At Blue Rain Gallery in Santa Fe.
The Least Terns
In June they build
their skimpy nests
on the sand.
Overhead, they hover,
white commas on the
blue page of sky,
pause in their diving
to threaten us
with their dreadful talons.
from their extinction,
with their illusions.
Glass by Ethan Stern at LewAllen Gallery
call to my ears,
pull my eyes skyward,
heard before sighted,
Sandhills from Michigan.
call my thoughts to fly with them
or the Gulf Coast of Florida.
The cranes arrive,
bring their news of winter,
their voice compared to barking
geese, to the bugling
of wild elks.
These are no geese,
their words no honk,
no barnyard bark for them.
It is a rattling coo,
doves amplified 1000 times.
Arrows shot from a bow,
they neither swoop nor slow,
they rocket southward,
abandon me here
rooted to the ground.
Glass by Ethan Stern at LewAlle Gallery
Court at the Feeder
The cardinals are nothing if not princely,
the way they preen, court, and spend
mornings waiting in the high branches
for word of weather and local real estate.
They see the news live from their perches
as ordinary house finches switch slowly
from drab to burnished ruby red turning
the heads of other secondary actors.
Now the Royals reoccupy the old feeder
having tired of watching spring
and all its ordinary transformations.
Ethan Stern Glass at LewAllen Gallery, Santa Fe
Three Graces Oblivious While Los Angeles Burns
Scott, Joyce J.; Pilchuck Glass School
United States, Seattle, WA; United States, Baltimore, MD
Overall H: 53.7 cm, W: 24.7 cm, D: 22.7 cm
“Joyce Scott uses glass beads to address topics such as sexuality, violence, and civil rights. Three Graces Oblivious While Los Angeles Burns was created in the wake of the beating of Rodney King by police officers in Los Angeles, and the citywide rioting that followed their acquittal in 1992. Beneath the head of an African-American, representing the victimized King, the three Graces—who symbolize gracefulness, peace, and happiness—turn their backs on a burning city skyline. For Scott, the choice of beads is intentional. Beadworking is traditionally regarded as a woman’s pursuit, and it is usually associated with jewelry and other decorative applications, especially in ethnographic and folk art. In Scott’s hands, the bead regains its currency, but it is a value that is symbolic rather than monetary.”
From Corning Museum website.
Had a peak experience at the Corning Glass Museum. I ended up bursting into tears, I was so overwhelmed by beauty. The museum includes a full history of the glass of the world, and everything from a Steuben glass slipper to the naturally occurring glass skeletons of sea sponges. So much beauty, color, so much transformed and transfixed light.
The innovative sculptures–majestic contemporary pieces, hit me the most. I’ll just share two here, with text from the website. Silvia Levenson’s piece is part of the art of survival, a memorial of the disappeared, and seems to be in the post feminist tradition using “craft” to document the political. It blew me away.
My art is about my life. Everyone has anxieties and fears, and I try to resolve some of these feelings in my work. It’s Raining Knives could be any suburb. The piece is about us, and family, and what is happening now. We may feel safe and secure in our houses, but the truth is that we can never be sure.
Glass is not a neutral material, but a very powerful medium of communication. I see it as a metaphor for transparency, for feeling and revealing emotions. It is a wonderful material that is both beautiful and treacherous. I use knives and scissors in my work because they are ordinary, everyday objects that can suddenly become dangerous. For me, knives symbolize the possibility of violence, rather than violence itself. —Silvia Levenson
She was born in Argentina in 1957. “The installation, It’s Raining Knives, was conceived in 1996 in response to Levenson’s personal experiences during the Videla dictatorship. It has since become a thought-provoking commentary on the threat of terrorism in general, and on the culture of fear that has rapidly spread in the United States and abroad since the events of September 11, 2001. It’s Raining Knives “is not supposed to make people feel anxious,” Levenson says, “but to make them feel better.” Rather than making a political statement, her art work is about coming to terms with fear…”
Very different and yet equally compelling–and perhaps dealing with some of the same emotion, is The Proof of Awareness by Loretta Hui-Shan Yang of the People’s Republic of China,
“Wishing my next life be as clear as crystal.” — Loretta Yang. Loretta Yang’s sculpture is inspired by traditional Chinese and Buddhist philosophy. According to Yang, this glass peony, which was cast in one piece, “inspires reflection on the Buddhist teachings of impermanence, as the blossom is most vibrant just before the flower begins to fade.”
I loved these when I saw them at LewAllen Gallery at the Railyard. My first thought, though, was are these fish jumping in or out? I still want to know.
See images below.
Glass Parrot Essence
At the Jane Sauer Gallery (652 Canyon Road, Santa Fe) there is a flock of glass vases by Australian artist Noel Hart. Brilliantly colored, swirled, melded, and luminous, the artist takes inspiration from his home in a sub-tropical rainforest. Parrots are his primary symbol. Interestingly, Hart started off as a photographer, but became yet another artist drawn to the ultimate medium of light–glass. Layers of colored glass are applied to a clear glass base. This is a kaleidoscope that implies flight and feathers. In fact, the show is called “Ornithology Abstracted.” The artist says: “My approach to these artworks has been to repeat line over line, shape upon shape, colour over colour, form over form, and looking somehow to create an object or image that’s full of parrot.”
The result is gorgeous, but these containers made me want something even bigger and wilder. A field of vases? An enormous amphora? A stained glass window?
They keep shining.