Bender Gallery presents “Explorations” solo show, April 4-May 31

Press release

Bender Gallery presents “Explorations” solo show, April 4-May 31

Bender Gallery is presenting Explorations, a solo exhibition featuring the work of prominent glass sculptor, Toland Sand. The exhibition will run through May 31 during regular gallery hours with an opening reception on Friday, April 4 from 5 to 8 PM. The reception is being held in conjunction with downtown Asheville’s First Friday Art Walk of the 2014 season. The artist will be in attendance and available for discussion during the reception.

Per Sand, “Explorations is a metaphor for my artistic life, my worldly life, and my spiritual life”. His early life was one of living around the world including places such as Carmel, Taiwan, Athens, D.C. and the mountains of Colorado. He never lived in any one place more than four years and at each stop, he was constantly exploring the uniqueness of the area. In 1972 Toland was initiated into the Inner Mysteries by his spiritual Master, Sant Kirpal Singh and meditates daily according to His instructions.

Highly ground and polished and technically perfect, each of Sand’s crystal assemblages exhibit balance, symmetry and harmony and pay homage to the deconstructed form. Architecture, symbolism, and Eastern philosophy are portrayed throughout the artist’s work.

Aquamarine Triangulations is an “architecturally oriented study in tension and resolution”. It is a deconstructed cube, reassembled with an optical wedge and other optical elements to form a compelling sculpture that spins on an anodized aluminum base. The striking aqua hue contrasts with the clear optical crystal and the interior graphics suggest fluidity in an otherwise angular piece. As in most of Toland’s sculptures the piece is composed of both leaded and non-leaded glass, which allows for stunning reflection and refraction of the main inner core.

Weighing in at over 100 pounds, Heliopolis is one of the more impressive and visually striking pieces in the exhibition. The sculpture is essentially a cube halved at an angle and reassembled with a wedge of optical glass in between the two halves. Very architectural in nature, the sculpture is balanced on the points of each half. The entire piece spins to create the look of an external kaleidoscope, and the dichroic generated colors change as it moves. “The interior graphics are meant to compliment the shape” says Sand.

Toland is self-taught and has been professionally working with glass since 1977. His explorations in glass began when took over a friend’s stained glass business. He has also blown glass and has worked in sandblasted architectural glass. Since 1984, Sand has been a glass sculptor discovering new horizons and pushing the limits of shape, color and technique. The artist was born in Berkeley, California and works out of his studio in rural New Hampshire.

Bender Gallery specializes in contemporary glass sculpture and is located at 12 S Lexington Avenue in downtown Asheville, North Carolina. There is a parking garage on S. Lexington Avenue behind the Aloft hotel as well as a garage on nearby Biltmore Avenue. The gallery’s hours are Monday through Saturday from 11:00 am – 5 pm and Sunday from 12pm-5pm. More information is available at

About Alli Marshall
Alli Marshall is the arts section editor at Mountain Xpress. She's lived in Asheville for more than 20 years and loves live music, visual art, fiction and friendly dogs. Alli is the winner of the 2016 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize and the author of the novel "How to Talk to Rockstars," published by Logosophia Books. Follow me @alli_marshall

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