kiara pelissier

Richmond-based artist Kiara Pelissier has long been fascinated by the magical and transformative nature of glass. The artist: Born in Mexico, Pelissier grew up in Connecticut in a multi-generational family of artists. She later graduated with a BFA from the Cleveland Institute of Art and earned an MFA in Craft and Material Studies at Virginia…

amber lelli

Whether it is glass, bronze or printmaking, materials matter to interdisciplinary artist Amber Lelli of Nashville. The studio: Amber Lelli Art is based in Nashville. The artist has studio space in the basement of LeQuire Studio and Gallery, surrounded by remnants of many famous sculptures. The artist: Born in Queens, New York, Lelli spent her early years…

morgan gilbreath

Virginia’s Morgan Gilbreath uses reclaimed and often unconventional materials in her glass and mixed media art to bring the past and present together in exciting ways. The artist: Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Gilbreath earned a BFA in glass, a BA in art history and a certification in community arts from Temple University’s Tyler School of…

tracey beale

In her contemporary jewelry designs, Maryland’s Tracey Beale adds meaning and tells a story. The artist: A Baltimore native, Beale graduated from the Maryland Institute College of Art, where she studied fine arts and literature. A few years after graduating, she took a metalsmithing class at MICA and worked for a time with Stephen Page,…

emily kuchenbecker

Emily Kuchenbecker set out to be a painter. But in college, a class in glass set her on a new artistic path. The artist: Born in Madison, WI, Kuchenbecker received her BFA from the University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point (UWSP) in 2016 and her MFA from the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in 2019. She has…

rene culler

The Delta landscape often influences the blown, cast and fused sculptures of noted Alabama glass artist Rene Culler. The artist: Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Culler began to work in glass in high school, learning how to sandblast. At the Cleveland Institute of Art, where she earned a BFA in glass, Culler learned about color and form,…

mark leputa

Mark Leputa has been spellbound by glass since he discovered it on a post-college trip. The Alabama-based glass sculptor found the material seductive and inspiring. He still does. The artist: Leputa grew up in the Scranton, PA, area and graduated from the University of Pittsburgh. After college, he took a backpacking trip to New Zealand…

melissa schmidt

Inspired by some antique blown glass buttons, Melissa Schmidt designs stunning blown glass jewelry that is both durable yet lightweight. Elegant and unexpected. The artist: Born in St. Louis, Schmidt grew up in Honolulu and San Francisco, where she attended different colleges, first for metals, then for fashion. After a move to St. Louis, she earned…

bueno glass

Using traditional glass blowing techniques, Thor and Jennifer Bueno of North Carolina create unique wall compositions with glass pieces that resemble river stones and soap bubbles. The artists: Thor and Jennifer Bueno Thor: Grew up surfing in Southern California and started blowing glass in 1979. He studied with the late Italo Scanga at University of…

kathy king

North Carolina’s Kathy King hand sews thousands of tiny glass beads to construct her intricate and innovative jewelry. The artist: King grew up on Long Island, NY, and earned her industrial engineering degree from Lehigh University in 1991. She served as an officer in the U.S. Air Force after school and moved to Cary, NC, in…