BGSU to celebrate Hurlstone's legacy

 

Robert "Bud" Hurlstone

BOWLING GREEN, O.—A memorial exhibition celebrating the work and legacy of Robert “Bud” Hurlstone will open Nov. 19 in the Willard Wankelman Gallery of Bowling Green State University's Fine Arts Center. Hurlstone, an artist, educator and mentor, headed the BGSU School of Art's glass program for 28 years until his death last November.

Students enrolled in a new “Capstone in Art History” course at BGSU are curating the retrospective, which covers a spectrum of Hurlstone's pieces. The exhibit continues through Jan. 18.

Admission is free both to the exhibition and two related events—an opening reception from 5-7 p.m. Nov. 18 in the Wankelman Gallery, and a panel discussion of “Hurlstone and His Hellions: A Brilliant Legacy,” at 7 p.m. Jan. 12 in 204 Fine Arts Center.

Featured in the collection is a glass sculpture designed by Hurlstone and completed by Steve Cothern, a former student of Hurlstone. Cothern is now an instructor in the glass program. “He had an artistic mind,” recalled Cothern, discussing his former mentor. “Bud didn't rush an idea, and he knew when to break his own rules. He could affect people in a really positive way.”

Hurlstone made a name for himself as a gifted and innovative artist. Both the American Crafts Museum in New York City and the Corning (N.Y.) Museum of Glass, the nation's leading museum of modern glass art, have his work in their permanent collections. His art has also been exhibited internationally and in specialized exhibitions sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution and the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, N.Y.

In addition to teaching and creating his own artwork, Hurlstone was instrumental in developing the glass specialization within the School of Art's Master of Fine Art program, and in the construction of much of the school's glass laboratory equipment.

Art student Kate Serne, a senior from Strongsville, described Hurlstone as a mentor who, through his instruction, gave his students the opportunity to express themselves as individuals. “He showed you the proper way to do things and then set you free,” she said.

Offered for the first time this fall, “Capstone in Art History” is designed to give students practical, hands-on experience while working on a complex project, such as researching or organizing an exhibition. Students in the course raised funds to support the Hurlstone exhibition by selling T-shirts and conducting bake sales. Their efforts and private donations, combined with support from the College of Arts and Sciences, the Fine Arts Center Galleries, the BGSU Alumni Association and the School of Art, made the commemoration possible.

Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and 1-4 p.m. Sundays.   For more information about the Hurlstone exhibition or others at the galleries, visit www.bgsu.edu/art or call Gallery Director Jacqueline Nathan at 419-372- 8525.

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(Posted November 13, 2006 )