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Vintage Vandalia

by Jack Ballengee Morris

Gallery Opening and Artist Talk
Friday January 13, 2023 @ 6-8p

     My current series started years ago during my senior year at Ohio State University. The class was advanced mould making 670;  a class usually reserved for ceramic majors. I was able to get a spot in the class and made the most of it. I began a series of Mickey Mouse heads cast in porcelain and glazed in native American war paint and some painted in Black Face. That's when I started to reproduce iconic antique objects with the intent to change and guide the narrative through art. During my internship at The Works museum with the guidance and help from Luke Jacomb, we cast the Mickey Mouse head out of glass and that was the beginning. Flash forward to 2020, I was pursuing my music career full time, when the pandemic hit. In the beginning of 2021,  I looked up my old glass blowing teacher and reached out to Aaron Buchholz owner and operator of Saint Louisville Glass. With a little convincing, Aaron agreed to take me on again as a student and so we went to work every Friday for 2 hrs. When the pandemic hit, I started thrifting for fun and realized I was pretty good. I had the eye for it. On a fateful trip to Cleveland, I walked into a witch shop spooky! Well, while looking through the shop, I found this old funny vintage head,  it caught my eye immediately. It just had the look. Long story short, $40 dollars later and it was mine "Smiling Jim". I researched him and it turns out its a vintage seed starter from the 1940's aka The Chia Head-coined in 1979. I kept researching and found 3 more Jiggs, Jocko and Doughboy. All vintage, all from the 1940's, and perfect for canopic jars. So by the time I arrived at Saint Louisville glass, I had already begun the process of making the moulds that would eventually become the glass blowing 2 part moulds. Every Friday, for a solid year we did an hour of mould blowing and experimented with different color techniques. We scratched the surface of Chia Head Canopic Jar series. How the idea of making art out of vintage objects started for me was because I wanted to reproduce the object so I would always have a model after selling the original. It just kinda happened as a natural evolution like I found my way to it and there it was waiting. I've also included some of my new print work, which explores appropriation through Leonardo da Vinci' "The Last Supper" as the matrix for each print. The obsession with da Vinci started in art school and persist to this day. I like the idea of using old imagery through appropriation and multiples creating unauthorized collaboration projects. Over the years, I've collected a vast amount of popular imagery and use it to make something I find visually compelling and aesthetically pleasing. Thanks to everyone at Glass Axis and Saint Louisville Glass for helping in my artistic journey--it helps to have a great time behind you. 


Ohio State University 2007 BFA Graduate with Distinction in Art, Emphasis

     Painting and Drawing, Printmaking

The Works Newark Ohio Glassblowing Internship 2007-08

Eickholt Glass Columbus Ohio Factory Worker 2008-09

Glass Axis Instructor 2009-10

Saint Louisville Glass Studio Member 2021-Present

Glass Axis Instructor 2021-Present

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