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"Glimmering Gone"

A winter wonderland in glass

"Landscape" is a 12-foot-high by 25-foot-long by 18-foot-deep installation of sculpted, slumped and fused plate glass. Photo courtesy Russell Johnson and Jeff Curtis

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The perfect show for winter, Glimmering Gone is the new three-part exhibition by Ingalena Klenell and Beth Lipman at the Museum of Glass. The three parts are Landscape, Mementos and Artifacts.

Upon entering the gallery viewers browse, as if window-shopping at exclusive gift shops or jewelry stores, a series of clear glass objects in square recesses. They are parts of cups and bowls and other domestic items that have been broken apart and reassembled to create glimmering abstract forms (more accurately, formed to look that way). Only upon close inspection do the objects become recognizable. Intentionally or coincidentally there are a lot of phallic objects that jut out at odd angles.

This leads into the gallery where the Landscape part of the installation can be seen. Inspired in part by the landscape paintings of former Tacoman Abby Williams Hill (1861-1943), Landscape is a 12-foot-high by 25-foot-long by 18-foot-deep installation of sculpted, slumped and fused plate glass. It looks like a winter wonderland of shimmering ice. There is a forest of dense trees, a mountain range, a shimmering brook and waterfall and a large evergreen tree, all made of clear glass. It can be viewed from three sides. From the most extreme side angles the forms appear to be giant snowflakes hanging from the ceiling and big sprays of glass sprouting like stalactites and stalagmites from the ceiling and floor. It is a magically beautiful installation. Slight differences in transparency and surface textures loom large in this installation. I especially like the look of shimmering mirror fragments that form the mountain stream.

The final part, Artifact, comprises 100 everyday objects from contemporary life - a spool of thread, a change purse, a paper coffee cup, a teddy bear and a lot of hats - all cast in opaque and dull white glass, fractured and slammed into the white wall. Imagine, if you will, glass objects thrown against and partially embedded into a Styrofoam wall, or ghostly white hats and cups and other items poking through a white wall. There is an eerie quality to this wall. It's like a butterfly collection left out in the snow.

"Moving through these installations is like a walking meditation," says  Museum of Glass curator Melissa G. Post. "It heightens our awareness, urging us to look inward and approach life more thoughtfully." 

Glimmering Gone

Through Sept. 6, 2011, Wednesday–Saturday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
Third Thursdays 10 a.m.–8 p.m., Sunday noon–5 p.m., $5–$12
Museum of Glass, 1801 Dock St., Tacoma

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