Take 5: Annapolis Artist Gayla Lee
Patch would like to introduce you to someone new from Annapolis with a round of five questions, helping to shed a little light on our community.
Meet Annapolis artist Gayla Lee. She is the only Annapolis artist chosen to participate in the upcoming 36th American Craft Council annual show at the Baltimore Convention Center.
The event is set for Feb. 24-26. It's the largest indoor juried craft show in the country and attracts more than 650 of the nation's top contemporary artists, according to a release.
Patch: What is your primary medium and what inspired you to work in your medium?
Lee: I work in glass because it is such a versatile and challenging material. I was initially attracted to glassblowing because of the action, drama and danger of the process.
It was harder than I ever imagined, and the challenge of working in glass is what has held my interest for 10 years. These days I do mostly kiln-formed glass with occasional blown glass elements.
Glass is the material that can do anything, it can be soft and fluid or hard and sharp. Transparent or opaque, fragile or durable, decorative or utilitarian. It can look like a real living plant or an old dirty rock.
Whatever you can dream up, glass can do it (or at least imitate it well). It's pretty all consuming and I haven't done much else since I took my first gather from the furnace.
Patch: What art do you enjoy the most personally?
Lee: I enjoy crafts and functional art. I like to have handmade pieces that I can use every day. In today's world of mass-produced goods I think it's important to have a personal connection with the objects in our lives.
A painting that you enjoy looking at is wonderful, but a beautiful, well-crafted object that you can use every day is so much more valuable to me.
Patch: If you could be proficient in any other art form, what would it be and why?
Lee: That's a tough question for me, there are so many other things I'd like to be able to do. I have already started a list of things I would like to do in my next lifetime. It includes weaving (baskets and textiles), metalsmithing and ceramics. I'd also like to be able to play the violin and be better at the piano.
Weaving because of my love of repeating patterns. I've done a little bit of ceramics and I enjoy the whole process immensely. Metalsmithing because I don't know anything about it.
And music? Well, who doesn't want to be good at at least one instrument?
Patch: What would you being if you weren't an artist?
Patch: Your grade school artwork: Still proud to display on the fridge? Or hard to believe you grew up to be an artist?
Lee: Proud to display it, definitely. I didn't make any fantastic drawings or paintings, but my three-dimensional work was always pretty interesting. There are a handful of things I made when I was younger that I still love. I think my favorite would be an armadillo I made out of Dr. Pepper cans.