By Kristi Kates 10/26/09
I cant really say what people like best about my work, Boyne Falls artist Vincent Pernicano says, Im just happy that some find it interesting and tell me that they enjoy it.
Some finding it interesting is an understatement, given the rapidly-growing popularity and acclaim of this skillful artisans creations.
Originally from Detroit - primarily the Ferndale area - Pernicano began traveling Up North in his early 20s for skiing trips, and eventually bought a house with two good friends who left the state and sold their shares to Pernicano, who has lived in that same house with his family for the past 27 years.
My studio is in our home, and I do welcome visitors, but I dont have a formal display area, as space is limited. If I happen to be working when visitors stop by, they are welcome to observe - but, depending on what I am working on, it may be about as interesting as watching paint dry, Pernicano chuckles.
Pernicano says that he practices three variations of technique that use glass as the unifying material.
The first and oldest technique that I developed combines glass with copper, brass and silver overlay to make a variety of jewelry pieces as well as ornaments and sculpture, he explains. For the second technique, I fuse layers of colored glass together in a kiln to make what I call glass stones or jewels; I then use these stones to make pins, pendants and earrings or to embellish various other works. For my third technique, I use glass in combination with painting to create three-dimensional pictures or scenes. I also enjoy glass blowing but only get to practice it occasionally.
As seen in the many bright colors and striking shapes of his works, Pernicano is primarily inspired by nature.
I am inspired in all of my work by everyday life, the natural beauty of our planet, and the mysteries of the universe, he says, I try to create positive images of a better world, and believe that one of reasons we are here is to help evolve life to a higher plane.
Pernicano sells most of his work at art fairs, which he has found the best way to showcase his art.
Art fairs allow people to view a body of work, and also allow me to meet and communicate with those who find it interesting, he says.
BOYNE TO JAPAN
One of those who found his work very interesting indeed is a woman named Midori Ueda-Okahana - who just happens to be the director of the Yokohama International Open-Art Fair in Japan. Meeting Ueda-Okahana would prove to be a wonderful happenstance for Pernicano, who will now be one of only 10 artists from outside of Japan who has received an invitation to show his work at this prestigious event October 30 through November 1.
Last year at the Ann Arbor Art Fair, a woman came into my booth and spent some time looking at my work. She asked me if I would be interested in going to Japan to do an art fair - I told her that I would love to do an art fair in Japan, but I thought that the cost would be prohibitive. She told me that her group was working on ways to financially help the invited artists and that she would be in touch via e-mail. She said that they were inviting a total of ten artists from the U.S. and Canada. A few months later she wrote to say that they were going to pay our transportation to and from Japan, pay the shipping for our work, build display booths for us, and provide translators and take care of customs for us. Delphi Stained Glass, who I buy most of my glass supplies from, has agreed help me with some of my other travel expenses.
The purpose of Ueda-Okahanas organization, she explained, was to promote art and art fairs in Japan. Apparantly, art is only available at this time through galleries in Japan; the art fairs that most Northern Michigan residents and visitors are so used to seeing every summer, where anyone can view and purchase art, simply do not exist, something that Ueda-Okahana is trying to change.
Pernicanos trip to Japan in a couple of weeks - which will be his first art show overseas - will expose his art to a whole new audience; but for him, its just as much about the process as it is the finished product.
I enjoy all aspects of my work, from the original concept to the finished piece, he says, its not a job, its a journey, and at the end of the journey I sometimes have a piece that someone else will enjoy looking at. My greatest reward is the smile I see on the face of someone who has stopped to look at my work.
Vincent Pernicanos artwork may be viewed online at www.blueskyglass.com, which shows a variety of his jewelry and 3-D work, as well as his art show itinerary for the year in Michigan, Ohio, and Florida. Pernicanos fused-glass pendants and earrings are also carried locally by the Art and Soul Gallery in Traverse City.