A viewer can look into a black and white photograph and be transported not only to a particular place but to the emotional world of what it feels like to be in that place. Like a photograph, April Surgent’s landscapes and portraits in glass pack the same powerful punch, but with the added elements of dimension, texture, and translucent light. Her fused and cameo engraved glass put a modern spin on the ancient techniques used to create them.
The recipient of the Neddy Fellowship through the Behnke Foundation, an Urban Glass New Talent Award, and the 2016 USA Fellowship, Surgent earned her BFA from The Australian National University (ANU), Canberra, graduating with honors. In 2003, she changed her focus from blown to engraved glass after studying under master Czech engraver Jiří Harcuba at the Pilchuck glass school, where she has served as a trustee to the school since 2012.
Surgent exhibits, teaches, and lectures internationally including a series of courses she co-taught with Harcuba in 2008. Her work can be found in notable collections including the Toledo Museum of Art, the Chrysler Museum of Art, and the Ulster Museum, among others.
Interested in the dialogue between art and science, Surgent is presently engaged in collaborations with research scientists to inform her work, focusing on remote conservation fieldwork and anthropogenic impact on vulnerable species and ecosystems. In 2013, the artist travelled to Antarctica with the National Science Foundation’s Antarctic Artist and Writers Program.
Surgent is currently working with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program. In October 2017 at Traver Gallery in Seattle, the artist will exhibit engravings, a video installation, and a marine debris installation based on her research conducted in the Northwest Hawaiian islands of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument. In November, in an art event hosted by the monk seal program, Surgent will work with the public on an interactive marine debris installation in Honolulu.