And the surgeon, and the research scientist, and the claims adjuster, and the architect, and the graphic designer, and the physical therapist…to name just a few of the many current and former professions of a remarkable band of artists who this spring will be featured in a group museum exhibition titled “Act 2: The Next Track” at the Museum of Northwest Art in La Conner, Washington.
The exhibition is the brainchild of group leaders Steve Klein and Richard Parrish who assembled and shepherded a pair of unique artist residencies held in the Fall of 2009 and 2010 at the Pilchuck Glass School in Stanwood, Washington and then went on to convince the nearby museum to show works created by the artists in the wake of their Pilchuck time.
And while the works that comprise the show make it clear what a productive wake it’s been for all of them, for me an unexpected thrill has been in reading the individual stories and impetus behind their journeys; being allowed a peek into the former and current non-glass lives that add so richly to the art they make with this material and these methods.
Leatherbarrow on what brought him to glass:
Initially I was drawn to the color and translucency. However as I became involved with kilnforming, I began to realize that glass and rocks are basically the same material. Glass just has a simpler composition.
(I imagine the tectonic plates of these Leatherbarrow identities – sculptor and exploration geologist – pushing against each other and the “art-quake” that results.)
Throughout my geological education and career I analysed how minerals and rock strata behaved in response to temperature, pressure and time. The fundamentals of understanding how glass behaves in response to temperature and time were therefore well established. My research areas in geology focused on chemical reactions in rocks. This has also had direct bearing on how I understand and work with kiln‐formed glass powders.
Bob’s story is just one of twenty to be found amidst the glass works coming to MoNA this Spring. The show runs March 12 to June 12, 2011 – it’s on my calendar, I hope you’ll put it on yours.
Stay tuned here for more about the Act 2 artists and their upcoming exhibition at MoNA.
And for more on Bob, click here: