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Kelly O’Dell’s hot glass sculpture speaks to the devastating impact of the human race on species in the wild and embodies the Latin phrase “memento mori,” meaning “remember death.”  Using the fragility and translucency of glass to create ghost-like animals in an homage to all that have been lost never to return, the artist endeavors to inspire environmentally-mindful changes in our daily routines while providing hope for a different future.   


From October 5, 2018 through January 22, 2019, the Pittsburgh Glass Center’s Hodge Gallery presents All of a Suddens, an exhibition exploring existence and extinction, preservation and decay.The focal point of O’Dell’s solo show, “Critical Masse” features 13 endangered species mounted on the wall in clusters. Her “Ghost Animals” mimic hunting trophies displayed in a game room and highlight the 100 to 1,000 species that are lost per million per year primarily due to human-caused habitat destruction and climate change.


“My upbringing in the Hawaiian Islands inspired my love of oceans. Coming from a place so diverse in culture, climate, and teeming with flora and fauna, I feel a servitude or responsibility to honor what is lost or extinct. It’s fascinating and devastating that our presence as one species has so much impact of the delicate balance of life.”


Born in Seattle in 1973, O’Dell was raised in Hawai’i, the daughter of artists who used stained glass, furnace glass, and pressed flowers in their artwork. As a student at the University of Hawai’i, O’Dell fell in love with glass herself. The program offered many opportunities to study at Pilchuck Glass School, Stanwood, Washington, where she eventually relocated and became a member of the William Morris winter crew.


From September 9 -14, 2018, O’Dell and husband Raven Skyriver will co-teach in Bornholm, Denmark, at the Royal Danish Academy of the Arts in an event open to the general public, followed by a demo at Glasmuseet Ebeltoft,Ebeltoft, Denmark.From October 4 – 7, Skyriver will demo at the International Glass Symposium in Novy Bor, Czech Republic, while O’Dell heads to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, for the opening of All of the Suddens. In 2019, O’Dell and Skyriver will be working hard to move into their new home and studio on Lopez Island, made possible by a recent successful Kickstarter campaign.  


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