Elizabeth Rankin-The Interview

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The Mini & Massive Glass Exhibit  will feature established and emerging Midwest glass artists creating small-scale and large-scale works that shrink or enlarge their subject matter, co-curated by Jennifer Teter and Elizabeth Rankin. The opening reception is on Friday, March 17 from 6 – 10 p.m. in conjunction with Art Crawl. It will be on view through May 5, 2017.


Why did the Executive Director & Curator, Jennifer Teter, select you to co-curate this show?
Probably because I graduated with a degree specifically in the glass medium in 2015 from Southern Illinois University. I think she knows I’m pretty passionate about glass and that I haven’t had a chance to work with it in a while.

How did you two come up with the theme “mini & MASSIVE?”
We came up with a preliminary list of artists. Under-exaggerating and over-exaggerating of objects seemed to be a common theme. All of the pieces had the same conceptual direction.

How did you decide who to invite to this show?
We wanted to keep it local and in Illinois. We heard about a collection that some people had in Illinois, and it was a process of elimination from there. Artists we reached out to who couldn’t do it gave us contacts of those who could, which is how this show came to be!

What can you tell us about the diversity of this show?
The different glass processes add to the diversity. There’s sort of an industrial feel mixed with food, technology, and a feminine mystic. The subject matter, as well as the technical processes involved, make the pieces equally diverse.

What does this exhibit have to offer to the people of Quincy and the surrounding areas?
There is something about glass that seems so unattainable. It’s so fragile and expensive. There’s also a certain danger level involved that discourages people from accessing it. Many people in this area haven’t experienced glass art to its fullest. We haven’t had an entire glass exhibit in a long time and I feel really honored to have opportunity to co-curate this show.

Can you tell us a little more about what technical processes have been used here? 
Sure. Jennifer’s art deals with fusing and sand blasting. Janusz’s pieces are created through the casting process which is the process I was most drawn to in school. Carmen, Jeff, and Kit are all flame workers, while John and Nadine’s work is blown, and hot sculptured glass.

What is the ultimate outcome you hope to achieve from this exhibit?
To encourage people to look at glass critically in an artistic way. I am hoping that individuals will look into other pieces by theses artists, and other glass artists in general.

What has been your favorite part of bringing this exhibit to life?
Going to pick up the pieces! Being able to see the studios that these glass artists work in, and just talking with the artists has been so amazing.

How do you plan to guide the viewers experience through this exhibit?
We tried to do a little bit of mirroring. We thought about eye flow and how to keep the viewers eyes moving from piece to piece, yet still allowing them to rest and observe certain pieces. The more sculptural objects are meant to be viewed in the round and are more interactive. A lot of these were meant to be displayed on a wall. To discourage people from interacting with certain fragile pieces we put them towards the edge of the room.

What’s your favorite piece/artist, and why?
I really like Jennifer Crescuillo’s pieces best. She actually went to the same school as me, and I knew of her. She calls her pieces “future fossils.” I just really like the nostalgia of them. They remind me of childhood and are definitely some pieces that I want to own.

By the way, Happy Birthday! What sort of artistic endeavors do you have in store for year 29!?
Thank you! I’m going to have a booth at Q-Fest this summer, so the next few months I will be making lots of pretty things to sell! I will of course continue to teach art classes here at the Art Center. I’d really like to expand the amount of adult classes we teach here, and hope to do so if there is interest. Aside from that, I’m excited to work with glass this summer in my outside studio. I hope to go on more nature walks, and sketch more in general.

 

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