The Herald Bulletin

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September 28, 2013

Bringing the outside in

Insects become inspiration for glass artist Stephanie Cochran

ANDERSON – Fire and sand. Light and shadow. Fluid and brittle.

From artist Stephanie Cochran’s mind to the simultaneously individual and collective effort of producing glass art, her work literally flows, morphs, solidifies and glows. In the end, it speaks.

The 3D sculptor’s current focus is insects that she uses as metaphors for social subjects, ecological issues and personal history. Cochran brings the outside in with her ants, spiders, mosquitoes, even dung beetles, inhabiting interior spaces while speaking Cochran’s truths and questions.

In its transformative nature, the glass with Which Cochran works is indeed an apt metaphor for a woman on a journey. It’s a journey that only seems to be picking up speed.

“I don’t want to wind down,” The artist, educator, wife and mother speaks with a calm energy.

There’s no evidence of any winding down. Cochran’s latest waypoint, at age 51, is her recently earned bachelor of arts degree in art from Anderson University, nicely punctuated with the collaborative “Open Studio” show at the Jessie C. Wilson Galleries on campus. Now, she will pursue her master of fine arts in sculpture and glass at Ball State University where she has already been auditing classes.

“I want to be one of those really fortunate people that gets to make art,” says Cochran. Her preferred medium, glass, conveys her curiosity about life itself.

“The line between life and death is light,” says Cochran. “Light gets in the glass…it acts like a living thing that holds light.”

A fork in the path

Cochran’s unfolding as an artist came as a surprise on the heels of a career as a wife and mother, managing a herd of goats, making soap, and educating special needs students. As a mature adult, Cochran went to Anderson University with the idea of finishing up a degree in the education field, having discovered she had a gift for working with children with disabilities.

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