Gallery to showcase rising glass artists

Everybody wants to be the first to spot new talent — witness the success of television's "American Idol." In a process far less public and less painful, art-glass gallery owner Marta Hewett puts the spotlight on new talent for the fifth year in a row.

Hewett and partner Diane Tobin and their Tobin-Hewett Gallery in Louisville's Glassworks Building will open the "Annual International Emerging Artists" exhibition with a 6 to 9 p.m. reception Friday.Many of the artists are young, and most are still completing school. The notion from the collectors' viewpoint is that such undiscovered talents offer early opportunities to buy good work before the curve rises. The prices are relatively bargain basement, according to the gallery, ranging from $500 to $3,000. A more typical show includes pieces ranging from $5,000 to $15,000.

The gallery's talent search includes keeping in touch with educators at schools with established programs, including Ohio State University, Canberra School of Art in Australia, the Rhode Island School of Design and Sheridan College in Toronto. For instance, Oben Abright, 23, graduated from the California College of the Arts in Oakland this spring. Abright will conduct a glass-blowing demonstration in the Glassworks hot shop from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday. Other emerging artists include April Surgent of Canberra, Australia; Randy Meyers of Seattle; Jonathan Swanz, formerly of New Albany, now living in Paris; Gregory Nangle of Philadelphia; Shayna Leib of San Luis Obispo, Calif.; and McKinley Moore of Louisville. The Tobin-Hewett Gallery at 815 W. Market St. is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. The exhibit ends Aug. 6.

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