Contemporary glass artists to speak at gallery reception

Contemporary Terrain, an exhibition at West Virginia University’s Erickson Alumni Center’s Nutting Gallery, showcases the work of current West Virginia glass artists who build upon the heritage and craft of the state’s glassmaking past.

A reception for Contemporary Terrain will be held Thursday, Jan. 12, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., Stephanie Danz and Alison Helm, two artists with work in the exhibit, will give an informal talk about their work at 5 p.m. Light refreshments will be provided and admission is free.

From the abstracted, conceptual works of WVU’s own Helm to the playful mosaics by Chris Dutch of Charleston, Contemporary Terrain features the work of nine West Virginia glass artists. Many of the artists find inspiration in the landscape of West Virginia, particularly Leona Mackey, a retired art teacher from Huntington, and West Union-based artist Martha Reynolds. Other featured artists include Ron Hinkle, Barrie Kaufman, Elizabeth Braun and Robin Hammer, who collaborates with Dutch as the artist duo, DutchHammer.

Façade, stainless steel, glass, 18”x18”x15”, photo by Michael Sherwin

“I found myself intrigued by what working West Virginia artists were doing today with glass,” says guest curator Sally Deskins. “I wanted to organize an exhibit not only of contemporary, conceptual artists challenging the media and perception thereof, but with respect to artists continuing the traditions of glass blowing, etching and painting in their own way, to showcase the breadth of talent amongst the whole state.”

Contemporary Terrain is presented in conjunction with Molded in the Mountains: The Glass Industry in West Virginia, an exhibition at the Royce J. and Caroline B. Watts Museum in the Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources. The Watts Museum’s exhibition explores the history of the Mountain State’s glass industry from its beginnings in the early nineteenth century to today.

For more information, contact Deskins, curator of Contemporary Terrain, at For more information on the Watts Museum exhibition, visit