Tuesday, February 1, 2011

by local at Morgan Contemporary Glass Gallery

Morgan Contemporary Glass Gallery
5833 Ellsworth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15232

by local opens with an artist reception Friday, February 4, 2011 from 5:30-9:00pm during the FirstFriday ArtWalk at morgan contemporary glass gallery at 5833 Ellsworth Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15232. Many participating artists will be in attendance throughout the evening.

Dedicated to showcasing the work of Pittsburgh glass artists, the exhibition highlights the talent, aesthetic variety and technical mastery existing in the local glass community. Participating artists making their debut at morgan include Brian Engel, Jason Forck, Arthur Guilford, Gillian Preston, and Heather Joy Puskarich. The exhibition presents new work from gallery artists Judi Charlson, Drew Hine, Adam Kenney and Michael Mangiafico. The exhibition continues through March 26, 2011.

Judi Charlson, whose figurative cast glass sculptures have been exhibited widely in Pittsburgh including at morgan contemporary glass gallery, continues her current exploration of the human form through Egyptian-inspired imagery. Charlson notes that the subject of her art has always been the human body, “My work explores, reveals, and simultaneously conceals aspects of relationships.” A Pittsburgher, Charlson began working in glass in 1999 after a successful career sculpting in bronze and clay. Previously a finalist in the prestigious Bullseye e-merge competition, Charlson works extensively from human models and draws inspiration from the interaction between herself and the models. She transforms ordinary life into extraordinary sculptural forms. Three of her life-sized bronze sculptures were commissioned by the University of Pittsburgh and are on permanent display in the lobby of Victoria Hall.

Brian EngelBrian Engel, who moved to Pittsburgh four years ago to work at the Pittsburgh Glass Center, blows simple forms that he cold works and polishes to highlight abstracted topographic features such as canyons, hill tops and narrow washes. The simplicity of his forms is accentuated by variations the glass' thickness as well as the inlaid copper topographic lines, which add a sense of movement. Engel was born and raised in rural South West New Mexico where he spent most of his time outdoors, which inspires a majority of his work. He was introduced to glass ten years ago, and in 2007, he received his BFA from Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Jason Forck, a native of Kansas, creates blown glass sculptures inspired by nature. Raised on a small farm, Forck recalls being taught to respect the land and use a hands-on approach to hard work. Still in the early stages of his artistic career, Forck notes that he is not interested in defining himself as a particular type of artist and that it is through the “exploration and curiosity of mediums and concepts” that drives the creation of his work. Forck first discovered glass as an undergraduate at Emporia State University, and after completing his BFA in 2005, he moved to Pittsburgh to work at the Pittsburgh Glass Center. He not only creates his work there, but also serves as its Youth Education Coordinator. He has gained experience learning from renowned glass artists like Richard Marquis and Therman Statom. He had a solo exhibition in Pittsburgh in the Fall of 2010.

Arthur Guilford, with a strong focus on craftsmanship, blows and carves glass to create abstract sculptures grounded in contemporary design. From Rocky River, Ohio, he began his artistic endeavors in high school when he explored functional ceramics. After being introduced to glass making in 2007 through a workshop with Eoin Breadon, Guilford has focused solely on creating glass sculpture and functional objects. Since then, he has completed his BFA from Alfred University and studied at the Studio at Corning as well as the Penland School of Craft, where he earned the Mark Peiser Full Scholarship. In 2010, Guilford joined the Pittsburgh glass community, working as a Technician at the Pittsburgh Glass Center.

Drew HineDrew Hine constantly explores the simplicity and perfection of blown vessels. His most recent work incorporates bright, vivid color, yet maintains the sleek, modern shapes that are his signature. Glass as an artistic medium intrigues Hine because of its unpredictability and capacity to produce unprecedented sculptural forms. Initially a ceramics major, Hine’s passion for glass began when he found himself in a glassblowing class at the Center for Creative Studies College of Art and Design in Detroit, where he completed a BFA in Glass in 2001. Hine has studied traditional Venetian and Scandinavian techniques and has assisted Dale Chihuly, Martin Blank, and Davide Salvadore. A Pittsburgh resident for the past ten years, Hine’s sculptures can be found throughout the city including at the River’s Casino.

Adam KennyAdam Kenney, a dedicated vessel-maker, creates minimal still-life compositions of glass and mixed media. After studying with a wide variety of glass artists including Boyd Sugiki and Pino Signoretto, Kenney developed a sensibility for multiple materials and a decidedly minimal aesthetic by working closely with sculptor and glassblower Curtiss Brock. Ever concerned with perfecting his vessel form, Kenney notes, “I want to present my vessels in a format that recreates the personal context and optimizes the viewing experience for myself and others.” Kenney’s creative education began at Centre College under renowned artist, Stephen Powell, and has furthered his knowledge of glass blowing at Urban Glass, Appalachian Center for Craft, and the Pilchuck Glass School.

Michael MangiaficoMichael Mangiafico, whose flameworked insects have long been favorites of morgan contemporary glass gallery visitors, has developed a new series of sculptures focused on delicate spore-like spheres. Mangiafico’s interest in nature is apparent in his work and he states that he finds his muse in the daily grind of life from gardening to cooking, reading, teaching and dreaming. Mangiafico has been living and working in Pittsburgh since receiving his BFA in 1985 from Carnegie Mellon University where he was a student of acclaimed Pittsburgh glass artist Kathleen Mulcahy. He opened his own studio in 1996 and he currently is an instructor of both glassblowing and flameworking at the Pittsburgh Glass Center. His work has been exhibited in numerous shows at morgan contemporary glass gallery as well as other galleries nationally.

Gillian Preston references human insecurity and feelings of inadequacy by concealing imagery of difficult subject matter in her blown, fused, cast glass sculptures. Preston states, “My work tends to focus on how an individual responds to adverse circumstances by internalizing their struggles and expressing a need to appear okay.” She uses color, texture, and pattern within sculptural objects in order to create her metaphor. Gaining recognition since 2005, when she began working in glass, Preston has earned a BFA from The Cleveland Institute of Art and her work has been recognized twice in New Glass Review. Preston has taught and attended workshops at the Pittsburgh Glass Center, The Studio at Corning, and the Penland School of Crafts.

Heather Joy Puskarich combines traditional darkroom photographic techniques and contemporary glass processes such as photo resist sandblasting, decal work and metal blasting to create her mysterious glass panels. With a focus on traditional photographic subject matter like the female form and self-portraiture, Puskarich combines imagery in glass to further explore relevant emotions such as pain and beauty of loss, the curve of a woman’s grin, or the birth and death of the self. In 2003, Puskarich earned a BA in Film Studies and English from the University of Pittsburgh. She currently teaches at the Pittsburgh Glass Center and has collaborated with several artists throughout the Pittsburgh region. Her work has been featured in exhibitions around the city including a solo exhibition at Pittsburgh Filmmakers.

morgan contemporary glass gallery features sculpture, jewelry, and small objects by established and emerging artists working in glass. Hours are Tues. - Fri. 11 - 5 and Sat. 12 - 5, or by appt. www.morganglassgallery.com. Call 412.441.5200 for more information.

morgan contemporary glass gallery features sculpture, jewelry, and small
objects by established and emerging artists working in glass. Hours are Tues. -
Fri. 11 - 5 and Sat. 12 - 5, or by appt. [6]www.morganglassgallery.com. Call
412.441.5200 for more information.

Surface and Rigor at Mendelson opens that same night from 6-9 pm.


The Pittsburgh Art Blog

The Pittsburgh Art Blog features selected pittsburgh artists and upcoming exhibits with photos from the artists and galleries. since the major press outlets do not go beyond a directory listing of exhibits, blogs are needed to promote pittsburgh artists and their work. the blog also calls attention to the inferiority complex of pittsburgh art and how it's perpetuated by the major players in town. Started on August 20,2007. pittsburgh area galleries and art venues are listed at the sister site www.PghGalleries.com.

the blog and website are volunteer projects from fine art photographer and pittsburgh artist advocate rick byerly.