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Thoughtful Minds Love Color

12/21/16

Shea Stanfield
Arts Columnist

John Ruskin, the 19th Century English Author and Art Critic once wrote, “The purest and most thoughtful minds are those which love color the most.” Color, in all its glory, dances in our lives, sets our moods, lifts our spirits, and cradles us in calming shadowy shades. One of the most spectacular forms, in which color embraces our world, is in symphony with light.  Local glass artist Anne Mello successfully conducts this combination in creating awe-inspiring and brilliance in both her utilitarian and fine art glass pieces.

Growing up in Southeastern Massachusetts, Anne spent her early years marveling at the color of the changing seasons of nature, especially “the lush colors of autumn.” She credits her mother, who was fond of beautifully strung glass beaded necklaces, with her first creative memories. Anne marveled at the way she collected and strung sparkling glass beads in a variety of shapes and stunning jewel tones into the most stunning necklaces.  These memories of her mother’s natural ability for creating unique and unusual decorative strands still fascinate Anne today.

Anne was also captivated by the process of creating beautiful items; she went on to take a number of art classes in high school, but it wasn’t until she entered her post high school education in a private New England Art School, Swain School of Design, now part of the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, that she began to realize the power “in color.”  Eventually, her education resulted in an Associate Degree in Fine Art from Scottsdale Community College, an A.A.S. Degree in Interior Design, also from SCC, a Bachelors of Science from the University of Phoenix, and a Master’s Degree in Interdisciplinary Arts from Arizona State University West.  Her most treasured recent experiences are with the Mesa Arts Center, studying fused glass with Troy Moody and Lynn Gustafson.

After many years working in watercolor, oil, acrylic, wood, and steel sculpture, Anne has found her “base” creating with glass. Today, she works from her home studio, where she is immediately connected to the endless creative possibilities offered by working with glass.  She explores endlessly in transparent, opalescent, iridescent, and Dichrotic glass. Techniques in cutting, shaping, layering, incorporating copper, and blown glass all result in an endless array of diverse pieces. Each creation, whether it is functional for everyday use or a fine art piece, is inspired by the brilliant color diversity of the Southwest. Anne’s creations can be seen at the Shemer Art Center and Museum Gift Shop in Phoenix. Her work has been juried into the Arizona Glass Alliance Exhibits, Glassmakers, exhibited at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport Museum, Terminal 3, and the annual Arts & Crafts Fair in Westport, Massachusetts. 

Anne also enjoys teaching fused glass workshops at the Shemer Art Center, www.shemerartcenter.org. Her students continue to challenge her through their enthusiasm and questions. She often shares with them that the secret of working in glass is: “Expect the unexpected, the glass has a way of surprising and delighting you.”

Contact Arts Columnist Shea Stanfield at flowingquill@yahoo.com.