On Display May 31 – August 30
Filoli’s summer exhibitions celebrate the Colors of California and present a bright perspective on art in all forms. Glass art will be displayed throughout the Garden. The way that glass plays with sunlight, is reflected in water, and its interplay with natural forms is a perfect pairing for Filoli’s Garden. This exhibition features Cristy Aloysi and Scott Graham of Viscosity Studios, who exhibited in the Sunken and Walled Garden ponds in the 2016 Sculpture exhibition. They, along with California artists Kim Webster and April Zilber, will display both vignettes and impactful individual pieces throughout the Garden, from the High Place to the north side of the mansion.
CRISTY ALOYSI & SCOTT GRAHAM: VISCOSITY STUDIOS
Husband and wife team Cristy Aloysi and Scott Graham are best known for their crisp contemporary forms and use of vibrant contrasting colors. With their latest work, Aloysi and Graham are exploring glass as a sculptural element in the garden. The captivating light qualities unique to glass as a medium come to life when placed in nature. Aloysi and Graham strive to create a unique environment, drawing the viewer in to reexamine the existing habitat. Their work is both inspired and complemented by natural shapes and plant forms. Scott Graham and Cristy Aloysi met at Urban Glass in Brooklyn, NY, where they became involved in the city’s energetic art and design world and have brought this influence into their work. After Urban Glass, the couple went on to study at various studios in the US and abroad from the Pilchuck Glass School in Stanwood, WA to Centro Studio Vetro in Venice, Italy, to Seattle, WA–the center of the American art glass movement. The couple now resides in Boulder Creek, CA.
Kim is a glassblower but employs the expressive possibilities of a variety of glass-making techniques (enameling, fusing, sand-carving, mosaic). “I grew up in Canada where snow-bound winters are long and the spring is a welcome burst of colors and scents. Here in Oakland, the garden never truly sleeps, yet it is precious and full of surprise. Favorite memories come alive in the unruly foliage: a first kiss; dashing naked through the rain; chubby cheeks smeared with the juice of sun-warmed berries; the scent of fresh-turned soil. I sculpt in glass because the qualities of the material itself are complex: lasting and ephemeral, durable and fragile – apt for preserving memories and daydreams.” Kim works with artist Patty Garrett in the hot shop, and with husband Barry Stone to incorporate LEDs to achieve magical transformations within the glass at dusk. A top honors graduate of Sheridan College School of Craft and Design in Canada, Kim’s work has been awarded internationally. She has served as teaching assistant at Pilchuk Glass School, and her work has been included in the Corning Museum’s New Glass Review.
April’s plant biology training has contributed both inspiration and technical background to her artwork. For highly-detailed designs, April draws on metal foil, cuts out the image, and sandwiches it between two layers of glass. When fused at high temperature in the kiln, oxidation/reduction chemistry occurs between the metal and glass, leading to subtle or dramatic spontaneous effects that enrich the designs. She also experiments with various methods to incorporate recycled bottle glass into wearable art and other sculptural forms. The first metal and glass panels she created were inspired by the cellular architecture of xylem, the woody part of a tree. She works with spiral forms that evoke fossil shells, galaxies, and the cyclical nature of time. The awesome complexity of living plants shaped by weather, insects, and other influences reminds us that beauty is not a matter of perfection. Life experience adds richness and perfection is ultimately too simple to remain interesting.
Bridget McCracken playing the Glass Bell Plates by April Zilber