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Gail Crozier's designs will be on display at Bilderbach Art Plaza
From a young age, many are driven to create. Legos, mud sculptures and basic musical patterns are often among one's first artistic endeavors. Some paint, sketch or sculpt their way to notability in the world of art. Gail Crozier found her artistic niche in glasswork.
Crozier is being featured by Bilderbach Art Plaza, a Cape Girardeau gallery of four local art studios. Each month, Bilderbach names a featured artist to highlight during First Fridays and throughout the month. Crozier is known for her brightly colored lampworked glass art.
An artist reception will be hosted from 5 to 9 p.m. today at Bilderbach in conjunction with First Friday events. Crozier will be in attendance to answer questions and show her art, which will be available for purchase. Crozier's art will be featured in the Bilderbach Art Plaza's front window gallery all of July.
The first Friday of every month, Cape Girardeau art galleries open their doors from 5 to 9 p.m. to promote art in the area. First Friday events are organized by Art: Around Town, a coalition of local artists who help promote one another. First Friday events are popular throughout town, said Marti Wingo Hartle, local artist and co-owner of Mozaic Art Studio housed by the Bilderbach Art Plaza. Hartle said she regularly sees more than 300 people in the Bilderbach Art Plaza during First Friday events.
"Featured artist events are a great way to bring new artists into Cape and attract new people to the galleries," Hartle said.
The Bilderbach Art Plaza hosts artists of all mediums, including new artists showing their art for the first time. Other artists who have been featured by the Bilderbach Art Plaza include the Ste. Genevieve Art Guild, the SEMO Art Guild, fabric scap artist Dave Walker, jewelry artist Mary Gentry, as well as mixed media artists.
"Bilderbach attracts some very interesting artists. We see such a variety of art," Hartle said.
Crozier and her lampworked glass company Stranded Glass have also recently been featured by the Best of Missouri Hands. Founded as a not-for-profit corporation in 1989, Best of Missouri Hands is according to its mission statement, "dedicated to the development and recognition of Missouri's arts and artisans through education, interaction, and encouragement."
Martha Greer, executive director of Best of Missouri Hands, said she has known Crozier for a long time.
"She has been a member since near the beginning of the program," Greer said of Crozier.
Crozier is a juried member of the organization. In order to become juried members, Greer said, artists must go through a rigorous process where their art is reviewed by a panel of experienced artists, arts educators and gallery owners. Four images of the artist's work are scored for craftsmanship, design, originality and overall presentation. Each month, the organization features a different juried member.
"Gail's art is so vibrant, meticulous and creative. It's very unique and grabs your attention," Greer said.
Crozier will be bringing her glass beads and jewelry art to Bilderbach Art Plaza. She said she began making glass art in the late 1990s when she saw a beautiful, ivory-colored glass bead with a lady bug on top in a jewelry store.
"It was a light bulb moment for me," Crozier said. "I looked at it and thought ‘I can do that.'"
Crozier uses the basement of her home as her studio and sells her art at shows, as well as selling wholesale to distributors. Crozier said her jewelry is being sold in about 30 stores around the country.
"Art should be happy and uplifting. It should be something I like to look at in my home," Crozier said.
July Bricknell of Jackson is a local pottery artist and has become close friends with Crozier. Bricknell said she met Crozier, who mentored Bricknell, when Bricknell started presenting her work at local festivals. Bricknell and Crozier are both members of Best of Missouri Hands.
"I describe her art as fun. It's so joyful and brightly colored," Bricknell said.
Bricknell said Crozier has expanded from jewelry to home decorative items, plates and framed glass art.
"We're really lucky to have her come to this area. She lives in St. Louis and is a little different from anything we've had down here," Bricknell said.
For more information, contact Bilderbach Art Plaza at 573-339-9510 or visit its Facebook page. For more information on Gail Crozier, go to strandedglass.com.
5 N. Main St., Cape Girardeau, MO 63701