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April 02, 2004 - Image 43

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2004-04-02

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Al4Pob jezitish artists

Michig . n.




Special to. the Jewish News


omposer Randy Newman,
actress Kim Basinger, singer
Natalie Merchant and rock-
er Ozzy Osbourne have
something in common besides the
attention they get as glittery entertain-
ment celebrities. Their homes all show-
case glittery glass art completed by for-
mer Detroiter Liz Marx.
The artist, who has been working out
of a studio in California for nearly 20
years, is traveling back to the area
where she grew up to be part of two
exhibits celebrating April as Michigan
Glass Month. The celebration, in its
24th year, will have some 30 displays at
art centers, galleries and schools under
the direction of a committee that
includes Jean Sosin, Herbert Babcock
and Sylvia Vigiletti.
Marx, a graduate of the College for
Creative Studies, will be represented at
the Janice Charach Epstein Gallery in
Janet Kelman:
West Bloomfield, where "Work by
"Fuschia in Bloom."
Students from CCS" will be shown on
the second floor and "Scaled to
Perfection," 20 pieces by Jon Kuhn, will be displayed on the first floor.
Marx also will have a project in "One of" at the District Arts Gallery in
Birmingham. She curated the exhibit, which features a piece by each of the
many artists participating.
"I will be showing panels from 'Moving Into Stillness,' a series seeking the
calmness of minimalistic expression," says Marx, who also designs lighting fix-
tures as part of architectural projects. "I used to be more ornate with my glass-
making, but I had a spiritual journey that changed my aesthetics. I've become
more clear and find blank space soothing."
Marx has returned to Michigan for other shows at local galleries, including
Habatat and Robert Kidd. A former member of Temple Beth El, she has made
menorot on commission and a blessing in glass for a new home owned by busi-
nessman/philanthropist Charles Bronfman and his wife Andrea.
I started out working in textiles," says Marx, who earned her master's degree
at the Massachusetts College of Art. "I soon loved working in glass."
Marx's style remains very different from Kuhn, whose earlier work has been
the subject of a retrospective at the Janice Charach Epstein Gallery. This year, he
brings new projects to the space with some 15 pieces, cubes with inner forms
and circular structures.
"I'm using leaded glass and more silicone now," says Kuhn, whose works are
in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and the
Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.
"I recently finished my largest commission, a cube that is 3 feet in all direc-
tions. It is blue, green and purple and has been placed in a poolhouse on the
grounds surrounding a home. The cube is motorized and computerized and can
be turned in different directions at slow and fast speeds."



Kuhn, who works out of a studio in North Carolina, likes glass because of its
three-dimensional qualities and the accessibility it offers to designs appearing
beneath the surface. He has completed Judaica projects, and the Jewish Museum
of San Francisco has a Ten Commandments tablet that he created.
Irene Frolic has shown work at the Janice Charach Epstein Gallery, but this
year she will be among many artists in the "32nd Annual International Glass
Invitational" at Royal Oak's Habatat Galleries, which launched glass invitation-
als that led to the establishment of Michigan Glass Month. Frolic, a Holocaust
survivor whose family moved from Poland to Canada, has worked with pieces
that convey the Holocaust but also has moved in new directions with abstracted
human forms.
"I've started to explore glass as a carrier of light and color instead of just
thinking of it as a surface metaphor for skin and crust," Frolic says. "I'm using
leaded crystal and will be showing two figurative pieces — Inner Fires: Autumn
with a gold ruby color and La Vida in dark red. I'm simplifying my approach so
the work is more streamlined."
Two younger Jewish artists, Ian Gilula and Aaron Frankel, also will be show-
ing their work in Royal Oak, at the Ariana Gallery. The two are partners in
Oregon's Elements Glass, where they design their own projects separately, some-
times work together executing them and teach classes.
The men like the transparency of glass, the way the material can make color
vivid and the natural movement they think glass properties convey.
"I think of beauty as the function of the form," says Gilula, who is working
on a sculpture for the entrance of a synagogue in St. Louis, the city once called
home by the artists and the place they became friends. "Ariana will be showing

GLASS ACTS on page 46


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