SBVC Students Compose “Symphonies in Glass” With Renowned Artists

An art display during the ‘Masters of Matter’ exhibit in the Clara and Allen Gresham Art Gallery.

Students at San Bernardino Valley College were able to spend one-on-one time with two renowned artists — ceramicist Hsin-Chuen Lin and glass artist Cassandra Straubing — as they conducted workshops on campus.

“These are concrete examples of people who are thriving, and that is extremely valuable for students to see up close and personal,” Prof. Jim Stewart said. “When they see these events and have these experiences first hand, it becomes a real thing.”

The “Masters of Matter” exhibit in the Gresham Art Gallery ran from March 20 to April 7, and featured glass and ceramic art by Straubing, the glass faculty head and studio coordinator at San Jose State University, and Lin, who has nearly 50,000 subscribers to his YouTube page. Straubing conducted a one-day workshop, while Lin spent three days working with the students. Stewart publicized the workshops on EventBrite, and some of Lin’s fans from as far away as Pennsylvania flew out to attend. About 150 SBVC students participated, as well as local high schoolers and students from other colleges.

“It was a really good experience and we showed people what our program is about,” Stewart said. “At the same time, it got students motivated about being creative and using these materials in a creative, collaborative way.”

Renowned glass artist Cassandra Straubing, whose parents taught jewelry-making at SBVC in the 1970s.During the first workshop, students worked with Straubing, whose parents taught jewelry-making at SBVC in the 1970s, to make a sculptural glass composite piece that was created using different techniques.

“It was like composing a symphony, only in glass,” Stewart said.

The glass program was started at SBVC in 1974, and remains one of the best programs in the state, offering comprehensive classes in a first-class facility with dedicated faculty.

“Art is essential to existence,” Stewart said. “Wherever you go in the world, people are making things.”