By Angela Smith
For Hometown News
VERO BEACH - Ordinarily, backscratchers and spoons wouldn't be classified as art.
But for Treasure Coast craft enthusiasts, the pieces typically found at home are now a match of limitless possibilities for imaginations at the Vero Beach Museum of Art this summer.
Now through Oct. 14, museum visitors will discover the unusual, bold pieces as they explore the museum's newest exhibit, "Form, Color, Light: Cast Glass by Rick Beck."
The one-of-a-kind works, measuring anywhere from 4- to 7-feet long, are a part of 14 sculptures on loan from the North Carolina cast glass artist.
"It's quite different than other pieces we've had on display," said Jay Williams, museum curator. "When most people think of glass, they normally think of traditional pieces by blown glass or some other sort of process, as glass casting is not as common and a more unusual technique."
Unlike blown glass, casting uses clay forms to create a silicone mold for recycled glass. After it's fired to 1,650 degrees Fahrenheit, the molten glass takes the shape of the mold, taking anywhere from a couple of weeks to a couple of months to cool.
"The idea that you can melt glass and cast it in a mold the way that you would, say bronze or metal, is interesting," Mr. Williams said of the process. "But at the same time, it still has the color you associate with glass."
The pieces on display are taken from Mr. Beck's 2004 to 2011 collections, which took from a couple of weeks to years to fully create. They include manipulated shapes such as industrial elements, scientific models and the human figure, hoping to get brains working.
"I think it will open people's minds to the possibility of new art forms," Mr. Williams said. "It's appealing to the eyes, but isn't an easy process, so we hope they take an interest in it and learn all there is."
That is exactly what Mr. Beck is counting on, too.
With the help of natural light within the museum's atrium, museum officials and Mr. Beck are hoping to ignite the vibrant and deep colors within the pieces, allowing each art goer to see the sculpture's full potential.
"It's the light that needs to pass through, because I want people to be looking at the form and the color to see what becomes of it," Mr. Beck said.
"Hopefully people will approach the pieces with an open mind and make the jump intellectually with movement of what they knew and what they understand after. Sometimes when you see it, something about it will jump out at you; it's amazing."
"Form, Color, Light: Cast Glass by Rick Beck" will be on view at the museum now through Oct. 14. Admission to the exhibition is free.
The museum is located at 3001 Riverside Park Drive in Vero Beach. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Saturday and 1 to 4:30 p.m. on Sunday.
For more information about exhibits or membership, call (772) 231-0707 or visit the museum's website at www.verobeachmuseum.org.