Heights Arts celebrates glass artists

A work in glass by Brent Kee Young.

The Cleveland Institute of Art (CIA) has been instrumental in the careers of many visual artists and designers who make their careers through their work. They can be found making creative contributions throughout the country. Among them is a cadre of artists working in glass based here in Northeast Ohio, including Carrie Battista, Robert Coby, Scott Goss, Earl O. James, Brent Marshall, Shawn Messenger, Michael Mikula, Marc Petrovic, Kari Russell-Pool, Mark Sudduth and Linda Zmina.

Refraction: Glass Art through the Cleveland Institute of Art and Brent Kee Young, which opens on June 10, at Heights Arts, gathers works by these artists who studied at CIA during Brent Kee Young's tenure as professor and head of the glass department. The word "refraction" is loosely defined as "the change in direction of a propagating wave, such as light or sound, in passing from one medium to another.” In this exhibition, refraction is a metaphor for how these artists have been illuminated and influenced by their study at CIA, as seen in their ensuing creative efforts.

“Having retired from teaching duties for a couple of years now, I find it particularly satisfying to see the number of artists working in glass growing in this region,” noted Young, a Cleveland Heights resident. “It is testament to the nature of CIA and organizations like Heights Arts that are a part of a greater artistic community that has evolved here. It truly is a great place to live and be . . . artists working in glass.” 

Goss said, "The strong foundation Brent builds within his students is evident in the many nationally and internationally known glass artists that have graduated from his program over the last 35–plus years. His genuineness as a mentor created an environment in the glass department where each student felt respected, by both him and their fellow students."

The community is invited to the opening reception on Friday, June 10, 6–9 p.m. A related gallery talk, Ekphrastacy: Artists Talk + Poets Respond, offers an opportunity to hear both glass artists and local poets speak about the exhibition's works on Thursday, July 7, 7 p.m. Refraction is on view through July 30. Recent graphite drawings by Cleveland Heights artist Linda Ayala are on view in the spotlight gallery space—dedicated to Heights Arts members—through June 18.

For more information on community arts programs, exhibitions, and its art and gift shop, call Heights Arts at 216-371-3457 or visit www.heightsarts.org.

Greg Donley

Greg Donley is president of the Heights Arts board of directors.

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Volume 9, Issue 6, Posted 4:52 PM, 05.31.2016