Kait Rhoads: Bloom
Glass artist and sculptor Kait Rhoads creates a unique murrine-glass beaded sculpture – Bloom – designed for the Beacon Gallery. This installation features a red coral base, anchored on the first floor, with a large kelp bloom ascending up the second floor window.
With Bloom, Rhoads combines brand new and existing work, conceived specifically for BIMA’s Beacon Gallery installation. Rhoads’ mixed media sculptures are built through her own techniques, using hand-formed hollow murrine glass beads, wire, and bronze cable. Bloom reflects Rhoads’ highly accomplished skills in classic Venetian glassblowing techniques, with her lifelong connection to ocean worlds, and her sculptural visions. This work combines her dual sensibilities of realism and abstraction with the interplays of color, light, and the materiality of sculpture.
Rhoads grew up with her family on a sailboat, and developed an early appreciation for life “above and below the horizon line.” During the past five years she has volunteered at the Seattle Aquarium, engaging with visitors and promoting ocean ecology. Her interest in environmental issues plays a large role in her artistic practice as well.
She graduated in 1989 with an Atrium Baccalaureate in Creative Arts, from Rollins College (Winter Park, FL). In 1993 she received a BFA in Glass from Rhode Island School of Design (Providence, RI), and in 2001 was awarded an MFA in Glass from Alfred University at New York State College of Ceramics (Alfred, NY).
She has been an exhibiting artist since 1989 in galleries, museums, and expositions throughout the United States and internationally—including in Japan, Denmark, Italy, and England. Locally she has been represented by Traver Gallery and Facèré Jewelry Art (both in Seattle). Nationally, she has exhibited in numerous galleries and in prominent group shows including The Nature of Glass (Chesterwood – Stockton, MA), Fictitious Fibers (Tansey Contemporary – Santa Fe, New Mexico), Habatat Galleries’s Annual International Glass Invitational Exhibitions (Royal Oak, MI), and No Glass Ceiling! Women Working in Glass Part 1 (Palm Springs Art Museum, CA).
Rhoads’ prestigious awards include a Fulbright Fellowship for study of sculpture (Venice, Italy, 2001-2002), Studio Residency program at Corning Museum of Glass (Corning, NY, 2008), and the Hauberg Residency at Pilchuck Glass School (2014). She just completed (summer 2018) the installation of a major, competitive commission for the new Pacific Seas Aquarium in Tacoma. The project, titled Salish Nettles, is comprised of three large-scale jellyfish sculptures made of her signature hollow murrine glass beads. To involve the community in creating this she recruited help from the Hilltop Artists Program (for youth) in Tacoma, as well as volunteers from the Seattle community.
Rhoads’ work is in many private and public collections, including Glasmuseum (Denmark), Shanghai Museum of Glass (China), Toyama Institute of Glass (Japan), Carnegie Museum of Art (Pittsburgh, PA), Seattle Art Museum, Tacoma Art Museum, and Museum of Glass (Tacoma, WA).