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Spotlight: Barbara Thomas Yerace
NPAA member profile:
Barbara Thomas Yerace
Web site: yeraceglass.com
“Glass is more gentle, graceful and noble than any metal, and its use is more delightful, polite and slightly than any other material at this day known to the world.” Antonio Neri - 1612
Civilizations have celebrated the versatility and functionality of glass since the 2nd century BC. The 3 main ingredients are silica sand, soda ash and limestone, and of course heat. Glass is all around us, from the glass we use to drink from to the windshield in your car. And most elegantly, used to make fabulous fine art. Glass can be transparent or burst with color. Metals and minerals are mixed to create all of the wonderful colors in glass. For example, gold oxide is used to make ruby and pink, cobalt oxide is used to make the blues and copper oxide can create red or green glass, just to mention a few.
I first stepped into a hot glass studio at Carnegie-Mellon University in 1980 and knew immediately that I wanted to work with glass as my artistic medium. I’ve been dreaming and thinking about it’s possibilities ever since. I’ve studied glassblowing and lamp working techniques with outstanding instructors and artists throughout the years. These experiences allowed me to see and learn about what this medium is capable of, and a desire to search and seek out new ideas.
My passion with glass always takes back to the color, I see each piece as a painting in glass. I love its nature and the chemistry involved.
I am currently exploring different avenues, one direction is combining glass with the driftwood that I find on the beaches of Lake Erie. I find that these 2 materials compliment each other in beautiful and unique ways. The other body of work are beaded stoles that study Native American Spirit Animals and their spiritual meaning and how animals are here to teach us these valuable lessons. I have made 5 stoles, a fox, a raccoon and a albino reticulated python, crows and a Bear.
BFA - Carnegie-Mellon University
Graduate Studies - Ohio State University
Studied glass at Pilchuck, Penland and Corning Museum of Glass.
Barbara recently received the NPAA award in the Erie Art Museum's Spring Show
In Celebration Of The Bear, 2020
Paper Mache And Glass Beads
In Celebration of the Bear is the fifth piece in a series of Spirit Animals that I have been studying. A few years back I found this bear head made of paper mache at a local department store, I immediately could see it covered in glass beads. As the Covid-19 Pandemic hit and we were quarantined at home, I began to focus on completing the bear. It took many quiet and lonely hours to finish, thus lending itself to my inner exploration and self examination. So appropriate that the bear spirit animal symbolizes introspection and spiritual enlightenment. The bear energy helps us to meditate by silencing our minds and helps us to discover why we are here and what is our soul’s purpose. Using glass beads, the circle and spiral are repeated throughout the piece. The circle is a universal symbol that represents self, wholeness and our life cycle from birth to death. The spiral is a reference to intuition, representing growth and evolution of one’s identity with the universe. During this time of isolation and separation from our family and friends we have been forced into a time of questioning, “Why are here and what is my soul’s purpose?”, a lesson that I think the universe was imposing on us. As we emerge from the pandemic, I hope that we can adopt the strength and wisdom of the Bear Spirit Animal
2021 NPAA Board of Directors
President: Alexa Potter
Secretary: Amy Hahn / Sarah Everett
Treasurer: Coleen DiCenzo / Carol Courtney
Exhibitions: Greg Zbach / Kris Risto
Standards: Kathe Umlauf
Archives: Lisa Austin
Membership: Gary Cardot / Sarah Moody
Technology: Joe Krol
The Northwestern Pennsylvania Art Association is a non-profit, aesthetically non-partisan, non-political and non-discriminatory organization of artists whose purpose is to represent the aesthetic standards and economic interests of visual artists.