Veterans Day: Honoring Those Who Served In The Armed Forces

Above is from a series of works Melissa Kistler created during a class focused on imagery in glass at The Corning Museum of Glass in New York.

In the new post-studio glass landscape, content driven artwork continues to evolve. Often people struggle to tell a story with their artwork, and as artists, work at connecting to the viewer with personal narratives integrated into their work. For this Veterans Day we feature one artist’s successful series that draws from her family story.

Glass artist Melissa Kistler was born and raised in a small rural community in northeastern Pennsylvania. As the daughter of a Master Gunnery Sergeant of the Marine Corps, her work draws from the overlapping spheres of family, the military, and home.

Melissa Kistler; “Mother, Daughter” detail; mirror, print

Utilizing nostalgic references to childhood and memory, she delves into the phenomena of collective identity and the fluidity of the self. Melissa’s work is informed by sociological studies of identity and the military and cultural representations of family and military membership.

Melissa Kistler; “Sailors”mirrored glass, print

Melissa earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree with a concentration in glass from Tyler School of Art at Temple University. She was a recipient of a Creative Arts, Research, and Scholarship Grant from Temple University and has continued her education at the Corning Museum of Glass in New York as a scholarship student. 
She has shown her work in numerous galleries nationally, and recently had her work included in the IGAA exhibit ” The GATHERING: Contemporary Glass from the Heartland,” which opened Oct. 19 at the Indiana University Kokomo Art Gallery. Melissa currently resides in Indianapolis, Indiana, where she continues her work.

Audrey Wilson’s Work Selected for Midwest Exhibit

Recognizing the best from the Midwest, 28 glass artworks from 21 glass artists have been selected for this year’s Indiana Glass Arts Alliance (IGAA) annual exhibition.  Titled “GATHERING: Contemporary Glass from the Heartland,” the exhibition will open Oct. 19 at the Indiana University Kokomo Art Gallery and continue through Dec. 7. The exhibition is open to the public.

Audrey Wilson

This is the first time the IGAA has opened the exhibition to glass artists outside Indiana. 

Nearly 150 applications, from 48 glass artists in six states, were reviewed by a two-member jury panel.  Tom Riley, who for 30 years has owned Riley Galleries, in Cleveland, Ohio along with glass artist and director of the glass program at Kent State University, Sean Mercer, collaborated on selecting artwork for the exhibition.  The IGAA offers $2500 in total cash awards, and the Best in Show Award recipient will additionally receive the opportunity to be exhibited at Riley Galleries.

Indiana has one of the longest and most storied histories of glassmaking in the U.S., and it is appropriate that this year’s exhibition is in Kokomo, where Hoosier glassmaking began in 1888. 

The Indiana University Kokomo Art Gallery is located at 2300 South Washington Street, in Kokomo, Indiana.   Gallery hours are Tue. and Thu., 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Wed., 10 a.m.- 8 p.m.; and Sat., noon – 4 p.m. 

Audrey Wilson

 WGS’ Audrey Wilson (a native of Ohio) has two works selected to be included in what promises to be a great show.


Tom Armbruster, Hudson, OH; Cortney Boyd, Carbondale, IL; Mathilde Brown Swanson, Des Moines; IA; Domenico Cavallaro, Cuyahoga Falls, OH; Steven Ciezki, Calumet City, IL; Cecile Derel, Chicago, IL; Davin Ebanks, Anderson, IN; Robert Geyer, Portage, OH; Francine Gourguechon, Chicago, IL; Jennifer Halvorson, Muncie, IN; Justin Kern, Muncie, IN; Sungsoo Kim, Kent, OH; Melissa Kistler, Indianapolis, IN; Joanna Manousis, Columbus, OH; Emily McBride, Louisville, KY; Matthew Paskiet, Holland, OH; Charlyn Reynolds, Elgin, IL; Kenny Sprinkle, Camby, IN; Timothy Stover, Kent, OH; Zac Weinberg, Columbus, OH; Audrey Wilson, Mt. Rainier, MD.

Congratulations Audrey!