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  • INK by Shawn Zheng

    Location: Saskatoon, SK

    Shu Cheng (Shawn) Zheng features his distinctive style of making marks in Chinese..
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  • North Shore Art Crawl

    Location: North Shore, BC

    The North Shore Art Crawl is a free community arts event March 7+8,..
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  • Art exhibit at local funeral home is proof art isn’t dead!

    Location: Alexandria, ON

    • Friday, 21 Feb 6--9: Wine & cheese, entertainment by recording artist Katie..
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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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  • TRAVEL EXHIBITION

    Location: Toronto, ON

    John Mantha will be participating in a group show at Twist Gallery in..
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  • David Tycho: Urbania

    Location: Vancouver, BC

    Guest artist David Tycho will exhibit 10 paintings from his latest series. This series..
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  • ACAF (Accessible Art Fair) 2020

    Location: Brussels,

    ACAF (Accessible Art Fair) is back on October 15-18, 2020 for its 14th..
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  • Clarkson Society of Artists 2020 Show & Sale

    Location: Mississauga, ON

    The Clarkson Society of Artists invites you to attend their annual show &..
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  • Call for Artists: Urban Matrix

    Location: North Vancouver, BC

    North Van Arts is inviting artists to take part in an upcoming group..
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  • 9th Artist Spotlight Solo Art Competition

    Location: Palm Springs, CA

    Fusion Art is now accepting entries for the 9th Artist Spotlight Solo Art..
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  • Call for Art - 11th Annual

    Location: Palm Springs, CA

    Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery announces an art call for the..
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  • Call For Artists: The Other Art Fair Toronto

    Location: Toronto, ON

    The Other Art Fair are thrilled to present the newest edition of The..
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  • Call for Art - 4th Annual Colors Art Competition

    Location: Palm Springs, CA

    Fusion Art invites submissions for the 4th Annual Colors online art competition. For this..
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  • Marlene Kawalez and Corynn Kokolakis

    Location: Toronto, ON

    Presented by: Cedar Ridge Gallery. Part of the Cedar Ridge Gallery Contemporary Exhibition series. March..
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  • Jane Selbie and Joseph Farrugia

    Location: Toronto, ON

    Presented by: Cedar Ridge Gallery. Part of the Cedar Ridge Gallery Contemporary Exhibition series. February..
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  • Dianne Davis and the WAP Collective

    Location: Toronto, ON

    Presented by: Cedar Ridge Gallery. Part of the Cedar Ridge Gallery Contemporary Exhibition series. February..
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  • “Grey” International Call - Art & Literature Journal - Deadline February 28, 2020

    Location: Toronto, ON

    | Theme: Grey surrounds us, sometimes in surprising ways. In beach pebbles, a..
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  • on thin ice Polar Bear Art Exhibit

    Location: Toronto, ON

    On thin ice is a solo exhibit of polar bear portrait paintings by..
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  • Support the Worldwide Art Community | Participate in 6x6x2020

    Location: Rochester, ON

    Hello Artists in Canada, We want YOU to participate in 6x6x2020! Let your creative..
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  • Olivier Du Tre: New Works

    Location: CALGARY, AB

    January 7 to February 29, 2020 At HUB@302 302-1235 26 Ave SE, Calgary, AB..
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  • WAAH 124th Juried Exhibition at the Art Gallery of Hamilton

    Location: Hamilton, ON

    Who:  The Women’s Art Association of Hamilton (WAAH) at the Art Gallery of..
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  • The Indian Contemporary Art Competition

    Location: New York, NY, ON

    The Indian Contemporary Art Competition (ICAC) aims to discover and promote talented artists..
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  • The Loft On King Street

    Location: Toronto, ON

    The Loft On King Street is one of the most unique private event..
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  • Overzealous Fine Art Exhibition 2020 Call for Entry

    Location: Toronto (GTA), ON

    Submission Deadline: Sunday, March 1st, 2020 -- Exhibition Dates: March 30 – April 18,..
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  • VOYZX Exhibition of Contemporary Surrealism

    Location: Vancouver, BC

    VOYZX Exhibition of Contemporary Surrealism 2020 is an annual international art exhibition, dedicated..
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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