In the spirit of focusing on the local, the new exhibition at the Pittsburgh Glass Center (PGC) will showcase the work of over thirty glass artists living and working in the Iron City, including some of PGC’s earliest students and their instructors. Entitled “TENacity,” a reference to the organization’s tenth anniversary this year, each piece is based on events from the last decade ranging from the public — the September 11th attacks, the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill, Hurricane Katrina — to the personal, such as the loss of loved ones. Featured artists include Daviea Davis, Matt Eskuche, Jason Forck, Arthur Guilford, Leslie Kaplan, Jeffrey Phelps, Gillian Preston, and Heather Joy Puskarich.
“Every year we present an exhibition of local artwork. It is always a proud moment for me to see the gallery full of world-class glass art that was created right here in Pittsburgh,” said PGC Director Heather McElwee in a prepared statement.
Glass works in the exhibition range from jewelry and blown glass vessels to multimedia installations. Jason Forck’s When the Music Stopped depicts glass bubbles floating up and out of a trumpet. The fragility and impermanence of the glass bubbles alludes to the effects of Hurricane Katrina on New Orleans and its music scene. The use of glass is especially poignant here given the lasting effects of Hurricane Katrina on the glass art community in the region.
For Discouraged to Know, Gillian Preston draws from the death of a family member. A man sits with his arm around a woman; their eyes squint from wide smiles directed at an unknown viewer. From the back of the piece both figures are in sharp relief, but when viewed from the front everything but the man’s face is blurred under textured glass. Preston presents a two-sided glass snapshot of sorts, while the round shape of the piece is remenescent of a crystal ball.
In a statement on her Website, Preston notes that “My work tends to focus on how an individual responds to adverse circumstances by internalizing their struggles and expressing a need to appear okay. I disguise the difficult content with color, texture, and pattern within sculptural glass objects, just as one might try to hide their own insecurities and inadequacies.”
IF YOU GO:“TENacity” February 5th, 2011 – April 17th, 2011
Opening reception: Friday, February 4th, 6-9 PM
The Hodge Gallery Pittsburgh Glass Center 5472 Penn Avenue Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15206 Tel: 412 365 2145