Flattered glass

Mark A. Reigelman II’s "Breaking the Bottle"

Reflecting on a full decade at its downtown location, the Oklahoma City Museum of Art debuts Fusion: A New Century of Glass on Thursday.

In 2002, renowned glass artist Dale Chihuly’s work was showcased at OKCMOA’s grand opening. Now coming full circle, Fusion showcases more than 20 contemporary glass artists.

“Looking back, we decided it would be a great opportunity to showcase glass in a fun, dynamic way,” said Jennifer Klos, associate curator.

All pieces used in the exhibition were created after 2000, hence the New Century of Glass portion of the title. The centerpiece, Beth Lipman’s Bride is a 10-foot, five-tiered sculpture featuring handmade glass.

“It’s quite dramatic,” Klos said, “and it will be great for our visitors to get to see the depth and talent that Beth brings to the table.”

Museumgoers will be able to interact with Andrew Erdos’ Texture of a Ghost, by actually stepping inside the cubic piece, one person at a time. The space is almost entirely reflective, with animal-like figures emerging from the walls. Flat screens on the ceiling add to the experience.

“It’s a quite personal experience,” Klos said, “and we look forward to our visitors experiencing this, because it is something you can literally walk into.”

Another piece visitors can relate to is Charlotte’s Web, which Charlotte Potter created using 840 of her Facebook friends’ profile pictures.

“I don’t think this piece could be any more poignant in terms of the symbolism,” Klos said. “I think it underlies the importance and the influence of technology on our society. ...

For her to be creating this piece now is quite a unique look at how an artist is translating her own personal story into her own piece.”

While glass is one of the oldest art forms in existence, Klos said it is also one of the hardest media to control.

“I think this exhibition shows the tremendous growth of the medium of glass in the art world, but also this idea of an unlimited creativity, where artists can use the medium to create something that’s very visually captivating,” she said.