Legacy of glass: a former professor’s last tribute

Palomar’s Boehm Gallery exhibited former professor, Garry Cohen’s work in his most recent exhibition, Journey Through the Burning Sands.

A large crowd of friends, admirers, colleagues, and students filled the Boehm Gallery as it hosted a reception for Garry Cohen’s show “Journey through the Burning Sands”, December 1st 2017. Cohen was a longtime fixture in the Palomar glass blowing program. Scott Engrav / The Telescope

A large crowd of friends, admirers, colleagues, and students filled the Boehm Gallery as it hosted a reception for Garry Cohen’s show “Journey through the Burning Sands”, December 1st 2017. Cohen was a longtime fixture in the Palomar glass blowing program. Scott Engrav / The Telescope

The exhibit included some of Garry’s most recent pieces. The art work was more of an abstract style, using a lot of vibrant colors and an array of techniques and patterns. The art work as a whole, seemed to be very nature inspired, with pieces such as bugs, flowers, mushrooms and many other similarly nature inspired pieces. Garry’s pieces came in many shapes, sizes and forms as well. Throughout the exhibit, there were examples of bowls, vases, plaques and figurines, each intricately designed and created.

Garry Cohen has been crafting his glass art for over 30 years. He was the glass blowing director for Palomar’s glass blowing program for 12 years before he retired. Since then, Garry has been diagnosed with a form of terminal cancer, and now spends most of his time working on new projects and pieces at his studio, Glass Ranch Studio. In his Art State Poster, Garry says “When I became interested in art, the philosophy of the craft process requiring a fundamental knowledge of how to put parts together helped me develop a personal aesthetic which runs most of my work today.”

Garry Cohen shares a laugh with longtime friend Ian Thompson at the Boehm Gallery reception in honor of Cohen’s show “Journey through the Burning Sands”, December 1, 2017. Scott Engrav / The Telescope

Garry Cohen shares a laugh with longtime friend Ian Thompson at the Boehm Gallery reception in honor of Cohen’s show “Journey through the Burning Sands”, December 1, 2017. Scott Engrav / The Telescope

Garry had a large impact on the glass blowing program at Palomar, “He was very influential on the kind of work that was being made…” says Sasha Jonestein, Palomar’s ceramics instructor. She goes on to say “…the faculty will really influence whether it’s a production glass studio or a sculptural glass, so he really had a lot of students that were going out into the industry and making production glass”.

One of the artworks by Gary Cohen, longtime teacher and icon of the Palomar Art Department’s glass blowing program, featured in the exhibit “Across the Burning Sands”, December 1, 2017 at the Boehm Gallery. Scott Engrav / The Telescope

One of the artworks by Gary Cohen, longtime teacher and icon of the Palomar Art Department’s glass blowing program, featured in the exhibit “Across the Burning Sands”, December 1, 2017 at the Boehm Gallery. Scott Engrav / The Telescope

Journey Through the Burning Sands was a “legacy show”, and Garry’s legacy will continue on through his work, and the work produced by his students. Garry says “I believe that art is not just items to be viewed in a gallery or museum venue but to be enjoyed individually and incorporated into the daily life and to enhance the quality of one’s experience”.

Garry’s exhibit is still at the Boehm Gallery, and will remain there until December 8th. For more information about current, past, or upcoming shows, please visit The Boehm Gallery’s website at http://www2.palomar.edu/boehmgallery/ or call/ email them at (760) 744-1150, Ext. 2304/ boehmgallery@gmail.com.

Garry Cohen, longtime teacher and icon of the Palomar Art Department’s glass blowing program, was surrounded by dozens of friends, colleagues, students, and admirers at the opening reception for his show “Journey Through the Burning Sands”, December 1, 2017 at the Boehm Gallery. Scott Engrav / The Telescope

Garry Cohen, longtime teacher and icon of the Palomar Art Department’s glass blowing program, was surrounded by dozens of friends, colleagues, students, and admirers at the opening reception for his show “Journey Through the Burning Sands”, December 1, 2017 at the Boehm Gallery. Scott Engrav / The Telescope

Leila Figueroa

Author: Leila Figueroa

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2 Comments

  1. Absolutely great article What a lovely Thing to do for Garry….Couldn’t be any better just wish We could be there. Absolutely terrific. Such a lovely work and such a fantastic guy. He deserves all the accolades

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    • 5-16-18 Great teacher, fantastic artist–better human being. Last time I saw Gary was a few years ago at Doug Durant’s homage in Temecula–Two of the reasons why Palomar produced so many great artist.

      Will be missed.

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