Modern art on glass from Shayna Leib

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Shayna Leib is a multimedia artist whose sculptural glass and metal art reflects her intelligence, sense of design, and rhythm. Her art reflects her ability to manifest her diverse artistic background with her creative talents in an intelligent way.

While completing her Bachelors of Art degree in Philosophy at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, California, Shayna also studied literature, glass, and concert piano. Accepted to pursue a Doctorate in Philosophy, she chose instead to enter the University of Wisconsin-Madison for graduate studies in glass and metal.

Her glass interests at UW-Madison led to an equal focus on functional and sculptural works, where she explored the subtly different ways in which glass’ most unique qualities were captured in each. Shayna uses the flow of hot glass, its capacity to freeze an artistic moment in time, and the inherent ability of glass to manipulate optics to express her artistic vision and inner direction.

Her intricate cane pieces focus on the beauty of a single solitary unit, which both asserts and subordinates its autonomy in a work. “My visual concept of beauty has always been fractal,” she says. “I am intrigued by multitudes of tiny little parts, like blades of grass all bending in the wind to the same rhythm. As you pan out you have waves of form. Zoom in and you see each individual blade of grass moving to the flow of the wind.”

Shayna views glass and music in a similar manner. After 14 years of training in concert piano, music is a very physical and visual experience, “it feels like it moves before my eyes as if it is a visual entity,” she says. “It’s a habit that comes from reading sheet music, and even when you take the symbols of the notes away, and I still feel and see the passage of sound in a corporeal way. The closest language to articulate the passage of pattern, motion, and building momentum is the language of glass with its movement and fluidity.” Shayna uses the properties of glass to suggest movement in a lyrical way reminiscent of rhythm and sound, allowing art to focus on time as well as space.

When she is creating art, Shayna uses glass in a unique way. Her cane pieces are very genuine, sensitive, and designed with sensibility. The look of her art is natural and subtle, yet her aggressiveness with the glass medium is intensely focused to produce original, colorful and chromatic works. There is a transformation through chaos. Her works derive pattern from chaos and possess a self-similarity.

The mediums Shayna works with are demanding, but she has the ability to tame them. Known for her careful, meticulous, and intelligent sense of design, the skill she exhibits in producing beautiful art is a product of her competence and her unique understanding of the extreme demands of the characteristics of the medium.