“My artwork is directed by my interest in the natural world, the beauty of life and all things living. It is inspired by our connection to place and the interconnected complex of all ecosystems. While urbanization gradually disengages us from the natural world, my work aims to cultivate and foster the environmental consciousness by recording and documenting what I learn from nature.
Through the amalgamation of art and science I seek to understand how we are effecting the environment to learn what we can do to create positive impact. Observation, conservation science and in-depth research inform my work discussing the urgency of climate change and the call to action.
In an era when the world is experiencing immeasurable transformation, an engraving in glass becomes an archival record. In a time when our histories are stored in clouds, an engraving in glass takes a passing moment and saves it as a tangible object. When organic life is expected to move at a digital pace, the very act of engraving becomes a performance.
I am a keeper of our times and a keeper of a dying heritage. And in this slow and meticulous craft, I am reminded that though the hyper speed of the 21st century may disagree, it is OK to Stop. Look. See. Listen. Smell. Touch. Breathe. Think. Learn. To be lost in a world of beautiful ideas.”
April started working with glass in 1997, at open access hot shop studios in her hometown of Seattle, WA. She went on to study at the Australian National University, Canberra, Australia where she graduated with honors in 2004. In 2003, she changed her focus from blown to engraved glass after studying under Czech master engraver, Jiri Harcuba at Pilchuck glass school. Surgent exhibits, teaches and lectures internationally and has received many accolades for her work, including the Neddy Fellowship through the Behnke Foundation and a 2016 USA Ford Fellowship
Interested in marine ecology, she uses experiences of working with conservation research scientists to inform her work aimed at cultivating public awareness about climate change and anthropogenic impact on the environment. In 2013, she worked at Palmer station as a recipient of the National Science Foundation’s, Antarctic Artist and Writers Program and in 2016 as a volunteer field biologist for the Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program. Most recently, Surgent worked from the Farallon Islands National Wildlife Refuge, 30 miles west of San Francisco with Point Blue Conservation and in SW Alaska with the US Geological Survey. Surgent lives and works on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State.
2004 -BFA with Honors, School of Art, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia
Informal Arts Education/Training
2013 - Digital Photography, Northwest Photographic Center, Seattle WA
2006 -Lienors Torre, cold working workshop, Pilchuck Glass School, WA
2003 - Jiri Harcuba, cold-working workshop, Pilchuck Glass School, WA
2018 – ‘A New State of Matter: Contemporary Glass’, Boise Art Museum, ID.
- ‘Portrait of an Ocean’ San Juan Islands Museum of Art, Friday Harbor WA
-‘Charlotte Potter and April Surgent: Cameo Glass in Context’ Curator: Vicki Halper. Wichita Art Museum, Wichita KS.
2017 – ‘Of Sea and Sky’, solo exhibition with catalog, Traver Gallery, Seattle WA
-‘Fired Up: Women in Glass’ Mint Museum, Charlotte, NC
2016 –‘Observations of Life on Ice’ solo exhibition, Museum of Northwest Art, WA
- ‘32°: The Art of Winter’, group exhibition, Shelburne Museum, VT
2015 – ‘Life on Ice’, solo exhibition Heller Gallery, NYC, NY.
2014 – ‘64° South’, Solo exhibition and catalog, Traver Gallery, Seattle, WA.
- ‘Focus, April Surgent’, Heller Gallery, NYC, NY.
2013 - ‘But Mostly Air’, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia.
- ‘Australian Glass Now’, Traver Gallery, Seattle, WA.
-‘LINKS: Australian Glass and the Pacific Northwest’, Museum of Glass, Tacoma, WA
2012 - ‘April Surgent’ Solo exhibition, Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, VA
-‘Chromatic Fusion’, New Mexico Museum of Art, Santa Fe, NM
-’Fifty by Fifty: Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Studio Glass, Muskegon Museum of Art, Muskegon MI.
- ‘G8’, Winston Wachter Fine Art, Seattle, WA, USA.
-‘Images’, Group exhibition, Walter E. Terhune Gallery, Toledo, OH
2011 – “Into the Surface”, Bullseye Gallery, Portland USA.
- Art MRKT San Francisco, represented by Bullseye Gallery, Portland, OR.
2010 – “Into the Surface”, solo exhibition, Bellevue Arts Museum, Bellevue WA.
- “Reflect”, Solo exhibition, Bullseye Gallery, Portland, OR.
- “15 Years of Neddy Artist Fellows”, Tacoma Art Museum, WA.
- ‘Women in Glass’ Group show, Traver Gallery, Seattle, WA.
- Art Miami, Bullseye Gallery, Portland, OR.
2009 – “2009 Neddy Artist Fellowship”, Tacoma Art Museum, Tacoma, WA.
2008 – “Traces of Ourselves”, an exhibition and accompanying catalog, April Surgent and Jiri Harcuba, Bullseye gallery, Portland, Or.
2007 – “COLLECT”, with Bullseye Gallery, Victoria Albert museum, London, UK.
2006 -“A Meandering Tale”, solo exhibition, The Bullseye Gallery, Portland, OR
- “Painting with Light”, group show, Palos Verdes Art Center, CA
2005 -“Seeds of Light’ group show, School of Art Gallery, Canberra, Australia
2004 -“Emerging Artists 2004”, Tobin – Hewett Gallery, Louisville, KY
-“Intersection: The Canberra Connection”, Bullseye Gallery, Portland, OR
Awards, Reviews & Publications
2017 – ‘October Galleries: Apocolypse Now’, Seattle Times exhibition review. October 10, 2017. Michael Upchurch.
2016 – United States Artist Ford Fellow.
2015 – Hauberg Fellow, Pilchuck Glass School, Seattle, WA
-‘Caught in the Act of Science’ American Art Collector #121, Susie Silbert,
- Museum of Glass visiting artist, 5-day hot-shop residency, Tacoma, WA
2014 – ‘Artists in Antarctica’ article, TIME for Kids, David Bjerklie
2013 – Artist in Resident at Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo, OH, USA.
2012 – Museum of Glass visiting artist, 5-day hot-shop residency, Tacoma, USA.
2011 – ‘Artist Choice Award’, Tacoma Museum of Glass auction award, USA.
-‘April Surgent: Forging Relationships in Reflections’ Drawing Magazine. Summer, Naomi Ekperigin
2010 - New Talent Award, Urban Glass, New York, USA.
- Bellevue City Council grant, Bellevue, WA.
- 4Culture grant, Seattle WA.
2009 – Neddy Fellow, Behnke Foundation, Seattle, USA.
2008 – Artist in Residence, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia.
2005 -University Medal, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia
2004 -Embassy of Spain Travelling Scholarship, Canberra, Australia
2000 -2004 -Dean’s List, School of Art, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia
Fieldwork & Research
2018 – Research assistant Cook Inlet, AK. Unites States Geological Survey.
2017/18 – Farallon winter research assistant and artist in residence. Point Blue Conservation and US Fish and Wildlife. Farallon Islands National Wildlife Refuge California.
2016 - Artist in Residence. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program. Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.
2013 – Antarctic Artist and Writers Fellowship recipient. National Science Foundation. Palmer Station. Western Antarctic Peninsula.
2015 – ‘Sea Ice Moves in Spring’ Toledo Museum of Art acquisition, Toledo, OH
2013 – ‘The Valley’, Museum of Glass acquisition, Tacoma, WA.
2011 – ‘Days Gone By’ Ulster Museum acquisition, Belfast, Ireland.
2010 – “Jiri”, Corning Museum of Glass acquisition, Corning, NY
2008 – “Don’t Wait for Me”, Chrysler Museum acquisition, Norfolk, VA
-“But You Wont Look Back” Museum of Glass acquisition, Tacoma, WA
2004 -Australian National University Public Artwork Program, Canberra, Australia
2012 to Present – Pilchuck Glass School Trustee
2017 - ‘Fired Up: Women in Glass’ Panelist moderated by Annie Carlano. Mint Museum, Charlotte, NC
2015 – ‘Icy Inspirations’ panelist moderated by Andrew Page, SOFA, Chicago.
-Engraving and Printing class, Instructor, Corning Studio, Corning, NY.
2014 – Presenter at SOFA, Chicago.
-Review panelist for NSF Antarctic Artist and Writer Program
2013 – Engraving and Printing class, Instructor, Corning Studio, Corning, NY.
2012 – Engraving class, teaching with Jiri Harcuba, Corning Studio, Corning, NY.
2011 – Engraving class, teaching with Jiri Harcuba, Pilchuck Glass School, WA
2010 – Meet the Artist lecture, Corning Museum of Glass, NY
- Panelist for: Jaraslava Brychtova, Woman in Glass Forum, Seattle, WA.
2009 – Lecture Tour, Presenting at eight Universities throughout the UK sponsored and organized by Bullseye Gallery, Portland, OR.
2008 – Co-instructor with Jiri Harcuba, North Lands Creative Glass, Scotland
- Engraving class, teaching with Jiri Harcuba, Pilchuck Glass School WA