Glass artists are getting their time to, well, shine, thanks to Hiromi Takizawa, glasswork artist and curator of “Shines Through,” a new exhibition on display through Oct. 27 at the Huntington Beach art center.
“There’s interesting, unique and innovative work coming out from the community,” she said. “Not a lot of glass is showcased specifically, so I thought it’d be a great opportunity to showcase great glasswork. It’s important to showcase artists that people don’t know about.”
From 2D to 3D, along with installation works, the modest expo showcases 33 established and emerging glass artists. It is the center’s third exhibition in the series, “The Power of Pigment: A Celebration of Color.”
“With different techniques — glass blowing to glass casting, neons, painting in glass, stained glass, there’s a wide range of how people approach glassworking,” Takizawa, an artist for the past 16 years, said. “There’s a long history of traditional glassworking — I feel artists are not just copying the traditional way of working but they are working innovatively.”
From design to sculpture, functional and nonfunctional, the exhibit features orbs, mirrors, lights, goblets, bowls and vases.
The only common theme, Takizawa said, is the medium itself.
“It’s really hard to make it into one theme, but I think the material ties it into the show; that’s probably the big umbrella,” she said. “When choosing the artwork I wanted to showcase different techniques.”
While some displays are fun and light, even in a literal sense, other pieces are figuratively and immeasurably heavier.
Kazuki Takizawa [no relation to Hiromi] is displaying a “ruby gold,” oversized goblet with a clear band. It has six wings attached to the stem to symbolize freedom and is one of the many pieces he’s created as part of his own “Container Series,” which works as an artistic embodiment of his mental health.
“I just had this period of time where I was severely depressed and [was] diagnosed with bipolar disorder. So my ups, and mostly my downs, are part of who I am,” said Kazuki Takizawa, who started glass blowing in 2015 at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. “So, this container series was born out of the feeling that I built a shell, an invisible barrier or a wall around myself to protect myself from the outer world.
“Oddly enough, feeling this depression and learning more about mood disorders, and learning things about me through therapy, I feel connected with the outside world — just knowing there is so much depression and mental mood disorders affecting our community globally.”
Kazuki makes his artwork in different components. This particular goblet has a few major components with little intricacies he formed separately and then flamed and melted together. The top part alone consists of three different parts — but perhaps the most important part is the “vessel.”
“In Japanese language we use the word vessel to refer to one’s emotional capacity,” Kazuki said. “So if somebody is of a big vessel he or she can take a lot more stress and won’t collapse. In my sculptural work my glass pieces often take shape as vessel form.”
The wings on the stem of this piece is a new addition to the series. It shows his growth from bedridden to hotshop artist.
“Wings and feathers signify freedom and the ability to take you from one emotional state to another,” Kazuki said. “To me, personally, it represents my improvement, and my mental health in general. My relationship with art is just so much deeper than what it may seem like for other people. It kind of saved my life in a way.”
IF YOU GO
What: Shines Through
When: Through Oct. 27
Where: Huntington Beach Art Center, 538 Main St.