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Always Have Something Beautiful in Sight


Shea Stanfield
Arts Columnist

Jackson Brown reflected, “Always have something beautiful in sight, even if it’s a daisy in a jelly glass.” Stepping into local glass artist Kathy Nelson’s studio is as visually breathtaking as experiencing Europe’s cathedral glass sparkling in the sunlight. The pieces are arranged on glass shelving by color, shape, or functionality, each one more stunning than the next. You will find the play of light on glass as fascinating, as it is captivating, moving about the exquisitely arrange collections.

Born in Pennsylvania, Kathy spent most of her childhood growing up in the west between California, Oregon, and Nevada. She relays her art classes in school were a huge influence in introducing her to a variety of mediums from photography to clay. Kathy’s favorites were pastels, ceramics and being introduced to the historical perspectives provided by studies in art history. She credits early experiences in her art classes providing her with a creative outlet. Kathy’s day job is on the analytical side so she appreciates the balance expressing though art brings to her life. As she would put it, “Art helps me relax and use a different part of my brain.” Kathy shares that her inspiration comes from many of her life interests, such as showing horses, karate, and auto racing, just to name a few.

Reflecting back over all her experience in the creative process, Kathy states she has always enjoyed glass objects. She states, “One thinks of glass as fragile, however, pieces from ancient Egypt have survived for thousands of years to provide us with a window into the life of one of human civilizations most prosperous and creative cultures.” A number of years ago, Kathy received a stained glass class as a Christmas present. This brought her love of glass into a very real place in her life. A fused glass class followed; Kathy knew she was in her element. She observes, “While a stained glass projects would take me weeks and even months to complete, fused glass results in a finished project in 48 hours.” She enjoys the much quicker pace of both medium and method.

Kathy belongs to the Sonoran Arts League and participates in their yearly Hidden in the Hills Studio Tour. This year, she participated in the Holiday Artisan Market, also sponsored by S.A.L. and will be in the Franciscan Renewal Center’s CASA Art Walk, February 13, 14, 2016. Her work can also be seen in the Gallery at El Pedregal, Scottsdale from January through March 2016.

Kathy offers beginning classes, by appointment, in the fused glass method. For more information on arranging a class or to purchase “something beautiful” and functional for your space, contact Kathy via e-mail at, view her Web site at, or leave a message at (602) 616-0905.

Contact Arts Columnist Shea Stanfield at