LIT: Virtual Resources

LIT: Light in Transmission

February 5 – May 9, 2021

This exhibition is a survey of the diverse range of light art within the shared medium of both neon and plasma sculpture curated by Percy Echols II, an artist, creator of the podcast “Taming Lighting” and PGC’s first recipient of the Ron Desmett Memorial Award for Imagination with Glass. The show features the work of 14 neon and plasma artists. 

LIT is on view in person at Pittsburgh Glass Center; please see our current hours of operation and COVID-19 safety guidelines for visitors.

LIT: Light in Transmission exhibition at Pittsburgh Glass Center
Light in Transmission exhibition at PIttsburgh Glass Center

 

CURATORIAL STATEMENT

The exhibition is a survey of the diverse range of light art within the shared medium of both neon and plasma sculpture. As an artist, I chose those who had impacted my creative process, education, and expanded my world view on the nearly unlimited potential of neon and plasma light as artistic medium. As a curator, the people I invited present expressions of light, within a variety of shared and differing experiences, skills, and techniques.  

Light In Transmission is a multilayered expression of my excitement in this growing community be it the undying light of neon, or the obscure nature of plasma. Past, present, or future, there will be light. 

—Percy Echols, II
Artist and Exhibition Curator


Funding for this exhibition was provided by The Pittsburgh Foundation and Advancing Black Arts in Pittsburgh, a joint program of The Pittsburgh Foundation and The Heinz Endowments.

Artist and Curator Percy Echols II

 

Artist & Curator Percy Echols II
www.percyechols.com
Instagram: @glass.percy

 

Taming Lighting Blog & Podcast
www.percyechols.com/taminglightning

Instagram: @taminglightning

ABOUT The Curator

Percy Echols II is passionate about plasma or plasma neon, a process requiring the technical and artist expressions of glass with the alchemical and scientific application of excited gases and specialized equipment used in neon.  

Echols’ interest in plasma began in 2014 at Pilchuck Glass School in Stanwood, WA. He was introduced to the medium through furnace glassblowing in a class taught by Patrick Collentine. He continued working in plasma while pursuing his BFA at Illinois State University while also working with a local neon and sign making shop in Bloomington, IL.  

After graduation in 2016, Echols worked at Pittsburgh Glass Center as a studio technician apprentice. During that time he designed and built his first mobile neon lab, a compact and mobile system for vacuuming and filling vessels for plasma or neon tubing. He performed his first public demonstrations, conducted workshops and continued to experiment with the medium. In addition, he used the lab to collaborate with artists such as Robert Mickelsen and Chris Ahalt to create new work.  

Echols launched a blog and podcast called “Taming Lightning” in May 2017 to connect with a larger plasma and neon community, build a network, conduct research and share ideas among artists and makers that use the medium.   

Percy Echols II was selected as the first recipient of the Ron Desmett Memorial Award for Imagination with Glass from Pittsburgh Glass Center in 2018. The award recognizes artists who think outside of the box, practice curiosity, and take risks to create unique, imaginative works in glass or incorporating glass, characteristics that PGC’s late co-founder Ron Desmett valued. 

Echols participated in a neon, plasma, and light exhibition on Murano called “Vetro Illuminato” during the Glass Art Society (GAS) Conference in May 2018 in Murano, Italy. In 2019, he was a recipient of a $20,000 award through Advancing Black Arts in Pittsburgh, a joint program of The Pittsburgh Foundation and The Heinz Endowments, to support his residency at Pittsburgh Glass Center.

Exhibit Resources

In conjunction with our neon and plasma exhibition, LIT: Light In Transmission, we're raffling off this gorgeous plasma artwork by featured artist Harriet Schwarzrock!

Raffle ends May 9. Proceeds will benefit PGC's artist residency program.


spaces between: crimson paired heart forms

(wall mounted box 2 plasma hearts, neon/argon and krypton)
$2800 value
box h 32 x 32 x 12 cm

On view in person at Pittsburgh Glass Center through May 9.

1 entry for $10 | 5 for $40 | 10 for $75 | 15 for $100

 

Enter to win plasma art, raffle ends May 9

Online opening event, originally broadcast on February 5, 2021. Featuring a gallery walk-through with curator Percy Echols II and a neon demonstration with exhibiting artist Michael Fletchner.

 

Interviews & Press

Plasma Art Resources

 

The Taming Lightning podcast, created and hosted by Percy Echols II, unpacks the alchemy of plasma and neon technology while interviewing artists, craftspeople, and scientists in the field.

In this collaboration between Percy Echols II of Taming Lightning and Ben Orozco of GEEX, the two respective plasma and neon artists/technicians are producing a 4-chapter series for glass educators and co-learners new to the plasma process, introducing elements of plasma in an easy-to-apply format, while touching on Percy’s journey as a self-starter and alchemist.

 

Originally aired live on March 26, 2021. This artist panel discussion in honor of Women’s History Month was hosted in collaboration with She Bends, the first and only collective of womxn bending their own neon art.

Moderated by She Bends founders Kelsey Issel and Meryl Pataky, and featuring artists Sarah Blood, Eve Hoyt, Danielle James “DJ”, Leticia Maldonado "Tiza", Megan Stelljes, and Harriet Schwarzrock.

 

 

Exhibiting Artist Michael Flechtner walks us through the making of a neon airplane.

 

Our partners at Carnegie Science Center have created two exciting  lesson plans for educators, diving further into the science of neon and plasma for students grades 6–12. 

 

Temple University Tyler School of Art & Architecture — Laurie Wagman Visiting Artist and Artist-in-Residence series Virtual Lecture featuring Percy Echos II, originally aired March 1, 2021

We worked with Pittsburgh artist and photographer Charles Biddle to map out a self-guided neon sightseeing tour of Pittsburgh that will give you an opportunity to explore the city and all of its glowing neon light. 

Starting March 5, we will release a list each week of the best neon spots to visit in different areas of the city. SEE THE TOUR LIST

Pittsburgh Neon Tour - photo by Chuck Biddle

About the Artists

In her practice, Blood seeks to reveal moments that challenge our perception of permanence and vulnerability. Concerned with light and phenomenology, she plays with the relationship between materials, space, and the viewer. Light, predominantly neon, seeks a non-luminous counterpoint that brings conceptual, physical, and visual weight to the work, creating immersive experiences that speak to human existence and ideas.

 

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Born in the United Kingdom, Sarah Blood is an artist, curator, and educator. She has enjoyed an active studio practice since 1999, exhibiting her work internationally alongside contemporary artists such as Bruce Nauman, Agnes Denes, Glenn Ligon, Sarah Lucas, and Tracy Emin.  

In her practice, Blood seeks to reveal moments that challenge our perception of permanence and vulnerability. Concerned with light and phenomenology, she plays with the relationship between materials, space, and the viewer. Light, predominantly neon, seeks a non-luminous counterpoint that brings conceptual, physical, and visual weight to the work, creating immersive experiences that speak to human existence and ideas. Blood is currently a tenured professor of Sculpture | Dimensional Studies at Alfred University. 

My art practice is analogous to an improvisational jazz, one composes riffs yet performs attuned to the moment.  You have to adapt to the unexpected. The working method of creating plasma light sculptures is very nuanced and serendipitous.  How a glass sculpture illuminates is a combination of physics, electrical behavior and chance. My work exploits the optics of glass. Joining and pinching the glass walls highlights the interior view of the artwork. The luminous works dance and move beckoning you to investigate their glowing presence. 

 

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Patrick Collentine received his BA in Studio Art from CSU Chico, California in 1983. Collentine has worked extensively with luminous glass sculpture and photography working from his neon art studio in Chico.

His art practice explores the intersection between art and science. With strong roots in traditional neon Collentine has worked to combine neon techniques with off-hand glassworking. He has taught and led artist workshops at the Swedish Royal Academy of Art, the Corning Museum of Glass, Pilchuck Glass School and CSU, Chico.

In December 2016, he was artist-in-resident at The Glass Factory and Museum in Boda, Sweden. His work has been exhibited internationally and was included in the Corning Museum of Glass publication New Glass, highlighting 100 works selected from 25 years of the New Glass Review.

Cumulus Gone Nimbus is a milestone in the ongoing collaborative efforts between Daria Sandburg and myself. Daria was one of the first local artists I began to work with since my apprenticeship at the Pittsburgh Glass Center. From drawing to form, it started with the possibility of creating her cloud and ladder imagery into glass. 

The first series of glass clouds we produced were intersected by hand-formed copper and silver ladders. Other variations included words or phrases and even took ornament as jewelry or decoration. Later when I gained a better handle on the mysterious working of plasma illuminated glass, I asked if we could make these clouds with plasma by encapsulating a wired ladder within an illuminated form. 

Each collaborative effort had its challenges, rewarding us with many failures, earned successes, and exciting new discoveries. Like one looks to the sky, each of us sees a different expression, shapeless until the mind gives figuration, mundane before electrified illumination.

 

See About the Curator section above for Percy's bio.

Given my background in sculpture (BFA, MFA), as I began to learn how to bend neon tubes, it became clear to me literally through some “wrong turns” that I would be able to create 3 dimensional neon forms in a primarily 2 dimensional medium. I believe I have a “gift” that enables me to be able visualize the finished work and then to create patterns, jigs, techniques and other devices in order to create these very “in the round” neon artworks.  

I knew that it was very important to develop sound bending skills and techniques so that my work would survive, handling, bombarding, and finally assembly and installation. 

Over the years, I’ve created a number of forms in various sizes that include sea life, aircraft, radios, cameras, etc.  The smallest 3D plane I’ve made has a 6” wingspan and the largest 3D shark 7’ long. It is surprising to me…as well as others how strong these fragile constructions really are.

 

ABOUT THE ARTIST

When I was a child I was fascinated with electricity, fire and colored light of any sort.  It could be the stained glass windows at church, my father testing the Christmas lights on Christmas Eve and the neon signage in my home town…adorning shop windows and local drive-ins and movie theatres.

I knew early on that I was an artist…spending a lot of time drawing and making things from stuff I’d find in the junk drawer. I also built from scratch telegraph sets, crystal radio sets, carbon rod microphones and radio transmitters.

I began to formalize art training at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh and completed my BFA in sculpture and painting at the Columbus College of Art & Design.  A slide lecture there, given by the artist Stephen Antonakos demonstrated to me…for the first time that neon tubes could be used in the creation of fine art!  Up to that point, I’d only thought about them as an advertising and decorative medium. I began to think of them as “drawing with light!”

After completing the MFA program in sculpture and painting at Wichita State University, I took a trip to Los Angeles and discovered the Museum of Neon Art.  Walking through the doors and looking at the neon art covering the walls there…I knew I had found “my people”!  After returning to Kansas I found Freddie Elliott, who knew the neon craft and I completed a six-week neon glass-bending course with him.  A few months later, I packed up my Dodge van and moved to southern California.  I found work shortly after arriving, in a sign shop and my boss would let me work on art pieces after hours.  My background in sculpture allows me to create 3-dimensional neon forms along with the usual lettering and flat graphic design.

My work reflects a love of the craft of neon fabrication…which I consider a zen activity, my sense of humor, love of color and movement. I keep my fingers on the pulse of contemporary culture, I play with language, pop imagery, rebuses and lovingly create artworks with a continuing reverie for my contemporaries in both art and neon and all the artists and craftsmen who came before me.

This whole situation amazes me, being a person alive on this planet and all. Stuff, matter, what comprises my body freaks me out totally.  Consequently, I find messing around with physical things to be quite fascinating. Glass fits my needs very nicely. It’s so luscious and smooey when hot, and as it cools it feels so strange as it hardens slowly and then turns into a solid light. The shapes that happen as a result of my playing with it look primal and natural. What a pleasure to experiment with natural phenomena!  So much fun to find hidden beauty with high-tech equipment!  Been at it all my life and it feels like I’ve just begun.

 

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Mundy Hepburn has made his living through glass art for over thirty years. His work has been exhibited in over thirty installations, and featured in five publications. A member of the glass art society, Mundy has made a name for himself with a unique style of art - luminous glass. A pioneer in this art form, Mundy combines technology with art to create a new breed of moving, living art. For a list of Mundy’s past and present exhibits, please see the exhibits page. Mundy also specializes in static sculptures, including bowls, cups, flowers, and indoor and outdoor standing sculptures.  

When I first began to notice neon, I knew that I wanted to make it for myself. I’m exhilarated by its luminous glow! I love that I can take the raw material of glass, melt and shape it into something completely different and with the addition of noble gas and electricity create colorful, brilliant light. I enjoy glass bending and approach it with a sense of mindful curiosity. I’m interested in creating artwork that is lively and playful, and like to incorporate found objects in my pieces.

 

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Eve Hoyt is a Philadelphia based artist who began bending neon in 1989. After several years working in the sign industry and looking to explore the possibilities of using neon as an art form, she set up her own studio, Evening Neon. Creating pieces that are colorful, abstract, and often whimsical, her award-winning artwork has been shown throughout the country since 2001. Hoyt is also a part of the artist group the Philadelphia Dumpster Divers and a member of the She Bends neon collective.   

“I Fixed It! Thrift Store Neon” combines Danielle’s love of thrift shopping, humor and the demanding practice of neon bending. Art has an amazing power to turn materials headed for the landfill into something of value. “This series is a form of economic alchemy. Helping the planet and keeping me on my toes creatively since they are all different.” Using pop culture, satire and current events as inspiration Danielle uses the imagery already in the mass-produced painting to inform the neon she will add.

 

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Danielle James is a neon artist living and working in Durham, North Carolina. She received her Master’s of Fine Art from East Carolina University in Greenville, NC and her Bachelor’s of Fine Art from Millersville University in Lancaster, PA. In 2020 she completed her apprenticeship at Glas studios in Raleigh’s warehouse district and now she has started her own neon shop called HEX NEON. Danielle uses her artwork mainly as a venue to practice bending glass and secondly to hold a neon microscope to American popular culture. She is part of the SheBends collective of female neon benders and has exhibited her neon artwork at both The Midway in San Francisco, California and VAR WEST Gallery in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

I have always been intrigued by the interplay of form, light and motion in space. Starting in the late 1950s, I studied and then practiced architecture and urban design while keeping an interest in sculpture and graphics. However, with the political upheavals of the 1960s, I felt compelled to shift my focus to city planning, community-based economic development and affordable housing finance. At the time, these seemed much more socially relevant. 

After some 30 years, my long suppressed interest in sculpture and graphics began to reemerge and fuse with my continuing interest in physics and geometry. Concurrently, I was strongly drawn to the new theories of self-organizing chaos as well as the related concept of emergence. Simply put, the term “self-organizing chaos” refers to the ability of certain seemingly random systems to self-organize, as well as self-replicate and behave according to rules that are not readily apparent outside of the system with often unpredictable results. “Emergence” refers to the appearance of a new phenomenon that has a nature beyond its component parts and is generally not predictable from an analysis of those parts. 

At first I toyed with the expression of these new ideas through the kinetic graphics of video feedback. But as my sculptural predilections took hold, I decided to find ways to create self-organizing chaos in space and time. A gas plasma manifestation analogous to the Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights seemed to be the right approach. However, since I was not yet able to work on such a grand scale, I found the closest applicable technologies to be that of neon and the Tesla-derived plasma globes appearing in specialty shops. 

What these more earthly items had most in common was the need to use glass to enclose a gas. Because there were no local classes available to me that taught neon and plasma techniques, I returned to school at the age of 55 to study glass, the material required to contain and maintain observable gas plasma on our terrestrial level. Thus for several years, I took about all of the studio classes offered in the glass sculpture department at the California College of the Arts in Oakland, CA, which is located down the block from my home. Also, being nostalgic for summer camp, I spent several summers at the Pilchuck and Corning glass schools, which included work with neon and plasma.

Nevertheless, I developed most of the gas plasma and requisite electronic techniques for my work on my own through extensive experimentation and trial-and-error, an alchemist’s approach, but with special thanks to the writings and patents of Nikola Tesla which I had devoured. Not being a master glass blower, I also developed a simple and inexpensive glass solder that allows the use of utilitarian manufactured glass items as well as heavier studio and cast glass work to create vessels for the plasma. Glass soldered together, basic forms can be transformed into transcendent glass and light sculptures. 

I find the sculpting of kinetic gas plasma within the space of a glass vessel both fascinating and absorbing. As might be expected from a media based on chaos, my work is very experimental. It is most often unpredictable and surprising, as well as extremely sensitive to fine-tuning and a delicate balance between numerous non-linear variables. The resulting chaotic order is beautiful, enthralling, interactive with the viewer and often mesmerizing. It seems suggestive of many other natural processes and forms. I believe that some of this beauty and attraction derives from an underlying similarity between the processes creating the plasma forms and the circuitry and functioning of our minds. They actually seem to be in tune with each other. 

So, like Dr. Frankenstein in his lab, I hover over my glass and gas plasma work, spending many hours mixing, balancing and fine-tuning. Still, the plasma light behaves in a way that I can never completely control. I can change or direct its behavior by varying the pressure and mix of gases, or the frequency and the voltage of the power, but I can never fully predict the detailed effects any of my actions will have. Though frustrating at times, this unpredictability is at the very heart of my work. This is the personality, the mystery, the life that I try to create in my art. 

It has been suggested that the self-organizing chaos of gas plasma is one of the very few natural processes, beyond biochemistry, that might evolve the feedback mechanisms to enable self-replication and thus possibly even life. Igor may have had it right when he declared, “It’s alive! It’s alive!”

 

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Ed Kirshner of Oakland, California, was born in New York City in 1940. He studied architecture and sculpture at Cornell University, the University of California, Berkeley, and the Oskar Kokoschka School in Austria.   

After 30 years of developing and financing affordable housing, he returned to study art at the California College of the Arts in Oakland, as well as at Pilchuck Glass School, The Studio of The Corning Museum of Glass, and North Lands Creative Glass in Scotland. His glass and plasma sculptures have been exhibited throughout the US, Europe, and Asia. His work is represented in the Corning Museum’s “25 Years of New Glass Review.” A piece blown by Mitch LaPlante with plasma work by Ed Kirshner has been selected by the Corning Museum of Glass and published in “New Glass Review,” 2018 as an important recent acquisition by the Bergstrom-Mahler Museum of Glass. Ed’s sculptures are also in such permanent collections as the diRosa Fine Arts Preserve in Napa, CA and the Swiss National Science Center, near Zurich.   

Ed has taught in the US, Europe, and Asia and has been on the faculties of The Crucible in Oakland and the Glass Furnace in Turkey. He held a five year Fulbright international teaching fellowship. Ed served on the Boards of the Museum of Neon Art (MONA) in Los Angeles and the Glass Art Society (GAS). Often essential to Ed’s work is his collaboration with master glass blowers such as Bernd Weinmayer, Jaime Guerrero and Mitch LaPlante.  

To produce the dynamic light effects in his glass vessels, he ionizes rare gasses with electronic Tesla coils. Many variables such as gas mixture and pressure along with glass vessel geometry have to be very finely tuned to create these often mesmerizing effects. It’s mostly alchemy. 

In creating “Ember/Armor,” I used the rose as a symbol for meditation on the subject of compassion. Eschewing a call to weaponize, I thought more about an object of protection, and arrived at this cloak of compassion. I wanted to call up all of the places in myself where I’ve ever felt empathy for others; grow it up around me as a living ember; wear it as an armor; and protect my soul from the energies in dark times that would call humankind to separate. “Ember/Armor” represents a chainmail to wear and protect your heart against committing an atrocity in the heat of battle that would dissolve the line between self and enemy, forgetting that all is connected in love and growth. In this sculpture, light is a battery to hold and shine the strength of compassion on all who are near. Do not forget yourself. Ask for the highest in others.

 

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Leticia Maldonado’s mastery over shaping (known in neon parlance as bending) is visible throughout her artistic oeuvre. Intricate roses, delicate birds, and hard sgraffito’d surfaces illustrate a passion for the craft, as well as an innate understanding of transforming emotions into sculpture.  

My practice is an attempt to learn what is possible with different tools and methods and can  best  be  described  as  a  diary  of  observations. The  materials  my  work  encompasses are an evaluative extension of the diasporic and sociopolitical spheres I inhabit.

 

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Denzel Russell is an artist and musician from Brooklyn, NY currently finishing his Diplom II at the Kunsthoschule für Medien Köln. The Alfred University graduate went on to residencies at Urban Glass and Institute of Electronic Arts. His work has been included at the Jewish Museum, Kunst Im Tunnel, Galerie Norbert Arns, and Open Source Festival.  

The heart is often regarded of as our emotional centre. Working with this form allows me to contemplate many aspects of being. From the subtle yet essential electricity with our bodies, to our extraordinary similarities and our small differences. These forms are similar, yet they manifest different qualities of pulsing energy and light. Wonderfully this type of illumination can respond to our proximity exploring interconnection and how we affect one another.

Intrigued by the mesmerising qualities of neon and plasma, the processes used to create this type of illumination are based upon early developments in modern lighting. As a glassblower I have been able to experiment with making sculptural glass forms to fill with this interactive light. These forms have inert gases sealed inside, including neon, argon, xenon & krypton. Depending on the ratio and pressures, differing qualities of light are expressed. Sometimes they have a warm glow much like an aurora contained in a bottle, in others there are lighting like lines meandering around the form. 

Although the gases are invisible, when excited by electricity they reveal subtle effects and differences. I am fascinated by this interplay between the invisible and the visible, between similarity and difference.

 

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Harriet Schwarzrock graduated from Sydney College of the Arts in 1999 with Honours in Visual Arts. Majoring in glass, after transferring from biology. 

Prior to graduating, Schwarzrock travelled through North America visiting renowned workshops and studios. On her return to Australia, Schwarzrock began assisting at Denizen Studio, Sydney, working with many of Australia’s best glassblowers, developing her skill and technique and finding inspiration and influence for her own work. 

Schwarzrock’s practice is currently based in her backyard, in the Canberra Region, Australia. She and her partner and glass artist, Matthew Curtis, run a hot glass studio together, tinting custom coloured glass. Working with form and the spaces within, Schwarzrock has recently been developing interactive neon and plasma works. 

Schwarzrock has exhibited extensively throughout Australia and abroad. Her work is widely collected, and she has won various awards and been selected for prestigious residencies. 

In support of my interest in the reinterpretation of commonplace objects and imagery, to mine the deeper and subconscious meanings lying therein - those sexual undertones revealing opportunities for dialogue about sex, sexuality, sexual health and consent - my creativity is tempered in a response to the cultural contrast of my youth, in the conservative Midwest, and my newly adopted home and community in the Pacific Northwest. 

My work is the visual manifestation of my values and emotions. Exploring a long standing and deep fascination with color and light. Inspired by popular culture, including those associations of familiarity and comfort attached to foodstuffs, it is most often my daydreams - which spark my imagination. Applied associations of familiarity and comfort attached to food, allow access to targeted individuals - my audience - perhaps guarded to frank discussion, though consoled by the inclusion of commonalities; metaphorical meaning in the commonplace allowing viewers to investigate, and define their own narrative, while interpreting my intent. 

 

ABOUT THE ARTIST

A graduate of Emporia State University’s glass program, earning her Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree, Megan decided to pursue a career emphasizing the material when still in High School. Relocating to Washingtonstate, it is there, apprenticing under glass sculptorKaren Willenbrink-Johnson, that Megan Stelljes was also afforded the opportunity to create ties with the glass community and began actively working and teaching in her field. Finding a certain satisfaction then, in the rewards of sharing her media passion, Megan continues to instruct nationally.

Through tutelage from artist Jeremy Bert, Megan has expanded her practice to include neon, and has exhibited her work at the Museum of Neon Art. In 2019, she has exhibited work in neonand glass, as part of An Alternative History: The Other Glass,at the Heller Gallery in New York Cityas well as As in Also, at the Traver Gallery in Seattle; curated exhibitionslooking at the lesser known history and conceptual practitioners from outside of the studio glass movementand internationally, at the Sabbia Gallery, in Sydney Australia, as well as New Glass Now at the Corning Museum of Glass.Indicative Stelljes uniqueapproach to glass, she combines the two, neon and blown glassto poignant ends. Megan has recently co-founded with her husband Conor McClellan and partnersNicole and James Anderegg, Gray Barn Studios, a glass facility in Arlington, Washington. 

Over my career I have built a quiver of lighting techniques. I’ve done so by researching all known forms of crafting electricity into light through the medium of blown glass, inert gases, and custom built electronics. I use these techniques and the multifaceted metaphors that sculpting with light allows, creating a synthesis of both art and invention. 

My current sculptural focus began many years ago as an undergraduate when I was awakened by an idea that has resonated with me to this present day. Random combinations of molecules have self-assembled over eons of time to form our most profound thoughts and feelings which we can use to examine ourselves. 

My current investigations focus on the connection of the abstract space of cognition and concept formation to the subsequent communication of these ideas both within the self and to others. I am interested in relating these concepts through elements and the energy that moves and supports them on a concrete and observable level.

 

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Wayne Strattman’s background in engineering— combined with his experience as a researcher, teacher, artist, advocate, and author— have made his name synonymous with glassmaking in the Boston area, as well as around the world. For several decades, his company, Strattman Design, has been a global leader in creating custom sculpture, architectural installations

“Leo Tecosky deconstructs iconography through an impressive range of glassmaking techniques. From graffiti letters etched with Islamic patterns to hot-sculpted, Wildstyle-arrow installations, Tecosky juxtaposes the complexity of visual language with the fluidity and transparency of glass. Whether bending neon tubes, screen printing enamels, or sculpting bubbles his work reflects cultural exchange and the mathematics within archetypes.”

 —Cheryl White, Executive Director,
The Elizabeth River Trail Foundation

 

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Leo Tecosky works at the intersection of cultural exchange, craft traditions and the pursuit of knowledge of self. He blends glass making techniques with deconstructed graffiti iconography. Recent exhibitions include site specific installations Graffiti and Ornament at the landmark Woodlands Cemetery in Philadelphia, and Semiotics II at the Gustavsberg Konsthall in Stockholm, Sweden as well as a solo show at the Agnes Varis Art Center in Brooklyn, NY. Born in New Mexico, raised in Miami and currently in Brooklyn, his experience living in many places and traveling to others has helped shape Leo’s view of the world. Tecosky has worked in metal and glass shops since he could work and has an MFA. A father and husband, Leo works as a glass blower in Brooklyn and teaches Glass at Tyler School of Art and Architecture.