Art class' mosaic, glass works sparkle

Exhibit by AACC teachers, students includes bejeweled urns, stained-glass works


January 19, 2007|By MARY JOHNSON | MARY JOHNSON,Special to The Sun

The mosaic and glass artwork and jewelry created by Anne Arundel Community College students and instructors, on exhibit on the Arnold campus, are well beyond any ordinary arts and crafts categorization. They are eye-popping revelations of the life-enhancing possibilities available through art studies at the college.

Linda Elliott, who produced the remarkable mosaic art "Etruscan Urn," has been taking art classes at the college for years. She is contemplating retirement as an educational therapist and hopes to "devote more time to arty endeavors."

Her urn, classically elegant and embellished with jeweled ornamentation, was the result of her inspiration when she found it at a yard sale.

"It reminded me of a wine jug," she said at the opening reception at the Pascal Center for Performing Arts Gallery. "So it struck me like something one would have found long ago in an ancient civilization."

Assistant stained-glass teacher Deborah Matott explained how she went about creating "Calm Before the Storm," a serene depiction of a dawn-tinged, rose-colored boat floating in green-turquoise water.

It was inspired, Matott said, "by the glass I found and used for the water. Once I saw the colors and movement that sheet of glass had, I wanted to use it as a focal point."

Of another piece at the exhibition, "Friends," she said, "The background was all cut from one sheet of glass, using every last little bit, and if I could have stretched it like fabric, I would have."

Three years after starting work with glass, Matott will teach a class on stained-glass panel lampshades in April, seeing "endless opportunity and direction to take my glass projects."

Another eye-catching stained-glass piece is Susan Pogue's "Sailing Annapolis," a lyrical regatta that brightly defines the capital city's passion. A full-time mortgage company staff member, Pogue has studied art since junior high and over the years has tried "working in stone, watercolor, acrylic and woodcarving."

When she started working in stained glass two years ago, she said, "I didn't like it because it's a difficult medium, and you can break glass, but I decided to give it another try with Cheryl Loeschke [an AACC art instructor] and liked starting from scratch, creating my own pattern, selecting my own colors and putting it together."

Pogue is working on another sailboat scene and at some point might try mosaics and fusion glass.

Mosaic art encompasses a wide range, as is illustrated in a cheerful contemporary mosaic depiction of dolphins by Michelle Butler in contrast to another more classic work by art instructor Kim Cibak, whose mosaic tabletop in shades of gold makes it appear that it might have been found in a centuries-old Turkish dwelling.

Cibak encourages anyone interested in working in glass or mosaic to visit the exhibition and consider joining a class.

Hosting the opening reception, learning program coordinator Anita Ramundo said the courses attract people of all ages, most of whom work during the day. No prior art experience is required to enroll in courses in mosaic tile, basic stained glass or introductory fused jewelry.

Brochures are available at the exhibit, which will continue through Jan. 26.

Information: 410-777-2325 or

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