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Glass Artist Josh Simpson Discusses his Out-of-this-World Inspiration March 20

For Immediate Release

March 09, 2009

Glass artist Josh Simpson will present the lecture “Finding a Voice in Glass: An Artist’s Inspiration from Space and the Natural World” on Friday, March 20, at 7 pm, at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. Admission to the lecture is free.

Simpson, from Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts, first experimented with glass when he was a student at Hamilton College in 1970. Since then, he has mastered all aspects of glassmaking from designing and building his own furnaces, to learning glass chemistry in order to create his own spectrum of colors. In addition to unique goblets, vases, and bowls, Simpson has created luminous glass spheres, or “planets,” complete with landscapes, underwater scenes, and vistas of outer space that reflect the earth and the vastness and complexity of the universe. Simpson’s wife, astronaut Catherine “Cady” Coleman, took one of his intricate glass planets into outer space with her on a space mission in 1995.

In 2005, the Corning Museum of Glass commissioned Simpson to create what became the world’s largest glass paperweight. The making of this planet was the subject of the PBS documentary Defying Gravity. Weighing 107 pounds, the planet became part of the Corning’s permanent collection in 2006. In 2007 Simpson was honored with a 35-year retrospective exhibition at the Huntsville Museum of Art.

“Finding a Voice in Glass” is a perfect warm up for “Clark After Dark: Planet Clark,” an evening of out-of-the-ordinary activities. Beginning at 8 pm, defy gravity and stir up the planets with sounds by DJ Tigerbeatz who will spin a celestial mix of music. Teleport to the Lunar Lounge for cosmic treats, or visit the print room to see celestial-inspired images. Admission is $10 ($8 per member) at the door, and you must be 21+ to enter. Cash bar. Supplies will be on hand to outfit your inner alien.

The Clark is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts. The galleries are open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm (daily in July and August). Admission is free November through May. Admission June 1 through October 31 is $12.50 for adults, free for children 18 and younger, members, and students with valid ID. For more information, call 413-458-2303 or visit www.clarkart.edu.


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