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Richard G. Berent

"I am fascinated by the art and science of heat and fire, and the aesthetic beauty inherent in glass. I approach the kiln after a firing with the breathless anticipation of a child at Christmas—I cannot wait to open the kiln and discover the magic! I aim to capture the fluidity of molten glass. My voice is expressed in wide polished rims, curving color bands, and bold use of color."

Berent was enjoying a successful art career in metal sculpture when, on a lark, he attended a glass fusing workshop and had an epiphany. He was blown away by the meticulous process, the variations and opportunities in design, and the vibrant color properties of glass. Many of his metal techniques and sensitivities overlapped with and informed his glass art. Most of his techniques are self-taught.

Starting with a color palette that appeals to him, Berent thoughtfully intuits a layout. He dams the shape in the kiln and orchestrates his glass placement. Using handmade screens and self-engineered dams, he fires the piece the first time. When he opens the kiln, he lets the piece speak to him. It may take as many as four or five additional firings and hours of cold work to create the final piece.

Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York gave Berent his first indelible exposure to art and architecture. He learned subtlety and grace from Betty Helen Longhi. He found technique with Patty Gray and Robin Kittleson. Curiosity and experimentation have taught him best. The world is his teacher. The excitement of boldly colored abstract art moves him. God, the first artist and architect, is his greatest inspiration.

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Selected Exhibitions & Awards
Sandord Arts and Vine Juried Festival, Sanford North Carolina, D.A. Wicker Civic Center, 2014
44th Annual Designer Juried Craft Show, Raleigh NC, Carolina Designer Craftsmen Guild, 2013
FALC Juried Painting and Sculpture, Cary NC , Fine Arts League of Cary, 2011
Carolina's Got Art! Juried Show, Charlotte NC, Carolina Gallery, Selected for National Exhibition Tour, 2010
Raleigh Fine Arts Society Juried N.C. Artist Exhibition, Raleigh NC, Meymandi Concert Hall and Gallery, 2010