Bright colors, Alaskana define local artists First Friday glass showcase

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Winter's Edge
“Winter’s Edge” by Margaret Donat.

While Margaret Donat would never admit it, she’s something of an artistic polymath. While primarily a watercolor artist, she taught art for 34 years and has worked in numerous mediums, including ceramics, printmaking, jewelry, metals, and drawing. Her show this February will feature artistic works created with glass.

“Glass is my newest medium,” Donat said, “so this show has really been a challenge.”

Donat fell in love with glass about 4 years ago. Its bright colors and luminosity attracted were what first attracted her to the medium. Many of the pieces to be on display are layered and have been kiln-fired multiple times in order to help create Donat’s three-dimensional paintings in glass.

“My goal was to push myself beyond what I usually make with glass and feature some of the qualities I love about birch and ravens.”

Her show “Birch and Birds: Experiments in Glass” will debut at Well Street Art on First Friday, February 5. The show – as the title belies – will “capture some of the fascinating qualities” of birch trees and ravens. “It might seem like a weird combination, but they do have similarities,” Donat said.

Sunlit Forest
“Sunlit Forest” by Margaret Donat.

During the summer of 2015, Donat moved to the hills surrounding Fairbanks.”The birch trees are beautiful and constantly changing with the light and the weather,” she explains. “It is like each tree has it’s own personality yet they move and sway together like they’re family.” The trees, in turn, may appear powerful and majestic, elegant and playful, mysterious or bedraggled.

Like the birch trees, each raven has it’s own personality: they can look regal or ragged. “We see them strutting around like powerful creatures that own the world,” Donat said. “Their shadowy figures can be intimidating and yet there is nothing more elegant than a soaring raven.”

“When you see my work I hope you feel the energy and joy I experienced as I created it,” Donat said. “I hope it helps you see your world in a new and fresh way.”