art exhibition to feature
work by BSU, Anderson students
State professor Cole
to lecture at Hanover College
Lela Jane Bradshaw
(September 2012) Brent Cole was an undergraduate
art student in Cleveland when he first became drawn to the power of glass.
He explains that he enjoyed the material and especially the camaraderie
that is necessary when working with hot glass.
Today, Cole, 43, serves as the director of Ball State Universitys
Marilyn K. Glick Center for Glass and is busy helping to introduce students
to ways of using glass in their own work.
Cole came to Ball State three years ago when the Glick Center for Glass
was being developed. Ball State is now able to offer the only graduate
glass program in Indiana. Cole explains that while at most schools the
glass program is an outgrowth of ceramics and equipment is housed in spaces
that have been adapted to glass, the Glick Centers state of the
art building is particularly important because it was built specifically
as an academic glass arts facility.
Cole finds that teaching allows him to keep a fresh approach to his own
work. Having spent years using glass in his own art, he explains that
it is easy to get self-imposed limitations. By working with
artists coming to glass for the first time, it encourages him to look
at the medium with new eyes.
Now by taking part in demonstrations and exhibitions during the Madison
Chautauqua Festival of Art on Sept. 29-30, Cole will have the opportunity
to share his enthusiasm and knowledge with a new audience.
Blaze and Burn, an exhibition of glass art by 25 students
and faculty of Anderson and Ball State universities, opened Sept. 5 and
runs through Oct. 5 at the Hanover Colleges Grenier Art Gallery.
A guest lecture by Cole is scheduled from 5:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 28,
with a reception beginning at 5 p.m. Several artists with work in the
show will be on hand to discuss their art.
The exhibition is presented by the Grenier Art Gallery and the Madison
Chautauqua as part of their celebration of the 50th Anniversary of American
Studio Glass, which will also include demonstrations of hot glass work
throughout the weekend at the Lanier-Madison Visitors Center, 601 W. First
In 1962 ceramicist Harvey Littleton presented two groundbreaking workshops
on glass blowing at the Toledo (Ohio) Museum. These seminars sought to
encourage studio artists to explore the potential of glass. Glass research
scientist Dominick Labino worked with Littleton to develop a small, affordable
furnace where glass could be melted and worked took production out of
large dedicated factories and into into small private studios where artists
could experiment. While glass had been used to create functional products
such as bowls and windows for centuries, this new furnace helped move
glass from an industrial product to an artistic medium.
Cole believes that the passing of time has led practitioners to view themselves
as artists who use glass rather than glass artists.
His own work tends to be mixed media installations that incorporate blown,
cast or fused glass according to the needs of the particular piece. Many
pieces on display as part of Blaze and Burn highlight this
flexibility on the part of the artists as they use glass in conjunction
with media, particularly found objects such as logs, suitcases
Hanover Colleges Leticia Bajuyo describes the gathering as a
very special show and says she is pleased to be bringing together
the work of faculty, undergraduate and graduate students for the first
show focusing on glass art during her 11 years as the director of the
colleges art gallery. She is eager to show her own art students
the types of work that is being done in glass as the medium continues
to expand in importance throughout Indiana.
Cole said he is excited about the opportunity to demonstrate at the Chautauqua
not only to introduce the public to glass working but also
to introduce his students to working in a new environment outside of their
The mobile unit will be a new furnace for the students to explore and
will also give them the chance to talk with observers and answer their
questions about the process.
I think a lot of people dont realize how difficult the material
is to manipulate, Cole says.
Bajuyo jokes that the hot glass demonstration during the Chautauqua is
sure to appeal to pyromaniacs due to the fiery furnace involved.
But she reflects more seriously on the almost instinctive allure that
fire tends to hold.
As humans, were drawn to it, she says and notes that
most people have enjoyed time around cheerful campfires or calming candles.
Bajuyo believes that viewers will respond to the paradox of using fire
as part of the artistic process saying, Something that can be so
destructive can be a creative tool when used in this manner, when controlled.
For more information, visit: http://art.hanover.edu/