“I am passionate about all things glass, cats, and beauty. In that order.”
By creating iconic sculptures that define place, world-renowned artist April Wagner expands the definition of what is possible. Her intimate, visceral sculpting of molten glass distills its essence as a liquid, capturing fluid beauty, and inviting us into a conversation of discovery. April’s passion for clean design and superior craftsmanship challenges our perceptions of what glass is and what it can do. Using influences from nature to inform the direction of these sculpted conversations, she is continually exploring new and exquisite visions of transformation.
Born in Muskegon, a small town on the shores of Lake Michigan, April grew up playing on the sandy white beaches and at her Grandmother’s blueberry farm. A natural artist, her interest in form, color, and line were apparent at a young age. Encouraged by her parents to apply, April received a scholarship to the prestigious Interlochen Art Academy for high school. Upon graduation she attended Alfred University and finished her degree at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Glass. She started her business, epiphany studios, in 1993, building her Pontiac, MI location in 1997.
April’s work is featured prominently in numerous prestigious public and private collections. She has served on boards for the Detroit Institute of Arts, College for Creative Studies, and currently on the Michigan Humane board. She is the proud caretaker/human servant of two domestic and four feral cats.
Using influences from nature, I create hand-blown and solid sculpted glass elements in an organic, free-form manner referencing shapes that we all understand, extracting the essence, not to imitate or replicate the thing, but to capture the feeling of the thing. Using smaller pieces assembled into larger sculptures, I investigate relationships, looking at the individual in relation to the group, and studying how relationships change in conjunction with color, scale, and placement, much like how our roles in society change as we are labeled by family or community, or as we evolve and grow on our journey.
My work also investigates glass as an organic, molten material. Unlike anything else known to humankind, glass is in a constant state of flux, its dynamic nature is uniquely and constantly in transition, much like we are. Glass is a material that allows us to see and be seen, but we all see something unique because we start the conversation from our individual paradigms. Our lexicons of understanding are shaped by our life experiences and my work invites the viewer into a conversation, from wherever they are, to explore what they “see” and how that makes them feel.