Centre College hosts renowned glass artist John Kiley
Renowned glass artist John Kiley of Seattle, Wa., will give a presentation and demonstration Tuesday, Nov. 1 at 8 p.m. in the hot glass studio in Centre College’s Jones Visual Art Center. A short visual presentation will be followed by a demonstration by the artist.
Kiley began his professional career at the age of 19 at The Glass Eye Studio. Promoted to Gaffer on Dale Chihuly’s chandelier team at the age of 21, he travelled to Finland, Ireland, Mexico and Italy as part of the Chihuly Over Venice Team. He was a principal member of the team lead by Italian ‘glass maestro’ and friend of the College Lino Taglipietra in 2011, when he became the Glass Director at the Schack Art Center.
In addition to his work with Chihuly and Tagliapietra, the artist has worked with Dante Marioni and Benjamin Moore and has been a teaching assistant to them, as well as Richard Marquis, Josiah Mcelheny and Checco Ongaro.
Kiley has been a visiting instructor at the National College of Art and Design in Dublin, Ireland; The Bezalel Academy of Art And Design in Jerusalem, Israel; and The Pittsburgh Glass Center and Pratt Fine Arts Center in Seattle. He has worked and demonstrated in Finland, Ireland, Mexico, Italy, Japan, Bulgaria, China, Australia, Brazil and Turkey, and has exhibited his work at galleries around the world.
Kiley uses primary geometric forms as the architecture for his deconstructed glass sculptures. Juxtaposed colors and carved optic passageways create a separation of space, allowing the viewer to peer into and through the form. Often his sculptures are balanced on edge, seeming to defy gravity.
“Constantly, I ask myself the question ‘why do I choose to work with glass?’ Transparency, optics, the physical challenge, or a primal fascination with fire, are valid reasons that many glass objects are created,” Kiley says. “For me, it is important that these material attributes work in service of the sculpture, rather than be the reason for the sculpture. I am drawn to how glass, and its perceived delicacy and preciosity, can create a sense of tension, concern and longing in the viewer (and myself).
“The final decision I make before a piece is complete is how it will be situated,” he continues. “During this final step, there is a moment when I don’t known for sure if it will survive or lie broken on the studio floor. It is in this final step that each piece finds its own unique balance; it is in this moment that the sculpture emerges and comes to life.”
Kiley’s presentation is free and open to the public.
by Cindy Long
October 28, 2016