Thursday, January 8, 2009

Orlando Museum Features Old Pilchuck Buddy

Therman Statom, an original student with Micheal Nourot at the Pilchuk Glass School in Stanwood, Washington when it opened in 1971, is featured in a show at the Orlando Museum of Art (OMA).
Statom earned a B.F.A. from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1974 and an M.F.A. from the Pratt Institute of Art and Design in 1978.
The show will create Stories of the New World and will be showcased January 10, 2009 through May 10, 2009.
Statam’s exhibit will transform 6,000 square feet of the Museum’s galleries into a “visually dazzling environment of light and color with a unique, site-specific glass installation.”
Statom uses Juan Ponce de Leon’s 1513 search for the fabled Fountain of Youth as a point of departure for Stories of the New World exploring both historic and contemporary themes of hope, discovery, ambition and destiny. Visitors will take a journey, which will include a walk through a mirrored maze, panoramic murals, video projections, blown glass sculptures and finally ending in a room-size glass building filled with art works, the artist’s conception of the Fountain of Youth.
“I want the gallery to have the atmosphere of having arrived at a place or destination that reflects the search, discovery and mysticism inherent in these ideas,” says the artist.
Statom is a pioneer in the use of glass as a material, says the show's prospectus. He is know for sculpture and room-size installation art. Therman Statam studied under Dale Chihuly, who has remained a lifelong friend and mentor. But he works with a wide variety of materials in addition to glass.
Statom begins his creative process sandblasting sections of the big sheets of glass inside and out, drawing both abstract and realistic painted imagery with colored pencils, acrylics and oil in bright, vibrant colors and adding three-dimensional objects to the interior, including blown glass, sheet glass, shards of glass and metal, and found objects.
Statom was born in Winter Haven, Florida, and his African-American and Seminole Indian roots are inspirational sources. He And later, he received National Endowment for the Arts fellowships in 1980, 1982, and 1988 and a Ford Foundation grant in 1977.
The OMA will also provide several adult educational programs during the exhibition including docent led tours; Looking Together, a monthly lecture and tour program; a video series on the history of glass; Gallery Talks with curators; 1st Thursdays, Orlando’s original art party. Topping everything off is an exploratory trip to Seattle, Washington, home to many glass masters and collectors.
Looks like Statam’s hooking some locals up to a boathouse tour! Suppose Dale is taking a year off to recuperate from last year’s hectic show schedule. Good luck to Nourot’s old Pilchuck chum Therman.

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