From the ancient Egyptians and Romans on through to modern-day artists, the use of glass as an artistic medium has developed into a significant branch of the decorative arts. That discipline is being showcased at the Burbank Creative Arts Center Gallery in a solo exhibition of the work of Burbank artist Andy Gersh.
Presented under the title “Glass: Contemporary Fusion,” Gersh’s show offers a fresh look at modern design as told through klin-formed, fused glass. The 100-piece exhibition, which evokes both a retro and contemporary feel inspired by color, architecture and nature, officially commenced Friday evening with a reception.
The Detroit-born Gersh, an ordained rabbi and graduate of CalArts who studied under some of the glass design community’s most preeminent artists, was accompanied to Friday’s opening-night reception by his wife, Sharyn Gersh, and the couple’s sons,5-year-old Owen and 2-year-old Leo.
Among those who got the first look at Gersh’s exhibit were the artist’s family members, longtime friends, professional colleagues and supporters of the local arts community. Special guests included the artist’s mother Sandy Gersh, and his brother, Howard Gersh, who is a digital artist with the Walt Disney Co.
Another guest of note was John Harris, a set designer who has worked on numerous film and television productions including “Desperate Housewives.” Harris met Gersh when they were working together on the NBC crime drama “Crossing Jordan,” which ran from 2001 through 2007. John and his wife, Michelle, who was also in attendance at Friday’s opening, were married by Gersh following his rabbinic ordination.
Along with film and television productions, Gersh’s designs, which convey fluid color amid form and structure, have been commissioned by restaurants, major corporations and for private residences. Inspired by both vintage and modern shapes and composition, his pieces are contemporary designs fused with vibrant hues and light. Producing stained glass, fused glass and mosaics, Gersh says that his work is continually evolving, and that he stretches his imagination to push the limits of his designs that range from small necklace pendants to a 300-square-foot installation of fused glass that measures 50 feet in length and features close to 40 stained-glass panels.
“This is not your grandmother’s stained glass,” Gersh said with a laugh as he welcomed opening-night guests that included Jennifer and Nick Schroeder, Cody Flick, Becca Flinn, Bill Small, Stefanie Girard, Chris Robertson, Amber Funk, Scott Silverman and Craig Kellman.
Also in attendance at Friday’s reception were Lancy Graziano and her husband, Burbank artist Peter Graziano. A computer effects artist and designer who worked for the Fox crime drama “Bones,” and as the art director for KTTV News, Graziano returned to his roots as a fine artist in 2008, and last summer staged an exhibit of 23 of his works at the Burbank Creative Arts Gallery that included his beautiful seascapes created in the media of prisma pencil and acrylics.
“Gersh’s Glass: Contemporary Fusion” exhibit will run through July 29 at the Creative Arts Center Gallery, 1100 W. Clark Ave. For gallery hours, call (818) 238-5397.