by Scott Hartley
Sitting in church, a young child was handed a Sunday bulletin from his father. Feeling the texture of the creamy paper in his fingers, the small child gently turned the folded sheets over his lap. A glimmer in his eye appeared as he glared at the curving lines and shading that appeared on the smooth paper.
The designs and characters came alive in the child’s head as he studied the pencil lines. As he turned slowly toward his father, a huge smile spread across his tiny face. As their eyes met, the father saw the love in his son’s eyes and the spark that had brought him so much joy since his own childhood. The torch had been passed. That young boy had art in his blood.
My appreciation for art has come a long way since that glorious day in church. I have grown up experimenting with all different kinds of media. Throughout my days in school, I expressed myself with the most meaning and desire with a set of graphite pencils. Two-dimensional art, I felt, was the only outlet for my life. I love art, and I knew that it would always play a huge role in my life.
I graduated as Valedictorian of my high school class and attended a small liberal arts college, which has one of the greatest science departments in the area. My priorities were to receive the finest education that I could, play basketball, graduate with a biology degree, and attend medical school. In college, I realized that biology was my passion, not medicine. In the end, I found that what matters is not the amount of money you have in your pockets but the impact you have on the lives of those around you. So, I became a high school biology teacher, determined to make a difference … but where was ART?
My life was great. I married my high school sweetheart, had a great family, and was doing my best to have an impact on the lives of today’s children, but something was missing. I searched and realized that there was one thing that was missing from my life…ART. I quit my teaching job to pursue my love for art full time, and I could not be happier. GLASS is my escape. GLASS is the glimmer in my eye. GLASS gives me that same huge smile and flutter in my chest that I had on that Sunday morning staring at the church bulletin. GLASS is the perfect marriage of both art and science! My wife, my family, and my art have shaped me into the person I am today. My work is hard – both physically demanding and mentally draining – but it is by far the most rewarding work that I have ever done in my life. If you question my love, my happiness, and my joy that I have found in art and glass, look into my eyes…the shine is bright, just like a piece of glass. Be careful, or you just might catch the fever.