Making a marriage of art and science

Posted: Thursday, November 08, 2001

James Carpenter part artist, part architect and part engineer brings his vision of art and design to Juneau next week.

Carpenter will deliver a presentation at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Back Room at the Silverbow. Carpenter will show slides, discuss his work and take questions. The presentation is sponsored by the nonprofit Alaska Design Forum.

Carpenter works with glass and has constructed sculptures and architectural installations such as ceilings, walls and columns, exploring the way light is transmitted, refracted and reflected through the materials.

He has created enormous works a ceilingsize illuminated hanging glass sculpture for the Rhode Island Convention Center, a glass wall for a Honolulu bank, and a skylight for a terminal in the San Francisco International Airport, as well as fine art glass sculptures.

"He uses lots of different kinds of glass, including mosaic glass tiles and glass photo transfer," said Juneau architect Evelyn Rousso, who helped organize the event. "He was an engineer for Corning Glass before he went out on his own in 1977."

The work of Carpenter and his New Yorkbased firm crosses the boundaries between architecture, engineering and fine arts. Pairing artistry with industrial materials research, Carpenter has stretched the capabilities of glass as a building material and sculptural medium.

This is the second year the Alaska Design Forum has sponsored presentations in Juneau. The design forum is celebrating its 10th year with the 2001-2002 season, and will bring eight nationally and internationally recognized artists, architects and landscape architects to Alaska.

Founded in Anchorage in 1992 as an educational group, the design forum offers programs that present leading-edge design and art ideas and encourage discussion on the relevance of these ideas to life and design in Alaska.

The design forum is bringing three lecturers to Juneau. The second lecturer will be James Wines of SITE Environmental Design on March 6, 2002; and the third lecturer will be Bill Johnson, a landscape architect from Washington state on April 3, 2002.

Admission is $10 for the general public, $7 for design forum members and $5 for starving artists.


Riley Woodford can be reached at

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