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Watson MacRae Gallery to unveil new monthly exhibit

By Staff | Mar 3, 2020

CIA THORNE “Amber Ladder”

Next week the Watson MacRae Gallery on Sanibel will unveil dual exhibits on display for the upcoming month, which showcase a group of studio artists and Japanese-themed pieces.

On display from March 10 through April 4, “Glass Menagerie” will feature art by Elodie Holmes, Jannine Cabossal, Cia Thorne, Steffan Plisterman and Al Leedom. All five artists are associated with Liquid Light Glass, a glass gallery and studio in Santa Fe, New Mexico, that is owned by Holmes.

In addition, “The Beauty of Japan” will be on exhibit, showcasing the work of paper artist Akiko Sugiyama – a returning exhibitor – and antique-contemporary pieces by artist Jane Farrar.

“Blown glass is like alchemy – you put these elements together, and then add talent,” owner Maureen Watson said, adding that “Glass Menagerie” will show the range of possibilities within the medium.

There will be paperweights with floating flowers, glass-blown shells and glass that looks like stone.


“It is very exciting to see all the different kinds of glass,” she said. “It’s like a magic show.”

The exhibit will feature larger sculptural pieces and small functional works.

“It shows the breadth and variety of blown glass,” Watson said.

While a few of the artists have exhibited individually in the past at the gallery, this will be the first group show for Liquid Light Glass. She added that Holmes, a master glass blower, is a protege of one of the founders of the studio glass art movement – renowned American glass artist Marvin Lipofsky.

While the exhibit serves as standing work, “The Beauty of Japan” will hang from the walls.


“I was inspired to do this exhibit when I saw the antique scroll collection of Jane Farrar,” she said.

Based in Santa Fe, Farrar creates a haiku between antique Japanese scrolls from her renowned collection and her contemporary work. The scrolls range from the 18th Century to modern times.

Also on exhibit will be antique kimonos from her collection – all for sale.

“Jane will draw from her collection of antique kimonos and her renowned collection of antique scrolls,” Watson said.

Residing in Ormond Beach but originally from Japan, Sugiyama’s artwork is focused on all-paper sculptures. They are quirky, elegant and structured, a combination of imagination and materials.


“She has shown here before,” she said.

Watson described Sugiyama’s pieces as depictions of abstractly whimsical scenes.

“She rolls it, she crumbles it,” she said of how Sugiyama works the paper.

An opening reception for the dual exhibits will be held on March 10 from 5 to 7 p.m.

The public is invited to stop in and peruse the new exhibits.

AKIKO SUGIYAMA Looking for Seeds”

“I’m trying to bring to the islands something you don’t see here or might not see in your own hometown,” Watson said of the artwork and artists featured through the upcoming month.

For more information, call 239-472-3386.

The Watson MacRae Gallery is at 2340 Periwinkle Way, Suite G1.