Artist Profile: Professional Glass Blowing Artist, April Wagner

April Wagner is one of the nation’s top female glass blowing artists.

 
“Every artist wants their work to be seen and enjoyed by people, and there’s no way you can walk into this space and not engage with this piece.”
April
She has unveiled a new sculpture at McLaren Northern Michigan Hospital in Petoskey, titled, ‘Longshore Current.’

She says, “This piece is very specific to this space, and this hospital, in this region, for these people.”

To April, art can help in healing— and that’s something she kept in mind working on this piece…

“No one comes to a hospital because they want to have a good time. Usually you’re here because something is not quite right. Every artist wants their work to be seen and enjoyed by people, and there’s no way you can walk into this space and not engage with this piece. I’m not an artist who makes things and just drops them into the space. What impact is the art meant to have,” says Wagner.

And with this particular piece, she knew exactly what she wanted to create to make her vision a reality.

“This hospital is located right on the edge of the water. So when I’m making the piece I actually hang the rod at the ceiling and then I’m pulling the glass and then I’m whipping it into these curled kind of shapes. It’s an abstract piece that really has these referential curling shapes in it. So depending on where you’re interacting with the piece, you get to experience that possibly this is birds, or this is waves, or this is clouds.”

And as a professional glass blower,
She’s not the only one that make these intricate pieces come to life.

Wagner tells us, “I’m on the phone talking to engineers, I’m figuring out. How the lift works, or what the scaffolding looks like, I’m talking about how the lighting works. So you really have to wear a lot of different hats. It is not just me, there’s a whole team of people that make something like this come together.”

And after 30 years of glass blowing, April loves to share her passion for the art, with others. April 2

“This is the reason I get out of bed in the morning. The really fun thing is we invite people in for hands on experiences. So you can work with one of the studio artists to make your own glass. It’s not like anything else in the world. It is hot, it is exciting, it’s this experience that at the end you have this thing that you always remember.”

Visit April Wagner’s studio in Pontiac, for more information, CLICK HERE.

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