Traver Gallery is pleased to present April Surgent’s new exhibition, The Sea Lives With Light. With this new body of work, Surgent vastly expands her engraving vocabulary. Utilizing a new set of tools, she carves large single glass panels into delicate and brush-stroked sea-scapes. A departure from her multi-panel format, these new landscapes flow effortlessly, allowing her empyreal depictions of the Pacific Ocean to roll, float, and breathe on the surface of the glass without disturbance. Her work is visual poetry, evoking the brief but transcendent feeling that we encounter on the edge of the horizon, where the sky, ocean, and humanity touch.
April says of her work, “Raised in the Pacific Northwest, a deep appreciation for the sea was instilled in me from a young age. My life-long love for the ocean has taken me from Antarctica to Alaska and this body of work is a collection of some of my experiences at sea. Imagery for the work was pulled from pictures that I have taken from all around the Pacific Ocean, spanning from 2013-2019…These engravings recall the feelings that come only from time spent with nature and lie on the fringes of memories and dreams.”
April Surgent started working with glass in 1997, at open access hot shop studios in her hometown of Seattle, WA. She went on to study at the Australian National University, Canberra, Australia where she graduated with honors in 2004. In 2003, she changed her focus from blown to wheel engraved glass after studying under Czech master engraver Jiri Harcuba at the Pilchuck glass school. She has been engraving for 14 years, interested in contemporary approaches to the traditional craft of wheel engraving. Notable recognitions for her work include a 2009 Behnke Foundation Neddy Fellowship and a 2016 USA Ford Fellowship.
Surgent’s interest in applied conservation science led her to Antarctica in 2013, with the National Science Foundation’s, Antarctic Artist and Writers Program. Her research there focused on remote conservation fieldwork and the effects of anthropogenic impacts on vulnerable ecosystems. Currently, she is working with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s, Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program continuing that research. She lives and works on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington.