Glass Artist Paul Stankard To Speak At The Hunter Thursday

Kicks Off New Speaker Series, ArtWise

Monday, February 25, 2013

Glass artist Paul Stankard is internationally-known for his detailed botanical compositions. He will discuss his work as part of Hunter Museum’s new series “ArtWise: Distinguished Speakers at the Hunter Museum” on Thursday at 6 p.m.

The “ArtWise” speaker series brings art world figures to the museum. 

"We’re very excited to present ArtWise to Chattanooga,” said Adera Causey, Hunter Museum curator of education. “This series features premiere thinkers, creators and scholars in the arts today. We invite the community to join us as world as these individuals share their insights with us.  It’s a wonderful opportunity for people to hear and meet the arts leaders of today and tomorrow.”

All ArtWise programs are open to the public and are included with regular Hunter Museum admission (free to Hunter Members, $9.95 for adults). 

Inspired by the poetry of Walt Whitman and by the delicate features of nature, Mr. Stankard’s glass works encase delicately designed flowers that meticulously reproduce the endless variations of nature. He is the winner of several lifetime and artistic merit awards and his work can be found in major museum collections including those of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Museum of Arts and Design and the Hunter Museum.

A pioneer in the studio glass movement, Paul Stankard’s career has spanned more than four decades. At first glance his works appear to be simple paperweight forms. Upon closer inspection, one can see the detailed, intricate botanical compositions, with roots that are often figurative. Mr. Stankard cites the poetry of James Joyce and Walt Whitman as inspiration for his miniature representations of North American wild flowers and he meticulously lampworks each piece in sections that are then encased in clear glass.

Mr. Stankard’s work is currently showcased at the Hunter Museum in the exhibition, “Beauty Beyond Nature: The Glass Art of Paul Stankard.” It is on view now until April 21.

“Beauty Beyond Nature” features more than 70 works is divided into five categories—Paperweights, Botanicals, Cubes & Columns, Orbs and Diptychs, Triptychs & Assemblages. Paperweights examines Mr. Stankard’s approach to a traditional format. The artist began as a scientific glassblower and would experiment with creating flowers in his time off using a simple flameworking torch. As he became increasingly adept at making elaborate florals, the artist’s paperweights took on more detail and more complexity. He then moved into a vertical orientation that is explored through both Botanicals and the Cubes & Columns series. These works feature human forms intertwined into the root structures, symbolic orbs or spheres hovering above the composition, and ‘cloistering,’ a technique he used to filter or absorb light within the sculpture.

With Orbs, Mr. Stankard moved into the realm of the 360 degree sphere. He achieved this with Robert Stephan, who grinds and polishes Mr. Stankard’s pieces. Diptychs, Triptychs & Assemblages brings together the artist’s various techniques and ideas that he had developed over 30 years.

This exhibition is organized by the Museum of Glass, Tacoma, Washington with the Robert M. Minkoff Foundation, Ltd. It is sponsored locally by: Barnett & Company and BB&T Insurance Services.

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