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by Brittany Tepper, Daily Vidette Staff Writer

University Galleries is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the studio glass movement in the U.S. with Studio Glass at 50: A Tradition in Flux.  An opening reception will be held on Saturday, July 28 from 3-5 p.m. Exhibition curator John Miller will start a gallery walk at 3:30 p.m. The exhibit features vintage glasswork from 1962 to contemporary work. ISU alumni and current graduate students have made much of the glass art featured at the exhibit.   


The goblet exhibition, entitled Gathering, inhabits most of gallery one. Gathering features 27 colossal goblets. Each goblet has a unique stem that typically represents the artist.

These goblets are not your typical drinking glass. Goblets range in color and concepts, some featured have lights, a car, and a rocket ship attached. Miller says the process for creating these goblets was very collaborative. Miller has his own series of goblets entitled “High volume,” and his experience with goblet making has helped other artists.

“Most of the artists made the stems in their studio with my help. I made the cups and feet, and combined them all together. It is kind of my high volume series with 27 guests,” said Miller.

The other galleries include vintage pieces, many from famous glass blowers at the beginning of their careers. As well as, several large contemporary pieces such as a large set of keys, a cigarette and screwdriver. A piece entitled “No Child Left Behind” features two starving children made completely of glass.

See More Pictures from the Gallery

Miller, who is also the current professor of glass, hopes to educate people on the intricate and intense art of glass making.  A cylinder drinking glass seven inches tall takes four to five months to create.

“You look at this stuff and it’s interesting and unique. Some of these pieces are really large scale, but you really don’t understand the process, that’s where my class comes in,” said Miller.

Miller says that visiting his shop on Main and Willow will also give students a better idea of what goes into glass making. To add, he brings the art of glass blowing to children in the community.     

“Last week I had a bunch of fifth through eighth grade kids come into the gallery.  For me to continue to introduce glass to the community really helps the contemporary glass movement move forward, as well as educate people on what happens when making glass,” said Miller.

On July 26 Miller will do a demonstration at the Children’s Discovery Museum.

Tony Preston Schreck, curator and interpretive programs coordinator, said that an exhibit like this really engages not only students, but also community members.

“Summer we tend to have more community members than students, when the semester starts our demographic is student based. A show like this is extended to maximize our audience base. We expect this to be a real crowd-pleaser. A lot of people are confounded by glass as a medium,” said Preston-Schreck.

The Exhibit will run until October 14. University Galleries is located on the south side of ISU’s campus inside the Center for the Visual Arts.

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