ANDERSON, Ind. —
Stephanie Cochran enrolled in Anderson University when her children were entering college. Expecting to major in special education, she was as surprised as anyone to instead focus on glass and sculpture in the fine arts department.
“I have family history of working with glass,” said Cochran, who is on schedule to graduate in May. “My grandfather worked at the Ball canning company in Muncie. He collected cut glass and decorative glass. I grew up with it but didn’t realize how much it meant to me until recently.”
Not only does she enjoy creating art from glass, but she is also accomplished at the process. She won second place at the Best of Indiana Glass: 2012 Indiana Glass Artists Exhibition at Anderson University on Saturday. An annual juried show, this event is hosted by the Indiana Glass Arts Alliance (IGAA), based in Indianapolis.
“I was really excited,” said Cochran. “It is affirming just to be included in a group of such well-respected artists from all over the state.”
IGAA is a nonprofit organization whose founder is not even a glass artist. Judy Wells, a collector, wanted to increase awareness of the glass movement in Indiana. About five years ago, she formed IGAA to provide glass artists with a community and a venue to display their work.
“We want to grow the glass community, get people involved with each other and educate the community,” said Ben Johnson, an artist from Cicero and organizer of the exhibit.
Glass blowing is such a complicated process that artists usually work together to produce a piece. Rather than an artist retreating to a solitary studio and completely controlling the medium, glass blowing requires several artists work together as a team with give and take.
“You are very limited if you try to work by yourself,” Cochran added. “The other artists have helped me over the years — they are not selfish about the art. Having people come to Anderson is huge and it makes me hopeful to have a glass community or an art community here. This is the perfect place for it.”
Johnson likes working with glass because it’s “unpredictable.”
“I always learn something new,” he said.
“Glass represents art in a way that other mediums don’t,” Cochran said. “Light lives in it, and I am fascinated by it.”
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See the exhibit
- Where: Wilson Gallery East, Anderson University
- When: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday until Sept. 28
- Information: Contact the Indiana Glass Arts Alliance at (317) 210-0665 or www.indianaglassartsalliance.org.