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Michael Mentz

Artist Statement

As an artist, I allow my audience opportunities for reflection. My artworks challenge the participant to slow their conscious stream, and mindfully examine how it flows and to where it may be heading.

As a glass artist, I utilize line pattern and exploit the optic qualities of glass in the creation of interactive, sculptural objects. The intuitive, yet curious qualities of the interactive behave as a device, allowing a participant to approach, take action, and reflect upon the object’s reaction. The work explores topics relating to self-identity and its formation, interdependence, kinetic potential, and cultivating mindfulness.

Brass provides qualities which allow for the mechanical aspects within the work. These mechanisms bring to life the formal patterns and line qualities that decorate the surfaces of glass elements. When activated through interaction, illusory pattern effectively brings the participants mind to a place of rest, calmness, even clarity.

My actions as a maker are transferred to my audience through the format of an interactive. Providing moments of introspection for the participants of my artworks provides me with a sense of purposeful action.

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Mike Mentz is an emerging artist who first began working with glass ten years ago while exploring the craft under the instruction of current CIA Glass Chair, Ben Johnson. He continued his artistic practice while attending and later graduating from the Cleveland Institute of Arts 18’ earning his BFA in glass studies. Post-graduation, Mentz began seriously pursuing his craft while working and teaching glass courses at the University of Montana Western as the Working Artist in Residence. After completing his travels and work in the western united states, Mentz now continues his practice while working for The Flint Institute of Arts as the Glass Programs Assistant. Living and working in Flint, Michigan he explores his love for glass through performing public demonstrations, teaching glass courses, and continuing to create one of a kind works of Art.

Mentz’s personal art practice primarily explores the concepts of interdependence and co- creation of self-identity through the mechanisms of interactive artworks. He hopes to engage his audience by creating opportunities for self-reflection and inner rumination. In this way, Mentz’s works provide him with a sense of purposeful action.