There might be 831.5 kilometres between the Rowe sisters, but the distance between the Columbia Valley and Vancouver hasnt hampered their ability to produce high-quality artwork to display as a family.
Artisan Leslie Rowe-Israelson and her sisters, Melanie Rowe and Megan Parks, will be exhibiting a collaborative kiln formed glass exhibition entitled Sisters Unite at Village Arts until Tuesday, March 15th.
The show was inspired by working with my two sisters, said Ms. Rowe-Israelson, a Columbia Valley resident for the last 20 years. Weve worked together for many years, but this particular show came to life because we shared each others art forms, then created pieces that were made with the view of togetherness and the sharing of ideas. We inspire each other and were just very blessed to have each other in our lives, so thats what the show meant to us. They touch me deeply in my soul and I wanted to share that experience with others.
The supportive family bond has formed a unique characteristic and dynamic that has been transferred into their artwork.
All three of us see each others art forms as an extension of our own. It is like a completion. We work on pieces together, using pieces of each of our mediums to create one of a kind sculptural forms, said Ms. Rowe-Israelson. With our shared passion for our craft, the finished pieces have flowed together into one sisterhood and for that we are truly inspired and fortunate.
Previously, Ms. Rowe-Israelson has taught art classes at the Pilchuck Glass School in Washington state and the Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, New York.
She added that the family connection has helped aid the creative process and credits their family dynamic for the positivity and support felt in their daily lives.
I create large kiln cast glass bars of glass that, once out of the kiln, I will saw on a tile saw with a diamond blade to slice through colours, giving a movement to the glass not achievable by just fusing the glass. This is my own technique that I have taken years to refine. Its almost like peeling away an onion with all of these layers where Im peeling away this incredible movement in the glass, said Ms. Rowe-Israelson. Then, my twin sister (Melanie) will match some of the colours because shes a flame worker so she works on the torch that will pick up all of the colours in my pieces and then my older sister (Megan) is a beader. She hits different colours and finishes it, by pulling it all together with colours.
Some of the projects take up to a month to complete as the art projects are fired in the kiln for two weeks. Others are sent between all three artisans between the Columbia Valley and Vancouver by Greyhound to allow each one to contribute to the projects.
We send things back and forth at an incredible cost, she said. We should own the bus depot, I think. But we send a lot of pictures over the Internet right now or Ill send slices of glass for them to pick up on the true colours.
There have also been family art exhibitions done by the sisters at the Pynelogs Cultural Centre and in Vancouver.
In our lives, we are blessed with people who touch our souls in a very deep and personal level. They do not judge, but support, they do not bring you down but lift you up, said Ms. Rowe-Israelson. They see things we do not see in ourselves and help to ease the pain of a tough situation, always being there for you with an open ear, a smile and an outstretched hand to pull you along this interesting road we call life. Our friends are like that, becoming almost like a sisterhood.
The colourful kiln-formed glass pieces in the show at Village Arts are for sale and some have already found homes, but the remainder will stay on display until mid-March.