Intelligencer — Fired Up

Imago opens a new space to showcase fine art glass

James Mongrain, inspired by a 19th century technique, is among several Pilchuck Glass School artists that will exhibit at Studio. Above is his installation "Accio With Jesus."

Courtesy Imago Galleries

Imago Galleries’ commitment to exhibiting contemporary studio glass has blossomed into a new venture for its owners, David and Leisa Austin, who have launched Studio in Palm Desert.

Known for dealing works by Dale Chihuly, William Morris, Karen Lamonte, and Ginny Ruffner, the Austins have opened the new space to exhibit established masters — including Judy Jensen, Flo Perkins, Danny Perkins, and Paul Marioni — and to introduce a new generation of artists, including James Mongrain, Matt Eskuche, Tim Tate, Mel Munson, and others.

“They stand out from the pack,” Leisa Austin says. “Studio will show many leading and established artists working in glass, as well as cutting-edge and emerging sculptors who work in glass.”

Studio — located at 73413 Highway 111 (El Paseo and San Pablo Avenue next to The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf ) — seeks to broaden the audience for glass sculpture by making it more accessible both aesthetically and financially.

The new venue, Austin says, “will allow us to show the work in a manner not usually associated with galleries devoted exclusively to glass. Imago has been fortunate to have evolved into a leading contemporary gallery while exhibiting diverse media. As it evolved, the balance of media has become more focused on painting and sculpture. Studio affords us the opportunity to further pursue the media of glass in a unique environment.”

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