Artist Joshua Wojcik, of Farmington, will present his mixed-media “balance” sculptures, like this one, at this year’s Michigan Regional Glass Exhibition.

Artist Joshua Wojcik, of Farmington, will present his mixed-media “balance” sculptures, like this one, at this year’s Michigan Regional Glass Exhibition.

Photo provided by Linda Ashley Public Relations


Regional glass show returns to Janice Charach Gallery

By: Tiffany Esshaki | C&G Newspapers | Published March 18, 2019

 Royal Oak glass artist and jewelry maker Brendan Sherwood will bring his mixed media pieces featuring cast glass, metal and neon to the exhibition.

Royal Oak glass artist and jewelry maker Brendan Sherwood will bring his mixed media pieces featuring cast glass, metal and neon to the exhibition.

Photo provided by Linda Ashley Public Relations

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WEST BLOOMFIELD — It could be argued that anyone who can take glass and mold it into beautiful pieces of art is exceptional. 

But the best of those exceptional folks are the ones who are slated to be at the annual Michigan Regional Glass Exhibition March 24-May 9 in West Bloomfield.

Michigan glass artist Albert Young, of Michigan Hot Glass, personally curated the collection of student and professional work from Detroit and Ohio that will be displayed at the Janice Charach Gallery. Forty-two individuals will present functional and nonfunctional works at the annual exhibition. 

“We are delighted to have the Michigan Regional Glass Exhibition return to the Janice Charach Gallery,” gallery director Kelly Kaatz said in a press release. “The exhibition is held every two years, and it is a privilege to be the home of this important show that reviews the most exciting, beautiful and original fine-art glass being created by the art glass community. We know it will be a thrilling experience for gallery visitors.”

Andrew Wu, a glass artist who has participated in the show since its inception, said he’s always fascinated to see what his colleagues come up with.

“It’s interesting to see what sort of inspiration people have in the area and see how much talent is here,” said Wu, of Birmingham. “Everyone is trying to say something through their work, and to see how that’s translated into what they produce is interesting.”

The permanency of glass artwork is what draws Wu back to the craft, he said. Glass is one of the longest-lasting man-made materials, taking about a million years to decompose. The emotion evoked is captured in time.

“My primary profession is as a musician,” said Wu, a member of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. “You perform, and it’s live, and it happens once. You can’t create that again, because each time is a whole new experience. To work in glass is to express myself, and it will be there for potentially hundreds of years.”

Joshua Wojick, of Farmington, has taught glass art throughout the metro Detroit area, including at The Henry Ford. His mixed-media sculptures will be part of this year’s menagerie. 

“I do mainly mixed-media balance, primarily with wood and forged steel,” he said. “I think it’s really important to have a place to showcase all the talent we have in Michigan glass arts. There’s a lot of talent right in our backyard.”

Brendan Sherwood, of Royal Oak, works with Young at Michigan Hot Glass, located inside the Russell Industrial Center in Detroit, and said Young asked him to submit his work to the show.

Sherwood has owned and operated Elements Jewelry Studio in downtown Royal Oak for the last 30 years, but said he got back into sculptural work with cast glass and metals approximately five or six years ago.

“I always liked how they feed off each other,” he said. “I like combining materials and seeing the relationship between materials. I find it interesting to put pieces together. The glass I use is cast glass, which is a little heavier.”

Sherwood’s pieces in the show feature neon elements and combine different metals, including copper, bronze, stainless steel and mild steel. He said he casts his pieces in a graphite mold, and the neon elements are set on dimmers.

“They’re more lighted sculptures. I wouldn’t call them lamps,” he said. “I like trying to do things that just capture more imagination and intrigue, and see people’s reactions to pieces.”

The show will be juried by a panel of professionals, with awards going as high as $1,000 for exceptional pieces. Many of the exhibition items will be available for purchase as well, with items at all price points — from small gifts to fabulous finds for high-end art collectors.

For more information on the Michigan Regional Glass Exhibition, visit charachgallery.org or call (248) 432-5579. 

The Janice Charach Gallery is located inside the Jewish Community Center, located at 6600 W. Maple Road in West Bloomfield. 

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