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  • HUB @ 302

    Location: CALGARY, AB

    The Alberta Society of Artists invites all juried members, associate and non-members to..
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  • Open Call for 2020 exhibitions

    Location: Vernon, BC

    We are an artist run gallery seeking submissions from emerging artists for our..
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  • Beacon Original Art Fall Show & Sale

    Location: Calgary, AB

    Saturday October 19, 2019 from 10am - 4pm. Featuring more than 30 artists..
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  • Open Call:

    Location: Vancouver, BC

    The Federation of Canadian Artists (FCA) is having an open exhibition for members..
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  • Open Call: All 10

    Location: Vancouver, BC

    Calling all Canadian Artists! This is an open submission call for a lightly..
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  • Earth

    Location: CALGARY, AB

    The Alberta Society of Artists invites all Juried, Life, Student, Associate Members and..
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  • Reza Rezaï / Mehmoon

    Location: Calgary, AB

    TRUCK Contemporary Art is pleased to present Mehmoon by Reza Rezaï. Through the..
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  • Outside, In

    Location: Lethbridge, AB

    Opening reception September 28th 7-9pm for the Allied Art Council's Gallery Stroll! OUTSIDE,..
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  • National Oil and Acrylic Painters Society 2019 Fall Online International Exhibition

    Location: Windsor, ON

    The National Oil & Acrylic Painters’ Society (NOAPS) invites oil and acrylic painters..
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  • “Motion” International Call - Art & Literature Journal - Deadline October 31, 2019

    Location: Toronto, ON

    | Theme: Moving or being moved. Shifting, stirring, changing places. The rise and..
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  • Beaver Sheppard: Solo Exhibition

    Location: Montreal, QC

    Archive Contemporary presents a comprehensive solo exhibition of Beaver Sheppard’s artistic canon, for..
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  • ANCESTRAL MINDSCAPES

    Location: Toronto, ON

    Ancestral Mindscapes is an autobiographical collaboration using video, sound and photography to explore..
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  • Clay Tile Workshop

    Location: Edmonton, AB

    Participants will be working with clay to hand-build tiles using a variety of..
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  • Edible and Medicinal Gardening Lecture

    Location: Edmonton, AB

    Ukrainian settlers brought with them a wide range of traditional knowledge and practices,..
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  • Acrylic Painting for Beginners

    Location: Edmonton, AB

    Do you want to create a bright & beautiful acrylic landscape in one..
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  • Willow Heart Weaving Workshop

    Location: Edmonton, AB

    Willow Heart Weaving Workshop In this workshop, participants will learn how to trim and..
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  • New Craft Coalition: Call to Artists

    Location: Calgary, AB

    New Craft Coalition, invites applications from all mid-career and professional artists to be..
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  • Invisible by PAINTER8

    Location: Edmonton, AB

    Please join us at PAINTER8, and other Edmonton art lovers alike, for the..
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  • 19th Annual Stouffville Studio Tour

    Location: Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville, ON

    The 19th Annual Stouffville Studio Tour is an event you don’t want to..
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  • Wheat Centrepiece Workshop

    Location: Edmonton, AB

    Join this class to learn how to make a didukh-style centrepiece that can..
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  • Radio Silence

    Location: Quebec city, QC

    Québec, August 19, 2019 – Folie/Culture invites all those who express themselves through..
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  • LOOK AGAIN!

    Location: Saskatoon, SK

    LOOK AGAIN! PAINTINGS BY KATHLEEN SLAVIN AND GAIL PRPICK AT UNIVERSITY..
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  • Watercolour Workshop with Frank Townsley

    Location: Vancouver, BC

    Sunday 22nd September 10.00 AM - 5.00 PM ..
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  • Figureworks 2019

    Location: Ottawa, ON

    Figureworks 2019 Call for Artists The call for submissions to the 10th annual juried..
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  • Quasi-Nature

    Location: Montreal, QC

    Archive Contemporary Art Gallery is pleased to present Quasi-Nature, a group exhibition curated..
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  • National Oil and Acrylic Painters Society 2019 Fall Online International Exhibition

    Location: Windsor, ON

    The National Oil & Acrylic Painters’ Society (NOAPS) invites oil and acrylic painters..
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  • Unsettling Nature

    Location: Toronto, ON

    An Exhibition at: The Garage Gallery Benmiller with Artists Jill Price, Leslie Putnam, Morag Webster..
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  • Through the Eyes of a Child

    Location: CALGARY, AB

    Artists Statement: Ed Flanagan My wife had a career as an elementary school..
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  • Exposition solo Lac-Mégantic

    Location: Lac-Mégantic, QC

    L'eau, une mine d'Art du 8 juillet au 8 septembre 2019..
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  • Sustainable Fashion Designer Looking for Studio Space in Mississauga

    Location: Mississauga, ON

    Hi, I'm Amanda, I am an emerging fashion designer starting my business designing..
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  • 32 Points- 32 Voices: A Compass of Peace

    Location: Toronto, ON

    32 Points - 32 Voices: A Compass of Peace International Exhibition September 6-27, 2019 Cedar Ridge..
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Gary Bolt

By Robert Amos May 24, 2004

} Gary Bolt By Robert Amos Gary Bolt is one of the principals of Victoria’s Starfish Glassworks (630 Yates St., 388-7827, www.starfishglass.bc.ca). Now on show at the glassworks are his complex and mysterious “suspensions” (until May 31). Bolt is an accomplished glass blower and he sand-casts glass as well. Simplistically, his creations could be called “glass castings with paperweights floating inside them.” He creates many-layered objects at the end of his blowpipe and then adds them as “inclusions” in large shapes of molten glass. Producing them is a task for more than one person. It takes three skilled workers to move a ladle with 45 kilograms of molten glass out of the furnace; two more are involved in cutting and snipping slag off piece; and another rakes the cooling surface back from the material. After casting, these sculptures can take a week to cool down. Then they are sliced through with a diamond saw and polished to reveal their inner elements. There is a tendency to stand awe-struck before the technical magic of glass making, and Bolt is a wizard. But having watched his work evolve over the past five years, I wanted to direct our conversation to the meaning of Bolt’s cosmic creations. Bolt admitted right up front that he is a “space nerd and science geek”, with a particular interest in astronomy. Though in his younger days he read some science fiction, at the moment he’s all non-fiction. His computer has bookmarks for the Jet Propulsion Lab, NASA and the European Space Agency. Clearly, he’s looking at the Big Picture - the structure of the universe. And to him it’s not the least bit dry and dull. “Cutting edge science changes as often as our moods do,” he chuckled. Bolt’s first cosmic-themed work was titled Dark Matter. Science tells us that 95% of the matter of our universe is undetectable, yet without its mass and gravity, the components would fly apart. His own Dark Matter was represented by black forms suspended inside chunks of glass. The results were frustrating - “too subtle”, he told me. Next came his Moons of Jupiter series. “Jupiter actually has 18 or 22 moons,” he explained, “but when Galileo discovered them through his telescope he counted just four. These were the moons that challenged Christianity.” Bolt created his moons individually, and imaginatively. He later suspended groups of four inside huge slabs of glass. One of the series, in the current show, is moon-shaped. It bears noting that the lens for Galileo’s telescope was the product of glass-makers. Many of Bolt’s pieces have a crusty, gnarly outer skin. It seemed to me at first to be simply the rind of the work. But now I see that he has modelled concentric circles and cones in the sand into which the glass is cast. This surface looks like tracks in the lunar dust. The zone between the outer crust and the diamond-smooth polish of the cut surface seems to ring with the silence of intergalactic space. It’s hard for Bolt to be literal about the “meanings” of his creations. There is a lot of intuition and chance in his process. But, gazing into the inner workings of one of Bolt’s basketball-sized hemisphere, where spiral galaxies and geometrically aligned bubbles danced in a fixed, if irregular, orbit, he acknowledged that there were ideas in play. “Like the Big Bang,” he noted. Apparently the universe began from a very small amount of matter which exploded during an unimaginably small amount of time to become everything there is. “”It wasn’t just chock full of chaotic stuff,” he warned me. “It was geometrically pure stuff.” Cosmic order underlies everything, large and small. “You can slice open a planet and find magma, core, mantle... And inside a cell, it’s really really similar.” The metaphor which underlies his constructions begins to become clear. As his range of techniques develops, the glob of glass on the end of the blowpipe gathers layers upon layers. “There is a natural evolution of the work to get more complicated with time”, Bolt pointed out. And, with each layer, the outer surface “disappears” leaving the results of each experiment suspended in a transparent medium. Bolt has mounted the hemispheres of glass in steel armatures which can be rotated. He calls these “armillary spheres”, named for the models of the solar system which used to grace astronomers’ lairs. Shouldn’t astronomers round the world buying up Bolt’s work to decorate their labs and offices? “I don’t get out much,” he offered by way of reply. As a matter of fact, Starfish is quite busy enough. The glass-blowers are a significant (and free) tourist attraction in Victoria; the shop sells beautiful pieces by all of Canada’s top glass artists; and Bolt and his partners Lisa Samphire and Morna Tudor are well-known nationally. The amount of time he spends in the studio is all that’s holding Bolt back. When time permits he’ll get to work on his international reputation. And after that, intergalactic fame won’t be far behind. ___________________________________________ Copyright © 2004Robert Amos Robert Amos is an artist and art writer who lives in Victoria, B.C.. He can be contacted by e-mail and you can view his paintings at www.robertamos.com