Brunnier Art Museum extends exhibition showcasing intricate sculptures made from discarded glass

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Brunnier Art Museum extends exhibition showcasing intricate sculptures made from discarded glass
The Dreams of a Descendant of Sirenuse, 2021 by Amber Cowan. Flameworked glass, found glass, mixed media, powder coated aluminum frame. Commissioned by University Museums with funds from the Joyce Brewer Art Acquisition Fund. In the permanent collection, Brunnier Art Museum, University Museums, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa. Photo by Matthew Hollerbush.

AMES, IA.- Mythical Bounty: Glass Sculpture by Amber Cowan has been extended through June 12, 2022 giving visitors an additional month to experience the exhibition at the Brunnier Art Museum on second floor of the Scheman Building, 1805 Center Drive, Ames, Iowa. Cowan has developed a unique artistic process based around the use of recycled, upcycled, and second-life American pressed glass to create intricate glass sculptures.

Cowan invites viewers to look closely and discover the stories she tells in her glass sculptures. Her complex dioramas and three-dimensional sculptures often use existing historic pressed glass objects she finds beautiful, then the remaining glass of the same color is melted down and painstakingly flameworked and blown to fill the space with ornament. Each sculpture has a narrative that must be sought out by the viewer as they peer through the many layers of glass ornament she has created.

Mythical Bounty celebrates The Dreams of a Descendant of Sireneuse, the new work of art University Museums has commissioned from Cowan for the permanent collection. “The piece itself will be loosely themed on the Greek mythology story of the Sirens,” Cowan said when designing the new commission. “The masthead nude will act as a ship in the center of the diptych scene and include a rocky ‘cullet’ coast in which other nude figurines will lure the ship/vase.” The addition of Cowan’s sculpture connects with the range of Early American Pressed Glass of the Iowa Questers Glass Collection within the permanent collection, while also expanding the variety and depth of the contemporary glass collection.

The exhibition also includes both recent and newly created sculptures by Cowan. Each sculpture tells a unique visual story that Cowan has meticulously created, drawing viewers into a world that seems almost alive and blooming in front of their eyes.

This exhibition is curated and organized by the artist, Amber Cowan, and University Museums with Heller Gallery. Generous support for the exhibition was given by Lee Huey in honor of Gayle Huey; Carol Grant; Betty and Dennis Keeney; Janelle and George McClain; Lucinda and Dirk Scholten; Clifford Smith; and University Museums Membership.

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