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Glass artist Stephen Rolfe Powell’s life and art will be celebrated in an exhibition in the Ky. town he called home

Celebrated Kentucky glass artist Stephen Rolfe Powell.
Courtesy Art Center of the Bluegrass
Celebrated Kentucky glass artist Stephen Rolfe Powell.

The Art Center of the Bluegrass in Danville will host a retrospective of the life and work of the late glass artist Stephen Rolfe Powell.

“The Power of Color” opens Aug. 26 and runs through Oct. 29, according to a news release from the Danville art center on Monday. The release said the show will feature works from the artist’s personal collection.

Powell, who died in 2019, was an internationally renowned artist. His vibrant glassworks have been displayed all over the world. The Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington D.C. has one of his pieces in its permanent collection.

The artist also founded the hot glass program at his alma mater, Centre College in Danville. He taught there for decades, and artists from around the country came to Kentucky to study with him. 

During his life, he was honored with many teaching and artistic accolades, including the Artist Award of the Governor’s Awards in the Arts in Kentucky.

Powell also helped establish what would become the Art Center of the Bluegrass in Danville.

“The Power of Color” coincides with the dedication of a memorial garden in his honor at Centre College, the release said. The Stephen R. Powell Memorial Sculpture Garden will have a walking path, “artistic benches” and an amphitheater where outdoor classes can be held. 

Glass artist Brook Forrest White Jr., a student of Powell’s who now operates Flame Run glass gallery and studio in Louisville, led the design and creation of the garden’s centerpiece: a towering sculpture of metal and glass.

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