Week 2– Artist Interview- Macabee Shelley

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I spent most of my time today looking at the glass work of Macabee Shelley and listening to what he had to say about the process of making his glass sculptures and the art itself. It was really neat listening to him talk about his work because it was obvious how passionate and proud he was of his amazing work. It was shocking to me what he made out of nothing but glass bottles. Looking at these amazing works of art with spirals of various colors and textures and shapes, you would never know at first glance that it is all just glass bottles collected from the school’s redemption cycle. I think it is so unbelievably cool to take something that we all see and use in our daily lives in ways that are more convenient to us, and reusing them to make art. Shelley explained that that ultimately is what art is all about – taking something and using it to make something completely new and different. Which is exactly how I would describe all of the art pieces on display in the gallery today.

A point that was brought up today while interviewing Macabee Shelley that surprised me was that this specific kind of art can be especially dangerous. Working with any type of glass, especially using it beyond its basic purposes, can be dangerous. He mentioned that once you melt the different glasses and fill the molds and make the piece, it’s solid glass all the way through and these glass sculptures turn out to be extremely heavy. He has had to go to the gym and learn different ways of appropriate lifting through different methods in order to not drop these heavy chunks of glass or possibly hurt himself such as hurting his back. If he were to drop one of his pieces while moving it, it would also be dangerous if it were to break sending shards of glass all over the place.

I always think its neat to hear about someone doing something that they typically never imagined themselves doing or even wanted to do and ended up loving it. It’s so important to try new things and maintain an open mind because you never know what you’re going to be great at or even better, what you’re going to become passionate about. Maccabee Shelley never saw himself working with glass and using that it to make his art, but now that he’s tried it he loves it and he loves seeing how his different pieces turn out. My favorite part about his show was seeing his first piece working with glass and how much he grew through all of the pieces to follow. His first glass art piece was very small compared to the others and he said that he had no idea that it was going to turn out that way, solid glass with the sharp edges. It led him to further experiment and really grow as an artist which I find to be very impressive and admirable! It was super cool hearing an artist speak about his work right infront of me while also viewing all kinds of different works of his. I can’t wait to see what other treasures will be displayed in the galleries in the weeks to follow!

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