Artists ALEXANDRIA MCAUGHEY & TIM SOUTHWARD(DIAGNOSTICS REFLECTIONS, 2nd FLOOR GALLERY) AND ARTIST SUSAN MESLER (SERENDIPITY, 1st FLOOR GALLERY)
April is officially glass month in Michigan. Many arts organizations and galleries will be celebrating by presenting Michigan glass artists.
River’s edge Gallery in downtown Wyandotte will present two shows with artists who are showing unique aspects of glass as art. Susan Mesler will preview her display of wire weaved necklaces containing very rare pieces of glass created by the late glass artist Karning Dabanian. on Saturday April 14th on the first floor of the gallery. She will be demonstrating her techniques.
Alexandria McAughey & Tim Southward will open their show on the second floor of the gallery on Downtown Wyandotte’s Third Friday, April 20th. Alexandria creates mixed media pieces that include glass in her painted collages while Tim Southward will present glass that has been shaped in the traditional methods of glass blowing.
SERENDIPITY by Susan Mesler
Susan Mesler of Trenton, had been both a pharmacy technician and teacher before she was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer in 2015. She lost the feeling in her fingers during chemotherapy so began working with a therapeutic art class, The Healing Arts Group at the Henry Ford Cancer Institute in Woodhaven under the mentorship of Patricia Izzo. This led to her spreading her creative wings and circle of friends. During the group’s annual show at the Downriver Council for the Arts Susan met Judy Dabanian whose late husband, Karning, was a glass artist of renown. Judy commissioned Susan to create 3 pendants from glass fobs Karning had created over 30 years earlier.
Karnig Dabanian was one of the founders of the independent art glass movement. He helped to revive and revolutionize the craft of glass making best known for his technique of layering “veils” of translucent glass into amazing forms. He holds two US patents for his techniques. He is included in many significant collections including that of Tom Monaghon, Alex Monoogian and the Ilitch Family.
There were 35 fobs left, the last vestiges of unused glass created by Karning and 29 of those are on display and sale at River’s Edge Gallery beautifully presented in a unique wire weaved setting created by Susan Mesler.
DIAGNOSTIC REFLECTIONS by Alexandria McAughey and Tim Soutward
Both artists are engaged not only in real life but also in their artistic pursuits. Both attended the Center for Creative Studies in Detroit and are experimental in their approach to making art. “Diagnostic reflections is an attempt to subvert or transcend borders and orthodoxies of glass making techniques through experiments and trial and error. We are depending heavily on chance which is not often seen in the traditional sense of glass making techniques (in which planning and preparation is key.) “ they added.
Alexandria McAughey has no formal training in glass making techniques, so she is “constantly learning when working with the very temperamental material. It is technically a challenging material that involves having to think scientifically.” She added that her technique is usually trial and error.
Tim Southward on the other hand technically understands glass from a more fundamental standpoint. With that in mind he too is attempting to diagnose the experimental possibilities that the natural state of glass has to offer when working with it at 2,100 degrees Fahrenheit. Southward says, “I am on a mission to let loose and explore what glass has to really offer.” The two have also worked on collaboration pieces specifically for this show. The vessels created demonstrate Southwards technical skills in creating forms in conjunction with McAughey’s experimental trial and error way of working.
Both shows will run until May 21st with a meet the artist night planned for April 20th starting at 7 pm.
River’s Edge Gallery is located at 3024 Biddle in downtown Wyandotte.