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Glass art exhibit features 10 local artists

VERGENNES — Creative Space Gallery in Vergennes will open “Glass Art: Molten Color and Frozen Forms” — an exhibit featuring the work of eight local glass artists — this Friday, March 24 through May 7. The exhibit will include kiln formed glass sculpture by Alyssa Oxley, hand-blown glass by Bud Shriner, and kilnformed glass jewelry and objects by Micaela Wallace.
The exhibit also includes work by emerging glass artists Anne Hulvey, Mary Ellen Jeffries, Cherie Marshall, Lori Pietropaoli and Christie Witters. An opening reception and wine tasting will be held at the gallery on Friday, March 24 from 5-8 p.m.
These artists incorporate a wide array of techniques — cutting, fusing, sand blasting, dropping, slumping and blowing — to create unique examples of contemporary glass art. Here’s a little more info on each exhibiting artist.
Alyssa Oxley
Alyssa Oxley pursues every opportunity to expand her understanding of the material and achieve a proficiency in giving shape to her ideas in glass. Oxley has been working with kilnformed and cast glass for about 15 years. She has experience in commercial art, interior and graphic design and despite her paying jobs, has always maintained an active, independent fine art studio of her own.
Her current work in glass is strongly driven by time spent outside, along the Otter Creek near her home in Vergennes, Vermont, or walking the nearby school campus. These experiences are transformed into Memory Boxes, evocative containers that echo the landscape through abstract forms and patterns that evoke an urge to explore what might be hidden within.
Oxley learned a lot of what she knows about glass working in the Kremer Glass Studio in Pound Ridge, New York. She currently teaches kilnforming glass classes at South End Glass at Davis Studio in Burlington and summer intensives in places like the Corning Museum of Glass Studio, Corning, New York, Snow Farm Craft School, Williamsburg, Massachusetts and Helios Glass Studio in Austin, Texas.
Micaela Wallace
Micaela Wallace creates beautiful and unique functional items made with fusible glass. Her products include fused glass plates, platters, bowls, coasters, candle lights, sterling wire wrapped jewelry and belt buckles.
Wallace is a Vermont native but lived away for 12 of her adult years. She began her glass craft life about 20 years ago during the period away from Vermont by taking studying stained glass at the Oglebay Institute in West Virginia. She continued studying stained glass upon moving back to Vermont at the Shelburne Art Center. Wallace expanded into fused glass more than 10 years ago and studied at The Studio of the Corning Glass Museum and the Bullseye Glass resource center in Mamaroneck, N.Y.
Wallace is currently a juried member of Vermont Handcrafters and does many craft shows over the course of the year. Wallace is currently teaching kilnforming glass at the Davis studio in South Burlington. She draws much of her inspiration from the beautiful mountains and gardens that she views outside her workshop. Her glass jewelry incorporates dichroic and iridescent glass into pendants, earrings, and hair accessories. She also creates one of a kind plates and decorative objects inspired by the Vermont landscape, plants and other forms.
Bud Shriner
Bud Shriner was first introduced to glassblowing in 1970 while working in a neurochemistry lab. There he learned the techniques of scientific glassblowing with borosilicate and quartz, leading him a few years later to seek out his first experience with off-hand glass blowing. A graduate of the University of Vermont Medical School, Shriner practiced emergency medicine for 15 years, though throughout this period he continued his experimentation, begun in childhood, with various crafts: blowing glass, building furniture, and working with copper sculpture. He has studied at Corning Studio with Josiah Mcilhenny as well as at the Haystack School of Crafts with Fritz Dreisbach, Jan Erik-Ritzman and David Levi.
In the mid-1990s, Shriner left medicine to devote himself full-time to glass-blowing, opening the glass studio at Church and Maple in downtown Burlington. In the winter of 2007, Church and Maple Glass moved its production facility to the beautiful landscape of Charlotte, where his creativity and artistic growth flourish.
EMERGING ARTISTS
Anne Hulvey
Anne Hulvey’s interest in glass started with her beach glass collection from Lake Champlain. “A few years ago I started taking fused glass classes through the Davis Studio under Alyssa Oxley and Micaela Wallace,” she said. “I was amazed at the possibilities this medium provided me. The colors of glass and the various techniques allowed me to be creative in designing my pieces. I continue to learn through involvement in open studio at Davis Studio.”
Hulvey is a hand therapist at UVM Medical Center.
Gretchen King
Gretchen King lives in Waterbury, where she is inspired everyday by the seasonal beauty discovered hiking with her dog, Odin. Having dabbled in various art forms most of her life, about three years ago she decided to take a class at the Davis Studio, and discovered the relaxing complexity of fused glass. This duality is blended to create both random and at times, intentional design elements that evolve toward purpose. King studies under Oxley at the Davis Studio. Her other passions include the ancient art of Japanese Temari, where fiber art transforms spherical symmetry.
Cherie Marshall
Cherie Marshall has been working with glass for about four years at the Davis Studio with Oxley and had exhibited her jewelry at the Southern Vermont Arts Center last summer.
Lori Pietropaoli
Lori Pietropaoli lives in Williston. She began working in glass at Davis Studios soon after moving to Vermont in 2014. She is inspired by colors and patterns, especially stripes.
Catherine Suiter
Catherine Suiter has described herself as a “glass addict” since she was a child and watched the sunlight make rainbows on her grandmother’s crystal glasses. Having collected glass in many forms (perfume bottles, blown glass, sundry domestic art, including a glass countertop) she finally has the chance to work with fused glass herself at the Davis Studio. It is the curious contrast between the hardness of glass and its fluidity that she finds endlessly exciting and occasionally disappointing.  Straying from the usual cutting and pasting in glass, she has explored different uses of frit, slumping and sand blasting techniques to give a sense of movement to the glass.
Christie Witters
Christy Witters discovered glass in 2013 at the Davis Studio and has been melting, cutting, and “dropping” glass forms ever since. Her degrees in Environmental Studies and Land Use Planning both inform and drive her creative process. She is inspired by the natural land formations surrounding her home in Richmond, including the topography of the Green Mountains and the sinuosity of the Winooski River and its tributaries. Witters studies under Oxley and has travelled to Northlands Glass in Lybster, Scotland to learn from Amanda Simmons.
Mary Ellen Jeffries
Mary Ellen Jeffries spent the first 50 years of her life working and raising three terrific kids with her husband. “I was fortunate enough to retire and refocus some of my interests,” she said. “Two art mediums that I have found (and love) since turning 50 are rug hooking and fused glass. I look forward to continuing life with family, community, running and creativity!”

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