Art and science have joined together in two new exhibits at the Longview Museum of Fine Arts

Works by artists Simon Waranch and Liz Hickok are on display at the museum through Sept. 21,  with an opening reception for museum members and their guests at 7 p.m. Saturday.  Tiffany Jehorek, the museum's executor director and curator, said she is excited for the two artists to have their works on exhibit. Waranch captures his imagination through glass, while Hickok works through photographic constructions.

“Simon and Liz showcase a new and interesting twist to the common art we know. Both bring a scientific aspect and we hope it’ll bring in a younger audience and encourage them to be more creative," Jehorek said.

“Young Maestro!” by Simon Waranch

Waranch's exhibit consists of several different series he has created, including “Humans” and “Clouds.” With more than 5,000 hours of work invested in the show, Waranch said he is excited to expose Longview to a new perspective of glass as an art form.

With strong artistic influences from family at a young age, Waranch attended Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas. He started glassblowing at age 15 while working in an apprenticeship at a glass art studio. He said he has no plans to stop doing what he loves.

Waranch chose the title, “Young Maestro!” to somewhat symbolize his artistic journey. To gain the title of maestro within the glass art industry, artists must practice until they mastered the art. Having worked with glass for the past five years, Waranch is striving toward the title with each piece he creates.

Waranch said his greatest achievement and piece he is most proud is not glass at all, but rather a painting he started at age 9.

“I would hang it up for a while, and then decide that it wasn’t done, so I would take it down and work on it more,” Waranch said. “It’s more than just some different colors on a canvas. You have to really get up close and look at it to see all the detail.”

Many of Waranch’s works are for sale, including pieces from his “Clouds” and “Humans” series. Waranch also will be at the museum during ArtWalk Longview, from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday downtown.

“Intimate Immensity” by Liz Hickok

A San Francisco based artist, Hickok was creative from a young age. Always drawing and coloring, she found new and interesting ways to express her creativity.

While studying for her Master of Fine Arts from Mills College in Oakland, California, Hickok started working on her “Cityscapes in Jell-O” project. She created a scene with props and a backdrop, then added in Jell-O she molded to represent different aspects of the city.

Hickok soon found a new inspiration through a “Magic Garden” art set which allows the user to grow crystals. She knew immediately that she had to incorporate them into her art, and created her “Ground Waters (Crystal Worlds)” exhibit.

Similar to the Jell-O art, the crystals were continually changing, so the art of capturing them with different colors and scales brings out the uniqueness of each work. The crystal scenes are submerged in a crystal solution, bringing the art to new depths.

“I’ve always been drawn to material, both conceptually and physically. I’m drawn to stuff,” Hickok said. “I use the material to suggest a deeper level of meaning, in this case using the shapes and molds the crystal grows on to represent the environment.”

Hickok also is displaying “Sets and Tests,” which are experiments with the crystals that she did while creating her “Ground Waters” exhibit. These include different color combinations and shapes that did not turn out as desired.

Hickok also shared the scientific aspect of her “Crystal Worlds” exhibit with students in the art museum's ArtWorks. Children were able to create their own crystal worlds, making forms out of wire and tin foil.

“They have been growing and will be put on display when the exhibits open,” Hickok said. “All the kids will be so excited to see their work on display.”

A section of Hickok’s exhibit incorporates augmented reality. Visitors can use an iPad provided to watch the images come to life through a time-lapsed video of the work.

“The augmented reality brings another layer of science to my art, and makes it interactive for the audience,” Hickok said.

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