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Biography: Jeremy Popelka

Jeremy Popelka
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Jeremy Popelka

Jeremy Popelka has been working with glass for more than 30 years and calls Sturgeon Bay, Wis., on the Door Peninsula, home, along with his partner and wife, artist Stephanie Trenchard. Popelka has navigated his education in the glass field, with some of the luminaries in the field, including Dale Chihuly, Bertil Vallien, Erwin Eisch, Joel Philip Myers, Marvin Lipofsky, and Clifford Rainey.

Establishing his sand-cast glass sculptures in California in 1990 after receiving his MFA at the California College of the Arts, he went on to exhibit in many galleries and museums including The Hokaido World Glass Now ’94, and the Kanazawa Glass Expositions of 2001. His work is also included in many private and public collections including the Museum of Wisconsin Art. Popelka and his wife Stephanie have conducted workshops around the country, including Jeremy’s 2005 sand-casting session at Pilchuck.

Popelka has focused much of his career on sand casting and blown-glass sculptural work. Drawing both from nature and historical artifacts, his work reflects a deep interest in how a personal interpretation of a form can embody larger issues of intent, symbolic meaning, and innate understanding. Working from renderings, wood models, and molds, he creates components of cast glass that are often assembled into larger forms.

The textures and surfaces associated with sand casting glass offer a perfect vehicle to bond the sculptural forms with luminous qualities of the material. The interesting duality between an opaque-scared surface with a transparent heart sets up a perfect tension that symbolizes one’s very being.

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