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Westbrook Modern's Featured Artist Spotlight: Christopher Ries

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About Christopher Ries
Artist and glass sculptor Christopher Ries grew up on a farm in central Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at Ohio State University in 1975, and received his Masters of Fine Art from the University of Wisconsin at Madison in 1978. During his time in Madison, Ries was research assistant to Harvey K. Littleton--founder of the American Studio Glass Movement.

Ries founded the glass department at Ohio State University and was its first instructor as an undergraduate student. He also ran a glass-blowing studio for two summers in Wisconsin during his graduate school years. Ries later opened a studio in Columbus, Ohio and developed his cold-working skills and understanding of optics.

In 1979, Ries set out to find the ultimate glass-sculpting material. His search led him to Schott Optical in Duryea, Pennsylvania. Ries experimented with many glass types produced at Schott over the next few years in his Ohio studio. In 1986, Schott President Dr. Franz Herkt offered Ries a studio space at the Pennsylvania factory. Artist Christoper Ries continued as a non-paid, independent contractor there, with the title "Artist-in-Residence." In 2015, the Schott factory burned, causing the company to move back to Germany. It was at this time that glass artist Christopher Ries lost his connection to the rare and valuable materials, forcing him into an early retirement from glass sculpting.

Ries tells us, "Glass is the essential material which gathers, focuses, reflects, refracts, amplifies, filters, and transmits light. I use these special light-altering abilities to create a kind of optical poetry." The artist has produced the largest whole, unassembled pieces of crystal sculpture known and was awarded a Doctor of Humane Letters honorary degree from Misericordia University, Dallas, Pennsylvania in 2010. His work is in many museums and fine art collections around the world.

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About Westbrook Modern
Located at:
3 NW of 7th on Dolores
Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA 93921

Gallery Hours:
Daily 11:00-6:00

Phone: (831) 625-2288
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