|Centre College professor to be featured at Winter Olympics
Stephen Powell and glass-blowing crew part of Salt Lake ceremonies;
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DANVILLE, KY-Centre College will be represented at the 2002 Winter Olympic Games being held in Salt Lake City this month. Professor of Art Stephen Rolfe Powell and four others from Centre will be showing off their unique glass-blowing skills during the festivities.
During the Games the social and cultural focus of the Olympic celebration will be the World Party that will take place in the citys premier park, the Gallivan Center, located in the heart of downtown Salt Lake.
Powell and his crew will create blown glass in front of an audience Feb. 18-19 at 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. each day.
The Corning Museum of Glass will help by bringing a mobile glass studio from Corning, N.Y. This state-of-the-art hot glass studio will be transported to Salt Lake on a tractor-trailer.
The theme of the Winter Olympics is "Celebrate the Fire Within." Organizers believe this theme not only captures the Olympic spirit, but also brings to mind the world of glass. Organizers looked into ways of incorporating glass into the program, and ultimately invited world-renown glass artists to perform. Powell was contacted in December.
Powell believes there is a parallel between the process by which he creates glass art and Olympic athletic competition.
"We're striving to make the best glass in the world," he said. "We're pushing the limits. There are points in our process, very much like the process an Olympic athlete goes through, where we're on the edge of failing or succeeding. We're very disciplined and work on the same techniques over and over again in hope of something wonderful happening."
Powell will be assisted by four other Centre glass artists: Centre graduates Alysia Fischer, Chris Bohach and Che Rhodes and senior D.H. McNabb. They will be in Salt Lake City Feb. 15-20.
Powell will also be featured on the Home & Garden Network show Modern Masters Feb. 17. A segment of the program will focus on Powell's home and work. It airs at 10:30 p.m. and again at 1:30 a.m.
Powell, a Centre alumnus who has taught at the school since 1983, was named Kentucky Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching in 1999 and 2000.
Beyond the campus, Powell is an internationally known artist whose elaborately colored glass vessels are held in permanent collections throughout the world (including the Hermitage Museum in Russia, the Lvov Art Institute in the Ukraine, the Birmingham (Ala.) Museum of Art, the Huntsville (Ala.) Museum of Art, and the Detroit Art Institute).
He has been featured on CBS's Sunday Morningand Kentucky Educational Television and in print media including American Style, Glass, Ceramics Monthly, and Kentucky Monthly, which named him one of Kentucky's top 20 artists of the 20th century. Powell was one of eight Americans chosen for Venezia Aperto Vetro in 1998, a prestigious glass exhibition in Venice.
For more on the Winter Olympics, which run Feb. 8-24, visit http://www.nbcolympics.com/x/f/frame.htm?u=/news/nbcomain_front.asp. For more on the work of Stephen Rolfe Powell, go to http://www.stephenrolfepowell.com/.
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