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Artist of the Month
June 2023

Artist of the Month

Elodie Holmes

Elodie Holmes is an internationally acclaimed artist of the contemporary glass movement and is best known for developing a unique variation of Italian Calcedony glass. She spent over 25 years perfecting this formula, which when paired with a careful method of heating and cooling the glass, transforms the earthy tones of the original recipe into a vivid array of shades reminiscent of the northern lights. Holmes is represented by Liquid Light Glass in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

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Elodie Holmes

Artist of the Month

Artist Statement:

The natural landscape, sunsets, and wildlife of the Southwest are a constant source of inspiration in my work. I take my cues from nature and have spent decades perfecting a variation of an ancient Italian glass formula called Calcedony to express the beauty I find here. This unique formula, combined with a precise method of heating and cooling the glass, transforms the elements present in its chemical composition into a vivid array of magenta, red, green, and blue hues, reminiscent of the Aurora Borealis. My Aurora sculptures are made by stretching and cooling the glass to capture a sense of movement in the striations of color that fan out across the surface of each sculpture before being frozen in place, and without overheating the formula which can cause the vibrance of the hues to diminish.

In my newest Fractured Time series, I abruptly sever the sense of flow created through my Aurora formula. These abstract sculptures are a reflection on the warped sense of time that I experienced during the pandemic. I became aware that my sense of time was shifting, slowing down, and changing daily; a feeling that I believe was shared by many around the world. My spiraling forms represent the flow of time with a central opening that is severed and off-set, much as I felt my perception was during this period of prolonged isolation.

I am interested in exploring themes of human interaction, not just on a personal level, but also in terms of how we interact with our natural environment. Using a combination of glassblowing, hot-sculpting, flameworking and assemblage techniques, my bee sculptures reflect on the impact of humanity on the planet. Themes of interdependence, balance, and vulnerability are regularly reflected in my work, but perhaps most literally in this series. In it, bees have become the ambassadors of the natural world, as they are farmed for their honey, wax, propolis, and pollinating prowess. As we grapple with their potential demise from shrinking habitats, pesticides, and disease, their plight is more largely reflective of the destruction that is happening to the animal and insect world.

For example, my piece, On the Backs of Bees, strives to illustrate the delicate balance between humanity and nature. A plate of fruit is held up on the backs of golden bees, representing the ambassadors of all pollinators. The transparent hive protects and reveals the fruit on the plate, topped by a human hand with its fingers morphing into golden bees. The piece captures the balance between give and take that is vital to the survival of the planet. My hope is that this line of work will inspire people to seek out better ways of sustaining our planet and all its inhabitants, starting with our pollinators.

About Elodie Holmes

Elodie Holmes began studying ceramics at a young age and went on to study at the California College of the Arts, under the instruction of Viola Frey. It was here that she met one of the founders of the studio glass art movement, Marvin Lipofsky, who would become her teacher, mentor, and friend. As her initial passion for ceramics gave way to hot glass, Holmes moved to New Mexico in 1981 to co-manage a glass shop, serve as a teaching assistant at Pilchuck Glass School, and by 1986 she established Liquid Light Glass. Over the course of the following decades, Holmes showed her work in galleries and museums across the country and internationally. In 2000, she founded Baca Street Studios, an arts complex that housed her new gallery and studio. In the same year she co-founded the Baca Street Arts District, now one of the most vibrant in New Mexico. In 2004, Holmes co-founded a second glass studio in Santa Fe, Prairie Dog Glass, which also hosts mentorship programs for local high school students and teaches developing artists. Her commitment to community education led Holmes to become a founding member of the Glass Alliance-New Mexico, a non-profit established in 2005. As an active member of this organization, she features international guest artists at her studio, Liquid Light Glass, through the Glass Alliance-New Mexico Maestro Program.

In 2016, Elodie was honored to receive the New Mexico Governor's Award for Excellence in the Arts. Her artwork is featured in the permanent collections of the White House, Fort Wayne Museum, and the Art in Public Places Program of the New Mexico Arts Department of Cultural Affairs. Her work has been exhibited across the country, including in the Santa Fe Botanical Gardens, New Mexico Museum of Art, New Mexico Governors Gallery, Racine Art Museum, San Francisco Museum of Art +Design, Trenton City Museum, and Museum of the Southwest. Her larger-than-life outdoor metal and glass sculptural collaboration, Capturing the Light: Glass Art Inspired by Nature, was featured in the Santa Fe Botanical Gardens for the past two years.

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Acknowledgment of Gallery:
We are grateful to Liquid Light Glass, Santa Fe, New Mexico, for providing the Artist of the Month.

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Our Mission

The Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to further the development and appreciation of art made from glass.

The Alliance informs collectors, critics and curators by encouraging and supporting museum exhibitions, university glass departments and specialized teaching programs, regional collector groups, visits to private collections, and public seminars.