A nationally known glass artist is bringing his art to Wytheville, where his work will be on display at a local art gallery.

Elliott Todd of Boone, North Carolina, takes glass and bends it to his will using fire, creating paintings and sculptures.

Lily Formato, owner of Local Artists and Sellers art gallery, said she saw Todd’s work in a gallery in Asheville, North Carolina, and knew right away she wanted to show his work.

“I saw his paintings, and they were so gorgeous. I said I need to contact this guy,” she said. “They are made of glass tubing that hangs straight on the wall. They are super-cool. Some are 3-D, so when you move, they change. They were phenomenal; I could not stop staring at them.”

Formato contacted Todd, who is supportive of the small-town art scene, she said.

In a video about his work, Todd said that working with glass is “mesmerizing.”

“Even when you are beginner, when you have that first finished product – that first thing you have created out of fire and sand, it’s really an amazing feeling … to create this tangible, extremely tactile object that came from you,” he said.

Born in the North Carolina mountains, Todd studied at the Penland School of Craft, an international center for craft education in Spruce Pine, North Carolina. According to his Penland biography, he began his career by making glass beads at home with a portable gas torch and rods of glass.

Todd’s work will be on display at Local Artists and Sellers throughout the month of October. Formato will host an opening reception on Friday, Oct. 4, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at the gallery on Main Street. The reception is free and open to the public. Chau’s Corner Bakery will cater the event, along with West Wind Winery. There will also be live music.

Because his art requires large torches of fire, Todd will not be able to demonstrate his creative process, however he will be available to speak with guests and answer questions.

“In a picture, his work is awesome, but when I saw them in real life, they just blew me away,” Formato said. “They are so intricate and cool, something you’ve never seen before. I’m really excited to have this artist come in.”

The price of Todd’s work ranges from$150 to $500.

“Which I think is incredibly inexpensive, especially for how much he sells and the type of artwork he does and how time consuming and fragile it is, and how well known he is,” Formato said.

For information on the exhibit, call Formato at 276-920-4004. To see Todd’s work, visit his Instagram page at et_glass.

To reach Millie Rothrock, call 276-228-6611, ext. 35, or email mrothrock@wythenews.com.

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(1) comment

Sienna Ratten

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