Parkland College > Fine & Applied Arts > Giertz Gallery > Past Exhibits >Objects of Wonder

Image of Robert Lee Mejer's art piece "Womb"
Michael Aschenbrenner, Fishing Tool

Roger L. Crossgrove, Waldoboro Fracture VII-99, image
Jackie Pancari, Spheres

Pamina Traylor, Medusa image
Pamina Traylor, Medusa

Mark McHugh, Glide image
Mark McHugh, Glide

Objects of Wonder: A new way of looking through glass

  • Curated by Ed Francis
  • January 11 - February 12, 1999

Objects of Wonder" the studio art glass invitational, opened on January 11 and ran through February 12. This exhibit provided an opportunity for us to see how disparate glass can be, from sculptural works to functional bowls. Guest curator Ed Francis explained in his statement, "In selecting artists for this exhibition I have attempted to show diversity in the combination of craft and concept." The inherent properties of glass provide a complex rhetoric to work with. The glass artist must come to terms with the intrinsic dichotomies found in glass, such as its fluid, yet ridged qualities. The six participating artists: Jackie Pancari, Matt Janke, Pamina Traylor, Michael Aschenbrenner, Fred Tschida and Mark McHugh, all made use of the unique properties of this fascinating media.

Jackie Pancari's large glass balls filled with water, entitled "Spheres", played with transparency, distortions and reflections. "My love for the sensual and optical qualities of glass combine with my fascination for phenomena culminates in these works." Matt Janke draws upon the natural qualities of glass when he creates his work. Most of his works on exhibit were functional, from a large blown bowl to a unique pendulum lamp. As a glass artist and metalsmith he views glass as a precious material. He sees it as he would a beautiful colored gemstone; glass is something that can be worked with and amplified.

Pamina Traylor, from California, has found that glass is an ideal vehicle for linguistic explorations. Through her work, she examines the way we learn and how the subtext of language influences our values. She is also interested in certain dichotomies: strength verses vulnerability, protection verses confinement. Michael Aschenbrenner also deals with the dichotomy inherent in glass. His work in this exhibit explored objects and tools used and created by humans. Aschenbrenner works in a direct manner often combining sections of pulled glass forms with wraps of cotton gauze. As he states, "From a technical point of view, much of my work is quite simple. It does not attempt to flatter the viewer. I made no attempts to seduce the viewer...There is no reliance on techniques for its own sake."

Professor of Glass Design at NYSCC at Alfred University, Fred Tschida, exhibited two sculptures. These works had a scientific or analytical feel while still manipulating the transparent qualities glass has to offer. In "Encapsulated Bubbles" Tschida created a glass block that when viewed from the polished lens-like face, one could see small air bubbles trapped within the glass. A counter point to Tschida's work was the series by Mark McHugh. McHugh's "Glide I-IV" presented a very playful use of glass. He created curious alien forms that floated in small sail boats on the surface of the gallery pedestals.

"Objects of Wonder" was an excellent example of how wonderful works in glass can be. When selecting artists for this exhibit Ed Francis stated, "As a glassworker I am interested in many diverse uses of glass. I am particularly interested in the necessary combining of methods with the conceptual." No matter what method of glass working was used, this exhibition was a spectacular display of talent by artists from across the nation.

This exhibit is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.





Copyright Notice: All images and photos on these pages are copyright of the artists or gallery and may not be used for any purpose without written permission.

Last updated: 7/18/11 • Webmaster: Cindy Smith