Gallery News

Traver Gallery, 03.25.2012

Diving Within by Marsha Blaker-Desomma

April/May at Traver Gallery – Seattle

Marsha Blaker-DeSomma 

Diving Within 

Exhibition Dates: April 5 – May 13, 2012

Opening Reception: April 5, 5 – 8 pm


Marsha Blaker-DeSomma: Diving Within

Traver Gallery in Seattle is pleased to present Diving Within, a solo exhibition featuring new work by California glass artist Marsha Blaker-DeSomma. Inspired by a deep reverence for the ocean, the abstract designs and flowing forms of Blaker-DeSomma’s sculptures recall the fanciful curves of kelp, the rich textures and colors of coral and the myriad shapes and patterns of the natural world. 

Composed of hundreds of thick, colorful disks of glass, Blaker-DeSomma’s sculptures are, in the artist’s words, “abstract representations of the networks that make up all of life.” The repeating forms of Blaker-DeSomma’s work can be seen as the basic components of the universe; reminiscent of atoms, molecules, cells, synapses, and solar systems. 

Blaker-DeSomma’s spiritual and creative practices are united in her ongoing exploration of the aqueous nature of both life and consciousness. In addition to swimming in the ocean regularly and working with flowing, molten glass, she practices a form of expressive movement called “Continuum.” She sees each of these practices as requiring a dedicated presence, receptivity to the flow of life, and a certain amount of courage, since one never knows what one is going to find in the depths of the sea, or in the depths of oneself. Her explorations have led to a profound understanding of the interconnectedness of all beings and things, which she strives to represent in her work.

Blaker-DeSomma’s work is created in a hot shop, working with a team of artists including her husband, Paul DeSomma. The team pulls cane, makes murrine, and creates a selection of hollow glass tubes, which are then cut into cross-sections and arranged into patterns on a flat surface. Some of the components are fused together in a kiln to create flat pieces, while others are reheated in the hotshop, where the team is able to create more flowing, three-dimensional forms. In this new body of work, Blaker-DeSomma experiments with depth, using a much wider variety of thicknesses in the component pieces than in past series. She also explores the use of black outlined pieces, creating inky lines within the body of the sculpture, essentially allowing her to execute drawings in glass.

Marsha Blaker DeSomma received her Master’s Degree in both ceramics and glass and has attended the world renowned Pilchuck Glass School as a scholarship student and as a staff member.  Blaker-DeSomma has had major gallery and museum exhibitions throughout the United States and Europe, including those at the American Craft Museum, New York City; Museum of Fine Arts Gallery, Boston; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Monterey Museum of Art, CA, and the Santa Cruz Museum of Art’s Permanent Collection. Her work is included in numerous public and private collections, including that of Richard Marcus, founder of Neiman-Marcus, and Sir Elton John. 

Image information: 

Avian Energy, 2012, blown, cut and fused glass, 25.5”h x 19”w x 5”d

 Additional high resolution images available upon request

Photography by Paul Schraub

Located one block north of the Seattle Art Museum, the Traver Gallery is one of the country’s premier exhibition spaces for contemporary studio glass, painting, sculpture, and installation art. Gallery hours are Tuesday – Friday 10 – 6, Saturday 10 – 5, and Sunday 12 – 5. 

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