Colorists, it is sometimes observed, are born not made. Their pursuit of subtlety and beauty, their search for the optical exhilaration that begins where language ends and taste begins, even as far as southern Kentucky.
I walked into an “arts & craft” museum in Louisville on my way to a cocktail reception in late September and was moved by a glass piece from Stephen Rolfe Powell, who albeit a Kentucky-based artist, has impacted others around the country.
Powell’s greatest impact has been in the Art Department at Centre College in Danville, KY. Powell was hired by Centre College in 1983 to teach ceramics and sculpture. He then built a glass studio and founded Centre’s glass program, which has attracted prospective students from around the country.
In the late nineties due to the support of Corning Glass, Philips Lighting, Corhart, and General Electric in Somerset, KY, Powell designed and completed a new, state-of-the-art glass studio, which Centre opened as part of their new Visual Arts Center in January 1998.
The new art facility has also been host to such visiting artists as Marvin Lipofsky, Lino Tagliapietra, Richard Jolley, Richard Royal, Dante Marioni, Jim Mongrain, Nancy Callan, Katherine Gray, and Jose Chardiet.
His work is mysterious, colorful and stunning.
Take a look at one of his pieces just sitting on top of a counter waiting to be praised.
This piece to the right is called Suspicious Fig.