Because I Can

Upstate glass artist Judy Martin wants to use her art to help people look at things differently – that glass can be used in different ways and that art is about freedom. Her works of kiln fired glass will be on exhibit Oct. 3 through 28 in her show “Because I Can” in Gallery III at the Artists Collective | Spartanburg.

An artist reception will be held Thursday, Oct. 19, as part of ArtWalk Spartanburg.

“This show of glass shows some different ways glass can be used in art,” Martin says. “Some of the pieces include casting, molding and painting. Some of the many ways glass can be used for art will be on display. The majority of this show will be painted glass showing nature as my mind sees it.”

Martin wants the visitors to the exhibition to see that “art is freedom, art is what you want it to be. Art doesn't need to fit into other people’s thought of it. It is our own freedom to wonder and fall into. My goal always is to see people smile when they look at my art. I want them to see some of what can be made with glass.

“Glass is a fading art, and we can't let happen,” she adds. “The art has been around for many, many years and there are not many people working with any kind of glass now. I would like people appreciate the dying art of glass. Many pieces of art can be made with glass just by a bit of heat, education and hope.”

Questions from people across the East Coast who have seen her work inspired the exhibit. “They ask, ‘Why do you paint on glass? Why not paint on canvas?’ I want them to see that painting on glass can have dimension, not just be flat like on canvas.”

Martin has created with glass for a long time, mostly fused glass. The covid pandemic “brought many changes for many people, and I am no different,” she says. “My fused glass was sitting in boxes with nowhere to display and no one to purchase. Why make more was my thought.
I took this time to take online glass painting classes from Marguerite Beneke in South Africa. I had always admired her painting on glass, so I thought there was no better time than covid time.”

Martin, a native of Westfield, New York, says her work with glass started 20 years ago with stained glass before moving into fused glass. “I have played with many different types of craft and art all my life. There have been yarns, sewing machines, clay, wax, paint and a myriad of other things until I came across glass.”

A member of ACS for six years. Martin says she enjoys exhibiting there and meeting the visitors to the exhibitions. “The people at ACS are a hot mess of good art people who are always welcoming.”

She also has been accepted into shows in Cape Coral and Fort Myers, Florida; Hilton Head, Sith Carolina; Buffalo, New York; and Hendersonville, North Carolina, and other locations.

The 30 works in the exhibit will be available for purchase, with prices ranging from $30 to $300.


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