Powell makes Centre a center of glass artistry

Glass artist Stephen Rolfe Powell spends his days working and teaching in the state-of-the-art Corning Corhart Philips Lighting Hot Glass studio at Centre College.

Pushing students to find direction and develop their own style is what he enjoys most and finds most challenging. Since beginning his tenure at Centre in 1983, Powell has twice been selected Kentucky's "Teacher of the Year" - in 1999 and 2000.

Color is key in all of Powell's works. The pieces generally have between 1,500 and 2,500 pieces of glass that lie on the surface. This Italian technique brings the viewer into Powell's detailed work of different shapes and colors bursting, swirling and swimming around the asymmetrical glass art from edge to edge.

Powell credits inspiration for his pieces in part to the work of Mark Rothko, a mid-20th-century American painter known for his strong choice of color.

Powell's glass vessels have been displayed all over the world. One of the many highlights for Powell was demonstrating his art at the Olympics in Salt Lake City. Starting Friday, he will begin a show at R. Duane Reed Gallery in St. Louis. The show will run through Jan. 1.

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