East City Artists Construct Content in Glass

By Michael Janis on November 26, 2012
Erin Antognoli mixes steel, glass and imagery in her sculpture.

The new exhibit “Constructing Content” brings together three artists from the ECA area that explore the ways in which ideas are translated and transformed as artists move from one medium to another. Arriving at kiln-formed glass from diverse backgrounds, these “crossover artists” bring new concerns and techniques to the medium that the DC area has become well known for – glass .  Working at the Washington Glass School, Erin Antognoli, Sean Hennessey and Erwin Timmers are kindred spirits, and their 3 person show opens this weekend at the Delaplaine Arts Center in Maryland.

Sean Hennessey creates narrative cast glass panels at the Washington Glass School.

“We are not in pursuit of the perfect object, or even, necessarily, beautiful objects.” explains painter and sculptor Sean Hennessey, “We are all driven by the narratives that we bring to our work. Our content drives and informs the imagery and the form. We treat glass like another artistic media, using it as an exploration of ideas”.

“I made the switch to glass and steel sculpture after nearly two decades as a photographer,” explains photographer and sculptor Erin Antognoli, “doing anything by hand seems to have become a lost art. Therefore, as a challenge to the age of digitization, it seemed fitting to me to hand-work the physical sculpture by grinding the glass circles, welding the steel frames, and showcasing handwritten letters.”

Erin Antognoli, “Heading West To Find A Bridge”, detail.

Other artists, through kiln-glass, find a reinforcement of their artistic beliefs. “There is a swiftness, freedom, and honesty I feel working in glass,” says Washington Glass School co-founder, Erwin Timmers. “I’m not sure I felt quite the same way in my years of sculpting metal.” Erwin works with recycled glass, and environmental integrity informs his work. He feels that material and content are intertwined. “I believe there are no neutral materials,” explains Erwin, “I try to use materials for their intrinsic and philosophical content.”

Erwin Timmers explores ecological implications in his recycled glass sculpture.
Sean Hennessey, “Promise Locks”, detail.

These artists, with work as diverse as their backgrounds, are brought together because their unique visions have helped build a new direction for glass sculpture.

Constructing  Content

December 1-31, 2012

Reception: December 1, 2012,  from 3-5pm

Delaplaine Arts Center, 40 S. Carroll Street, Frederick, MD 21701