Collecting clouds might seem an odd notion.
But fans of glass artist Nancy Callan’s whimsical “Cloud” series relish the art of doing just that. Callan’s sculptural works will join selected pieces by two other artists at a pop-up gallery event inside the Artisan Home boutique from 7-9 p.m., Sept. 5.
Glass artist Nancy Callan (left) and painter Julia Ricketts, shown in front of Callan's studio, are two featured artists of the pop-up gallery.
“Working in a series allows me to perfect and refine my forms,” says Callan. “It also gives me the ability to use the glass surface like a canvas for my design ideas.”
Once a self-taught graphic designer, this award-winning artist stumbled upon glassblowing after enrolling in formal graphic design courses at the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston. “From the moment I took my first gather out of the furnace, I knew that this was my destiny,” she says.
Playfully elegant clouds are just one part of Callan’s intriguing portfolio that includes glass cacti, cane tops, orbs, snowmen, and pendant lamps.
Judy’s Cloud Mini by glass artist Nancy Callan.
“I love glass and the way it moves. What I can do with it, and what it can do,” explains Callan, who says she is inspired by nature, fashion, comic books, pop culture, and childhood toys. “I love how everyone who watches glassblowing is instantly mesmerized. I love the fire, the heat, the passion, the history. I love the sound of the furnace roaring and the torches blasting. I even love how difficult it is to conquer the techniques.”
Callan has national representation in galleries from Santa Fe to Nantucket and from Portland to St. Petersburg. Locally, Imago Galleries in Palm Desert represents her varied work. Callan’s pieces are held in the permanent collections of the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, Wash.; the Museum of Glass in Corning, NY; the Muskegon Museum of Art in Muskegon, Mich.; the Museum of Northwest Art in La Connor, Wash.; the Shanghai Museum of Glass in China, and in numerous prominent private collections.
Fantasia Cloud by Nancy Callan.
“A sense of lightness and movement are important to me as I strive to make each piece look effortless despite the many variables involved,” Callan says of her work. “There’s no guarantee it will all come together—or even survive (without breaking). There is much heartache in glassblowing! I’m constantly humbled. But when it comes together, it’s magical.”
Callan’s works in glass will be shown alongside paintings by Seattle-based stylistic painter Julia Ricketts, who embraces abstraction explored through color relationships, evocative shapes, and the expressive qualities of paint, and Palm Springs-based photographer Christine Arnold, who is known for her personal perspectives on the desert landscape.
Artisan Home boutique, owned by Artisan Event Floral Décor, will transform into a full-blown, colorful art party for the evening complete with live DJ, refreshments, and works in three mediums. Guests at the open-to-the-public event can strike up artful conversations and enjoy the music all while browsing the store’s new arrivals in furniture, candles, vases, and home décor.
Artisan Home, 7-9 p.m. Sept. 5, 611 S. Palm Canyon Drive, Suite 12, Palm Springs, www.artisanevents.net