The Silverthorne Pulse The Silverthorne Pulse

Community News from the Heart of Summit County

Blake Street Glass Lights Up SPAC

Published October 3, 2019
Art glass by Blake Street Glass on display at the SPAC

With cooling days and nights, glimmering aspens aren’t the only seasonal color in Silverthorne. All fall and winter, visitors to the Silverthorne Performing Arts Center (SPAC) can savor gorgeous, glowing glass art in the exterior window boxes. It’s part of Silverthorne Arts & Culture’s mission to bring the arts to life through the Town’s vibrant public art program.

The red glass vessels atop a black glass table are new work designed and created by glassblower Kit Karbler of Blake Street Glass, with assistance from Dmitri Rudenko. The current exhibition also includes work by Breckenridge native Evan Seeling, who created a playful interpretation of glass mountains surrounded by clouds.

Through March 2020, the backlit art glass will catch the eye of thousands of passersby every day. The red and black glass creates a dramatic, dynamic contrast, especially as our skies darken earlier in the winter months.

The Town’s Art Selection Committee (ASC) intentionally sought glass for the window boxes because of their exterior location and illumination. “Although it’s easy to glimpse the radiant work as you pass by the Performing Arts Center, it’s worth the time to take a closer look and marvel at the details of the handcrafted pieces,” says Recreation and Culture Director Joanne Cook.

Colorful collaboration

To fully appreciate the beauty of art glass, it helps to understand the time commitment and artistry involved in its making. An artful collaboration produces Blake Street Glass’ works. Kit designs and blows each piece, and then Dmitri cuts and polishes the work into its final form.

Each piece requires a lengthy, multistep method. First, the hot process involves the glassblowing itself — manipulating colorful, molten lava at the end of a long steel blowpipe. After a five-day cooling period, artists begin the cold process of cutting and shaping the glass into its final form.

“The bigger the piece, and the more facets, the more time it takes,” Kit explains. He describes his signature style as “rendering the vessel contemporary by layering colors of glass and cutting it to increase refraction, the bending and interplay of light.”

About the artist

Kit Karbler has been blowing glass for 40 years. He first encountered the art as an undergraduate, after studying ceramics and bronze casting. He opened Blake Street Glass in downtown Denver in 1979, creating what would become one of the Rocky Mountain region’s oldest and most respected glassblowing studios. Today, collectors are familiar with his unique style of glasswork. Dmitri Rudenko is co-owner of Blake Street Glass and a master craftsman.

Evan Seeling is a Breckenridge native who joined Blake Street Glass five years ago. His family still lives at Farmers Korner in Breckenridge, and he says this show brings him back to his roots in more ways than one.

“I started sweeping floors and watching glassblowing at Gatherhouse in Frisco as a senior in high school,” Evan recalls. “It’s really nice to be able to bust out of the home gallery space at Blake Street Glass and show work at the SPAC.”

Find out more about the Town of Silverthorne’s public art program, including all of the current exhibitions, at https://www.silverthorne.org/discover-silverthorne/arts-and-culture/public-art.

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