Ralph Harvey Retrospective
A History of Studio Glass Education in the Rural South
Haley Gallery, September 24 - January 23, 2016
This exhibition is a collaboration between the Albany Museum of Art and Georgia Southwestern State University to showcase one of the hidden gems of the Southwest Georgia area, namely the art works and influences of GSW Professor Emeritus Ralph Harvey and the glass studio program he helped bring to the university.
For more than twenty-five years Ralph Harvey worked to engage his students at GSW through workshops, demonstrations, and collaborations with visiting glass artists. Now retired, and with the title of professor emeritus, Ralph Harvey still works to bring recognition to the studio glass movement and the artists who study here in Southwest Georgia.
The Albany Museum of Art’s retrospective exhibition covers more than five decades of Harvey’s works, following the progression of the artist’s vision from his days as a painting major at the University of Iowa through the years he was the glassblowing instructor at Georgia Southwestern State and on to his current work.
Included in the selection of works are paintings, drawings, and sketches from the artist’s early years as well as ceramic and glass pieces he produced as a university professor and Georgia resident. Also included are works in collaboration with other artists such as Fritz Dreisbach and Jerry Hovanec, as well as alumni of the GSW art program who have gone on to become professional studio artists. This latter group is comprised of artists from all over the globe who came here to study and work within the studio glass program and later returned home to spread the influence of rural Southwest Georgia’s studio glass program all around the world.
The exhibit covers the galleries of the museum’s ground floor and is divided into three components.
The first is the Haley Gallery, which contains the chronology of the artist’s works. These works begin with Harvey’s 1960s college works, mostly paintings and two-dimensional pieces, and show the drafting skills the artist would later incorporate into his three-dimensional glass productions. Other pieces look at the works the artist produced as he moved off the wall and into the round, working both with clay and glass.