The works of 21 glass artists presently grace Gibsons Public Art Gallery with an arresting display of organic forms. One of the Sunshine Coast Glass Artists whose work is on display at GPAG until August 18 is Miyuki Shinkai.
The Gibsons glass blower told The Local Weekly she took glass blowing studies at Georgia Southwestern State University. She then went on to Pilchuck glass school in Stanwood, WA where she found some inspiring influences among the school’s artists.
“It opened up my path to work for America’s youngest national treasure at the time, Dale Chihuly, the founder of Pilchuck.” Shinkai said.
She notes she was influenced by Chihuly’s vision and that of his immediate students who are now renown glass artists. “Dale’s motivation was always to do with public education and monumental engagement with team effort through glass art on an international scale,” the artist asserts.
She is clear about the reasons she chose to create with glass.
“Blown glass is very seductive medium, difficult to control, learn, but so beautiful and fluid medium,” Shinkai explains, and notes the “Vibrant Colours, its shininess, and spontaneous decision making on process; it’s a infectious medium.”
She would like to have a more full-time studio, in an economy that supports the operating costs of such work but she is keeping her craft alive with smaller projects, and teaches in community settings through children’s art classes.
“I just finished teaching at the Aquifer Art Camp at Deer Crossing the Art Farm,” the long-time member of the GPAG notes.
Shinkai agrees the current GPAG gallery location is large and beautiful venue with good accessibility.
“We started this glass show in the old basement space in 2007, 2009, as a biannual event,” Shinkai shares. She notes that this year’s show was requested by popular demand.
“Susan Furze put a submission proposal together on behalf of the 21 glass artists,” she notes, and that it took, “a year and a half of her work to get ready and realize the group exhibit for this year.” The glass artist and her partner will be involved in the Art Crawl event for this year as well. “Our studio is Mellon Glass Studio in Langdale. We have glass works by my husband, Wayne Harjula, mine, and studio production works,” she says, adding her family’s studio is open daily to the public, as are most of the studios of the 21 glass artists in the Sunshine Coast Glass Artists group.