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DC GlassWorks artists showcase sculptures in Laurel

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Photo by Wanda Jackson. David D’Orio’s work “Monophonic Delivery.”

Photo by Wanda Jackson. David D’Orio’s work “Monophonic Delivery.”

Published on: Wednesday, July 10, 2013

By Wanda Jackson

“Glass is an amazing material to work with,” said David D’Orio, a resident artist at DC GlassWorks and Sculpture Studios in Hyattsville.

“It starts out as a liquid and through your intervention, a form is created. Its working temperature is around 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit,” D’Orio said, “and it is constantly trying to drip off the blow pipe so it has the perception of being dangerous while being incredibly challenging to manipulate.”

Montpelier Arts Center’s “32nd Annual Sculpture Exhibition” through Aug. 18 showcases contemporary works by D’Orio and other DC GlassWorks members and instructors, including Steven Jones, Megan Van Wagoner, Joseph Corcoran, Matt Deal, Leo Lex, Karyne Messina and Patrick Burke.

Photo by Wanda Jackson. Megan Van Wagoner’s work “Subsidized Comfort.”

Photo by Wanda Jackson. Megan Van Wagoner’s work “Subsidized Comfort.”

Their works, created using processes such as blown and cast glass, offer open-ended and evocative narratives.

D’Orio said his work “revolves around the belief, and almost absolute faith, in the idea that we can invent solutions to all our problems — real or imagined.” The artist said he wants viewers to question their “faith in technological solutions.”

His work, “Monophonic Delivery,” is made of steel, glass and found objects such as a radio and bicycle “to play with the idea of talk radio and its tendency to shout over other voices,” D’Orio said. It “suggests that a single person, the assumed rider, can drown out all the surrounding sounds.”

“Found objects carry with them the baggage of their past lives and uses,” D’Orio added.

With “common objects, viewers have experiential memories that they subconsciously draw on when approaching the work,” he said. “For example, a bike may not just be a bike. It could be memories of youth, a ride to someplace, a friend or relative that may have owned one.”

Van Wagoner works primarily in ceramics, metal and glass. She has created art using wood, knit yarn, fabric and found objects.

“I will use any materials which contribute to the narrative,” she said.

Her two works in the exhibit “contain objects that are recognized symbols for abundance and wealth — a bushel basket and a silver spoon — paired with commodities or produce, which carry their own historic references to value,” Van Wagoner said.

“Subsidized Comfort” was created with aluminum and glass. It pairs an upturned bushel basket with potatoes. The potatoes were hand-blown into a plaster mold. The aluminum basket was also cast in a mold.

In “Wealth,” created from glass and a found object, Van Wagoner placed a tea bag in a spoon. The glass tea bag was cast using a plaster mold in a hot kiln to mold and shape the glass.

“The visuals of each piece are not explicit,” Van Wagoner said, “but the titles guide the viewers to think about the issues of wealth or value. The narrative is yours to imagine.”

Montpelier’s “32nd Annual Sculpture Exhibition” is an engaging conversation between viewer and artist about beautiful things, memories and technology, and how the artist can manipulate an amazing medium.

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