By Julie Ann Segal
While traveling to Florida in June, I had the lucky opportunity to meet glass artist Duncan McClellan. I visited his gallery there – the Duncan McClellan Gallery – which is very unique. Housed in a former tomato-packing plant, the space is multi-functional, but centers around glass art. It features Duncan’s own pieces, along with national and international glass artists’ exhibits. Onsite is a hot shop for creating glass art. The Gallery also functions as a great event space, with indoor galleries and outdoor courtyards.
When I interviewed Duncan, he shared with me about his own art, but also his philosophy behind creating the gallery. “We’re more than just a gallery,” he told me. “Most don’t put in back into the community. They just sell work. We take it a much larger step further and do all the education along with it.” Besides offering on-site residencies for glass artists, the gallery also subsidizes a lot of classes, and even offers classes in local homeless shelters.
Duncan’s own pieces are exceptional. He told me about his process for creating them. This type of glass art goes back about 2200 years, to the Roman era. He blows the glass to create overlays, layers of color that can have separate bubbles of color that are inverted. Thin skins form on the inside of the bubble, then he blows that out. Unlike tools used during Roman times, he uses a sandblaster to make the carvings. He carves away the background, leaving the images in the foreground. Their color and subject matter is intriguing, and beautiful.
If you are ever in the Warehouse Art District in St. Petersburg, FL, a visit to Duncan’s gallery is a must.
Duncan has developed quite a name for himself as an artist, and for what he’s done for art and reinvestment into the community; several national magazines have featured him.
To see more of Duncan’s pieces, visit his website
Interested in purchasing Duncan’s glass art?
Contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 952.920.2827