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  • Gallery Ring “Landscape / Still Life” Online Juried Exhibition

    Location: , ON

    Gallery Ring is seeking artworks for a juried exhibition with a double theme..
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  • Collaborative Art Project Call For Submissions

    Location: Waterloo, ON

    Co-Ex Art is a collaborative art initiative that has just released it's first..
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  • Online Exhibition: Per Astera by Malaika Z Charbonneau

    Location: Saskatoon, SK

    Malaika Z Charbonneau exhibits her latest markings, using paint and canvas to explore..
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  • “10th Anniversary” Online Art Competition

    Location: Palm Springs, CA

    Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery announces an art call for a..
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  • 15th Solo Art Series – Online Solo Art Exhibition Opportunity

    Location: Palm Springs, CA

    Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery announces its 15th “Solo Art Series”..
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  • 10th Annual

    Location: Palm Springs, CA

    Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery announces an art call for the..
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  • Call for Art - 5th Annual Animal Kingdom Art Competition

    Location: Palm Springs, CA

    Fusion Art invites submissions for the 5th Annual Animal Kingdom online art competition. For..
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  • Call for Art - Still Life Art Competition

    Location: Palm Springs, CA

    Fusion Art invites submissions for its 14th Quarterly Art Competition – Still Life. For..
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  • Beacon Original Art Spring Show & Sale

    Location: Calgary, AB

    Annual spring 2-day art show and sale with different artists in attendance each..
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  • Nooks & Crannies Outdoor Art Festival: Call to Artists

    Location: Okotoks, AB

    Okotoks Culture seeks proposals from artists to create temporary public art installations in..
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  • BORDERS - ITSLIQUID International Art and Architecture Festival

    Location: Venice,

    CALL FOR ARTISTS BORDERS | Venice July-Nov 2020 ITSLIQUID International Art and Architecture Festival Deadline:..
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  • $550.00 Innovate Grants — Call for Artists + Photographers

    Location: , NY

    Innovate Grant is now accepting submissions for the Spring 2020 Cycle. Innovate Grant..
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  • 27th Lemonville Group of Artists Show and Sale

    Location: Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville, ON

    Please join The Lemonville Group of Artists for their 27th Annual Art Show..
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  • “Sensuality” International Call - Art & Literature Journal - Deadline April 30, 2020

    Location: Toronto, ON

    | Theme: A glance, touch, dance, flower, scent or piece of chocolate can..
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  • Artwork Shipping Scam

    Location: , AB

    This week an artist on our site was corresponding via email with an..
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  • Geoff Farnsworth: Colour Worker

    Location: Niagara-On-The-Lake, ON

    Join the Niagara Pumphouse for the opening reception for the exhibition entitled, “Geoff..
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  • Call for Entries: Art at the Pumphouse

    Location: Niagara-On-The-Lake, ON

    The Niagara Pumphouse Arts Centre is now accepting applications for participation in Art..
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  • Exaltation : Niagara Pumphouse Instructors' Exhibition

    Location: Niagara-On-The-Lake, ON

    Niagara Pumphouse is proud to host the Instructors’ Exhibition as its first show..
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  • Art, Wine, Interior Design Show

    Location: Winnipeg, MB

    Art, Wine, Interior Design Show! Exhibitor opportunities for Visual artists, Interior Designers and Wineries. Finding..
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  • Love At First Sight

    Location: Regina, SK

    Love At First Sight / Regina Art Collective members: Dave Gedjos / DeLee Grant..
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  • In Other Words

    Location: Regina, SK

    In Other Words / Regina Art Collective members: Nikki Jacquin / Derek Olson / Mark..
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  • CALL FOR ARTISTS: VENICE INTERNATIONAL ART FAIR 2020

    Location: Venice,

    CALL FOR ARTISTS: VENICE INTERNATIONAL ART FAIR 2020 Venice | April 09 – May..
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  • CALL FOR ARTISTS: THE EXTENDED BODY 2020

    Location: London,

    CALL FOR ARTISTS: THE EXTENDED BODY – MIXING CULTURES ITSLIQUID International Art Exhibition THE..
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  • Appreciation of the Arts

    Location: London, ON

    Three day art and music event to recognize local artists in London, Ontario...
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  • Call to Artists - 2020 Sooke Fine Arts Show

    Location: Sooke, BC

    Artists are invited to submit work for consideration to the 2020 Sooke Fine..
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  • ACAF (Accessible Art Fair) 2020

    Location: Brussels,

    ACAF (Accessible Art Fair) is back on October 15-18, 2020 for its 14th..
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  • Call For Artists: The Other Art Fair Toronto

    Location: Toronto, ON

    The Other Art Fair are thrilled to present the newest edition of The..
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Gary Bolt

By Robert Amos May 24, 2004

} Gary Bolt By Robert Amos Gary Bolt is one of the principals of Victoria’s Starfish Glassworks (630 Yates St., 388-7827, www.starfishglass.bc.ca). Now on show at the glassworks are his complex and mysterious “suspensions” (until May 31). Bolt is an accomplished glass blower and he sand-casts glass as well. Simplistically, his creations could be called “glass castings with paperweights floating inside them.” He creates many-layered objects at the end of his blowpipe and then adds them as “inclusions” in large shapes of molten glass. Producing them is a task for more than one person. It takes three skilled workers to move a ladle with 45 kilograms of molten glass out of the furnace; two more are involved in cutting and snipping slag off piece; and another rakes the cooling surface back from the material. After casting, these sculptures can take a week to cool down. Then they are sliced through with a diamond saw and polished to reveal their inner elements. There is a tendency to stand awe-struck before the technical magic of glass making, and Bolt is a wizard. But having watched his work evolve over the past five years, I wanted to direct our conversation to the meaning of Bolt’s cosmic creations. Bolt admitted right up front that he is a “space nerd and science geek”, with a particular interest in astronomy. Though in his younger days he read some science fiction, at the moment he’s all non-fiction. His computer has bookmarks for the Jet Propulsion Lab, NASA and the European Space Agency. Clearly, he’s looking at the Big Picture - the structure of the universe. And to him it’s not the least bit dry and dull. “Cutting edge science changes as often as our moods do,” he chuckled. Bolt’s first cosmic-themed work was titled Dark Matter. Science tells us that 95% of the matter of our universe is undetectable, yet without its mass and gravity, the components would fly apart. His own Dark Matter was represented by black forms suspended inside chunks of glass. The results were frustrating - “too subtle”, he told me. Next came his Moons of Jupiter series. “Jupiter actually has 18 or 22 moons,” he explained, “but when Galileo discovered them through his telescope he counted just four. These were the moons that challenged Christianity.” Bolt created his moons individually, and imaginatively. He later suspended groups of four inside huge slabs of glass. One of the series, in the current show, is moon-shaped. It bears noting that the lens for Galileo’s telescope was the product of glass-makers. Many of Bolt’s pieces have a crusty, gnarly outer skin. It seemed to me at first to be simply the rind of the work. But now I see that he has modelled concentric circles and cones in the sand into which the glass is cast. This surface looks like tracks in the lunar dust. The zone between the outer crust and the diamond-smooth polish of the cut surface seems to ring with the silence of intergalactic space. It’s hard for Bolt to be literal about the “meanings” of his creations. There is a lot of intuition and chance in his process. But, gazing into the inner workings of one of Bolt’s basketball-sized hemisphere, where spiral galaxies and geometrically aligned bubbles danced in a fixed, if irregular, orbit, he acknowledged that there were ideas in play. “Like the Big Bang,” he noted. Apparently the universe began from a very small amount of matter which exploded during an unimaginably small amount of time to become everything there is. “”It wasn’t just chock full of chaotic stuff,” he warned me. “It was geometrically pure stuff.” Cosmic order underlies everything, large and small. “You can slice open a planet and find magma, core, mantle... And inside a cell, it’s really really similar.” The metaphor which underlies his constructions begins to become clear. As his range of techniques develops, the glob of glass on the end of the blowpipe gathers layers upon layers. “There is a natural evolution of the work to get more complicated with time”, Bolt pointed out. And, with each layer, the outer surface “disappears” leaving the results of each experiment suspended in a transparent medium. Bolt has mounted the hemispheres of glass in steel armatures which can be rotated. He calls these “armillary spheres”, named for the models of the solar system which used to grace astronomers’ lairs. Shouldn’t astronomers round the world buying up Bolt’s work to decorate their labs and offices? “I don’t get out much,” he offered by way of reply. As a matter of fact, Starfish is quite busy enough. The glass-blowers are a significant (and free) tourist attraction in Victoria; the shop sells beautiful pieces by all of Canada’s top glass artists; and Bolt and his partners Lisa Samphire and Morna Tudor are well-known nationally. The amount of time he spends in the studio is all that’s holding Bolt back. When time permits he’ll get to work on his international reputation. And after that, intergalactic fame won’t be far behind. ___________________________________________ Copyright © 2004Robert Amos Robert Amos is an artist and art writer who lives in Victoria, B.C.. He can be contacted by e-mail and you can view his paintings at www.robertamos.com