JU artwork to light up glitzy Cummer Ball fundraiser Saturday, March 16

By Phillip Milano

Aly Volk’s “Iceburst” and Kayla Socha’s “Silly Lilly” chandeliers will be lighting up the annual Cummer Ball gala fundraiser this Saturday, March 16.

JU glass major Aly Volk with her lighting creations “Iceburst” and "Shades of Green."

The glowing light work of the two 21-year-old Jacksonville University glass majors, along with that of 34 other JU students, faculty and recent alumni, will be on display and for sale at the glittering affair, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens in Riverside.  (Gallery of photos below.)

“I love that we got to do this,” said Socha, who with the others worked for weeks on her piece and was helping load it up for transport recently. “We don’t get an opportunity like this anywhere else, to show our work.” 

Brian Frus, JU assistant professor of glass, who’s collaborated with the Cummer on projects before, said the museum contacted him about JU’s Glass and Ceramics programs partnering with the ball, and it’s been a labor of love over more than a month now. 

“It’s a cool chance to spotlight our talent. How many places can you do work with, that will give the students a chance to exhibit their art in a museum like this?” he said while helping unload chandeliers at the Cummer. “I’m into engaged learning opportunities, and this is that and more. It allows the students to display what they’ve done, and then to have it critiqued directly in the marketplace, with a sale being the best final critique.” 

Amy Chamberlin, the Cummer’s associate director of marketing, said the works will all be up for bid during a live auction at the ball, and will also be on sale in the facility’s store afterward. 

“It’s so nice to have a local aspect to the pieces,” she said. “It’s a great chance to showcase local artists.” 

Taking the light projects from conception, through creation, to learning about pricing, marketing, installing and more was a big draw for JU student D.C. Mills III, 25, a glass minor. 

“It’s a lot of fun to create something when there’s an end game in mind,” he said. “You feel more accomplished because there’s more of a utilitarian aspect to it.” 

For more on JU’s Glass and Ceramics programs, visit http://www.ju.edu/cfa. For more on the 2013 Cummer Ball, visit http://www.cummer.org/2013-cummer-ball.

Here are participants and their works for the Cummer Ball:

Abbie Warnken                               A Gentle Breeze

Alex Borelli                                        Frosted Pitcher Plant

Aly Volk                                               Iceburst

Aly Volk                                               Shades of Green

Amanda Sellars                               Rose Flower Pot

Amanda Sellars                               April Showers

Austin Collins                                  Textured Teal

Ben Reses                                             Tsunami Over Land

Ben Reses                                            Double Tsunami Over Fertile Land

Brett Wickizer                                 Summer Sky

Brett Wickizer                                 Raindrop in the Sky

Brian Frus (Faculty)                   Purple Storm

Cat Plesko, Cassie MacLelellan,

Troy Troupe                                     Midair Tree

Cecilia Matthews                           Flowering Vine Lamp

Cecilia Matthews                           Air, Land, Ocean

Dan Mc Nulty                                   River Run

Dana C. Tupa (Faculty)             Coral Bells

Danny, Nicole, Belinda              Birdhouse

Donald Mills                                      Autumn Vines

Donald Mills                                      Red Dome Light

Donald Mills                                      Green Room

Donald Mills                                      Plum Purdy

Donald Mills                                      Bellflower

Emily Laskelle                                 Waves

Joe Desisto                                         Spring Leaf

Joe Desisto                                         Shower

Jordan Cummings                        Tree-Scape

Josh Hill                                               Midnight Rose Garden

Jules Welch                                       Garden Delight

Justin Ferrell                                    Atlantic Blue Drift

Justin Ferrell                                    Suwannee River Vine Drift

Justin Ferrell                                    St. Johns River Drift

Justin Ferrell                                    Indian River Tiki Drift

Kayla Socha                                        Silly Lilly

Kimberly Fahey                              Spring

Lauren Slater                                    Bird Song

Lee Knaus                                           Aquatic Breath

Maddie Varner                                 Light Like an Egyptian

Miranda, Joshua, Billy               Lucky Gold Tree

Nicole Samek                                    Bombooyah

Tiffany W. Leach (Faculty)     Rose Bloom

Tiffany W. Leach                            Red

Sierra Williamson                         Starry Set

Cathy Agoris (BFA 2012)          Pallid Pinecone

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