Oregon Coast Council for the Arts is honored to showcase the wonderous glassworks of a Pacific Northwest legend — Chuck Franklin — in this, his 50th year working with stained glass. A Life in Glass will be on display in the Runyan Gallery, on the first floor of the Newport Visual Arts Center, from March 1st through May 19th, 2024.
This feast-for-the-eyes exhibit highlights the skill and scope of technical and design variety that is only earned from a lifetime of passionate dedication to one’s art. While the majority of works on display are being shown for the first time, the show will also include works that date back to the early years of Franklin’s career, circa 1980. The large windows at the VAC, working in tandem with longer days and increased sunlight, should make for a spectacular, colorful display in the Runyan Gallery. Franklin’s glass creations will also be on display in the building’s second-story windows, allowing them to be visible from the sandy shores of Nye Beach.
Chuck Franklin began working in stained glass in Portland in 1974. Specializing in commission work, he created residential, commercial, and religious art with a studio that – at its peak – had 20 full-time employees. Their work can be seen across the country in public art spaces, including several restaurant chains, casinos, churches, and businesses. Public art in Oregon includes stained glass at the libraries in Lebanon and Sweet Home, as well as the Beaverton City Hall.
In 2002, Franklin was featured on Oregon Public Broadcasting’s Oregon Art Beat, and in 2008 he was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Art Glass Association of America. In 2015 he retired from the Portland Studio, and he and his wife moved to Waldport, Oregon. Since moving to the Oregon coast, Chuck has continued to create one-of-a-kind pieces, working closely with clients to bring color and beauty into their spaces. He maintains a small studio where he creates works of art for galleries, shows, and selected commissions.
“The combination of color, line, and light was always appealing to me, both from an artistic and technical standpoint,” said Franklin. “Since retiring to the coast, I’ve found that the ocean and the beach have had an influence on my work, both in designs and materials used. I’ve also found that, even in retirement, the joy of painting with glass has never left me.”