Wonderfully Made uses glass, paint to explore identity, belonging and worth

By Kitsey E. Burns

April 25, 2014

YADKINVILLE — Wonderfully Made, the newest exhibit by painter Cory Willingham and glass blower Nicolas van der Does, opens in the Welborn Gallery on May 2 with a reception at 5:30 p.m. The show will run through June 29.

The gallery reception is free to the public. Willingham and van der Does will be on hand to discuss their work and answer questions from visitors. Complimentary refreshments and wine will be served.

Through Wonderfully Made, the artists explore what it means to feel rooted in heritage and how people determine their unique value. Willingham and van der Does draw upon their own experiences, traditions, and faith to create a body of work which questions how and from where we draw our sense of identity, belonging and worth.

Van der Does has been blowing glass for more than nine years, and now works and teaches at several studios in New Orleans. His latest work highlights his exquisite use of bold color and organic form to create unique and striking pieces. For this show, he has created a series of three “families,” each a collection of related works meant to be considered both individually and as part of its group.

Willingham has been painting for more than 20 years, and now works in New Orleans as a stage set designer, builder, and painter. Since the backdrops she paints at work average 65 feet in length and 30 feet in height and are meant to be viewed from the back of a theater, painting on 2-by-4-foot canvases at home feels oddly intimate, resulting in very personal works meant to be seen closely and thoughtfully.

Willingham and van der Does met in 2009 while earning their Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees in Jacksonville, Fla. Married in December of 2012, they are now growing their own roots in New Orleans, La., where they create art, debate about food and wine, and spoil their cat, Bacon.