A local contemporary hand-blown glass artist who was awarded a 2012 East Central Regional Arts Council/McKnight Fellowship for professional artists will hold the first public viewing of his work this weekend.
Anthony Michaud-Scorza, who has lived in the Cambridge community for seven years, attended the Anoka Ramsey Community College Coon Rapids campus to study glass blowing. Also, in the summer of 2011, he studied at the Pilchuck School of Glass in Washington state under Ross Richmond, a well-known American glass sculptor.
Michaud-Scorza has been a professional artist for five years, and prior to that worked as a professional hot glass assistant for various Minnesota glass artists.
“My favorite part of being a professional artist is being able to share my creative drive full time,” Michaud-Scorza said. “I like the smiles I get when someone sees a piece that I intended to be funny or when someone’s face lights up over something I’ve made or done. I love doing demos for people who have never seen glass and watching their reactions. Seeing people go through the gamut of reactions from cautious curiosity to uninhibited enthusiasm. You should hear the sound a crowd makes when you break a piece you’ve been working on. They sigh because for a little while they were right there with you, and I love bringing people to that place where we are all collectively focused on the same thing.”
Michaud-Scorza will hold an open house from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, April 27, and Sunday, April 28, at his studio in Cambridge, at 2551 341st Ave. NW. There will be hors d’oeuvres, refreshments, live demonstrations and a gallery showing where you can purchase or view his work.
Michaud-Scorza explained traditional glass blowing is the process of melting glass in a furnace then using various tools to shape, blow and manipulate that glass on a steel pipe to create any number of creations. The glass artist can make endless variations of vases, platters, bowls, sculptures or even glass animals, humans and figures.
“My work is variable,” Michaud-Scorza said. “I make everything from classic bowls and vases to animal sculptures and human figures. I make my work using traditional, beautiful forms combined with interesting contemporary techniques. I love to sculpt glass as it lends itself wonderfully as a sculpting medium. Using torches I can challenge myself to make new and sometimes difficult subjects such as glass fish, octopi, birds, people — anything that catches my interest for the day. In this way, my drive is endless, as there is always some new challenge to try and overcome in the interest of conveying a feeling, a curiosity or sometimes a narrative.”
People and nature inspire Michaud-Scorza’s work.
“Feeling can be evoked in so many ways,” he said. “Just a simple color can make you feel a certain way on some level. Shape, simple or complex, can bring a familiarity to the onlooker. I am inspired by animals: the challenge of conveying the intense, detailed beauty of a creature. Capturing its visual essence can be very challenging and rewarding. Lastly I am inspired by glass. It’s incredible. The only difference between raw glass and a finished piece of art are the moves and techniques I choose to make for the hours I work on it. It is a perfect record of what I did for those hours: every move, every flick of the wrist is recorded in the finality of the piece.”
Michaud-Scorza is thankful for the 2012 East Central Regional Arts Council/McKnight Fellowship.
“The McKnight Fellowship I received was a great honor,” he said. “The McKnight Foundation as well as the East Central Regional Arts Council have been integral parts of making this event possible and I would like to say thank you to both those organizations. The work they do makes our community a more interesting, beautiful place to live.”
Michaud-Scorza takes pleasure in creating his pieces.
“I hope that when people look at my work they get a feel of what I felt when I was creating it,” Michaud-Scorza said. “I got pleasure from making the piece and I hope that pleasure is passed on to the person who enjoys it on a daily basis. It makes it all very worthwhile when I think of all the art glass I have made over the years and all the people who are affected by that object in their environment.”
For more information on Anthony Michaud-Scorza and Scorza Art Glass, call 612-812-3677.