Hot Glass to display more work at June 28 exhibitWritten by Caitlin McGlade | | firstname.lastname@example.org
A slinky glass necklace traveled all the way from Australia to be here. As did a red, beaded necklace from Israel and two purple vases from the Netherlands.
But many of the pieces on display in the Toledo Edison Building’s lobby originated right here in Toledo. This is, after all, the Glass City.
The Hot Glass exhibit, which runs until June 28, celebrates Toledo’s glass connection while raising money for the Arts Commission. The biennial event typically occurs in autumn, but organizers changed the date this year to coincide with the national Glass Art Society Conference that swept Toledo from June 13-17, said Jennifer Jarrett, deputy director of the Arts Commission. You can check it out at 300 Madison Ave., at the corner of St. Clair Street.
The commission is showing about 170 pieces of artwork, up from the typical 90 the organization usually collects. Between each show, a group of volunteers travels the world to find a range of interesting glass artwork to bring back for the next Hot Glass exhibit. The objects are sold during the show and help to fund Art Commission programs such as Young Artists at Work, Art in TARTA, Artomatic 419!, Art Walks and the Parkwood Gallery.
The 2010 event raised more than $100,000 and paid more than $65,000 to participating artists. Up to 50 percent of a sale goes to the artist who created the piece, Jarrett said.
The Gala Auction is June 28 from 6:30-10 p.m. and costs $45 per person. The commission will host both live and silent auctions, hors d’oeuvres, desserts and a cash bar.
Jarrett and participating artist Matthew Paskiet said they were impressed with the diversity of pieces this year. The display floor mixes some representatives of the animal kingdom, jewelry, vases, bowls and intricate abstractions. A nearly neon orange and yellow beach ball will steal your attention as you walk in. It sits near a horse on wheels, a snake and a glass floor fan that appears as though a tiny glass spider wove its shape.
“As an artist, I’m honored to be a part of this,” Paskiet said.
A case opposite the lobby’s entrance holds Paskiet’s finished product, 15 years in the making. Titled “Conversations,” Paskiet’s piece consists of two glass cubes sitting atop a stack of glass cinder blocks. A chair shape sits inside each of the cubes, which droop inward to create a sensation of movement. The Bowling Green State University graduate said he came across tiny cinder blocks some 15 years ago and thought he’d turn their image into glass someday. But it wasn’t until his father passed away that he figured out what he wanted to do with the idea.
“I was wrestling with some issues,” he said.
The empty chairs symbolize his father’s absence and the blocks are stacked as though they are ready to be used for building, he said.
Paskiet started blowing glass at the Toledo Museum of Art shortly after he graduated from college and has since spent thousands of hours working around temperatures that exceed 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Paskiet owns Firenation Ltd,, the glass studio and gallery in Holland, and also teaches high school students how to use ceramic kilns for glass.
“What I love about glass is the potential that it could be anything. You pull out something and it’s amazing that 24 hours ago it was just a puddle of nothing,” he said. “I come to an agreement with glass — you don’t tell glass what to do.”
Tickets for the June 28 auction can be obtained by calling the Arts Commission at (419)-254-2787 or by emailing email@example.com.