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Kuivato Glass Gallery

Extraordinary Collection of Art Glass

In 1973 Sedona had one stoplight and often stray, grass-munching cattle roamed its dusty streets. Coming out of its heyday as a prime locale for dozens of iconic Western films, it began to emerge as a vibrant arts community. In that year visionary real estate developer Abe Miller opened Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village. It would become a world-class shopping destination and home to hundreds of fiestas and festivals. Among the young artist entrepreneurs who embraced Abe’s vision was Deanne Sabeck, stained glass artist. She, along with partner Will Hardwick, was smitten by Abe’s vision and opened Kuivato Glass Gallery.

Forty-four years later, Kuivato is a Tlaquepaque icon. It continues to enjoy its enduring reputation as a leader and influencer in the glass art world. “We really helped to start and expose a lot of artists in the early days. And we were pretty much it in the western part of the country as one of the earliest glass galleries.” Deanne now owns the gallery with her daughter Nicole Brundage, who has been managing it for 20 years. Deanne’s specialty? Spectacular light sculptures. Her mesmerizing glass pieces can be found in public spaces, corporate offices and private collections around the world. She works almost exclusively with light-bending, light-dispersing dichroic glass.

“Almost every glass technique is represented in the gallery from cast, fused and slumped glass, to lamp work and one-of-a-kind hand-painted glass chandeliers” - Deanne Sabeck

Venture into Kuivato Glass Gallery and you enter a world of dazzling mystery and magic.

Just try to figure out how some of the ingenious world-class glass artists make their art. “Almost every glass technique is represented in the gallery from cast, fused and slumped glass, to lamp work and one-of-a-kind hand-painted glass chandeliers,” remarks Deanne. There are also several affordable jewelry lines, some by famous designers in materials that range from contemporary wire-wrapped designs to elegant, dichroic glass beads set in hand-forged silver.

Kuivato Glass Gallery naturally invites you to see what you may never have seen before — or will ever again. Everywhere you gaze is pure discovery. Thousands of thin glass strands woven and fused, glass wall art looking like angel feathers, Buddha heads molded in sand castings held by recycled metal resembling antiquities from another epoch, micro universes of shimmering colors and shapes that reside encased in highly polished glass orbs, and fused glass in all manner of fabrications where the imagination of the artist is infinitely expressed: that’s Kuivato. That expression — the nuts and bolts of it, the years of experimenting through grueling and intense creative trial and error, the raw failures — for the Kuivato artists and their secret techniques that result in extraordinary glass forms, are never to be truly known, except by the artists themselves. In our crazy over-exposed, info-centric world, perhaps a little mystery is quite welcome.


Extraordinary Light Sculptures and Glass

Deanne’s dichroic glass sculptures are prominently displayed in the gallery as well as outside in Patio del Norte, where the sculptures move gracefully in the wind. Those sculptures are a collaboration with long-time partner Jeffrey Laudenslager. A Kuivato artist renowned for his impossibly fluid kinetic stainless steel sculptures, his pieces are so precisely balanced that even a whisper will move them. The combination of Deanne’s light-filled glass and his stainless steel forms dancing in the breeze is transfixing.

“I never intended for my work to be healing or spiritual. Yet it all makes sense. There is also something about the words that seem to have an enormous amount of healing power for people.” - Deanne Sabeck

Whether found in residences as stunning rainbow-generating wall art, or perfectly situated in an outdoor Zen garden, Deanne’s pieces have a wow factor that is undeniable. It’s as though she has dominion over the rainbow sprays of light as she directs, cajoles and entices the light from her pieces like some modern day alchemist.

Dichroic simply means two colors. The hi-tech glass is manufactured in extremely thin multiple layers comprised of an array of metallic oxides. “Forming, bending and manipulating the light spectrum with the dichroic glass that has a special coating on it, makes it more or less a prism,” explains Deanne. “And I can select a very particular band of the light spectrum according to how thick the coating is. That’s how I get very specific colors. And whatever color is being projected, the opposite is being reflected. Working with that is extremely fascinating because the approach is so specific,” explains Deanne. An elegantly fashioned glass sculpture, relatively thin in form, can project dramatic rainbow sprays and color patterns onto a public courtyard, walls, floors and ceilings— transforming surfaces into natural canvases. The result is a fusion of sensual sculptural form and brilliant colored light projections connected as one. “The idea of using a minimal amount of material to create big installations I find really appealing,” reflects Deanne.

Color and light are known to provide a healing environment when designed consciously. Wellness centers and hospitals, especially in the San Diego area, are where many of Deanne’s public installations can be found. A common theme of her light sculpture wall installations are the calming and healing effect they have on people. Deanne recalls that in 2012 several months after her light sculptures were installed at the Nemours Children’s Hospital in Orlando, Florida, the chaplain called to tell her that “people are really enjoying being in the space because it is so calming and peaceful,” and that her work was “very healing for families under stress.” Deanne often inscribes words — short poems and haiku, as part of her sculpture designs that change and fade. “I never intended for my work to be healing or spiritual. Yet it all makes sense. There is also something about the words that seem to have an enormous amount of healing power for people.”

Deanne’s interior installations in the San Diego area also include the Scripps Encinitas, and more recently the Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Group in Del Mar. For her installation at the Sharp Medical Group, she used the iconic tree image of the indigenous Torrey pine and secured to the wall numerous wave-like glass forms, flowing out as branches. Selected words were chosen to merge beautifully with the shower of projected colored light on the walls. “The computerized lighting adds a whole kinetic dimension to the installation and it becomes very mesmerizing and mystical,” says Deanne.

At the Loma Linda Medical University just south of San Bernardino, the graduating class of 1969 commissioned a prominent Sabeck installation entitled “To Make Man Whole.” Deanne talks about her approach to the piece: “Making Man Whole, Body Mind, Soul” is their mission, and carrying this out into the world is key. Therefore, creating the sphere detailed as the earth, and dichroic glass reflecting the light spectrum onto it was an ideal place to begin. That quote is sandblasted onto the glass and appears and fades during the changing light sequencing that adds a kinetic aspect to the installation.”

Story by Wib Middleton | Photos provided by Kuivato Gallery

For more information on the Kuivato Glass Gallery, visit: www.kuivatoglassgallery.com

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