For a burst of spring in these troubled times, viewers can take in an exhibit of colorful glass works online thanks to Sherrie Gallerie in the Short North.
“GROW: Molly Burke, Trey Snowdon, Lauren Eastman Fowler” features nearly 60 combined works by three young artists all with master of fine arts degrees, testifying to the diversity and malleability of the glass medium.
The gallery is closed due to state restrictions related to the coronavirus, but all of its pieces in the exhibit, which runs through April 26, are visible online and via video at sherriegallery.com.
Burke, Snowdon and Fowler have shown works together before at Sherrie Gallerie, and with this show, they demonstrate their growth and development.
Snowdon studied biological anthropology at Ohio State University before turning to glass art. In addition to his undergraduate science degree, he has a dual bachelor of fine arts in glass and small-scale metals from the Columbus College of Art & Design, as well as a master of fine arts from Kent State University. He also studied at the Pilchuck Glass School in Washington state and the Pittsburgh Glass Center. His widespread education figures into his intriguing, streamlined and, yes, even strange works on view in the gallery.
Snowdon combines cement castings, blown glass and sometimes brass to produce streamlined vessels that look like futuristic shadow boxes and often contain secret components. “Up in the Clouds,” about 12 inches tall, combines cement with milky white and clear glass. One section of the work, a white glass dome topped with a white cloud, contains a tiny blue house.
Despite its title, Snowdon’s “Dreary Days” is not, he said, a “negative.” Gray days in Ohio “are often my most productive days,” he said. Nevertheless, the blown-glass piece is dark. Thin black threads swirl around and nearly cover the clear glass vessel resting on a cement base. The house inside the vessel is barely visible while the two clouds on top of the piece, one clear and one with the black scratches, are obvious.
Snowdon’s works merge the contrasting materials of cement and glass in a fashion that is unusual, challenging and satisfying.
In her work, Burke, whose undergraduate degree is from CCAD and who has a master’s in glass from Ohio State, turns to nature and its wealth of colors and repeating patterns.
Many of her pieces ― most of which hang as installations on the walls ― contain vintage colors, some inspired by old Hollywood movies.
More than 40 globes in white, clear, gold, silver, blue and violet are presented in the wall installation “All That Glitters is Gold?” Each rounded form of blown or mirrored glass is a different size and has some sort of additional decorative element attached, something like the concept of a lady’s hat with a feather added. Like its title, the piece conjures the notion of opulence.
Burke’s “Abundance: Fuchsia,” also blown and mirrored glass, contains 11 jewel-like shapes in fuchsia with gold and clear accents. Burke writes that she selects colors that might occur in such natural settings as the ocean and the desert ― and she considers reflections that might occur in water or the textures of sand.
Fowler graduated from Bowling Green State University and earned her master’s of fine arts from the Rhode Island School of Design. Her lovely, lattice-like vessels and wall hangings remind one of sea anemones, although Fowler writes that she was inspired by the repetitive patterns in her grandparents’ prize Dahlias. And, her works also reflect the structure of human bone. Regardless of their origin, the forms are airy and graceful.
“Vitre Flora P1” is a lacy red glass bowl about 12 inches tall and 18 inches wide. Similar in form and texture is the pink bowl “Vitre Flora G2.”
Fowler’s wall pieces include “Indigo Blossom 1,” three large, flat and airy circles of light blue, dark blue and light purple, each barely touching the other.
The work of each of these artists is personal and individualistic. Viewing them dramatizes the breadth of possibilities in glass art ― and shows the range and technique of three young artists who certainly have more to discover and express.