A glass sculpture created by April Wagner, owner of Pontiac-based Epiphany Glass, will be the centerpiece of the new art gallery at The Inn at Harbor Shores, a 92-room hotel that recently opened in the 530-acre Harbor Shores development in St. Joseph.
The chandelier, called L’eau de Vie, meaning water of life, measures 8 feet wide and 10 feet high and is comprised of 48 LED dimmable lights.
“Unlike my other pieces where I assemble it at the studio, this piece was assembled on-site — each of the approximately 200 cables needed to be hung and then each of the 550 or so pieces of glass needed to be hung on that,” says Wagner, whose sculptures can be found in the collections of Russian President Vladimir Putin as well as actresses Goldie Hawn and Kate Hudson. “So it was six long days on a man lift, because the chandelier starts about 12 feet off the ground so the top of it is about 24 feet high.”
The glass chandelier may be the largest Wagner has ever created, but it’s not her first foray into pieces for commercial institutions. Wagner, who graduated from College for Creative Studies and opened Epiphany in 1997, has done work for several hotels, restaurants, and corporate venues. Bello Fiori is displayed at St. Joseph Mercy Oakland Hospital in Pontiac.
“I love doing big pieces,” says Wagner, whose commercial work ranges in price from $25,000 to $140,000. “I’m sure that more people saw (Bello Fiori) in its first day up than some of my residential pieces will ever been seen.”
While Wagner is taking a brief hiatus to enjoy the summer, she notes that she already has two new residential pieces lined up — one in Florida and another in California.
The Inn at Harbor Shores will host the grand opening of its art program — consisting of a permanent collection and rotating exhibitions — June 27. One of the rotating exhibits, on display through Aug. 4, includes oil paintings of various southwest Michigan scenes by St. Joseph artist Kris Hosbein.
“We believe the story of a place can be told through artists conveying memorable impressions and history,” says Ron Schults, a principal in the development of The Inn. “Artists tell complex stories with more subtlety and elegance than traditional media. We believe guests will return and will influence friends, having come away with lasting impressions and an understanding of the history and fabric of our community. Original art enhances The Inn’s quality statement while providing Michigan artists a showcase.”