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March 25, 2010 - Image 73

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2010-03-25

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Arts & Entertainment

Of The

The Janice Charach Gallery
celebrates Glass Month
with a collection of beautiful,
and curious, works of art.

Elizabeth Applebaum

Wu is a quiet and
respectful man who is
self-taught in design,
ometimes, nothing says art quite Steam says; he made
friends with a few
like jellyfish.
glass blowers who
To be specific: a jellyfish dan-
helped him learn basic
gling 9 feet from the ceiling and made of
techniques, and then his talent simply
deep blue — like a sky heavy with rain
bloomed: natural and bright and bril-
— glass.
liant, like a wildflower. This was exactly
On March 28, the Jewish Community
what Steam wanted for the upcoming
Center of Metropolitan Detroit's Janice
glass show, and it would perfectly fulfill
Charach Gallery will open "State of the
the gallery's commitment to discovering,
Glass:' a celebration of Glass Month, fea-
and supporting, emerging artists.
turing an extraordinary collection that
CCS students, teachers and alumni
ranges from graceful vases to elegant
created the works in "State of the Glass."
glass houses to an immense jellyfish
Some are first-time exhibitors, and
(wavy tentacles and all) by artist Craig
some have been making glass art for
Mitchell Smith.
The exhibit is presented in conjunction many years. Stearn particularly enjoys
the opportunity to see how artists have
with the College for Creative Studies and
grown over time — and with their skills,
is being guest curated by Herb Babcock,
the value of their creations. Yesterday's
glass chair at CCS.
student who sold a small vase for $50
More than 40 artists will show their
often becomes the Madonna of the art
works in the exhibit, with featured guest
world: in demand, of seemingly unlim-
Andrew Wu — whom Gallery Director
Terri Stearn met when he came by to play ited fascination to the public and a mas-
ter of his/her field whose projects are
his violin. A musician with the Detroit
now valued in the tens of thousands of
Symphony Orchestra, Wu was set to per-
form in a concert at the gallery and want- dollars.
Stearn likes seeing artists challenge
ed to make certain the sound was perfect.
themselves to look at things in a new way,
Stearn and Wu began to chat, and Wu
too. Consider Gallery Assistant Director
mentioned that he enjoyed working in
Hillary Levin.
glass. Stearn decided to take a look at
Levin was first a painter. Then her
some of his work — and in a heartbeat
mother-in-law taught her to knit. Levin
she was mesmerized.
liked it so much ("It's kind of art-on-the-
"I've seen glass in all shapes and
go:' she explains. "You can take it with
designs, but I had never seen anything
you everywhere") that she knit her own
like this:' she said. "It's so fresh and new,
chuppah. Then the gallery hosted "The
with a distinct style."

Special to the Jewish News


Art by Andrew Wu, who says: "I find much of my inspiration in music. As a
professional violinist, I am inspired by the emotion of the music I perform as well as
the performance itself. Trying to capture that same feeling in glass is a challenge

that makes working with glass so exciting."

Bra Show," where artists decorated plain,
white bras – or created their own. Levin
made a bra knit from copper wire. Artist
Dani Katsir liked the bra so much he
asked to work with Levin on a project for
"State of the Glass!' The result: an almost
life-sized copper-wire-knit dress inside a
thick coating of glass.
"It's amazing:' Stearn says.
Of course, first all that glass has to get
to the gallery.
While each artist brings his or her own
art — some carefully wrapped in layer
upon layer of bubble wrap, stuffed in
Styrofoam and then tucked into sturdy
cartons, others just carried in hand
— the gallery staff does the rest.
"It's actually one of my favorite days at
work:' Stearn says. She and Levin remove
the 38 pedestals from storage underneath
the gallery. "Then we bring them down
the hall — actually it's push, push, push:'
Invariably, it's funny and the two laugh
a lot.
Some people stare, Stearn says, because
the pedestals are so bulky, but the two
women remain undeterred in their quest

to bring art to the world — or at least the
pedestals where it will be displayed.
The final step: matching the tops to the
bottoms, and then arranging the glass.
Oh — and being certain to keep the
artist's name with his or her work.
"We're very careful about keeping post-
it notes with each name attached to the
art:' Stearn says. "One time I forgot to do
that, so at the last minute I was sending
photos to all of the artists asking, 'Is this
yours?' I don't think I'd like to do that
again." ❑

"State of the Glass" will be on
exhibit March 28-May 12 at the
Janice Charach Gallery, inside the
Jewish Community Center, 6600 W.
Maple Road, in West Bloomfield. The
opening reception for "State of the
Glass" will be 1 p.m. Sunday, March
28. Gallery hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Monday through Thursday, and noon-
4 p.m. Sunday. For more information,
call the gallery at (248) 432-5579.

March 25 . 2010


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