Tom Patti, the Pittsfield-based artist internationally renowned for his innovative work in glass, was commissioned by Berkshire Museum to create original works for the Museum’s entry vestibule and lobby area. The site-specific installations, titled Velocity Echo and Echoes in Space, are the first major commissions by Patti for a public building in the Berkshires. The works communicate to the Museum visitor the excitement of juxtaposing art, science, and history in the Museum environment. The artworks are complementary; one is geometric, the other is organic, and viewers will observe colors changing and shapes merging and expanding as they approach the installations.
In conjunction with the installation of the commissioned pieces, the exhibition Echoes in Space is on view through October 8, 2012. Echoes in Space features ideas, inspirations, and maquettes that were part of the creative process for the commissioned works. The gallery also includes an array of small objects that exemplify the innovative techniques Patti has developed over his career. Artworks on view include a fused glass piece from 1977 manipulated by air pressure to a recent series titled Opus, made between 2003 and 2012, encompassing micro-thin gold, silver, and platinum fused and laminated between glass.
Tom Patti is considered one of the most highly regarded artists working with glass. His art reveals itself in transparent cross-sections that encapsulate veils and patterns within the borders of simple, sophisticated forms. His work reflects a multidisciplinary spirit – encompassing an interest in architecture, design education, engineering, science, and the power of creativity.
“When I was a kid General Electric was in my backyard. They were experimenting with man-made lightning and I went to the building where they were doing the test. When I saw it for the first time I knew what I was looking for – that mystery event of discovery between science and creativity.”
Echoes in Space is funded, in part, by the Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass.
Tom Patti portrait by Paul Rocheleau