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Hot-glass exhibit showcases Alberta artists

Post Time:Dec 02,2011Classify:Industry NewsView:267

EDMONTON - There are few mediums where the artist’s mind-hand-material connection is as immediate, unforgiving and critical as when working with hot glass, a material that can reach 1,000 degrees C. It is an all-encompassing and entrancing practice demanding training, skill and precision along with an ardent investment of one’s physical self.

 

This is the “extreme sport of the craft arts,” says Tom McFall, executive director of the Alberta Craft Council. “The hot glass people are really fast on their feet, and they are intellectually and physically smart about what they are doing at the same time. There is a very flowing kind of energy between the artist and the material.”

 

“Natural Flow: Contemporary Alberta Glass” is a group exhibition featuring personal-scale vessels and large sculptural works of 16 distinctive Alberta artists, each galvanizing the province’s growing reputation as an internationally recognized hot glass community. These artists are innovative and daring, producing works indescribably beautiful in both mesmerizing and dazzling ways. They are also thoughtful, emulating organic and biomorphic (evoking images of plants, animals or the land) forms and ideas in this show.

 

It is easy to get completely absorbed staring at a handblown piece of jewel-toned glass, following the twists, coils, twirls and folds of myriad configurations. Its amorphous nature — a sort of shift-changer between liquid and solid — prompts words like sensuous, exotic and flamboyant.

 

To be honest, the magic of glass is difficult to put into words; it is something one feels within and is swept away with. Perhaps like gazing into the sea, there is a magnetic invitation which pulls the viewer closer, deeper, revealing its secrets and intricacies along the way.

 

Curated by Joanne Marion and organized by the Esplanade Art Gallery in Medicine Hat in collaboration with the Alberta Craft Council and The Calgary Glass Initiative, the exhibition opened this summer before travelling to Edmonton. A catalogue accompanies the show as well as a website (

 

“Alberta maintains a quiet reputation as an international hub for contemporary glass art,” says Kai Georg Scholefield, a glass artist who is president of the Calgary Glass Initiative and a member of the Bee Kingdom collective. “The programs at the Alberta College of Art and Design (the only degree-granting school in Canada in glass and one of a few in North America) in Calgary and Red Deer College attracts world-renowned artists to the province.

 

Source: www.edmontonjournal.comAuthor: shangyi

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