Sarah Stonefoot Artwork

Artwork by Sarah Stonefoot

Merwin and Wakeley Galleries to Feature Contemporary Flameworking and Photography

January 7, 2010

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – The works of glass maestro Emilio Santini, among others, and the photography of Sarah Stonefoot will be displayed from Tuesday, Jan. 12 through Thursday, Feb. 4 in Illinois Wesleyan University’s Merwin and Wakeley Galleries, located in the Joyce Eichhorn Ames School of Art Building (6 Ames Plaza West, Bloomington).

All exhibits are free and open to the public.

The opening reception for both exhibitions will take place on Tuesday, Jan. 12 from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. Santini’s works will be featured in the Merwin Gallery, as well as the artwork of: Micah Evans, Kari Russell-Pool, Robert Mickelsen, Kaori Koike, Dorie Gurthie, Milissa Montini, Jay Musler, Nathan Purcell, Christopher McElroy, Caitlin Hyde, Paul J. Stankard, Mike Shelbo, Marshall Hyde, Elizabeth Ryland Mears, Matt Eskuche and Shane Fero. Stonefoot’s photography exhibition, Suspension, will be featured in the Wakeley Gallery.

The artwork on display in the Merwin Gallery is created through the process of flameworking, which uses a high temperature torch powered by oxygen and propane to create sculptural objects from glass tubing and glass rod. According to experts in the field, only recently has flameworking been considered a means of creating fine art, rather than a way of creating trinkets and curios.

On Tuesday, Jan. 26, Santini will give a public lecture as part of the Stellaccio Visiting Artist and Lecturer Series. The lecture will take place at 6 p.m. in Room 218 in the School of Art building. The following day, he will also give a glass-blowing demonstration from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., in Room 211 in the School of Art building. 

Santini, who comes from a family with 600 years of Venetian glass-blowing tradition, was first taught by his father, a glass blower and self-taught lampworker. He continued his studies at the University of Venice and worked with various master glass artists. His works have been exhibited in multiple cities in the United States and Europe, including Paris, London, Frankfurt, Chicago and Seattle.

Santini is represented by some of the most important galleries in the world, according to art critics, and is featured in major private and museum collections. He has conducted numerous workshops as a visiting artist across the United States as well. Currently, Santini currently lives with his family in Williamsburg, Va., where he works glass full-time in his studio and serves as a faculty member at the Virginia Commonwealth University glass department in Richmond.

Stonefoot, after receiving her bachelor of fine arts degree from the University of Buffalo, New York and her master of fine arts degree from Illinois State University, served as an adjunct faculty member in photography at Beloit College in Wisconsin. She has also held a solo exhibition at Morton College in Cicero, Ill, and has been included in numerous shows. Stonefoot, who currently lives and operates a studio in Madison, Wis., has received the Max Gerwick Memorial Photography Award and the Juror’s Award in the show Magic Silver.

“Given my desire to experience nature firsthand, I prepare for each photograph with a sensory exploration. It is only after I have altered the botanical material, pulled it apart and stripped leaves from its stem, that I can find nature something new, something different and something unexpected,” said Stonefoot. For more information on Stonefoot’s work, visit

Regular gallery hours are Monday through Friday from noon to 4 p.m., Tuesday evenings from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., and Saturday and Sundays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

For additional information, contact Carmen Lozar, director of the Merwin and Wakeley Galleries, at (309) 556-3391.

Contact: Kristin Fields, ’12, (309) 556-3181