Glass Experience Santa Fe is now on display at the Duncan McClellan Gallery through May 5, 2021. While the use of glass as art is a tradition that can be traced back at least to Roman times. But over the past 40 years, the studio art-glass movement has become a revolution, liberating the medium of glass, the means of expression, and the artisan from the factory and its utilitarian focus.
Did you know that the American studio art-glass movement began in Wisconsin in 1962 under the guidance of Harvey Littleton? Considered the founder of the modern American studio glass movement, Littleton is a teacher and mentor, a legend among artist-craftsmen whose palette is fire. His influence has been felt throughout America and, through his students, throughout the world. One student, Dale Chihuly, creator of sweeping forms of dazzling blown glass, is not only one of America’s best known living glass artists, but also the person most responsible for the surging attention being given to the studio art-glass movement.
Harvey Littleton and Dale Chihuly’s influence and inspiration quickly produced fruit in Santa Fe, New Mexico. In Santa Fe, the art-glass movement began in 1968 with the opening of Mel Knowles and Jack Miller’s Canyon Road Studio. Knowles and Miller had studied with Tom McGlauchlin who, in turn, had learned from Harvey Littleton, the one of the patriarchs of this Santa Fe Glass Experience.
Glass Experience Santa Fe at DMG
But enough about how the glass movement got started in Santa Fe, let focus on a visit to the Glass Experience Santa Fe currently on display at the Duncan McClellan Gallery (DMG). Here are some of today’s top Santa Fe Glass Artists that are all on display at the Duncan McClellan Gallery. This show features four very talented glass artist from Santa Fe, New Mexico: Elodie Holmes, Lucy Lyon, Charlie Minor, and Peter Wright. Learn more about each artist currently on display at the gallery below. Stop by the Duncan McClellan Gallery to see why they are rated the #1 thing to do in Destination Tampa Bay™ by Trip Advisor. (Peter Wright image shown)
Elodie Holmes was born in Washington, D.C. in 1959 and comes from a family of artists, starting with her Great-Grandfather, Frank Graham Holmes, former Chief Designer of Lennox China. In 1977 Elodie studied Ceramics at Montgomery College in Rockville, Maryland. In 1979, Elodie attended California College of the Arts in Oakland majoring in glass and ceramics. It was there she met her teacher, Marvin Lipovsky and eventually worked for him in his polishing shop. In 1981, Elodie relocated to Santa Fe, New Mexico to help run a glass shop on Canyon Road- the art center of Santa Fe. It was there that her initial passion for ceramics gave way to hot glass.
In 1984, Elodie went to Pilchuck School in Seattle as a teaching assistant to Marvin Lipovsky and Fritz Dreisbach. The following year, on her way back to Pilchuck on a scholarship, she was in a near fatal car accident and Elodie did not know if she would ever be able to blow glass again. Inspired by the suggestion from a glass blowing friend, she took up flame-worked glass, which inevitably helped to rehabilitate her severely broken limbs. In 1987 Elodie established Liquid Light Glass. After 9 years of flame-working, she started blowing glass at Peter VanderLaan’s studio, Glory Hole Glass, where Peter introduced Elodie to making glass colors. In 1997, Elodie was one of several artists to create a unique Christmas tree ornament for the Clinton White House.
That same year, she also was part of an exhibit, ‘A Continuing Tradition’, at the Trenton City Museum in New Jersey, featuring the family’s art of Graham Holmes, Elodie Holmes and Stephen Holmes. In the fall of 2000 Elodie finally was able to build her own glass studio. 2002 brought her first museum show at the Museum of the Southwest in Midland, Texas. In 2003, Elodie started collaborating with Jannine Cabossel creating large glass art together. Elodie continues to run her studio and gallery, Liquid Light Glass and her solo work is featured in many galleries throughout the U.S. Elodie and Jannine’s collaborative work can be seen at Jane Sauer Gallery in Santa Fe, NM. In addition to making glass art, Elodie is very active teaching private classes, doing public demos, partnering in another glass shop, being an active member of Glass Alliance-New Mexico, and is an influential figure in the Santa Fe artistic community.
Lucy Lyon has always felt that, even though we are all meeting up with each other and interacting in twos or threes or crowds, each of us is essentially alone. That brings up a bit of melancholy, but it also makes the individual unique and therefore very important.
Lucy started working in glass simply because it is a very seductive material. I have chosen to focus on sculpting figures. What interests her most is trying to convey the intellectual and emotional state of the individuals in my pieces, relying on subtle gestures, a turn of the head or twist of the hips, to express the figure’s state of mind. For a long time, she was paring down the environment of the figures to simple geometric forms. Most recently she has been working on softening those forms yet keeping them simple and obvious. Refining the figure has absorbed much of my time. Throughout the years, Lucy has tackled the technical challenges of increasingly larger work. The increased scale allows for more nuance of expression in each sculpture.
Lucy has also cast figures in bronze. The contrast between the metal and glass is fascinating, but she believes that she will always revere glass with a sense of wonder. It holds the light, like the soul.
Charlie Miner began his career as a glass artist in 1974. The following year Charlie purchased land in rural New Mexico that had been part of an artist commune in the 1960’s. By 1990, the complex evolved into a hot glass and casting facility and, a school with an apprentice program affording studio and gallery space for Charles and seven other glass artists. At this time, he had the opportunity to refine his skills under David Reekie and Clifford Rainey at the prestigious Pilchuck Glass School in Stanwood, Washington. Initially, he focused on glass blowing techniques with a strong basis in functionality. In the late 1990’s, Charles began casting sculptural pieces. It is his goal to create a “body of work that is visually pleasing on both the interior and exterior, but that still holds a certain utilitarian feeling.” (Left: Charlie Miner Trout Bowl)
The entire lost wax glass casting process takes over three months to complete. The castings are 24% lead crystal which gives them a unique texture often resembling stone, while retaining the wonderful translucent qualities of glass. (Right-Charlie Miner Green Rose Fern Bowl.)
“Pescador” is an exquisite example of Charles’ skill and design aesthetics. It is a classic form with a beautiful, jade-like patina. The ornate carving featuring swimming fish which form an open, intricate design, is reminiscent of ancient Asian stone carvings in its level of detail and beauty.
After twenty years in commercial construction, beginning in Vail and ending in Chicago, Peter Wright says, “I began to seek alternatives for the second half of my life.” In 1994, his life-long interest in art led him to found Wright Publishing Company. In this endeavor, Wright partners with artists to produce and market limited edition fine art, primarily bronze sculptures. The artist’s work in many media, including clay, wood, and stone, which Wright re-produces in bronze. (Peter Wright Snowy-Owl-Spirit-Jar-Right)
In 2000, renowned glass sculptor William Morris joined this group of artists and Wright was introduced to the world of art glass at the highest level. He spent countless hours watching hot glass being shaped into amazing forms. Ultimately, he realized that the best way to truly understand glass was to learn to work with it himself. He was “completely drawn in and seduced by hot glass” and that same year he began studying at Pilchuck Glass School in Washington. Right-Peter Wright Ochre Jade Grey Pitcher.)
The Duncan McClellan Gallery, located in St. Petersburg Florida, features rotating exhibitions showcasing national and internationally recognized glass artists. With 3,000 square feet of gallery spaces and 5,000 square feet of outdoor courtyards and lushly planted sculpture gardens, the grounds are a sought-after event and meeting place for glass artists, visiting dignitaries and the community. The gallery is open Monday-Saturday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. No admission or reservation is required. Images and content supplied by the Duncan McClellan Gallery for editorial purposes only. All rights reserved. Check out the first story we did on the Duncan McClellan Gallery here. Also see more Revolutionary Glass here.
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