Artist StatementI am interested in the intricate relationships of our bodies, our spirits, our minds, and our feelings, the interplay between the seen and the unseen, the physical and the emotional/psychological/spiritual. To me, glass is a metaphor of the miraculous energy that has created and constantly re-creates our universe, our earth, and its inhabitants. This unseen energy is most evident in water, air, and light. Of any material, glass is most akin to these. Like them, it is transparent. Unlike them, it has no power, yet it can represent powerful forces and experiences. I experience this energy in personal ways, so my work usually refers to my own experience, or what I understand to be human experience. How would feeling female – or feeling male – look? What would love look like? Lust? Caution? Tenderness? Grief? Joy? I try to express invisible but powerful human experiences in my glass sculptures.
Frances Aubrey was born in Washington, DC in 1943. She received a BA in art history from the University of Michigan in 1966. During the next two decades, she attended art classes at the University of Michigan, Eastern Michigan University, Wayne State University, and Pratt Institute. In 1994, Aubrey enrolled full time at the Maryland Institute College of Art. She received her BFA. in painting cum laude in 1997. Much of her student work was three dimensional, emphasizing transparency and color. Since the Maryland Institute did not offer courses in glass, Aubrey used other materials such as transparent and translucent lucite and paper to achieve the effects she wanted. Aubrey began working in kiln-formed glass in 1998, and since then she has worked exclusively in this exciting new medium. Glass gives her an opportunity to respond to her three strongest artistic drives: to make three dimensional objects, include content in her work, and to incorporate beautiful combinations of colors. She is considered a master colorist. From 1998 to 2001 Aubrey’s passion for working in kiln formed glass was expressed in fused glass jewelry. Her jewelry was selected to be included in The Art of Glass at The Ellipse Arts Center in Arlington, Virginia. in 2002. This exhibit included work by Dale Chihuly and Richard Royal, internationally recognized glass artists. In 2001 a two-week course at The Studio in Corning, NY brightened Aubrey’s interest in glass sculpture. She took a series of intensive glass casting courses from internationally known glass sculptors Richard Whiteley, Rudi Gritsch, and René Culler at The Studio of the Corning Museum of Glass. In 2002, her work was exhibited in Glasstijl; The Interpretation of Glass and Steel in Sculpture in Washington, DC. In March 2006, Aubrey exhibited nine free-standing sculptures in a two-artist sculpture exhibition in Baltimore, MD: Hot Kilns, Cool Glass. In autumn 2006, her sculpture was included in an internationally juried exhibition, Ignite, sponsored by the Annual International Warm Glass Conference. Aubrey designs one-of-a-kind glass sculptures for gallery exhibitions. She also creates glass tabletop sculptures, wall sculptures, and windows on commission, as well as a distinctive line of fused glass jewelry.