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October 15, 2021

Glass artist Karen Willenbrink-Johnsen will present lecture Oct. 18

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. – Glass artist Karen Willenbrink-Johnsen will discuss her work and also present a public demonstration of her creations next week at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

The lecture is at 7 p.m., Monday, Oct. 18, in Morris Library’s John C. Guyon Auditorium and is part of the university’s Visiting Artist Program, sponsored by the School of Art and Design and the Fine Arts Activity Fee.

Admission is free and the public is invited. SIU is committed to protecting the community, so all those attending this event must wear masks and follow current campus and state pandemic safety protocols.

The public is welcome to see Willenbrink-Johnsen at work in the shop in Room 112 in the Pulliam Hall Industrial Wing. Glass demonstrations are scheduled during glass class times and space is very limited.

The public can attend during the following demonstrations: 

  • Oct. 18 – 2-4 p.m.
  • Oct. 19 – 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Oct. 20 – 2-4:30 p.m.

In her artist’s statement, Willenbrink-Johnsen, who earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in sculpture from Ohio University, states that she wants “my glass to capture the concept and context of images from the natural world, to give dimension and depth to those who experience them.”

Willenbrink-Johnsen said she is “constantly inspired and awed by the power of nature.” Her study of raptors “has been an obsession and my passion for the natural environment that surrounds me has long taken root in my work, forming an indelible kinship,” she said.

“As I have developed as a glass artist, my conceptual urges have become intrinsic; my work comes from a need to experience and acknowledge the essence of living things,” she said. “It is this passion that drives me to further explore and intensify the expression of my craft.”