Glass artistry spotlighted at Arts Alliance
● By J. Chambless
'Primordial' by Steven Schaefer.
Four of the virtually limitless directions that can be taken with glass are explored this month at the Oxford Arts Alliance. “Four Visions in Glass” shows a breadth of techniques and styles that gives you a new appreciation for the medium.
Katherine Cheetham’s fused glass panels in frames are like little windows, capturing spring, autumn and winter views of trees. The chunky snow in several has appealing depth, appearing as mounded-up drifts and falling in clumps.
Steven Schaefer explores layers of sinuous movement in his elegantly swirling pieces, many with vividly striped glass twisted inside a clear glass cocoon. It’s a sleight of hand that draws you to examine them from every direction. In “Primordial,” he captures the color and motion of a building wave, perhaps. In his “Twister Series,” the candy-colored masses in the crystal matrix are evocative, particularly “Ribbon Dance,” with multiple layers of thin rainbow colors repeated like a fluttering banner. Earthier elements are seen his Stone Landscape Series.
Thomas von Koch has maybe 100 blown glass pieces – animals, amphibians, birds and other creatures – many no larger than a fingernail. They’re undeniably cute, and very detailed, considering their size. He also works with larger figures – dragons, particularly – that are just as detailed as his army of tiny critters.
Anna Boothe shows a fascinating array of cast glass perfume bottles that combine ancient forms achieved through laborious technique. With recurring motifs of outstretched hands, layered leaves and faces, the frosted glass vessels recall antiquity married with modern design. Each one is a multilayered jewel, but two – “Venier Contarini Flacon” and “Elena Flacon” – are more complex, recalling house shapes overlaid with themes of elaborate fashion.
There will be an artist talk on Sept. 29 at 1 p.m., and a closing reception on Oct. 11 from 6 to 8 p.m. For more information, visit www.oxfordart.org.
To contact Staff Writer John Chambless, email email@example.com.