Hope, Healing, and Glass
Opening Reception: July 14, 2018, 7:30-9 p.m. at Respect Graduate School (2200 Industrial Drive, Bethlehem, PA). Regular exhibition open Monday-Thursday, 7/16/18 – 8/24/18, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
This event is free and open to the public.
The formation of a large perfectly shaped crystal in nature is a rare and miraculous occurrence. This is because elements such as wind, rain and flowing water tend to interfere in the growth process, either eroding crystals as they form resulting in sand, silt and clay or mixing them up with other crystalline minerals to form stones such as granite. Dr. Lee B. Riley, a nationally renowned surgical oncologist, has always kept samples of such large rare crystals in his office to remind himself and his patients that miracles do happen and to give them hope when cancer threatens to interfere with their own plans.
In 2011, Dr. Riley began experimenting with glass slumping as a fun means of exploring his creative instincts during his free time, but his mind was always returning to his patients and the theme of hope and healing. As a result, his first project was to create a glass piece that would combine with and highlight one of his favorite crystals, which featured a level of stunning geometrical perfection rarely found in a stone.
Since this first experiment though, Dr. Riley’s interest in fusing glass with nature has blossomed into a full-on passion. Today, his extensive catalogue of work includes large and small-scale sculptures, wall art, and glass bowls that showcase his mastery of a versatile array of glass working techniques. These pieces also feature his distinctly unique and innovative style of combining natural elements, such as wood and rare crystalline minerals, with glass to highlight their beauty and inspire hope in the viewer.