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CMC Gallery highlights ‘Glass Art Menagerie’

Mike McKibbin
Special to the Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
This piece by local artist Charlie Pace is one of several by glass artists in the "Glass Art Menagerie" exhibit at the Colorado Mountain College Gallery in downtown Glenwood Springs from Dec. 14 through Jan. 25.
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There may be a few “look but do not touch” signs at the next exhibit in the Colorado Mountain College Gallery in downtown Glenwood Springs.

That’s because the artistic medium is more fragile than usual: it’s glass.

Six area glass artists will have their creative talents on display in the exhibit “Glass Art Menagerie,” which runs through Jan. 25 at the gallery, 831 Grand Ave.



Local glass artists Spencer Crouch, Mary Matchel, Shannon Muse, Charlie Pace, David Powers and Kathy Steckel will be included in the exhibit.

Muse, a glass artist for 35 years, lives in Carbondale. She became interested in the medium after talking to a neighbor who took an art class at the college in the 1970s.



“It just sounded like it would be so much fun,” Muse said.

Her glass creations usually involve recycled or fused glass, she said, with snowflakes a central theme.

“I have a passion about water, and we live in an area where so much water is stored in snow,” Muse said. “To me it’s really the secret of life.”

She uses a snowflake as a logo to identify her glass creations.

“They’re not just sun catchers for me,” Muse said of her artistic pieces. “They have more meaning.”

Another glass artist in the show, Dave Powers of Carbondale, has a studio at Colorado Rocky Mountain School, also in Carbondale. The school’s artist in residence, he also teaches classes there.

Powers said about 15 years ago he started glass blowing, which involves dipping long, steel pipes into 240 pounds of molten glass, rolling the pipe and lifting out the melted glass.

Glass blowing is a physical and intense endeavor, he explained.

“I find I have to have a very clear intention of what I’m creating and it becomes a very engrossing activity,” he said.

The time it takes to create a glass item varies greatly, Powers said, depending on the item. It takes about 10 minutes to create an ornament, while a bowl with a complex combination of colors can take a team of three people an hour and a half.

His interest in glass blowing began when he was 10 years old and his family visited an island in Venice, Italy.

“I saw someone doing glass blowing and I remember thinking then, ‘At some point in my life, I want to do this,'” he said.

The show’s curator, Alice Beauchamp of Colorado Mountain College’s ArtShare, said she has always wanted to present a glass art exhibit.

“There’s just such a wide spectrum of glass in art,” she said. “I found these artists are a very close-knit group of people, too.”

The Colorado Mountain College Gallery is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information call 947-8367.


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