Unexpected perspectives have a way of catching our eyes.
SOAR Awards recognizes the individuals and organizations who better the lives of older adults in Summit County in an effort to bring the community together and raise awareness of the growing need for senior programs and services.
Before the event in May, community members place nominations for 7 different awards related to successful aging. Winners are announced during an Oscar-themed evening where awards are presented. Jennifer designs a different award each year, but they all include a feather, representing how the winners have helped seniors soar to success.
Working with glass
Jennifer creates the awards out of architectural window samples. She cuts a stencil out of heat resistant paper and places it on the window pane. Then, she heats the materials for several hours, which leave an impression on the glass. Once the glass portion of the award is complete, she mounts it to a base and adds a plaque.
Jennifer has always has been interested in using glass to make art. In high school, she was inspired by American artist Dale Chihuly, who uses glass blowing techniques to create large sculptures.
She explained that it’s very difficult to do glass blowing on your own, so she started making mosaics. Eventually, she had glass mosaic artwork all around her house and decided that it was time to get a kiln (an oven made for baking pottery and glass).
Using recycled materials and post-consumer glassware to create her art, Jennifer brings new life to bottles, jars, and dishware by melting, fusing, and reshaping the glass. Her pieces are unique and designed to please the eye, engage the mind, and encourage a sustainable perspective.
Jennifer has worked with warm glass for over 7 years and has had her work displayed in galleries, boutiques, and art fairs throughout Northeast Ohio. Her art and jewelry can be found at Summit Artspace, an art center dedicated to making art accessible to the community. It is open to the public on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.
Jennifer has a unique viewpoint on the materials she creates artwork out of. Where others might discard something and forget about it, she focuses her energy on revealing beauty, purpose, and longevity out of it. Each piece has as much of a story behind it as a future in front of it.
At VANTAGE, we know that our senior population is rich with stories and experiences, and they’re not slowing down any time soon. Adults are working longer and volunteering their time to organizations and causes in need. They want to live in their own homes, be active in their neighborhoods, and maintain their well-being.
With small supports from the community – they can.