At the 15th Annual Indiana Art Fair, held Feb. 10-11, artists strove to capture life in their works. Some used organic components, such as ceramics with horse hair or pressed flowers. Silversmith and regional inlay artist Chuck Bruce even incorporated dinosaur bones into his pieces.
“Not the whole specimen of course,” Bruce said, “but it’s dinosaur bone.”
However, one artist at the fair captured life in her work through color and light.
Fused glass artist and Indiana Art Fair juror B Skinner rendered birds, plants, and natural landscapes in brightly colored glass that spans the rainbow.
“Some of it is a little whimsical, a lot of it is botanical, those are things that people tend to really relate to, and it makes people smile,” Skinner said. “I just adore that.”
Even amid the packed and narrow hallways of an art fair that spanned three floors and featured over sixty artists, the striking colors and positivity of her work connected with onlookers.
“We don’t connect in our negativity; it’s not a good way to connect. But we can connect in our positivity about things, and beauty is one of those things that helps that,” Skinner said.
According to Indiana Artisan, what makes Skinner’s art unique is her use of light and “the creation of multiple, connected panels to delineate her designs and to allow a moment for the eye to pause while viewing the complete piece.”
But according to Skinner, that’s not all that makes her works unique.
“I think it’s unique because I’m unique,” Skinner said. “Nobody else does what I do with it. There are a few that try, but nobody does exactly what I do with it.”
With her unique approach to art, Skinner created her company Warm Glass Wonder and began to sell her work online and throughout stores in Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Ohio.
“Eight years ago I got very serious about it and I decided that this is what I wanted to do. And I’ve been self-sustaining for about five years now.”
Skinner said that her professional work as an artist began in commercial ceramics.
“My late husband was also involved in that, and when he passed away, I had no interest in continuing in that,” Skinner explained.
After transitioning from ceramics, Skinner found her voice in the medium of glasswork.
“This is my voice, and this is what I do with it,” Skinner said. “I know a lot of artists who were not great communicators. It’s not that we don’t have things sorted out in our heads, it’s that maybe we don’t express things the way other people need to have them served up to understand.”
“So sometimes, that’s what this is about, is finding our voice with our art that allows us to find our voice with the rest of the humanity.”
Skinner encouraged others pursue their passions like she did.
“Regardless of whether it’s art or whatever it is you want to do, if you’re in love with it, just go for it,” Skinner said.