Lanesboro Arts presents “Divided Light,” an exhibition showcasing oil paintings and stained glass paintings by St. Paul artist Adam Reef. The exhibit title references Reef’s two bodies of work — oil painting and stained glass painting — and how each relate and differ in their use of light. Through stained glass especially, viewers experience a different piece of art depending on time of day and type of light shining through. Reef approaches stained glass with a painterly approach that lends itself to a wholly unique art form. The show opens on April 10 and runs through June 13. Always free and open to the public, gallery hours are Tuesday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Much of Reef’s previous professionally shown artwork has focused on oil landscapes; yet in his spare time Reef continued to explore in other artistic mediums to satiate his own curiosity and process. From these explorations came Reef’s interested in stained glass and after a health scare Reef decided to commit to learning this new medium.
Reef’s work tells stories through these different mediums, tapping into a long history of stained glass being used as a visual storyteller through symbols, characters, and decoration. Reef describes his process as such: “Oil painting and glass painting both deal with the transmission of light. My oil paintings use a lot of opaque and transparent layers of pigment to change and intensify color. Glass works in a similar way with layers of opaque blacks and transparent colored enameled applied to clear or colored glass. It’s been really interesting to find how oil and glass techniques are interrelated.”
The unique challenge of glass painting is that each color has a different working property, so the paintings are layered according to their unique fusing temperature rather than appearance; reds and purples first, then black and brown, then green, blue and yellow. Each piece of glass is painted front and back and kiln fired several times at different temperatures to develop the color and image. They are then assembled with lead and solder and put into custom made frames.
Reef has a BFA in painting (1992) from Indiana University and an MFA in painting (1999) from the University of Minnesota. He uses art to make sense of the world and to inspire others. He has been an oil painter for most of his adult life, and more recently has switched to glass painting. He lives in St. Paul and works for the University of Minnesota, in addition to his art practice. You can find out more about his work on his website.
This exhibit is sponsored by F & M Community Bank and is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund. For more information visit www.lanesboroarts.org, call (507) 467-2446 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Handicapped accessible and free to the public, the exhibition gallery is located at 103 Parkway Avenue North in Lanesboro, Minn.