My work is whimsical, capturing my enthusiasm for life and a playfulness inspired from my years of work with children. Playfulness and laughter can be powerful tools, providing momentum to change our day or outlook, giving strength to get through tough times or helping us heal. When I work with glass, I am lost in the moment, concentrating while creating beauty, and when I finish I feel rejuvenated.
I watched glass blowing from a young age, but my interest in light and shadow in sculpture is what eventually lead me to the medium. Since I approach my work primarily from the vantage point of a sculptor, assembling the pieces together using flexible wire armatures, my work has an illusion of movement or a “bounciness” that adds to the mood of the work. I love color and pattern and add them using a variety of techniques.
Much of my work is non-representational with inspiration coming from the forms, colors or patterns of the beads or blown bases. Once the initial idea occurs to me, I work to create a feeling of harmony between the beads and base. All of my sculptures combine several glass pieces to create one work of art, yet can each be appreciated individually for their unique patterning, color and shape. The world would be boring if we were all the same, as would the work of art; the diversity is what makes it interesting.
Through my work, I want to help others find that momentary relief in joy or that longer lasting peace and calmness of being that I find in creating it. In life and my work, one can reflect the difficulties we face letting it determine our path or like light refracting through glass, we can change the direction and give back something beautiful. .
April Malphurs has lived in St. Peter, MN since 2003, but it was her childhood growing up near the Corning Museum of Glass in the Finger Lakes Region of New York State that developed her fascination with glass at a young age. April’s artistic training began at Cornell University with a major in interior architecture and design followed by a master’s degree in art education at Teacher’s College Columbia University where she began to pursue sculpture as her medium of choice.
For several years April focused on developing young artists through teaching in upstate NY, Concord, MA, and St Peter. She worked to inspire children to use art to express their own ideas about the world while exploring various art media in both public school and community settings. April has always been captivated by light and reflection. As a sculptor, she is interested in not only the subject matter of her art, but also the way light and shadow interact with the sculpture itself. Glass not only creates beautiful reflections and shadows, but also lets light flow through it, giving life to the glass, allowing it to have conversations with you as you interact with and observe it. This is what drew April to working in glass. Additionally her undergraduate degree in interior design influences her large scale installations for public display.
April studied flame working and glass blowing at with several artists at The Studio Corning Museum of Glass and FOCI Minnesota Glass Arts thanks to three grants from The McKnight Foundation through Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council. April has exhibited in a number of locations: Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council Juried Art Shows 2015, 2016, and 2017; Guest Artist Exhibition at the Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota May 2016; “Show Your Artistic License” 401 Project Fall 2015; Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council Grantee Exhibit 2013, 2017, & January 2019; Reflections in Glass Solo Shows St. Peter Public Library 2012, 2016 ; “Celebrate, Contemplate” juried show Flow Art Space, St. Paul December 2016; Healing Arts Show Owatonna Hospital - Owatonna Arts Center March-June 2017; Reflections in Glass solo show Waseca Arts Center November 2017; Reflection or Refraction – St Peter Arts Center March 2018; Carnigie Arts Center Member Show, Mankato December 2018; Minnetonka Holiday Show Minnetonka Arts Center 2018; and at the MidWest Open Woman Made Gallery, Chicago 2019.