Tuesday, November 23, 2010

PRESS RELEASE: "Glow" at Art on Main in Bristol

Art on Main announces its November-December 2010 Featured Artist Exhibit, Glow. The exhibit features photography by Norwich artist Jon Olsen and blown glass by Casey McMains of Jericho. The community is invited to meet the artists at a celebratory reception on Friday December 10 from 5-7pm in the Gallery at 25 Main Street, Bristol. Both artists will be on hand and refreshments will be served. The Gallery will also be participating in the downtown Chocolate Walk and open until 8pm that evening.

Jon Olsen always been an amateur naturalist and a student of the visual arts. “I enjoy exploring the landscape and its many components,” he says. “I find the variations in light, form, texture and color fascinating, with endless possibilities for study and observation.” He is generally drawn toward the pastoral and simplicity in design resulting in evocative, elegant, often minimalist, photographs of Vermont’s landscapes and flora & fauna. His printing process as well surprises the viewer with a rich, textural element unusual in photography.

Over the years Jon has explored many different forms of photography: black and white, color, different formats, films and printing processes, finally transitioning in the last several years to a process of digital recording, processing and printing. “This current set-up,” he explains, “allows me the greatest creative control over all aspects of my workflow from conception to final print. A desktop processing system replaces the wet darkroom, but the workflow is much the same: determining exposure, contrast, color temperature, dodging and burning, etc.” He prints on a watercolor paper coated to receive the pigment inks of an Epson printer. The combination results in an incredible print quality and a highly stable archival print, more so than could be attained with traditional color print processes.

Casey McMains discovered glass while studying to be a silversmith at the Surrey Institute of Art, and once she did there was no looking back. “This was a true eureka moment,” she declares. “It started when I was attending college in England when my friend Russ from the glass program handed me a blowpipe, had me gather glass out of the furnace, and blow my first bubble. After that I was obsessed.” She returned to Vermont and sought out a hot shop where she could intern—learning the fundamental techniques of glassblowing, but also the business of being a successful glass artist—while attending college classes in Burlington.

Over her career, Casey has been heavily influenced by elements from a wide range of ancient cultures and her interests in mythology, symbolism, comparative religion, and history. She is drawn to the many parables about the interconnectedness of everything and the influence of powers we cannot even see. The medieval liturgical architect Abbot Suger introduced Europe to colored glass in a new way with the stained glass windows in the Abbey of St. Denise in France. “To him, light passing through colored glass represented transformation,” Casey explains. “As a glassblower I have the opportunity to sculpt this transformative medium, to sculpt in light.”

“Over the past few years,” Casey goes on, “the focus in my art has grown from working with color and transparency to incorporating texture as another tool in exploring transformation and light. To that end I am now starting to incorporate knit fiber elements in with the hand blown glass. I design a unique pattern to respond to the glass piece ensuring the dynamic element enhances the whole piece.”

In addition to her new work and other functional pieces, Casey will be exhibiting traditional blown glass globe holiday ornaments in a variety of sparkling colors in honor of the season.

The exhibit will be on view in the Gallery through Friday December 31st. Art on Main is open Monday thru Saturday 10am-6pm and Sunday 11am-3pm. In December, the Gallery is also open until 8pm on Friday evenings before Christmas and also on Thursday December 23.

For more information, visit www.artonmain.net, find us on Facebook (Art on Main VT), or contact Carolyn Ashby, Gallery Manager at (802) 453-4032 or info@artonmain.net.