Jon Clark

AG OvuleQuantum, installation at GLG, 2013EBCAHIU
Lizard (Green)Photobiotic CircusSC-AlphaQuantum, installation
Specimen-LCQuantum, installationTwins

Statement: Quantum
In 2004 I was invited to develop a proposal for an installation space at The Delaware Center for Contemporary Art. My first ideas were focused my memories of early morning sunlight and the refraction that occurs when this light hits the morning dew that collects on grasses. My intentions involved the making of thousands of glass objects, developing a sound track, and producing a video. I discussed this plan with a couple of students who were also part of a team who helped me make glass. These three installations, Quantum, Penumbra, and Gravity, began as a discussion for a plan and collaboration between three friends.

Our intention was to create a series of installations that would inspire memories of the power and intimacy of natural phenomena. An essential part of this creative search was to find a way to engage an aspect of light with the capacity to change, move and develop with time. We were looking for a vehicle to suggest cosmic energy. We developed a plan that made light essential to the experience. A digital projection was employed to create a cycle of time and energy evolution, within a massive framework of erupting lifelike transparent forms.

Our digital images were developed through our fieldwork in nature at particular times of the day. We searched and tested many aspects and forces of nature with video and audio recordings. We considered everyday notions of planetary and celestial movement throughout daily and monthly cycles. We found most of the information to be romantic and obvious. The video for these installations incorporate reflected solar light and random particles that constantly move in directional patterns around us. They are basic, simple yet dynamic, and are recorded from nature. The images have their own speed, rhythm and intensity. As this light engages the space, the field and beyond, it seems to surpass its natural qualities and it becomes an unexpected dynamic force. The light and sound engage the field of glass to create a vast surface and form of energized transparent symbols that converge with the space to create recollections of cosmic interaction.

Jon Clark began his career with glass while attending The University of Wisconsin at River Falls and studied with Professor Douglas L. Johnson. Johnson was in the famous first glass class at University of Wisconsin at Madison in 1963 with Professor Harvey Littleton. Clark established a friendship with Littleton in the 60’s. Clark finished his undergraduate studies in 1969 and received his Bachelors of Science from the University of Wisconsin. While a student at  University of Wisconsin, River Falls, he went to Europe for a semester abroad. While in Europe, he conducted research on Historical and Regional Glass Culture as it relates to off hand glass working traditions in France, Germany, Italy, and England. Clark studied at The Royal College of Art, traveled to the Eisch Glass Factories and Studios in Bavaria, Germany, and visited many of the Italian glass studios in Murano, Italy. 

Clark moved to in London, England 1969 to 1972 and attended the Royal College of Art and was a Masters student in the School of Ceramics and Glass. His Professor was Lord Queensbury, a Designer, and his Tutors included Sam Herman, Hans Coper, and Edwardo Pollazi. After completing his MA Royal College of Art in 1972 Clark arrived in Oakland, California to work with Professor Marvin Lipofsky in the Glass Studios of California College of Arts and Crafts. 

Jon Clark arrived in Philadelphia in 1973 and established a new program for Glass Studies at Temple University’s Tyler School of Art. During his 35 years of teaching there, Professor Clark dedicated himself to the highest standards for the Glass Program at Tyler and for his students.  In 2005 Clark was asked to designed plans for a new glass studios, because the Tyler Glass program was to be  moved from Elkins Park  campus in 2009 to a new location at Temple University. The program is now in a state of the art facility with 10,000 square feet of space for the Tyler Glass majors at Temple University, Philadelphia Pennsylvania.

 His work is well known throughout the world and featured in museums in the United States as well as Japan, China, Australia, Germany, and England. He is the recipient of numerous National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, Pennsylvania Art Grants, and research grants from Temple University. He has traveled throughout Europe, South America, Egypt, and Japan conducting research for his teaching and his artwork. He has given workshops, lectures, and guest critiques at numerous art colleges and glass centers in the United States, England, and Japan.

Clark’s students have gone on to found,  teach, and head glass programs at Tulane University, Alfred University, Virginia Commonwealth University, University of Louisville, University of Wisconsin River Falls, University of Miami, Bowling Green State University, and Tyler School of Art. Many of his past students are leading artists in the field of contemporary glass. Exhibiting their work in National and International Museums and Galleries.

Clark currently resides in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania with his awesome wife Patti Dougherty, and their fabulous daughter Jamie.

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