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Arts Clayton featuring first glass-specific exhibit

Photo by Curt Yeomans
The Arts Clayton Gallery, in Jonesboro, is hosting its first-ever exhibit devoted solely to glass artwork through the end of this month. The exhibit features the work of five Atlanta area glass artists.

Photo by Curt Yeomans The Arts Clayton Gallery, in Jonesboro, is hosting its first-ever exhibit devoted solely to glass artwork through the end of this month. The exhibit features the work of five Atlanta area glass artists.

It can take at least a couple of days for Karin Schwarzer to make a piece of fused glass art.

The process of fusing glass, she said, can take more than one day to complete because it takes 10 hours to fuse one piece of glass onto another. Schwarzer, who puts photography, and enamel paintings into her fused glass artwork, has to get the temperature in her kiln up to 1,480 degrees Fahrenheit, to get the two pieces of glass to fuse together.

Then, she has to let the glass slowly cool down before she adds another layer of glass for fusing. She said she fuses "two, to three" layers of glass together to make a single piece of glass art.

"I truly think the reason why I like working with glass is because you can use so many different things with the glass to create a piece of art," Schwarzer said. She later added, "You can do a lot of experimenting with glass."

Schwarzer's glass artwork pieces are just some of the creations in Arts Clayton's "Discoveries in Glass" exhibit, which opened earlier this month, and will remain on display until April 29, at the Arts Clayton Gallery, which is located at 136 South Main Street, in Jonesboro.

In addition to Schwarzer's artwork, the exhibit includes pieces Atlanta-area glass artists Robert Burch, Licha Ochoa Nicholson, Lori Schinelli and Tadashi Torii.

Arts Clayton officials are particularly excited about the "Discoveries in Glass" exhibit because it is the first time their gallery has featured an exhibit that is entirely devoted to glass artwork.

"We've had some glass artwork included in some of our other shows, but we haven't had a consistent exhibit devoted entirely to glass before," said Arts Clayton Executive Director Linda Summerlin.

The types of artwork on display in the "Discoveries in Glass" exhibit include fused glass, blown glass and melted glass artwork.

There are blown glass vases that have been formed into abstract shapes, colorful glass bowls, glass gourds, fused glass images that can be hung on a wall, and glass plates in which the center has been allowed to melt through a metal grate, with the drippings cooling to form legs on which the plate can stand.

Arts Clayton Gallery Assistant Courtney Fort said gallery officials chose to do a glass-specific show because they wanted to showcase the ways glass can be used as an artistic medium, and because of the fact that the gallery had never had a glass-only art exhibit before. She said glass artwork has also proven to be popular with Arts Clayton patrons when examples from the medium were included in past exhibits at the gallery.

"People love glass, and whenever we do have glass [on display], it usually is a big seller," Fort said.

Glass artist Licha Ochoa Nicholson, who works with fused glass, said she sees Arts Clayton's glass-specific exhibit as a "welcoming" event for glass artists across the southeast. She said glass is popular in the Seattle area, where she lived before moving to Georgia six years ago, but she has found that it is not as popular in this part of the country. Nicholson said it has been gaining ground in the southeast, however.

She made several glass gourds and sand blasted panels that have a porcelain-like appearance, that are included in the "Discoveries in Glass" exhibit.

"The growth seems to be underway, and there are more, and more, people taking up glass art," Nicholson said. "To have an all-glass exhibit at Arts Clayton tells me the movement seems to be growing, and spreading into this area now."

The exhibit opened on April 1, along with another new exhibit at the gallery, "History and Heritage," which will remain on display until June 2.