Chihuly Exhibit - Dallas Arboretum
Photo by Bill Hurst
Glass, in its plethora of uses, is something that has allured people for centuries upon centuries. Our eyes are captivated by its visual beauty, its tactile appeal, its wondrous ability to capture and refract light in a thousand breathtakingly subtle ways. As with many art mediums, new and innovative techniques are being developed and employed for using glass to create art of unparalled beauty and distinction, while the old tried and true techniques are being refined and adapted for the same purpose.
Across the country, glass sculptures and other glass art forms are becoming the hot décor item with homeowners and design professionals, as the current display of internationally celebrated artist Dale Chihuly’s glass sculpture exhibit at the award-winning, 66-acre Dallas Arboretum and other similar glass art exhibits across the country clearly demonstrate. His collection demonstrates that glass art "works" organically in both outdoor and indoor environments.
Sunflower Leavessel by artist Rob Stern
Photo courtesy of American Fine Art & Frame Company
Ardell Zueger, owner of the American Fine Art & Frame Gallery, says that "Glass is the new three-dimensional art for the home and corporation." Zueger maintains that “There is a powerful glass movement in this country that started with Dale Chihuly, Anne Gould Hauberg, and John Hauberg who opened Pilchuck Glass School in 1971.”
In 1979, Lino Taglipietra traveled to the United States to teach at Pilchuck, bringing several of the glass blowing techniques used in Murano, Italy that were previously unknown in America. Sharing those secrets has created some of the finest glass artists right here in our nation, including his colleague, Chihuly and Texas glass artist David Gappa, owner of Vetro Glassblowing Studio.
Spring Rain by artist David Gappa
Photo by Spiral Photography
Gappa shared, "I have built my life around an art form that thrived for centuries in Europe. Over the last 10 years, I've been a part of a big movement within the master glass artist community to educate the public on the intricate nature of this art and the many forms that fine art glass can take." Gappa continued: "Interior designers, architects and art consultants, particularly in Texas (I'm proud to say), are embracing fine art glass and incorporating it in a growing number of projects. My favorite phrase to hear is ‘Gappa, this is the space and this is the inspiration, now go create a masterpiece!’"
Gappa is represented in several art galleries in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, including American Fine Art.
Exquisite, hand-blown chandelier by artist Seth Parks
Photo by Seth Parks
George Hakimeh, owner of Outrageous Gallery in Austin, says that while glass has been very popular in Arizona and the Northwest for many years, it finally seems to be picking up in the Texas area.
When asked the reason glass is appealing to more and more designers and homeowners, Hakimeh said, “Something about the light and the fluidity of color with glassjust draws people into our gallery. Artists are able to do certain things with glass that cannot be done in the other art mediums.”
We all know and appreciate the functional beauty and utility of glass. Now, it is time for us to think of the uses of glass in our home and other environments in artistic and aesthetically pleasing terms. As these glass artisans demonstrate, glass has a legitimate and important part to play in the interior design industry.