MadArt Studio proudly presents Reforestation of the Imagination by Seattle-based artist Ginny Ruffner, in collaboration with digital artist Grant Kirkpatrick. This exhibition will inhabit MadArt Studio from January 2 through March 24, 2018, with an Opening Reception and Artist Talk on Sunday, January 2, 1 - 4pm.
Showcasing this collaboration, Reforestation of the Imagination combines traditional glass and bronze sculpture with augmented reality. Ruffner utilizes technology to overlay digital information onto sculptural objects, portraying two disparate worlds, one that is invisible to the human eye. This process expands the boundaries of Ruffner’s renowned practice in glass sculpture, as she finds new and creative ways of remaining relevant as a formative artist of the region. Working with Kirkpatrick to develop the facilities for augmented reality, this collaborative effort also challenges traditional notions of sculpture to encompass the intangible, ephemeral object.
The installation engages viewers’ curiosity as they navigate the space using handheld devices, exposing an otherwise invisible world of holographic imagery. Created from Ruffner’s drawings, an augmented reality emerges from a forest seemingly marked by devastation. The forest, made up of Ruffner’s painted and colorless glass stumps, scattered logs, overhead limbs, and suspended leaves, is experiencing a cycle of regeneration, which is materialized through visitors’ smartphones. This imaginary and potential beauty revealed through augmented reality is the forest reimagining itself.
How Ruffner responded to extreme physical and emotional duress is as telling about her internal drive and strength of character as her most impressive artwork. At a crescendo in her career, in 1991 an auto accident nearly took the artist’s life. But in cheating death, Ruffner was rewarded with an intensified and broader creative life, resulting in everything from groundbreaking works in flameworked glass, to pop-up books, large-scale sculpture, and mind-blowing public art.
It’s difficult to pinpoint Gil Reynolds’ most significant contribution to kilnformed glass. His studio, Fusion Glassworks, built its reputation as a leading innovator of glass fusing and kiln forming techniques, evidenced by cutting-edge commissions around the country. A pioneer and founding father of today’s contemporary Kiln Formed Glass movement, Reynolds educated others through his books The Fused Glass Handbook and Kiln Crafting, and innumerable articles for art glass magazines and journals. Since 1987, Reynolds’ Fusion Headquarters Inc. has supplied kilnworking artists around the world with glass, tools, and supplies, some developed by Reynolds himself.
Innovating has always been Reynold’s top priority, witnessed in equipment development such as his Murphy Fire Bucket. But he also has an inventive approach to technique as seen in his Flow Bar process, an adaptation of ancient Egyptian pattern bar procedure. Inspired by his explorations in pastels, Reynolds continues to develop products such as his Easy Fire enamels that will expand art glass in a painterly direction. Even the Fusion Headquarters’ website has been recently redesigned to be mobile friendly and more responsive.
Known from the earliest days of his career for sharing any and all technical information he accessed or developed, Reynolds lectured extensively around the US and in Japan, China, The Netherlands, Canada, and Italy. In 1993 he founded Hot Glass Horizons (HGH), a seminar event for glass fusing and other hot glass techniques.
Keeping up with the times, Reynolds now teaches online via his YouTube channel and Glass Art magazine’s Glass Expert Webinars™. Upcoming webinars include Fused Glass Breakthroughs, December 7; Advanced Flow Bars, January 16; How to Change the Shape of Glass in a Kiln, February 15; and Mold Making Magic, April 3.
Since the 1970s, Reynolds has been designing, fabricating, and installing site-specific custom kilnformed glass, sometimes incorporating cast, blown, and stained glass elements as well as metal, wood, stone, and mixed media. By studying lighting, architectural motifs, client concepts, existing colors and themes, end use, and budget, Reynolds’ one-of-a-kind commissions complement their environments. His artwork graces numerous private and public spaces including The Allison Hotel and Spa, Newberg, Oregon; Ohbayahsi-Gumi, Ltd., Tokyo, Japan; A. Pfann, Hilversum, Holland; Del Webb at Mirehaven, Albuquerque, New Mexico; and Percent for Art commissions in Oregon and Washington State.
Reynolds recently completed a corporate commission for Anesthesia Associates Northwest in Portland, Oregon, where he created the company’s logo from stainless steel and edge-lit dichroic. He also designed and fabricated a wall piece from cast and enameled float glass that references the molecular structure of ISOFLURANE, an anesthetic drug. The artist currently designs cast glass chair rails for a private client on Manhattan's Upper East Side.