Carmen Lozar and Matthew Urban.

Pittsburgh Glass Center
Through September 11
Various times

Step into the light to be enlightened when Pittsburgh Glass Center flips on the switch to its latest gallery exhibition. Dubbed Turned On: Lighting Hooks Up with Sculpture, the new group show merges sculpture, 3D design, visual art and innovative illumination.

Evan Kolker
Evan Kolker

Turned On spotlights new work by 15 glass artists from across the U.S.—some from as far afield as California and Texas, and others as close to home as Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. Featured artists are: Rik Allen; Christina Bothwell & Robert Bender; Amber Cowan; Jean Fernandes; Adam Holtzinger & Susan Spiranovich; Evan Kolker; Carmen Lozar & Matthew Urban; Julian Maturino; Janis Miltenberger; Corey Pemberton; Susan Taylor Glasgow; and Leo Tecosky.

Rock Paper Scissors by Susan Taylor Glasgow.
Rock Paper Scissors by Susan Taylor Glasgow.

On view through September 11, Turned On is co-curated by PGC Executive Director Heather McElwee and Columbia, MO-based artist Susan Taylor Glasgow, whose own work in the show is inpspired by “rock, paper, scissors, dresses, sewing, and chandeliers.”

What began 10 years ago as a small chandelier exhibition has evolved into a conceptual framework that is rethinking the very definition of everyday functional design and sculptural art. This year, PGC expanded the format to invite 15 diverse artists to “sculpt with light” and create new ways of using the medium of glass. When selecting participants, McElwee and Glasgow sought out glass artists who do not typically make lighting so that they would be encouraged to experiment with new techniques and think outside of the box. Each artist was provided with a residency and resources at PGC.

Visitors will be captivated by the results, including Evan Kolker’s work inspired by Aristolochia Grandiflora (aka the pelican plant), a deciduous vine native to the Caribbean and Central America that produces large, ephemeral and ominous flowers that emit an odor of rotting flesh to attract scavenging fly pollinators.

For their chandelier, duo Carmen Lozar and Matthew Urban utilized a variety of glass techniques, such as furnace, fusing, flameworking, and mosaic, while Leo Tecosky’s work explores his interest in sculptural neon, arrows and wild style graffiti compositions.

Those in search of some terrific new lighting for their home or office, take note: all works will be for sale, with prices ranging from $1,700 to $32,000.

Don’t miss the unveiling during PGC‘s free opening reception on Friday, June 3, from 6 to 9 p.m. during the Unblurred gallery crawl along Penn Ave.

Jennifer has worked at the Mattress Factory, Brooklyn Museum of Art and Dahesh Museum of Art and is co-author of Pittsburgh Signs Project: 250 Signs of Western Pennsylvania. She also is co-coordinator of Handmade Arcade. Musically, she is in a band called The Garment District and is a founding member of Brooklyn's The Ladybug Transistor.