Artist reception tomorrow at campus gallery

WESTFIELD – Westfield State University will hold an artists’ reception on Friday, September 19 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Arno Maris Gallery to celebrate the exhibit “Inspired Explorations: Josh Simpson and Friends.”
Western Mass. artist Josh Simpson learned the art of glass blowing at Goddard College in 1972 and has been working with glass ever since. Simpson made his first glass planet to entertain visiting school children, but they are now one of his trademark designs. He has become one of the most successful and prolific glass artists in the country.
Simpson’s glasswork can be seen at the Smithsonian Institute, the Boston Museum of Fine Art, the Corning Museum of Glass, the Yale University Art Gallery and museums in Prague, New Zealand, Spain, Switzerland and Canada. Public Television has also produced two documentaries on his craftsmanship and another is currently in the works.
The show features the work of Josh Simpson and his past apprentices and students including: Ed Branson, Katie Brown, Paul Clements, Tony Faith, Wesley Fleming, Marie Formichelli, Gabriele Kuestner, Ralph Mossman, and Kathy Young. There will be live music and refreshments.
Saturday, Megaplanetpalooza, a day-long street festival honoring the work of Josh Simpson, will be held from noon- 6 p.m. on Park Square, Westfield’s town green. It will be a free day of family activities including artist demonstrations, children’s games, storytelling, strolling performers, and a Josh Simpson scavenger hunt.
“Inspired Explorations” is one of three exhibits in Westfield featuring the work of Josh Simpson.
“A Galaxy of Glass: The Luminous World of Josh Simpson” is on display at the Westfield State University Downtown Art Gallery on 105 Elm Street. The exhibit includes vases, vessels and tektites, baskets, portals, platters, planets, and megaplanets accompanied by photographs of Simpson’s work by photographer Mike Rossi.
The exhibit at the Westfield Athenaeum at 6 Elm Street is entitled “The Elements of Josh Simpson: Earth, Sea and Sky Scapes.” It spotlights platters, vases, and some of Simpson’s early work.
The Arno Maris Gallery is located on the second floor of the Ely Campus Center at Westfield State University. Regular gallery hours are Tuesday-Friday, 2-5 p.m. and Saturday, 1-5 p.m.

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