Local artist's works featured in exhibit at University Museum

The University Museum at Southern Illinois University Carbondale celebrates the “40th Anniversary of the SIUC Glass Program” with a current exhibit highlighting the legacy of glass program founder, Bill Boysen.

The exhibit is open at present, and a reception was scheduled Saturday evening, Oct. 30.

The exhibit features works from Boysen and his students, several of whom have become notable artists in their own rights. Boysen lives in rural Cobden.

Boysen, now professor emeritus, founded the glass program at SIUC in 1970, which by the modern art glass timeline, is very near the beginning.

Harvey Littleton, sometimes called the “father of the studio glass movement,” debuted a glass blowing demonstration at the Toledo Museum of Art in 1962, the year the first university art glass program launched in the United States.

Boysen was a Littleton student, and the program he started at SIUC was one of the first.

Today, Boysen receives mention in discussions of early studio glass artists, as one of the first half dozen or so university-affiliated artists.

Besides his role in founding an early glass program, Boysen is acclaimed for his innovations, including, perhaps most famously, his mobile glassblowing studio.

Boysen found it more convenient to carry his studio with him as he gave demonstrations around the country and abroad, since glass studios were not available in many of the places he traveled.

He completed his first mobile studio in 1970, the same year he came to SIUC.

 He took the studio with him to Australia in 1974 to promote art glass there.

The glass program at SIUC started with a glass-blowing focus, but has expanded as contemporary art glass has opened to more techniques, from utilitarian to sculptural.

Visitors to the University Museum exhibit will have the opportunity to see firsthand an overview of the accomplishments of the SIUC glass program.

The University Museum is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday.

There is no admission to most exhibits, though the museum does welcome donations.

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