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KéKé Cribbs

Talking Out Your Glass podcast

Release Date: 05/14/2021

Between Us: John Littleton and Kate Vogel’s Contributions to Glass show art Between Us: John Littleton and Kate Vogel’s Contributions to Glass

Talking Out Your Glass podcast

Well-known early on for their signature blown glass Bags, the subsequent cast glass work of John Littleton and Kate Vogel provided a new outlet for complex contemplations, questions and reflections. In this dramatic departure from their lighthearted Bags, faces and hands are used in various poses and combinations to explore states of mind, relationships, and even spiritual themes.

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Robin Grebe show art Robin Grebe

Talking Out Your Glass podcast

Inspired by Cycladic fertility icons, early Byzantine paintings, and folk art, Robin Grebe’s figures serve as a canvas or setting for her narratives. Using birds and plants as metaphors for mythic flight, spirituality, the intangible, and nature’s uncontrollable forces, Grebe transforms her personal search into a shared exploration.

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Joshua Opdenaker aka JOP! show art Joshua Opdenaker aka JOP!

Talking Out Your Glass podcast

The first in Philly’s Fishtown area to make a name for himself in the field, today there are at least five glass studios and 18 glassblowers on Opdenaker’s street alone. From group builds such as those of the Molten Art Classic to individual skill-building works such as goblets, JOP! glass’ pioneering spirit continues evolving with the scene.

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Sylvia Nicolas show art Sylvia Nicolas

Talking Out Your Glass podcast

One of the leading ecclesiastical artists in the United States, Sylvia Nicolas is a member of an illustrious and prolific stained glass family. She is the fourth of five generations specializing in the liturgical arts and the daughter of Joep and Suzanne Nicolas, both famous artists who immigrated from the Netherlands to the U.S. in 1939 to escape the rising tide of Nazism. Joep Nicolas was sometimes referred to as “the Father of Modern Stained Glass.”

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Crista Van Slyck-Matteson show art Crista Van Slyck-Matteson

Talking Out Your Glass podcast

Crista Van Slyck-Matteson’s multi-media art speaks of her love for wild spaces and deep connection to the Pacific Northwest. An accomplished sculptor, she allows her finely-honed intuition to guide spontaneous sculpting of natural world observations. Matteson’s work also utilizes technical mold-making skills to create exact replicas of found botanical forms. She combines these skills to create magical-realist sculptures.

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Jason McDonald: Investigating Identity, Racism and Representation show art Jason McDonald: Investigating Identity, Racism and Representation

Talking Out Your Glass podcast

In his current work, glassblower Jason McDonald tells important stories about social inequality through his intentionally made, well-crafted objects. His successful interweaving of those two trajectories continues to evolve through life-changing experiences such as his participation on the popular Netflix competition series Blown Away 2 and his recent week-long Murano, Italy, study with Maestro Davide Fuin as the recipient of the Windgate-Lamar Fellowship.

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Scott Ouderkirk: From Autonomous Panels to Wooden Boats show art Scott Ouderkirk: From Autonomous Panels to Wooden Boats

Talking Out Your Glass podcast

In this ToYG interview, Captain Scott Ouderkirk discusses his successful combination of fusing and stained glass in autonomous panels, unique marketing ideas and suggestions for stained glass artists, thoughts on the creative process regardless of genre, and his love of wooden boats and boating.

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Susan Taylor Glasgow show art Susan Taylor Glasgow

Talking Out Your Glass podcast

Susan Taylor Glasgow’s work embraces feminine ideals of sensuality in a seductive but unforgiving material, offering conflicting messages of comfort and expectation. Some of her sculpture pays tribute to the era of June Cleaver and Betty Crocker via images appropriated from the world of ‘50s and ‘60s television and advertising.

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Remembering Benjamin Moore show art Remembering Benjamin Moore

Talking Out Your Glass podcast

Seattle glass art legend Benjamin Moore died on June 25, 2021. A seminal figure in establishing Seattle as a contemporary glass center, Moore provided his studio and top-notch glassblowing team to make the work of the world’s finest artists and designers.

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Mark Peiser show art Mark Peiser

Talking Out Your Glass podcast

Since 1967 when Mark Peiser became involved with the Studio Glass Movement, he has been recognized for his uniquely individualized approaches and accomplishments in glass. Continual investigation of the expressive implications of glass properties and processes has led to his distinctive bodies of work. Recently Peiser published the book, Thirty-Eight Pieces of Glass – with Related Thoughts, pairing his glass with brief writings of resonance.

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More Episodes

Keke Cribbs: Frozen Moments in the Emotional Adventure of Life

Through her art, KeKe Cribbs searches for a peaceful place. Growing up, this self-taught artist moved 24 times in 24 years, and she now prefers to travel in her mind, telling stories of far-away places and exotic characters in a mosaic glass technique she has adapted to her unique style. From her studio on Whidbey Island off the coast of Seattle come boats, Moon Queens, and collage with painted glass, inspiring wonder and delight in all who view them. Her latest works will be on view August 6 – 29, 2021 at the Bainbridge Arts and Crafts Gallery, Bainbridge, Washington. 

Like her work, Cribbs’ life has a fairytale-quality with dark undertones. At age 15, she was one of five children transplanted to Ireland for her mother’s graduate studies in Yeats. For the next decade she traveled from place to place in Europe before returning to the United States as a single mother and a stranger to native customs. While working in a Native American art gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Cribbs discovered the work of the Mimbres Indians and had a show of her adapted renditions of those drawings at Dewey Kofron Gallery in 1980. She was subsequently commissioned to reproduce the images by etching them onto the glass fronts of a suite of cabinets. 

In 1997, in a dramatic departure from sandblasting, Cribbs began firing enamels onto glass in a kiln. She drew on the glass with a quill pen and used sgraffito to further enhance the drawing before firing. Working the entire piece on the reverse side of the glass left the colors brilliant and wet in appearance. The sheets of painted glass were then cut into tiny tiles and reassembled on a three-dimensional surface. Early forms included canteens, baskets, high-heel shoes or more commonly, boats. 

Says Cribbs: “All of these forms represent journeys – the canteen and basket forms are containers which one would carry on a journey to hold water, the very essence of life. The narratives depicted on these forms represent the choices we make in this life; small vignettes into fictional lives that may remind one of a

Keke Cribbs: Frozen Moments in the Emotional Adventure of Life

Through her art, KeKe Cribbs searches for a peaceful place. Growing up, this self-taught artist moved 24 times in 24 years, and she now prefers to travel in her mind, telling stories of far-away places and exotic characters in a mosaic glass technique she has adapted to her unique style. From her studio on Whidbey Island off the coast of Seattle come boats, Moon Queens, and collage with painted glass, inspiring wonder and delight in all who view them. Her latest works will be on view August 6 – 29, 2021 at the Bainbridge Arts and Crafts Gallery, Bainbridge, Washington. 

Like her work, Cribbs’ life has a fairytale-quality with dark undertones. At age 15, she was one of five children transplanted to Ireland for her mother’s graduate studies in Yeats. For the next decade she traveled from place to place in Europe before returning to the United States as a single mother and a stranger to native customs. While working in a Native American art gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Cribbs discovered the work of the Mimbres Indians and had a show of her adapted renditions of those drawings at Dewey Kofron Gallery in 1980. She was subsequently commissioned to reproduce the images by etching them onto the glass fronts of a suite of cabinets. 

In 1997, in a dramatic departure from sandblasting, Cribbs began firing enamels onto glass in a kiln. She drew on the glass with a quill pen and used sgraffito to further enhance the drawing before firing. Working the entire piece on the reverse side of the glass left the colors brilliant and wet in appearance. The sheets of painted glass were then cut into tiny tiles and reassembled on a three-dimensional surface. Early forms included canteens, baskets, high-heel shoes or more commonly, boats. 

Says Cribbs: “All of these forms represent journeys – the canteen and basket forms are containers which one would carry on a journey to hold water, the very essence of life. The narratives depicted on these forms represent the choices we make in this life; small vignettes into fictional lives that may remind one of a surreal dream or experience, a palpitation of the heart, a frozen moment in the emotional adventure of life.”

Eventually, Cribbs found herself seeking more information and attended workshops at Pilchuck Glass School with Dan Dailey, Bertil Vallien, Ginny Ruffner, Klaus Moje, Clifford Rainey, and Jiří Harcuba. She studied ceramics with Yih-Wen Kuo, Keisuke Mizuno, and Sergei Isupov at Penland School of Craft and attended many classes at Pratt Fine Art Center in Seattle studying metal techniques. She moved to Whidbey Island in the Puget Sound to be closer to the heart of the glass community. In time, she found herself teaching at both Pilchuck and Penland as well as starting a glass program at the Swain School of Design in New Bedford, MA, which then became Southeastern Massachusetts University (SMU), now UMass at Dartmouth.

Anyone who learns something has to be curious enough to retain the information, no matter where it comes from. In Cribbs’ case, her life experiences and fascination with process led to the development of a unique approach to making art work, one in which the mystery surrounding objects from the past creates its own narrative in the mind of the onlooker. Working in many materials including glass and ceramics, she seeks to create an interactive form of storytelling, sculpturally producing shapes with narrative surfaces, bringing the whole work into a multifaceted exploration of the subconscious world of dreams and symbols. 

With a career spanning over 51 years, Cribbs has work in many museum collections both nationally and internationally, including the L.A. County Museum, CA; Corning Glass Museum, Corning, NY; Henry Ford Art Museum, Dearborn, MI; Mobile Art  Museum, Mobile, AL; Racine Art Museum, Racine, WI; and Hokkaido Museum of  Modern Art, Sapporo, Japan. Each year from 2012-2015 Cribbs was nominated for the Twinning Humber Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2010, she was awarded Artist in Residence at the Museum of Glass, Tacoma, WA; Artist in Residence, Toledo Art Museum; and was a presenter at the Glass Art Society Conference, Seattle, WA.

About her new work, Cribbs states: “I’m really happy with the new work I am producing for the show in August at BAC on Bainbridge Island. Technically I have moved to paintings with painted glass inclusions. Perhaps it is partially the isolation during the time of COVID that has pushed me to isolate each little jewel of glass so it can be appreciated individually as its own micro painting, loved for being itself …. but the departure from creating a full skin of mosaic glass on a form, be it sculptural or flat, has other aspects of elevating these small shards of what was simply float glass and mirror bits, to a placement of honor. 

“In a society that tends to look down on poverty and to isolate those who have less, I am always reminded of the song line diamonds on the soles of her shoes by Paul Simon … and then there is Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds by the Beatles …. coal to diamonds to dust to stars where all the good souls go to sing together; these contribute to the access point where I have landed with this new work, and I am in bliss heaven.” 

On May 27, 2021, join Artist Trust Board Member Lee Campbell and artist Kéké Cribbs for a virtual house party in support of Artist Trust. This virtual event won’t be your typical Zoom call, but will instead provide an exclusive tour of Cribbs’ Whidbey Island studio, insight to her artistic process, and a glimpse of her recent work. Come prepared to laugh, think outside the box, and hear more about one of Washington State’s talented artists. 

https://artisttrust.cheerfulgiving.com/e/an-evening-with-lee-campbell-and-keke-cribbs

surreal dream or experience, a palpitation of the heart, a frozen moment in the emotional adventure of life.”

Eventually, Cribbs found herself seeking more information and attended workshops at Pilchuck Glass School with Dan Dailey, Bertil Vallien, Ginny Ruffner, Klaus Moje, Clifford Rainey, and Jiří Harcuba. She studied ceramics with Yih-Wen Kuo, Keisuke Mizuno, and Sergei Isupov at Penland School of Craft and attended many classes at Pratt Fine Art Center in Seattle studying metal techniques. She moved to Whidbey Island in the Puget Sound to be closer to the heart of the glass community. In time, she found herself teaching at both Pilchuck and Penland as well as starting a glass program at the Swain School of Design in New Bedford, MA, which then became Southeastern Massachusetts University (SMU), now UMass at Dartmouth.

Anyone who learns something has to be curious enough to retain the information, no matter where it comes from. In Cribbs’ case, her life experiences and fascination with process led to the development of a unique approach to making art work, one in which the mystery surrounding objects from the past creates its own narrative in the mind of the onlooker. Working in many materials including glass and ceramics, she seeks to create an interactive form of storytelling, sculpturally producing shapes with narrative surfaces, bringing the whole work into a multifaceted exploration of the subconscious world of dreams and symbols. 

With a career spanning over 51 years, Cribbs has work in many museum collections both nationally and internationally, including the L.A. County Museum, CA; Corning Glass Museum, Corning, NY; Henry Ford Art Museum, Dearborn, MI; Mobile Art  Museum, Mobile, AL; Racine Art Museum, Racine, WI; and Hokkaido Museum of  Modern Art, Sapporo, Japan. Each year from 2012-2015 Cribbs was nominated for the Twinning Humber Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2010, she was awarded Artist in Residence at the Museum of Glass, Tacoma, WA; Artist in Residence, Toledo Art Museum; and was a presenter at the Glass Art Society Conference, Seattle, WA.

About her new work, Cribbs states: “I’m really happy with the new work I am producing for the show in August at BAC on Bainbridge Island. Technically I have moved to paintings with painted glass inclusions. Perhaps it is partially the isolation during the time of COVID that has pushed me to isolate each little jewel of glass so it can be appreciated individually as its own micro painting, loved for being itself …. but the departure from creating a full skin of mosaic glass on a form, be it sculptural or flat, has other aspects of elevating these small shards of what was simply float glass and mirror bits, to a placement of honor. 

“In a society that tends to look down on poverty and to isolate those who have less, I am always reminded of the song line diamonds on the soles of her shoes by Paul Simon … and then there is Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds by the Beatles …. coal to diamonds to dust to stars where all the good souls go to sing together; these contribute to the access point where I have landed with this new work, and I am in bliss heaven.” 

On May 27, 2021, join Artist Trust Board Member Lee Campbell and artist Kéké Cribbs for a virtual house party in support of Artist Trust. This virtual event won’t be your typical Zoom call, but will instead provide an exclusive tour of Cribbs’ Whidbey Island studio, insight to her artistic process, and a glimpse of her recent work. Come prepared to laugh, think outside the box, and hear more about one of Washington State’s talented artists. 

https://artisttrust.cheerfulgiving.com/e/an-evening-with-lee-campbell-and-keke-cribbs