For the first time in Union’s history, a guest artist is showing handblown glass on campus.
Ten sculptures created by San Francisco-based artist David Patchen are featured in ‘Details,’ a collection on display through Oct. 3 in the Art Department gallery in Penick Academic Complex.
The exhibit features three of Patchen’s glass sculpture styles.
“I’ve always been captivated by how one can use this enigmatic material to achieve virtually any form, hold elements in suspension and achieve great detail or soft abstraction,” Patchen said in his artist statement. “Its flexibility as a medium is matched by the difficulty it presents in using it to execute precise work.”
Alesia Fisher, senior art major, said few artists work with glass because of its challenging nature.
“Glass as a material is stubborn,” Fisher said. “It’s jagged, it’s rigid and it’s really difficult to use, but he turned it into something alluring.”
In a video on his website, Patchen demonstrates how he combines cane and murrine, which are glass colored rods and patterned cross-sections, to create intricate designs of varying colors and transparencies.
He begins laying out the pattern’s elements days before the pieces are fused together in the glassblowing process.
Fisher said Patchen is unique in using a traditional method to create nontraditional pieces.
“You really don’t see many glass artists like this,” Fisher said.
Patchen’s work will be displayed in the gallery through Oct. 3. The gallery is free and open to the public weekdays 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and weekends from 1 to 4 p.m.
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