Art Night Bristol Warren puts vibrant creativity on display

By Ethan Hartley
Posted 7/7/22

Warren’s distinction as one of the premiere fine arts destinations in New England was on full display during the annual Art Night Bristol Warren event.

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Art Night Bristol Warren puts vibrant creativity on display

Posted

Warren’s distinction as one of the premiere fine arts destinations in New England was on full display throughout Main Street and Water Street (and all the way into Bristol) Thursday night during the annual Art Night Bristol Warren event.

The evening included over a dozen locations and attractions where local artists sold or displayed their creations, including public art displays and performances by two local bands — Hollow Turtle and The Whelks (formerly Bank of Ireland).

The highlight of the evening was a meet and greet with two local artists, Diana Cole and Mark Wholey, the former of which gave a detailed walkthrough into the process of making stained glass artwork, and the latter of which gave a detailed explanation of one of his most recent sculpture projects. The program, dubbed “#meettheartist 2.0” was well attended at 325 Water Street.

Cole walked attendees through the multi-step process of crafting a beautiful piece of stained glass artwork. She began by sketching the work, which is turned into a guiding print for the final stained glass piece. She moved to a light table, demonstrating how to trace lines onto a piece of glass, which is then scored and snapped off to create various shapes — the puzzle pieces that will eventually be assembled into the final work.

Each piece of glass is then wrapped in a copper foil, which is bent over the edge and acts as a binding material for a soldering gun, which beads hot metal onto the copper and creates the frame throughout the artwork. The solder is then rubbed with a chemical to give it a “patina”, a glossy sheen that without chemicals would normally be achieved through age and oxidation. Lastly, a patina cleaner is rubbed over the work, as well as another chemical to de-fog the glass and give it a brilliant shine when sunlight hits it.

“You can’t be afraid about breaking glass, and you can’t be afraid about getting cut,” Cole, who is also an operatic singer, poet, and photographer, said of the process.

Following the demonstration, Wholey jumped into a high-level conversation about two iterations of one of his most recent sculpture pieces, “Follow Your Heart”, one of which demonstrates an optimistic adherence to artistic form, and the other which playfully and purposefully defies it — effectively creating a yin and yang type balance.

“This started off as an about about what is creativity,” Wholey, who has sculptures on display throughout New England and in Italy, told the audience. “In my mind, as an artist you need to get off what you know sometimes and go somewhere else.”

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