Considered the father of modern glass paperweights, Paul Stankard is credited with changing the status of this medium from craft to that of fine art. Interpreting flowers, bees, vines, and leaves encased in glass, his work is a celebration of nature and her primal beauty.
Blending mysticism with magical realism, Stankard creates breathtaking botanical interpretations in glass. Exhibiting a remarkable technical and expressive achievement, his intimate translucent orbs contain complex assemblages of finely crafted organic detail, bursting with activity and life. Inside these unusual and innovative glass forms, he brings his personal vision of nature and its potency.
Battling undiagnosed dyslexia for his entire youth, Stankard struggled to find his life calling. After graduating from Salem County Vocational Technical Institute with a degree in Scientific Glassblowing, he started working as a glassblower making scientific instruments for various chemical laboratories, becoming a master of fabricating complex instruments. He first started experimenting with paperweights in his garage in 1969. It was in 1972 that a financial support from a renowned art dealer Reese Palley, who discovered his work at a craft exhibition on the boardwalks of Atlantic City, allowed him to devote to his art completely.
Over his forty-year career, he has received three honorary doctorate degrees and many awards within the glass community, most recently the Masters of the Medium Award from Smithsonian’s The James Renwick Alliance and Glass Art Society’s Lifetime Achievement Award. He is an Artist-in-Resident and Honorary Professor at Salem Community College. He is also the author of three books.
Paul Stankard is a master at capturing the essence of organic form through elegant compositions of color, symbolism, and atmosphere. The art critic James Yood described his work as “some of the most poetic and nuanced commentary on the wonders of nature” existing in the contemporary art.
Born in 1943, Paul Stankard spent his early years in North Attleboro, Massachusetts. Today, he lives and works in New Jersey.
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