Featured Artisan Richard Glenn  
   

Our Artisans - Richard Glenn

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image of Richard Glenn, Glasst ArtistRichard Glenn is a Portland-based artist working primarily in kilnformed glass.

A graduate of Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Richard spent more than 15 years working in the advertising field in Dallas, Los Angeles and Seattle.

Shortly after his arrival to Seattle in 1989, Richard visited the Pilchuck Glass School, founded by glass artist Dale Chihuly. This visit started his journey into glass. Serving as a volunteer for the school, he took glass classes as his interest gained. By 2001, he was able to devote himself full-time to glassmaking, leaving the corporate world behind. I’ve gone from making commercials to making art, he says.

Since then, Richard has gained attention in the art and glass communities for his fused glass “photo-collages,” which resemble the graphic Pop style screen prints by Andy Warhol from the 1960s. He developed a process, using a commercial product called a “photo-resist,” to etch via sandblasting the image into the glass before it fused together. The etched areas are treated with enamels and the imagery is permanently fused
within the glass.

Richard’s work has been featured in group shows throughout the country and was recently published in the book e-merge: WG@BEIII. In Sept. 2004, Richard moved to Portland, Oregon, where he shares a commercial studio space with glass artist Doug Randall. Their first joint exhibition was held July 1-30, 2005 at Brian Marki Fine Art in Portland.

Recently, three pieces created by Richard were featured in the museum exhibition What’s Pop? Pop Icons and Contemporary Neo-Pop Artists, at the Susquehanna Art Museum – Harrisburg, PA, April 9 – June 30, 2005. He is the only artist working in glass included in the exhibition.

In April, 2006 Richard will have his first large-scale solo show at Brian Marki Fine Art in Portland.

Work Statement: I arrived late to glass, yet started early. When I was four, I found a marble in the dirt while crawling around under the bushes. It was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen, and at that moment I knew that glass would be my life\'s obsession.

Too bad I couldn\'t color between the lines. In those days, the kids who couldn’t (or wouldn\'t) draw straight were directed into pursuits other than visual arts… music, drama, etc. I discovered a talent for writing, eventually majoring in advertising and becoming a successful advertising and marketing executive.

Somewhere along the line, I got hooked up as a volunteer for the Pilchuck Glass School, founded by Dale Chihuly. I was in glass heaven. Before long, I knew that my passion was glass and its unlimited potential for expression. It started with a class here, a workshop there… by May, 2001 I had left the corporate world behind and have not looked back since.

As an artist working primarily in glass, I reinterpret ideas and images, symbols and stories through images, shapes, words, texture and color. My background in the commercial world makes me hyper-aware of the images and messages that we receive — as well as send — constantly throughout each day.

I rely upon images and themes spanning from antiquity through contemporary pop culture. References to art history, literature and mythology may be found throughout my work. Drawing inspiration from diverse sources — anything from Michelangelo to Andy Warhol — I try to reinterpret classical ideas and ideals in new ways. Themes ranging from sexuality to spirituality underlie my work.

Possessing neither a Master’s degree, nor an art school background, I’m unencumbered by traditional expectations and conventions of what “glass art” is supposed to be. I create what I believe is beautiful and has deeper meaning. It is my passion to bring beauty and joy to others through my work.

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