Unique glass perspectives at Kortman holiday exhibit

DOWNTOWN — Chicago artist Alex Krueger and Rockford artist Drew Helge approach the medium of glass from two entirely different perspectives, both bringing their fresh, exciting, and unique sensibilities to art glass works to a new Kortman Gallery exhibition titled, “Glow: emerging perspectives in glass.”

“Glow” brings two exciting artists together in our first ever glass show in the Kortman Gallery,” says gallery director Doc Slafkosky. “Their works make you see glass as an art form that dazzles and challenges your imagination with the sparkle and warmth that only the medium of glass can do.”

Drew Helge is a sculptor with over 10 years experience working in glass, producing mixed media work at his studios in Rockford and Chicago.

“I am intrigued by pushing the limits of the material,” said Helge. “I work with glass, ceramics, and metal. With glass there is a beautiful interplay between form and texture, light and shadow. My philosophy as a maker is to accentuate the nature of the material I’m working in. As a designer, I’m fascinated by creating dynamic spaces, and as an artist, I’m driven to experiment.”

Alex Krueger has work and educational experience with Pilchuck Glass School, Seattle Glassblowing studio, Chicago Hot Glass and a 2016 scholarship recipient to study under American Studio Glass artist Therman Statom.

“My approach to the material is pretty innocent,” says Krueger. “I work in a way that is easily available to me: glass and paint. The combination of the two creates faux finishes resembling plastic and enhances the paint through the optics of the glass.”

Krueger is also currently teaching high school level glass programs in Chicago at Little Black Pearl Art & Design Academy.

The Kortman Gallery exhibit “Glow: emerging perspectives in glass” featuring art glass by Alex Krueger and Drew Helge opens 5:30-9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 17 and will be on display through Jan. 6, 2018.

Kortman Gallery is located upstairs at J. R. Kortman Center for Design, 107 N. Main St. in Downtown Rockford. For more information, call 815-968-0123 or visit jrkortman.com. R.

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