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Artist of the Month
August 2017

Artist of the Month

Wesley Neal Rasko

Canadian-born artist Wesley Neal Rasko currently resides in the Czech Republic where he has a studio. After studying at Alberta College of Art and Design, he apprenticed for two years with Czech artist Bohumil Elias. His sculptures are composed of painted and laminated float glass, cast glass, optical crystal, and exotic stone. Rasko is represented by Morgan Contemporary Glass Gallery in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Click on each photo to the right for a full picture.

Wesley Neal Rasko

Artist of the Month

Artist Statement:

I fully believe a certain "luck factor" exists when working with glass; sometimes a piece turns out and others crack or break. Glass can be solid/liquid, can be formed using heat or through cold working processes. It is colorful, full of life, can be transparent or matte, and is the ultimate sculpting material. I embrace this uncertain nature of glass by transforming it into expressions of emotions and nature through swirling colors and awe-inspiring forms.

The final hand-ground, polished pieces embody the contrasting characteristics of glass through their inclusion of textured and transparent sections and various colors interacting with one another. My pieces are composed of painted and laminated float glass, cast glass, optical crystal, and exotic stone.

I strive to create provocative glass sculptures that showcase the flexibility and fluidity of glass while also accepting and adapting to its uncertain nature. This is my destiny in life; to create works of art that I am blown away in creating and thus I can only hope the viewer will have a similar reaction when they see my finished work.

About Wesley Neal Rasko

Wesley Neal Rasko doesn’t remember a time when he wasn’t drawing, sketching, doodling, painting or sculpting with clay. Being involved in the before and after school programs at elementary school, the Wildflower Art Centre and optional art classes throughout his entire formal educative life, he expressed himself artistically. The natural extension of this talent led him to enroll in the Alberta College of Art and Design. After finishing his first year in sculpture, he and his father traveled to Europe and visited their ancestral “home” in the Czech and Slovak Republics. Rasko was influenced too by his father, a passionate art collector, who had developed friendships with artists - learning about what motivated them and where the art “came from.”  His father realized that collecting additional 2D art would be almost impossible due to lack of space. This revelation led to visiting glass art galleries and subsequently two masters who worked in cast glass, one of whom was Prague-based artist Bohumil Elias.

“Arriving at Elias’ home, a vast number of overhead lights were turned on which brought to life all the colorful glass sculptures which filled the space with a magical aura. My jaw dropped, I fell to my knees and was left awe-stuck by the beauty that stood in front of me. Within a few minutes my life changed as Bohumil made me an offer which simply couldn’t be refused: to stay with him and learn as his apprentice. My father traveled back to Canada on his own, leaving me with my new master and mentor in life.”

Though Rasko’s life took a different turn after some time in Elias’ studio, he finished a two year stint studying engineering in Calgary. He then worked as a civil engineer and returned during breaks to work in the Czech glass studio, eventually opening his own studio north of Prague.  Still unclear about his future career, a death-defying experience in a triple roll over accident defined his belief that God intended for him to survive and use his newly found passion to devote his life to expressing his creativity through glass art. Rasko currently travels internationally, returning happily to his home studio in the Czech Republic.

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Acknowledgment of Gallery:
We are grateful to Morgan Contemporary Glass Gallery, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 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.