Annual Leverett exhibit celebrates beauty, diversity of glass

  • Colleen and Gary Grebus are among the exhibiting artists at the “Oh Beautiful Glass” exhibit at Leverett Crafts & Arts through Nov. 28. CONTRIBUTED

  • Sally Prasch and George Kennard have been collaborating, combining both furnace glassblowing and lampworking. This piece, called “Floating,” is among those on display at the “Oh Beautiful Glass” exhibit at Leverett Crafts & Arts. CONTRIBUTED

Greenfield Recorder
Monday, November 29, 2021

LEVERETT — Eighteen glass artists are displaying their work for the third “Oh Beautiful Glass” exhibit, on display at Leverett Crafts & Arts through Nov. 28.

The annual exhibit began in 2018, and returns this year following a hiatus in 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Organizer Sally Prasch said it’s been “wonderful” to have the glass artists reconvene, and observe how their work has changed over time.

“It was great because all the artists brought their work and we got to see each other and talk about what we’re doing during this time,” she explained.

Prasch, a Montague Center resident and neighbor of Leverett Crafts & Arts Building and Operations Manager Walt Burnham, was inspired to start the “Oh Beautiful Glass” exhibit to bring more variety to the arts venue.

“A lot of the time they have 2-D work, whereas this is a 3-D exhibit,” she said. “I think it has a large diversity of different types of glassworking, diverse techniques.”

Prasch added that a lot of her friends, Burnham included, are resident artists at Leverett Crafts & Arts.

“I want to support him,” she said. “I want to support the whole organization.”

Prasch is among the artists who have their work on display. All are from within the Northeast, with the farthest participants being Beth Hylen and George Kennard, both from Corning, New York.

“Right now, I’m doing collaborations with George Kennard,” Prasch said of her own work. “We’re working with water, greens, things of the earth, kind of, and combining both furnace glassblowing and lampworking, where you work glass over a torch. They’re usually two different techniques but we’re combining them into one.”

Shelburne Falls glass artist Jeremy Sinkus, who believes he has participated in every “Oh Beautiful Glass” exhibit, also has his work on display.

“I have some contemporary art nodules on the wall and tourmaline glasses on display,” Sinkus said. “The ‘nodules’ are created from a list of the top 10 attributes that I noticed people enjoyed about glass objects over 10 years of doing shows. I wrote those 10 attributes down and created a single object using all of them from the list.”

Some of those attributes include windows — “windows lure you to look inside and create a separation of atmospheres or dimensions,” Sinkus explained — and something inside to reward the viewer’s curiosity.

Sinkus said he appreciates having “Oh Beautiful Glass” at Leverett Crafts & Arts as there are “not many focused glass art shows in the country, and this one is special.”

“It’s a great show and location,” he said. “We have a lot of creative glass artists in the area and are lucky to have the LCA in the middle of that to host.”

A factor in the large diversity of styles on display lies in the medium’s flexibility, said Prasch, who has been glassblowing since she was 13 and began an apprenticeship with Lloyd Moore.

“I think you can make anything with glass,” she said of her love for the medium. “You can make things very technical, you can make things very free. It’s a very forgiving material.”

The other exhibiting artists are Marta Bernbaum, Jocelyn Brown, Dominique Caissie, Ann Conlin, Sally Curio, Wesley Fleming, Martha Giberson, Lindsey Gonzalez, Colleen and Gary Grebus, Cary Rapaport, Jesse Rasid, Bill Rathbun and Wayne Strattman.

“Oh Beautiful Glass” is on display through Nov. 28. The gallery at 13 Montague Road is open on Friday through Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m.