Holyoke College Art Museum South Hadley Massachusetts 01075 Accession Number: 1988.2
Date:
1972
Topic:
Abstract  Search this
Control number:
IAS 60500034
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_459912

Constellation, (sculpture)

Sculptor:
Kowal, Dennis 1937-  Search this
Medium:
Cor-Ten steel
Type:
Sculptures
Owner/Location:
Museum of Science Science Park Boston Massachusetts 02114
Date:
1975
Topic:
Allegory--Place--Extraterrestrial  Search this
Control number:
IAS 87740012
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_299612

Migration - Series no. 7, (sculpture)

Sculptor:
Kowal, Dennis 1937-  Search this
Medium:
Steel
Type:
Sculptures-Outdoor Sculpture
Sculptures
Owner/Location:
DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park 51 Sandy Pond Road Grounds near studios Lincoln Massachusetts 01773 Accession Number: 1976.53
Date:
1976
Topic:
Abstract  Search this
Control number:
IAS 87740214
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_299813

Odyssey, (sculpture)

Sculptor:
Kowal, Dennis 1937-  Search this
Medium:
Cor-Ten steel; Base: concrete
Type:
Sculptures-Outdoor Sculpture
Sculptures
Owner/Location:
Administered by Boston University 121 Bay State Road Boston Massachusetts 02215
Located Boston University Main campus at 108 Cummington Street Boston Massachusetts 02215
Date:
1973-76
Topic:
Abstract  Search this
Literature--Homer--Odyssey  Search this
Control number:
IAS 71500154
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_31395

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