Grasp, Cling, Let Go, frit-cast glass by Anna Boothe

Cooper, Boothe and Lozar to Show at Merwin & Wakeley Galleries

February 27, 2007

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. - The work of artists Barbara Cooper, Anna Boothe and Carmen Lozar will be displayed March 6-April 5 in Illinois Wesleyan's Merwin & Wakeley Galleries (6 Ames Plaza West, Bloomington).

The exhibits are free and open to the public. Gallery hours are Monday-Friday, 12-4 p.m.; Tuesday evening, 7-9 p.m.; and Saturday and Sunday, 1-4 p.m.  The galleries will be closed for spring break, Saturday, March 17-Sunday, March 25.

On Tuesday, March 6, there will be an artist's lecture and demonstration with Boothe from 4-5 p.m. in Room 218 of the Joyce Eichhorn Ames Art Building, followed by an opening reception from 5-6 p.m. in the galleries.

Cooper, a resident of Chicago and recipient of three Illinois Arts Council Fellowships, will present "Cross Sections:  Sculpture and Drawing" in the Merwin Gallery.  Her large-scale sculptures are inspired by biological forms and processes.  She doesn't literally recreate objects, but instead, uses a variety of materials to establish suggestions of the natural world.

Having exhibited her work at the Bellevue Arts Museum in Washington and the Chicago Cultural Center most recently, Cooper has also presented solo shows at Fassbender Gallery in Chicago, the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan, Wis. and the Hafnarborg Institute of Culture and Fine Art in Iceland.   Her group showings include exhibits at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, Herron School of Art in Indianapolis, and Lemberg Gallery in Detroit, Mich.

Cooper's residencies include the Kohler Arts/Industry Program, Yaddo, Macdowell, Ragdale, Blue Mountain Center, Montalvo and the Camargo Foundation in France.  She recently completed a public art commission for the Avalon Library in Chicago and is currently working on another commission for the Chicago Transit Administration.

Boothe, a former professional pastry chef, will present "Reverence:  From Deep Down and Far Away" with Lozar in the Wakeley Gallery.  She uses frit and traditional pate de verre casting to create the kiln cast art that she views as a type of "permanent baking."  The kiln-cast glass allows light to define form through the fused material.  Boothe says the process serves to "facilitate personal growth and thus my own self-comprehension and sanity."

Boothe trained as a sculptor at the Rhode Island School of Design and has worked with glass since 1980.  She holds a MFA from the Tyler School of Art, where she was a member of the faculty for 13 years.  She is currently the Instructional Chair of the Glass Art Degree Program at Salem Community College in New Jersey.  Lecturing and teaching workshops on frit and pate de verre casting regularly, Boothe has taught at the Studio of the Corning Museum of Glass, Urban Glass in Brooklyn, N.Y., the Pittsburgh Glass Center and in many university settings, as well as in Belgium, Switzerland, Turkey and Japan.  She served on the Glass Art Society's Board of Directors from 1998-2006 and was president of the organization from 2004-2006.

Lozar, who is serving as the visiting gallery director at IWU's Merwin and Wakeley Galleries, uses flameworking to create her art, a process which includes manipulating hollow tubing and solid rods of glass with a torch to construct figures and objects that are then sandblasted and oil painted.  She considers the most important attributes of her art to be a sense of movement retained from the molten stage, as well as a sense of fragility.

Born in Illinois in 1975, Lozar attended the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana for her undergraduate degree.  While at the U of I, she interned at Bullseye Glass Factory in Portland, Ore. and attended Pilchuck Glass School as a Saxe award recipient and staff member.  After completing her BFA, she traveled to China, Indonesia, Thailand and India to explore eastern traditional art.  Upon her return to the states, she opened a casting and flameworking facility in Tucson, Ariz.

Lozar accepted a residency from Corning Museum of Glass in 2000, and went on to be awarded a Master of Fine Arts from Alfred University in New York in 2003.  Showing regularly across the country and recently as a demonstrator at the International Flameworking Conference in Milleville, N.J. and The Glass Art Society Conference in St. Louis, she currently resides in Bloomington-Normal and is on faculty at Illinois State University as well as IWU.

For additional information, contact Lozar at (309) 556-3391.

         Contact: Meg Dubuque, (309) 556-3181