Clearly Collaborative exhibition:
A Master of Glass Meets Masters of Craft
January 27 – March 11
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (February 1, 2023) What started as a conversation over coffee culminated in a dramatic exhibition demonstrating how artists’ imaginations have no limits. Through March 11, visitors to the Florida CraftArt Gallery can witness the power of collaboration between Duncan McClellan, internationally renowned as an art glass master,and ten other artists celebrated for their work in various media, such as ceramics, jewelry, mixed media, metal and even papier mâché.
The concept for the exhibition arose from a conversation between McClellan and art collector David Ramsey who had commissioned a sculpture featuring the metal work of the late Paul Eppling and McClellan’s glass work. For years, McClellan has blown glass vessels and now has an abundance of them that he wanted to share with other artists. Ramsey was so enthusiastic about the concept that he served as the curator.
“All of the artists were selected because of their mastery of their craft,” Ramsey said. “Now that the exhibition is open and their pieces are finished, I am even more impressed by their amazing talent. Their work is the best I have seen. Touring the exhibition at Florida CraftArt is a visual experience that everyone should experience.”
The show’s title Clearly Collaborative reveals the innovation produced when masters of one medium are introduced to new art disciplines under the guidance of another master artisan.
Florida CraftArt is delighted to participate in this project,” says FCA CEO Katie Deits. “We suggested award-winning fine craft artists who are members of our statewide nonprofit organization. This opportunity has greatly expanded their future vision for their art.”
Each artist met with McClellan to discuss the design and technical challenges of working with glass. The artists received the blown-glass vessels, as well as access to the DMG School Project commercial sandblasting booth and other tools needed to realize their concepts.
“I think it is important for an artist to give back to the community,” says McClellan. “I have been fortunate in my career, and many people have shared their inspirations and talents with me. These collaborations are a way in which I can offer artists working in other media the chance to explore the magic of glass, and I am also inspired by their innovations, creativity and techniques. Artists must keep growing and expanding their perception, and sometimes this needs to be done by creating a communal opportunity for shared vision.”
The final works are featured in a stunning original showcase, along with examples of each artist’s work in their conventional media. Clearly Collaborative: A Master of Glass Meets Masters of Craft premiered at the Florida CraftArt Gallery on January 27 and runs through March 11, 2023.
On view is artwork by Lucrezia Bieler (Papercutting, Tallahassee), Joyce Curvin (Mixed Media, Palm Harbor), the late Paul Eppling (Metal), Pamela Fox (Jewelry, Sarasota), Dominice Gilbert (Metal, St. Petersburg), Nneka Jones (Mixed Media, Tampa), William Kidd (Ceramics, St. Petersburg), John Mascoll (Wood, Safety Harbor), Duncan McClellan (Glass, St. Petersburg), Charlie Parker (Ceramics, St. Petersburg) and Sue Shapiro (Ceramics, St. Petersburg). All of the artists are seasoned art award winners, including John Mascoll and Lucrezia Bieler who won awards at the 2022 Smithsonian Craft Show in Washington, DC, and Nneka Jones who won Best of Show at Gasparilla Festival in Tampa.
“As a statewide, nonprofit organization, we display outstanding handmade objects made by some of the best craftspeople in the country,” Deits continues. “Half of our gallery on Central Avenue features only Florida artists while the Exhibition Gallery, as well as our annual Florida CraftArt Festival in November, showcase fine craft artists from around the country. We engage and educate the community about fine craft. Admission is free to the galleries and the special programs.”
Tuesday, March 7, 5:30 p.m. Artists’ Lecture Series, Session Two: Joyce Curvin, Nneka Jones, William Kidd, and John Mascoll
ABOUT FLORIDA CRAFTART
Florida CraftArt is located at 501 Central Avenue in St. Petersburg, Florida, and is open Monday through Saturday from10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. For more information, visit www.FloridaCraftArt.org or call (727) 821-7391. Florida CraftArt is a nonprofit organization founded in 1951 and headquartered in St. Petersburg. Its mission is to grow the statewide creative economy by engaging the community and advancing Florida’s fine craft artists and their work. Florida CraftArt is the only statewide nonprofit organization offering artists a platform to show and sell their work.