As Kentucky rises in stature as an art glass destination point, it seems fitting that this year’s Governor’s Awards in the Arts are work created by a Kentucky artist at the center of the growing glass movement. Owensboro native, Brook Forrest White, Jr., studied under internationally acclaimed glass artist Steven Rolfe Powell at Centre College in Danville. After trying his own hand at opening a fledgling glass studio in Danville, White then joined the new multi-use glass complex Glassworks in Louisville. With a keen observation of the business of art, White and fellow glass artist Susie Slabaugh struck out on their own to build Flame Run at the opposite end of Market Street from Glassworks. Arguably, the two serve as anchors for all the art galleries dotted in the 16 blocks in between. “Kentucky is rising up the ladder in the glass world as an art glass location,” says White, “and we are positioned to be the top in the nation. Right now the two main art glass centers are Seattle, Washington and Corning, New York. Our geographic location, plus what has been recently developed and now the University of Louisville has established a full-time glass program under the direction of Ché Rhodes, with hopes of building it into M.F.A. in glass.” The Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea is also currently featuring a special exhibit of work by Kentucky glass artists, A Season for Glass.
The breathtakingly beautiful awards will be presented at the 2004 Governor’s Awards in the Arts Ceremony, at 10:00 a.m. EST, February 8, 2005 in the Capitol Rotunda in Frankfort. “These blown glass pieces incorporate a technique called overlay,” says White. “That’s how you get one color on the inside and another on the out. This specially designed series evolved from incorporating a clear glass base. The base serves to elevate the piece, which gives more lift and life to the vessel than if it were just a flat-bottomed traditional bowl. The shape lends to a sense of nobility; it’s a little more elegant and has a raised stature.”
The 2004 recipients are Ricky Skaggs, National Award; David A. Jones, Milner Award; Elizabeth Hartwell, Artist Award; Julius Friedman, Business Award, The Singletary Center, Community Arts (Organization) Award; Nana Yaa Asantewaa, Community Arts (Individual) Award; the Carnegie Visual & Performing Arts Center, Education Award; John Harrod, Folk Heritage Award; Hindman/Knott County Community Development Initiative, Government Award and WTCR Radio, Media Award. The Governor's Awards in the Arts, the Commonwealth's most prestigious arts awards, honor Kentucky individuals, businesses and organizations that make significant and outstanding contributions to the arts in the state.
- ### -
The Kentucky Arts Council is a state agency in the Commerce Cabinet. Working in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, the Arts Council invests in programs that develop vibrant communities, provide lifelong education in the arts and support arts participation. Every $1 in grant funds awarded by the Kentucky Arts Council helps grantees secure $15 in earned income and matching funds from individuals, philanthropic sources and other levels of government.