October 8-November 9, 2019

  • Conversation from the Corrine, Thursday, October 10, 12-1 pm
    • Speakers: Rinee Merritt, Deanna Peters, Laura Wingert and Joan Linse (or Kelly Ensor)

Members of the Fire and Light Glass Guild share their broad interests and techniques in the Corrine Woodman Gallery.

The show is in conjunction to The Emily Steele Collection show in the Main Gallery, September 28-November 2. While the one person show by Emily Steele shows a singular vision, the Fire and Light exhibit shows many diverse interests and techniques possible in glass.


Glass is sand (or silicon dioxide), melted into a liquid and then solidified again. When it is in its liquid state, glass can be manipulated in various ways. Several of these techniques are represented in the exhibit: working hot and cold, glass blowing, fusing, slumping, scrafitto, etching, working with frit (glass in powder form), working with a torch, stained glass, glass mosaic and combining glass with other materials. Each technique gives different possibilities and limitations.

Our region has a rich tradition and diverse “glass-community”. Many artists originally started in the stained glass technique known as Tiffany-style, then broadened their focus into kiln based techniques. Boyce Lundstrom, one of the early hot glass pioneers and Bullseye Glass founders, had early roots in Corvallis.

Participating artists are from Corvallis, Albany and Philomath:

Pam Bielenberg, Cindy Conder, Teresa Duncan, Kelly Ensor, Carol Houk, Kathy Kopczynski, Joan Linse, Rinee Merritt, Karel Murphy, Deanna Peters, Christel Sanders, Steve Terhune, Helena Van Nuys and Laura Wingert. With special thanks to Joan Linse for coordination the exhibit.

Learn more about other arts guilds associated with The Arts Center, and/or that meet in our community.


stunning glass and steel sculpture by Emily Steele

Steele Public Art Commission – First Presbyterian Church, Corvallis, OR.

Celebrating a Life in the Arts | Emily Steele

Emily Steele graduated from Oberlin College in Liberal Arts, and furthered her studies in the newly revived field of glass art with Richard McDonald, noted stained glass craftsman in Boston, Massachusetts, and C.B. Anderson of Portland, Oregon where she learned the Tiffany technique used for windows in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

After moving to Oregon, she established her own studio, and employing these techniques as a basis for her work, developed a unique form of sculpture for free-standing, three-dimensional art forms in antique stained glass.  She has expanded the traditional copper foil-lead technique by a special process which permits the use of steel and other strong metals as support under the lead.  Using stained glass as a medium for her sculpture, the viewer is provided with different impressions from multiple angles as different shades of color are superimposed.  These impressions can be further heightened by different direction and intensity of light source.

All glasses used in Ms. Steele’s sculptures represent the finest quality of hand blown materials throughout Europe and the United States.

The Arts Center is the Trustee of the Emily Steele Sculpture Collection. The Steele Family donated eleven works for display and enjoyment by the public.

Emily Steele Vita >>

–Excerpt from an article by Terry Lawhead, Glass Art Magazine February 1975

Emily Steele works with hand-blown antique stained glasses to create three dimensional free-standing sculptures that inspire, in the freshest most direct manner, an appreciation of all that is bright and clear and possessing natural strength.  The play of light upon surface—be it wood, still water, or stone—involves us in one of our most enchanting experiences.  An observer renews a forgotten innocence, lost or misplace in the turbulence of modern living, that affirms the unity of our being with all the beauty around us.  Emily’s sculpture, composed of cut pieces of stained glass enclosed in thick bands of lead, is organized in such a manner as to affect the passage of light using the same delicate qualities as an object in nature.  The many sided figures are endlessly new and unique as the viewer alters his perspective.  Much as a mountain stream in sunlight presents an infinite set of sparkling reflections, the impressions of the glass evoke the delightful expectancy one senses in organic movement.

The time devoted to such sculpture dictates a passion which transcends cleverness or pride in workmanship: an energy is released and is linked to the growing identity of the creation.  Each sculpture inhabits a place in time as a consequence of the effort expended in design and exacting work, but far more important is the lasting emotion the figures kindle in the eyes and heart of the beholder.  If these glassworks could talk to us they would sing.  Enthusiasm and earnestness is suspect in a time of doomsday ethics and reserved hopes, but the almost magical brilliance of the sculptures remain with the viewer as he walks away and returns to the demands of living in the world.  The image retained is not easily put into words, but again Emily has a favorite poem.  It is the final stanza of the poem After the Storm by Boris Pasternak, from a collection of poetry translated by his sister Lydia Pasternak, and it speaks of our holy attempts to resurrect wonder and regain beauty and grace in our lives:

It is not revolutions and upheavals

That clear the road to new and better days

But revelations, lavishness and torments

Of someone’s soul, inspire and ablaze.


Through The Arts Center, Sally teaches mail art, paper collage and assembly. Sally also teaches sewing and other making workshops. 

Sally is a mail art genre fan and maker. Mail Art, also known as postal or correspondence art, is based upon sending work through the USPS. Mail Art initially developed in the 1950s and 60s, but has since developed into a global movement. From making mailable ice cream sandwich cookies, unique postcards and delightful postal surprises, up to mailable slices of (fake) chocolate cake, mail art is something Sally enjoys on a regular basis. 


Sally notes that, “My first memory of making something from scratch was when I was 8. With gentle guidance, I sewed a Disney skirt using a sewing machine.  Later, I added folk art painting, basketry and other types of weaving while my family grew. Around 17 years ago I began to work with beautiful fused glass. The day-to-day excitement of creating new things is impossible for me to ignore! So, after all of these years I continue to weave and sew and paint, as the kilns fire.” 

The Art Center Connection:

Sally is a long-time member of The Arts Center Exhibition Committee and a 2016 Call and Response Exhibitor. Sally’s weaving has been included in the collection of the Portland Art Museum. 

Link back to Main Artist Directory

Link here to Teaching Artists Directory

In 2007 Robert and Emily Steele established The Steele Family Fund — a restricted Fund within The Arts Center’s Endowment Fund. The Steele Family Fund is dedicated to activities of the Exhibition Program, and ensure high quality exhibitions remain accessible for the entire community. One example is the Around Oregon Annual show, selected by a different juror each year. Past jurors include, Terry Sund, Imogen Gallery; Martha Lee, Russo Lee Gallery;  and John Olbrantz, the Maribeth Collins Director of the Hallie Ford Museum.

Emily Steele served on the Board of Directors & Exhibition Committee of The Arts Center for many years after  retiring from a successful career as an artist, working in glass & metal.

In 2018, Emily and Robert Steele and their family donated twelve sculptures to The Arts Center, that make up the Emily Steele Sculpture Collection, as well as future funding support for the organization. Works from the collection are meant for the public to enjoy.

Anyone may Donate to this Fund that supports inspiring, arts exhibitions in our galleries.

Make a Donation in Memory of Bob Steele >>

Back to The Arts Center’s Endowment Fund Page >>