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Glass Artwork Shines at the Stewart Fine Art Gallery

By Pamela Sosnowski

Stewart Fine Art in downtown Boca Raton is a different kind of art gallery. Instead of showing paintings, the walls and floors glow with contemporary glass sculptures and artwork in varying shapes and colors.

"Glass artwork is a medium that has all kinds of illusive and illuminating characteristics," says the gallery's owner, Sonny Stewart. "It has endless shapes and translucent qualities that allow a talented and experienced glass artist to create works of art restricted only by the boundaries of his or her imagination."

Jeff Wallin "Sculpted Form", 48 x 36 x 1.5"

The highlighted works at the gallery go beyond the usual glass objects such as vases and bowls. Sculptures by Michael Young show the female form in various poses in a series called "Young Expressions." Artist Jon Kuhn creates multi-colored cubism pieces, and the gallery's current featured artist, R. David New, takes iconic images such as the Taj Mahal and laser etches them onto Starfire plate glass.

The gallery's displays demonstrate just how versatile glass is as an artistic material to work with. "I find glass artists especially intriguing because of the infinite possibilities that glass has to offer just by its many different qualities," explains Stewart. "They can do so many creative things with glass. It can be blown, cast, fused, sculpted, it can be solid, hollow, clear, opaque or any combination these technics and characteristics. I like showing work by artists that take full advantage of what glass has to offer."

Michael Taylor "Radio Wave", 18.5 x 13 x 10"

Learning to work with glass is a craft that requires time, patience, and care. It typically takes a glass student 5-7 years alone to learn how to heat, handle, and shape the material. "Glass is a very unforgiving material," says Stewart. "It will shatter, explode, cram or chip at the smallest mishandling." Many of the featured artists at the gallery initially learned painting or sculpture before venturing into glassmaking.

The gallery holds several recurring events. From November through April a monthly Featured Artist opening reception takes place, giving the community the chance to meet a glass artist and hear them speak about the inspiration and techniques behind their work. The artwork is also for sale, so if you're looking for a truly unique art piece to add to your home, or just want to see what glass is capable of being shaped into, a visit to Stewart Fine Art is truly inspirational.

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