I push hot blown glass to its limit, to the edge of collapse, capturing “a moment of awe” where color and form are at their peak of perfection. This spontaneous moment, where glass is at its most liquid state reminds me of fleeting moments in nature…like when a raindrop turns into a splash or a flower bursts into full bloom. The moment, is frozen in time, then nests together as one to reflect a “strobe-a-phobic” expression of continual motion and flow.
Graham studied painting at the University of Toledo but never looked back after taking an elective class in glass during her junior year, over 30 years ago. She studied under Tom McGlauchlin, founder of the school’s glass program at the Toledo Museum of Art, ultimately earning a Bachelor degree in Intensive Visual Arts and a Master degree in Liberal Studies.
Mary Ellen Graham has worked as an artist at the Toledo Area Glass Guild, in the artist village at Toledo Botanical Gardens in Toledo, OH after she worked as an artist in resident at Blackstone Art Studios. She received the Walbridge Sinclair Award from the Toledo Museum of Art and graduated Phi Kappa Phi. She received 2nd place in the International Glass Competition “Fragile Art,” in San Diego and received recognition and awards throughout her career.
In 2010, she was included in an invitational exhibition at the Alden B. Dow Museum, “The Art of Water,” and the “92nd Annual Juried Exhibition,” at the Toledo Museum of Art, “Open Juried Competition,” The Alfred Berkowitz Gallery, Dearborn, MI, “Glass Now 2010,” a coalition of glass collectors and artists, at the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, PA, and “Hot Glass 2010,” an invitational exhibition sponsored by the Arts Commission of Toledo. In 2012 she looks forward to presenting new work in a special two-person exhibit at the Upper Arlington Cultural Center in Ohio and is currently working on a major installation in Columbus, OH.
Her work is part of the permanent collection at the Alfred Berkowtiz Gallery at the University of Michigan in Dearborn, MI and the State of Ohio, Governor’s Residence by the Ohio Arts Council. She was a featured glass artist in “Art Buzz 2008,” a book of international emerging artists. She was a featured artist in House to Home Lifestyle Magazine. Her work is in public and private collections throughout the world.
Mary Ellen Graham is member and on the Board for the Toledo Area Glass Guild, and past-president and board member of the Resident Organization at Toledo Botanical Gardens and past-board member of the Toledo Federation of the Arts, Toledo, OH. She is a member of the Glass Art Society, Seattle, WA; and Arts Commission of Greater Toledo, Toledo, OH.