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Toledo Museum of Art selects Percy Echols II as 50th Guest Artist Pavilion Project (GAPP) artist in residence

Echols Art Example
Image courtesy of the artist

Pittsburgh-based glass artist Percy Echols II has been selected as the 50th Guest Artist Pavilion Project (GAPP) artist in residence at the Toledo Museum of Art (TMA). Since its opening in 2006, the Glass Pavilion has uniquely combined its role as the home of one of the world’s great glass collections with its place as a working glass studio. GAPP invites the most influential and up-and-coming glass artists in the world to create new work in glass and share their processes with the public.

Echols is in residence from Feb. 2 through Feb. 11 and will present a free Zoom artist’s talk on Friday, Feb. 11, at 7 p.m. Pre-registration for this event is required and available online at toledomuseum.org.

“Percy Echols II is a pioneering glass artist whose work in Plasma Light Sculpture is both unique and intriguing. We’re delighted that he will be sharing his talents with us as our 50th GAPP artist,” said Alan Iwamura, glass studio manager at the Toledo Museum of Art.

“I am a glass artist, but I would consider my practice that of alchemy, where I combine ideas, materials and processes to produce new items, expressions and or knowledge,” Echols said. “For the most part, I try to find intuitive ways to explore ideas. I'm most passionate about Plasma Light Sculpture, a process requiring the technical and artistic expressions of glass blowing with the alchemical and scientific application of electrified gases and specialized equipment that you would also find used in neon.”

Numerous galleries and art centers have featured his work, including the Hodge Gallery at Pittsburgh Glass Center (PBC); Krasl Art Center, Michigan; Fondazione Berengo, Murano, Italy; BoxHeart Gallery, Los Angeles; Ramp-Arts; and Illinois State University, Bloomington. Echols has received many grants and awards, including the Pittsburgh Foundation and The Heinz Endowments, for advancing Black Art in Pittsburgh and the Edwin Niemi Metals Scholarship, Illinois State University. He is the curator of the 2021 exhibition: LIT: Light in Transmission, A Neon and Plasma Light Exhibition at the Hodge Gallery, Pittsburgh Glass Center.

Echols created the podcast entitled Taming Lightning, which he describes as “a series of conversations to help expand our understanding of Plasma and Neon Light, looking beyond its associations with novelty and sign-making and exploring the potential for Noble Gases as an artistic medium – with each guest sharing their unique knowledge and experience.”

Echols holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in studio glass from Illinois State University, Normal, Illinois.