Some of the most intriguing vitreograph prints that have been created at Littleton Studios over the years are the work of one of its most important associates, Judith O’Rourke.
O'Rourke has been employed at Littleton Studios in Spruce Pine, North Carolina for seventeen years. Her job involves collaborating with artists from the United States and abroad to produce vitreograph prints. Over the years she has worked with artists as varied as glass sculptor Dale Chihuly, Janus Press founder Claire Van Vliet, Czech glass master Stanislav Libenský, Italian abstractionist Emilio Vedova, Wisconsin Surrealist John Wilde and the founder of Littleton Studios, Harvey Littleton.
O'Rourke graduated from Southern Connecticut University in 1982 with a Bachelor of Science in Art and went on to the University of Texas, Austin where she was awarded a Master of Fine Art in 1985. An international program offered by the University of Texas, San Antonio took her to Florence, Italy in 1984 to study intaglio printmaking. O'Rourke began exhibiting her work in 1983 and has an impressive record of one hundred exhibitions, including eleven solo shows, to her credit. Her work in included in the collections of The University of Texas, Austin; Portland Museum of Art, Oregon; John Slade Eli Museum, New Haven, Connecticut; Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia; The Library of Congress, Washington, DC; The University of Mississippi, Oxford and Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut.
The starting point
for O'Rourke's work is the natural world. She has written, "For me,
nature is both external and internal. External nature includes the quality
of the environment around me: changes in the seasons, temperature and
weather, variations in the purity and scent of the air. Internal nature
includes my emotional response to external stimuli and to the sensations
and natural processes within me; processes which are universal to the
human condition. For me nature is not a single tangible thing or set of
things to be literally interpreted. I admire artists as different as Arthur
Dove, Charles Burchfield, Georgia O'Keeffe, Joan Snyder and Bill Jensen
for the way they experience the environment symbolically, abstractly,
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