Student Spotlight: Jason Mack
When he was 17 years old, Jason Mack took a glass bead-making class with his mother. He has been working with glass ever since.
“When working with glass, it feels like you are working with a living organism because of the way it moves and reacts to your movements. There is no other material like it,” he said.
Mack selected College of DuPage because of its closeness to home and affordable tuition.
“COD also has a very good Art program run by a diverse group of top notch teachers,” said Mack, who earned an Associate in Fine Arts – Art degree. “It was the first step toward obtaining a bachelor’s from ISU’s sculpture program, which was the foundation of building my own glass studio and business.”
He currently lives in Champaign, where he has developed a line of hand-blown glass lighting for commercial and residential applications. He also has developed ways to create large-scale glass sculpture utilizing a mobile glass furnace.
“The sculptures are built on-site as a type of performance,” he said. “It’s a great way to bring the process outside of the studio and give people a unique and memorable experience.”
Mack is innovating new processes for melting and re-using recycled bottle glass to create a line of architectural products for residential and commercial spaces. For example, his current project, a commission for Cornell University, is a cast glass block wall for its new technology building that incorporates display screens to present a blockchain program created by a group of Ph.D. students.
He also is raising funds and finding a location for a new project that involves building an entire glass forest with a glass river meandering through it. The project will feature all recycled glass donated by the community in which it will eventually reside.
“This is a project I have been developing for over 10 years and one that I am most excited about because it will incorporate all of the methods and concepts I have been exploring since my first years at COD,” he said. “Because of its scope and size, there are a lot of pieces that need to fall into place before it can happen.”
Mack is pleased that he turned to College of DuPage and its Art program.
“COD is fantastic place to begin your art career,” he said. “I always recommend students try out as many different mediums and processes as possible. You never know what might click and stick with you the rest of your life.”
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