Let's talk about art: Artists-in-residence at Glass Center

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This is a biweekly series about art and artists in the region. Pittsburgh Filmmakers/Pittsburgh Center for the Arts serves the community through arts education, exhibitions and artist resources.

Pittsburgh Glass Center's newest exhibition "Breaking Through: Moving 4ward," features the works of four artists who traveled to Pittsburgh to spend one month in residence there, experimenting with new ideas and techniques.

The artists are Nadine Saylor of Hershey, Dauphin County; Lisa Demagall of Twinsburg, Ohio; Laura Beth Konopinski of Columbia, Mo.; and Anna Mlasowsky of Bautzen, Germany.

Artist-in-residence programs exist around the world. Museums, galleries, schools and various other arts organizations invite selected artists to take time away from their other obligations to concentrate on creating work in a new environment.

"Each of these artists has been working in glass for many years and has established her own voice and unique style. We selected these women because we felt that they would realize tremendous growth if they had the concentrated time to focus, and it would help them push their work to the next level," said glass center executive director Heather McElwee.

One of the artists, Ms. Saylor, explores fantasy vs. reality in her piece called, "The Illusion of Ordinary Life." She re-created a vintage motion lantern with images of carousel horses and a beggar woman straight out of a fairy tale.

"The lantern rotates in two directions, serving as a metaphor for the paths we take to negotiate our world, real, fantastic or both," Ms. Saylor explains. "The piece projects images on the wall that are reminiscent of shadow puppets, appealing to the child in us all. The old woman spinning around them represents our journey through life."

"Breaking Through: Moving 4ward" is on view in the Hodge Gallery, Friday-July 20. An opening reception will be held 6 to 9 p.m. Friday at the glass center, which collaborates frequently with the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts and Pittsburgh Filmmakers on workshops, programming and administration.

For more information: pittsburgharts.org and pittsburghglasscenter.org.

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