Lakotan artist Angela Babby (Oglala Sioux Tribe) is featured in the exhibit Vitreous Visions: The Glass Art of Angela Babby, opening in the Northern Trust Gallery on September 3. This represents the first time Angela is featured in a one-person show at this museum. Angela has previously exhibited in a series of group shows originated by the Center for American Indian Research and Native Studies including Articles of a Treaty on display in the S. K. Johnston, Jr. Family Gallery summer 2022.
Babby describes the process of creating her glass art as cycles of three different mediums: stained glass, vitreous enameling and tile work. She says her Lakota ancestry and the mysterious nature of glass inspires her fascination with making art. Angela’s finished glass works are truly a tour de force of the glass process. Angela Babby is included among other artists represented in the color-illustrated, 191-page book, Clearly Indigenous – Native Visions Reimagined in Glass, written by Letitia Chambers, about the history of American Indian Glass Art. Chambers describes the Native Glass Art movement as having emerged in the 1970s with the coming together of contemporary Native American art and the rise of the studio glass movement. Chambers’ superb publication is available in the Museum Store.
An artists’ reception to meet the Artists in Residence, Richard Red Owl & Roger Broer and Angela Babby takes place on Saturday, September 10, from 5 to 7 PM. This reception is offered free and open to the public.
“My Lakota ancestry and the mysterious nature of glass inspire my fascination with making art. Glass contains light. When I depict a person from the past in glass it has a three dimensional depth that I could never achieve with paint.My artworks are glass mosaic tiles.
Most of my images are based on black and white figurative photographs of my ancestors. Color is central for emotional power but the true value of an artwork lies in its ability to communicate directly with the viewer.
The saturated colors, transparent and light capturing qualities, iridescence, textures and patterns of glass captivate me. My artwork requires a myriad of steps to coax the contrasting areas to coalesce. Each artwork that I create cycles through three different mediums: stained glass, vitreous enameling and tile work. All of the pieces of glass must be hand cut and ground, some or all of the pieces are painted with glass enamel (powdered glass and a medium) and fired slowly in a kiln to over 1000 degrees (often multiple times) creating a glass on glass piece, all are then set in place by hand. Only after the very last step – the application of custom-tinted mortar – the whole becomes visible for the first time.” Angela Babby
Angela Babby, born in Everett, Washington, is an enrolled member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe in Pine Ridge, South Dakota. She received her B.F.A. in Fine Art (Painting) from Montana State University-Billings. Babby’s artwork has been featured in professional publications including Glass Art Magazine and First American Art Magazine and is housed in permanent museum collections in South Dakota. Her kiln-fired enameled glass mosaics have won numerous awards at Santa Fe Indian Market, the Red Cloud Art Show in Pine Ridge, Best of Show at the Native Pop Art Show in Rapid City and at the Northern Plains Indian Art Market in Sioux Falls, South, Dakota. She’s won best of class at the Heard Indian Art Market in Phoenix, Arizona. She is currently part of the “Clearly Indigenous: Native Visions Reimagined in Glass”; the first Museum Group Show of Native Americans working in the medium. The show started at MIAC, in Santa Fe and will travel to other museums later this year. Angela lives and works in Billings, Montana.