Transformations in Glass: Vitreous Funk, Fantasy, and Light

Exhibition Dates: Oct 1, 2022 – Feb 5, 2023

Claremont Lewis Museum of Art, 200 W. First St, Claremont

For Immediate Release

July 26, 2022

Press Contact: Catherine McIntosh

909 626-1386, cell 713 829-9338

Transformations in Glass: Vitreous Funk, Fantasy, and Light presents the work of Kéké Cribbs, Richard Marquis, and David Svenson, recognized glass artists who were influenced by the Claremont art community during a pivotal time in their artistic development. The exhibition of blown glass objects, sculptures, mosaics, and works in neon will open Saturday, October 1, with a public opening reception from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the Claremont Lewis Museum of Art. The exhibition, will remain on view through February 5, 2023.

The Claremont Lewis Museum of Art is located in the historic Claremont Depot at 200 W. First Street next to the Metrolink Station. The Museum is open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, from noon to 4 p.m. Admission is free every Friday. For more information visit


All three artists were influenced by Richard Petterson, a pioneer in the ceramic and glass movement who was a ceramic professor at Scripps College, and director of the Fine Arts Building at the Los Angeles County Fair for over 30 years. In the early 1990s David Svenson met Kéké Cribbs and Richard Marquis at the Pilchuck Glass School. When he learned how they were all influenced by the Claremont art community in the 1960s, the idea for the exhibition was born. Each artist has followed their own unique path, but they share a passionate obsession with glass techniques.

This exhibit solidifies a complete circle in these artists’ careers, with David and Kéké honoring Richard Marquis for the knowledge and inspiration that he has given them. Seattle art critic Regina Hackett once wrote and was quoted at the Corning Museum of Glass that, “If Dale Chihuly is the tide that raised all boats, Richard Marquis is the craft intelligence that makes them seaworthy.”


Kéké Cribbs is a self-taught mixed media artist who spent her middle and high school years in Claremont from 1962 to 1966, while her mother Ann Cribbs attended the Claremont Graduate School as an English major pursuing her Doctorate. “Claremont had a huge effect on my teen years; it was full of artists and our house seemed to be a center of intellectual and artistic exchange. I was surrounded by art and artists, and even took Life Drawing classes at Scripps; these were all instrumental in my continuing journey and faith that I could be an artist.”

Kéké explores a myriad of glass techniques including sandblasting, engraving and painting with vitreous enamels creating her dreamworld of storytelling. She has been pursuing her path of artmaking nonstop for over 42 years with work in permanent collections of 21 museums internationally.

Richard Marquis is an internationally acclaimed glass artist who graduated from Upland High School in the early 1960’s. During these formative years he was exposed to the ceramic and arts and craft movement centered around Scripps College and the LA County Fair art exhibits. This led to an internship in the Millard Sheets studio. Upon graduation in 1963 he pursued architecture at UC Berkeley then transferred to the design department to study ceramic and glass under Peter Voulkos, Ron Nagle, and Marvin Lipofsky.

Marquis began his art career during the blossoming of the California Ceramic “Funk” art movement which emphasized serious commentary on the current social and political situations. He soon evolved to the “Finish Fetish” movement applying his newly found medium of glass to his social commentary and personal humor. He was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship in 1969 to study glass in Murano, Italy and those traditions would forever change his approach to his artistic process and understanding of glass.

David Svenson grew up surrounded by the 1950s and 1960s Claremont art community and the activities at the LA County Fair Fine Arts Building. In 1967, at age 14, he was introduced to the traditions of Northern Tlingit totemic carving and culture at a Fair exhibit. Upon graduating from Pitzer College David turned down an acceptance to Alfred University Graduate School to pursue further study of totemic art in Klukwan, Alaska. Klukwan is the mother home of the Northern Tlingit people. Their art and culture influenced his art and life to the present day.

David Svenson has been incorporating neon into his work since the mid-1980s. In some works, the glass and neon elements are used with carved wood or other sculptural materials to lend the works a subtle glow of colored light. In addition to working in his studio, David teaches numerous workshops, and works periodically with a team of Alaska Native totem carvers.