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Glen Echo's Glorious Glass Art Adorns Front Window At Brentwood


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Michele Rubin's "Troubled Waters" glass work. Photo by Wanda Jackson

Michele Rubin's "Troubled Waters" glass work. Photo by Wanda Jackson

Published on: Friday, February 14, 2014

Wanda Jackson, Sentinel Arts Reporter

After years of working with a variety of media and techniques, from photography to quilting, screen printing and cabinetmaking, Sherry G. Selevan discovered glass. For her, this was life altering. In 2006, following a career as a health scientist for the federal government, she started fusing glass. Since then, Selevan has studied a variety of techniques at schools in the greater Washington D.C. area and elsewhere.

Everything that Selevan knows as a skilled craftsperson, according to her artist statement "feeds into her work in glass." Selevan makes jewelry, clocks, plates, and more with modern lines and a wonderful eye for color as illustrated in her work titled "Golden Nest." This simple yet elegant bowl and platter is adorned with hues of green and rust-colored expressive graphics on a creme background. 

Described as having a "silk-like sandblasted finish, Selevan's works have been exhibited in invitational and juried shows, Washington-DC metro galleries and online at Artful Home. Some of her work has been published in a book on "Art Glass Today." Last year, Selevan was a NICHE finalist in fused glass. (Begun in 1989, the award celebrates excellence and innovation in American and Canadian fine craft).

Glorious glass art by Selevan and five other Resident Artists from the Art Glass Center at Glen Echo will be on public view through March 8 as the "Front Window Featured Artists" in the Craft Store at Brentwood Arts Exchange.

The Art Glass Center at Glen Echo is a school, resource center and gallery for kiln-formed glass, devoted to teaching and promoting the medium and to encouraging artists to explore its many facets. Its resident artists along with other professional artists offer classes in casting, pate de verre, mosaics, Venetian glass bead making, flameworking, color and design, painting on glass, and other kiln-formed or fused glass techniques.

Diane Cooper Cabe's glass portfolio comprises sculptural pieces inspired by her memories and reflections. Cabe was a Bullseye E-merge Finalist in 2004 and has exhibited at Target Gallery, the Fraser Gallery, VisArts Gallery, Glenview Mansion, Artomatic and the Popcorn Gallery at Glen Echo. 

Cabe's work titled "Death Valley Garden" highlights studies in painting and pottery. In this work, four seemingly alive cacti-inspired plants in terra cotta pots form a powerful straight line on a tray-like wood bench. 

Christine T. Hekimian began her career in glass 17 years ago at the Gary Rosenthal Collection in Kensington. She has studied with leading glass artists, including Dan Fenton, Richard LaLond, Jerimy Lepistol, and Norm Dobbins. 

Hekimian's delicate square-shaped work titled "Veiled Tapestry" features luminescent textile-like bands that weave in and out, and overlap each other. Its blue, green and gold colors are perfectly complementary, undoubtedly influenced by Hekimian's background in interior design. 

Sue Hill has been working in glass since 2001, and has always been involved in some form of arts and crafts -- tole painting, decoupage, sewing, quilting, needlepoint, cross-stitch, silk screening, and gold- and silversmithing. Her finished works spring from photographs, pattern bars, some tried and true methods, and by her own description what lies in her subconscious, elements of change, the spirit of the times and what's going on in her life. 

Hill's "Stained Poppies," for example, features vertical bright red vertical bars with red and pink showy flowers in the background. Its excessively bright and colorful elements create an uplifting, joyous mood.

Michele Rubin, a DC-native, began working in kiln-formed and lampworked glass in 2002 and has studied with many acclaimed glass artists in the U.S. and Europe. In 2005, Rubin established Trilogy Glass Art to explore and create both functional and non-functional glass art. 

At first glance, Rubin's "Troubled Waters" sculptural work seems as tranquil as the sea. Blue and green-Caribbean waters ebb and flow to the edge of the circular glass work held in place by a wrought-iron frame. The tranquility of the moment, however, is interrupted by a massive web of thick black lines signaling chaos or perhaps that one is headed to an uncertain destination.

Janet Wittenberg, who earned a bachelor's degree in fine art from Indiana University in 1976, worked as a jeweler in New York City, and created her own jewelry design and production business. Today, Wittenberg teaches various glass techniques and hones her skills through workshops led by internationally-recognized glass artists. She creates custom architectural commissions for clients, and sells her functional and sculptural art glass at shows and galleries in the D.C. area.

Viewers looking at Wittenberg's "Portal," a large bowl-shaped work, will immediately be captivated by its qualities of color and light, and intrigued about its construction. Its abstract graphics in varying blues, gray and dark yellow flow inside, outside and around the lip of the bowl. There is a subtle balance between detail and emotion.

Discovery and surprise awaits viewers in the "front window" of the Craft Store at Brentwood Arts Exchange. More about the store and the acclaimed Resident Artists from the Art Glass Center at Glen Echo is available by calling 301.277.2863 and online at arts.pgparks.com. Brentwood Arts Exchange is located in the Gateway Arts Center, 3901 Rhode Island Avenue, Brentwood, MD. 

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