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home : news : news May 24, 2016

4/3/2014 3:57:00 PM
Glass art is one-of-a-kind
Kids draw the darndest things
Olivia the Outstanding Owl glass sculpture, unveiled at Wyoming Tuesday night this week. At left is the drawing Olivia was created from, submitted by Kirsten Swanson
Olivia the Outstanding Owl glass sculpture, unveiled at Wyoming Tuesday night this week. At left is the drawing Olivia was created from, submitted by Kirsten Swanson
Sydney stands beside her finished glass figure, a pirate parrot, unveiled at Chisago Lakes Library last week.
Sydney stands beside her finished glass figure, a pirate parrot, unveiled at Chisago Lakes Library last week.
by DENISE MARTIN


The silhouettes of ink-black trees and crystalline new snow perfectly back-lit the display of cartoon-colored blown-glass pieces that had been lined up in front of windows, in the Chisago Lakes Library Community Room. After all, glass can only multiply in beauty when accompanied by good light. The East Central Regional Library system, in cooperation with the Arts Council, started a unique effort last summer, assuming the outcome would be stronger library-youth relations, through creating art envisioned by youngsters.

The east central arts community decided it would commission a glassblower to make figures of designs submitted by library patrons ages 4 to 10. The program received funding through the state’s Legacy monies, which are Minnesota’s arts and environmental sales tax revenue earmarked by voters. The “Kids Design” contest ended up with 14 totally unpretentious and imaginative drawings, chosen by the glassblower to be crafted as glass sculptures. Over late summer 2013 and into winter, artist Anthony Michaud Scorza, working at his glass studio in central Minnesota, brought these whimsical figures to life. There’s a purple fish in a clear bowl, a cat lounging in a rowboat, a giant hamburger oozing condiments, and a tricky-to-make tiny turtle on a petal of a huge sunflower.

Selections challenged the skills of a traditional glass-blower, Michaud Scorza explained in his presentation March 27 at the library. As he spoke on how he went about the creative process it was clear he had as much fun bringing the pieces to life as the kids did in seeing the final products. The resulting figures remain true to what the youngsters drew, including the “pickle fish” with cucumberesque bumps, or the flecks of 24 kt gold used to replicate the glittery beret worn by a parrot. It all shows the artist’s eye for detail. That parrot, “Arg Matey” was the winning design for the Chisago Lakes Library, which hosted last week’s unveiling.

The well-accessorized bird was drawn by Sydney, a Taylors Falls Elementary student and the daughter of Keith and Jennifer Barnick. The arts council and each library have been hosting “unveiling” events where kids submitted their drawings. Sydney and Kirsten, age 10, who drew what became Olivia the Outstanding Owl, (see pictture) for the Wyoming Area Giese Memorial Library-- were the last of 14 pieces unveiled. (The North Branch Library winning glass piece and designer Caleb Thyng were highlighted in the Press March 13.)





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