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2008 Emerging Artists

Author: Jennifer Cushman
Issue: March, 2008, Page 145


Angela Babby wasn’t permitted to enter her stained-glass mosaics in a competition the first year she participated in the Santa Fe Indian Market, despite the fact that she was juried into the show with photographs and accurate descriptions of her work. Her art had been mistaken for painting, and a category in which to judge her medium did not exist.

Orange Prickly Pear
The following year, in 2004, the Southwestern Association of Indian Arts (SWAIA), which sponsors the Santa Fe Indian Market, created a new art-competition class, Non-Traditional and Diverse. Babby entered and won Third Place. In 2006, the SWAIA Board of Directors honored her with a prestigious fellowship, and she went on to take First and Second Place in her division that year.

When looking at Babby’s art, it becomes understandable why SWAIA’s judges initially had classified her as a painter. Her figurative portraits are so painterly in their execution that one cannot simply rely on the sense of sight alone. “People have to touch my work to know it’s glass,” she relates. “That’s why I am so obsessed. It combines everything I’m passionate about into one medium that drives me crazy with possibility.”

The Montana artist, who until recently lived in Fountain Hills, Arizona, says she averages 150 hours on each large mosaic she creates.

Her process includes sketching a design, choosing glass, cutting and grinding each piece of glass, painting faces and details for a multi-step enameling and firing process, adhering glass to tile board and grouting.

 “I want to capture something intangible in my work. I am trying to convey a feeling, an emotion that comes from my own personal exploration of what moves me intellectually, spiritually and visually,” she notes.

ANGELA BABBY: Stained glass
Age: 44
Place of Residence: Billings, Montana
Education: Bachelor of fine arts degree, with an emphasis in painting, Montana State University, Billings, Montana, 1990
Gallery Representation: Blue Coyote Gallery, Cave Creek, Arizona; Arlene Siegel Gallery, Santa Fe; Depot Gallery, Red Lodge, Montana
Exhibitions and Honors of Note: Permanent collection of the Akta Lakota Museum, Chamberlain, South Dakota; 2006 Southwestern Association of Indian Arts (SWAIA) Fellowship; 2006 SWAIA First  and Second Place awards in the Non-Traditional and Diverse category; 2004 Third Place ribbon Santa Fe Indian Market; 2007 Third Place ribbon Santa Fe Indian Market. Participates in the Heard Museum Indian Art Markets and the Santa Fe Indian Art Markets
Web site:
Quote: “Glass mosaic is an unexplored medium that has overwhelming possibilities and thrills me with its potential applications.”

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