Bellevue Arts Museum Opens April Surgent: Into the Surface

The Bellevue Arts Museum presents April Surgent: Into the Surface a solo exhibition by the Seattle artist, open through April 3, 2011.

Spanning 14 feet in width and composed of more than one hundred 6 x 12 inch glass panels, Into the Surface is a “mural” style glass engraving created by Seattle artist April Surgent. What might appear like a photographic imprint onto glass is instead a masterfully hand-carved surface. The artist starts out by fusing together three layers of glass in a color gradation from dark to light. By using the ancient technique of cameo engraving, Surgent then carves her intricate imagery in relief into the lightest of the surfaces, exposing the darker color as the drill goes deeper. It is a matter of fractions of a millimeter, and yet the artist gains a third dimension where barely there is one.

The engraving illustrates a fractured urban landscape filled with people and places the artist has photographed and interacted with while drifting through the cityscape – fleeting moments in time that have been captured permanently in the glass plates. The installation is completed through both audio and visual elements, resulting in a rich multi-sensory experience.

Born in 1982, April Surgent studied glass production in Bornholm, Denmark as a teenager. In 2003, she received a scholarship to attend Pilchuck Glass School, where she learned cold-working and traditional cameo engraving techniques, studying with master Czech engraver and mentor Jiri Harcuba. She graduated with honors from the Australian National University School of Art, Canberra in 2004. In 2009, she was awarded the Neddy Artist Fellowship for glass through the Behnke Foundation, and received the UrbanGlass New Talent award in 2010.

April Surgent: Into the Surface is organized by Bellevue Arts Museum, curated by Stefano Catalani. The exhibition is made possible by The Boeing Company, 4Culture, City of Bellevue Arts Program and ArtsFund. Media sponsor: KUOW.

Image: Into the Surface (detail), 2010

Bellevue Arts Museum
510 Bellevue Way NE
Bellevue, WA 98004
Phone 425.519.0770
Fax: 425.637.1799

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