SAMUEL A. HODGE
FOLK ART SCULPTURED IN STAINED GLASS
My participation in art began in 1959 while stationed at Kadena Air Force base in Okinawa. I purchased an ivory slide rule and decided that I wanted to make a fancy leather case for it. There happened to be a modem hobby shop on the base. I learned the art of leather craft in this facility. The Assistant Director, James Offert, was a Master Artist/Craftsman who had developed many innovations-trade secrets.., that he finally shared with me. In addition, I learned the fiundamentals of photography. For many years I designed and crafted pictures in the above formats. In 1987, I converted the above media experience into the depiction of African-American history and culture in the medium of stained glass, in the traditions of Lawrence, Bearden, Johnson, and Green, four famous African American folk artists.
While working as an Institutional Teacher at the Highland Training School for Children, Highland, NY, I began to utilize the arts and crafts in conjunction with my academic classroom work to motivate and establish rapport with my students. One of the crafts I taught them was how to use yarn, burlap, and a needle to make beautiful creations designed to hang on a wall like a painting. Because this process was slow and tedious I only made a few pictures using this method. Subsequently, I procured a teaching position at the Dutchess Community College, Poughkeepsie, NY and during one of our winter recesses I was walking the Fishkill Mall, Fishkill, NY, just south of the college, and happened upon a shop in the mall that made and sold the rug tufting technology. I was fascinated by rug tufting and immediately purchased the required equipment and to date have made some two dozen works of art in this medium. Nevertheless, when I accidentally got involved in the making of pictures in stained glass, I put rug tufting on hold. However, I was wise enough to carefully store my tools away in case I might need them again. This has proven to be the case. Rug tufting renewal... In 1988 I shifted from this medium to stained glass. Since relocating to Spartanburg, SC, the textile capital of the country, I have acquired a new interest in my rug tufting. At all future exhibits, I will be displaying both stained glass and rug tufting."
1993... First prize award (Carnival) at the Mount St. Mary College Annual "Artist On Campus Exhibition, 6/93. First Prize Award (Gospel) at the "Art in the Park Art Exhibition, Middletown, NY, 7/93.
1995... Spring Fling Spartanburg, SC, Honorable Mention Ribbon: "Dizzy 4/95. Spring Fling Spartanburg, SC, Spartanburg County Fair, 10/95. Piedmont County Fair, Second Place Fine Arts: "James Brown.-It's A Man's World .
1996 Spartanburg Center - One Man Show - 2/1/96 to 3/10/96. Evening of Jazz featuring the Tony Bennett Band and Musical Creations in Stained Glass displayed at the affair at the University of SC, Spartanburg. · Diaspora Art Gallery, Atlanta, GA; Black Arts Festival 1996. · "Praising the Bridges That Carried Us Over, Savannah, GA July 1996. · Blue Spiral Art Gallery: Images of Faith, Asheville, NC. December 1996. · Diaspora Arts, Atlanta GA