by: RITA A. LEONARD - Glass artist James Nickerson won a first place award for this leaded glass deers skull entitled Gifts of the Paternal Gene. The 12th annual “Working Glass” art show at the Bullseye Glass Resource Center again displays fascinating artwork created by the business’ employees. The show runs through New Year’s Eve – located in the showroom's mezzanine art gallery, and presenting glass fashioned into functional and artistic forms via many techniques.

Employees themselves judge the pieces – awarding first, second, and third prizes in functional, non-functional, and “first timer” categories.

A striking stained glass deer skull, glass antlers and teeth attached, sits on a pedestal in the center aisle. “Gifts of the Paternal Gene” was created by James Nickerson in leaded glass, winning a Gold award as a “first time” participant. Blue, green, and gray shards of fused glass give the piece a ghostly, meditative air. On a wall nearby, a back-lighted art piece of red, orange and yellow glass celebrates the image of a glass forger working at a blazing furnace, help fill out the category.

“Functional” pieces include cups, plates and jewelry – while one philosophical display shows an exquisite cast-glass songbird dead in its ornate black cage: “Neglected”, created by Jamie Grove, won two silver awards; one for “non-functional” art and one for “first time”. First place in the “functional” category is a bottle-shaped lamp, fused in autumn colors, designed to represent an active volcano. Artist Paul McNulty observed that after it was completed, it actually looked more like a giant perfume bottle.

Whimsy, too, is represented in the form of a glass board game, and colorful glass pacifiers. Also with a wood, felt, and glass tabletop wind chime – or “automata”, made by Camille Hamilton, and operated with a wooden hand crank. Another artist, Anton Hauptman, created an amusing take on a framed EXIT sign with green kiln-carved glass. Hauptman added an "S", making it read EXIST, an invitation to stop and enjoy the moment. His whimsy, entitled “Go Nowhere, Just Be”, won third place in the “functional” category, as well as the coveted “President’s Choice” award.

Several interesting pieces of display art are featured on walls and stands. Michele Fais created a scene depicting a steel bridge against the sunset, made with painted powdered glass. Evan Louwenaar won a third place “non-functional” award for “Gneiss”, a series of fused glass squares in a wall frame. Spencer Silva won a third place award as “first timer” with a forest scene featuring bear hunters: “The Attack” is made of candle-worked stringer and kiln-formed glass. First place winner in the “non-functional” category was Ryan Sarpe with a large, detailed piece of cold-worked fused glass entitled, “Ain’t Nuthin’ But a Bee Thang”. We have no idea if this newspaper served as an inspiration for that one.

Bullseye’s small upstairs art gallery entertains visitors with its depiction of the many different ways of working glass. The artists all are staunch company supporters, no matter what they do there. Learning to create with glass in its many forms appears to be a labor of love. Check out Bullseye Glass classes online: