7 Places to see April Wagner’s work in Metro Detroit.

April is known as much for her large-scale, public works as she is for her smaller scale and private works. She’s been commissioned by many corporate and other businesses to create one-of-a-kind, hand-blown glass pieces for their spaces. Her work is on display in various states across the country, and even outside the United States. Here are five stunning works that you can go and see right here in the Detroit Metro area!
"Solstice" at Cobo Center in Detroit

Solstice resides outside the Junior Ballroom in Cobo Center. This custom sculpture was commissioned to represent the breadth and quality of regional artists. April envisioned it as a representation of spirit of the city of Detroit and the Detroit River. It brings the experience of the outdoors into the space, using organic shapes to create a scene from nature. It creates an interesting interplay between abstraction, and representation.
Cobo Center recently commissioned a number of artists to adorn their previously blank walls with works of art. The Detroit News covered this when the works were unveiled. April was one of six artists chosen to participate in this project. The sculpture wraps around to the other side of the wall, and is visible from outside the center. This Videoshows the full scope of the sculpture in its environment, and gives a better sense of the scale of this large installation.
Crystal Chandelier at Ezelli Salon in Detroit

April created this custom, tangled glass pendant for Ezelli Salon in 2012. Curled ribbons of clear glass wrap around several small LED lights, offering a bright focal point without detracting from the vibrant colors that adorn the rest of the space. Customers often comment on this striking piece that hangs over the reception area.
The salon wanted something that would grab peoples’ attention as soon as they walked in, and represent the level of artistry of the salon’s talented stylists. They requested a chandelier that would fit in with their eclectic style, and give customers a sense of luxury.
April’s signature style is evident in the design and construction of the chandelier. The transparent curls of glass allow for maximum brightness, while diffusing the light just enough to make it soft and pleasant.
"The 4 Seasons" at The Stand Gastro Bistro in Birmingham
April was commissioned to create this piece for the Birmingham restaurant in 2013. Each individual wall-hanging sculpture portrays a different food that’s representative of each season. In the top right, the carefully crafted glass Fiddleheads represent Spring. In the top Left, hand-blown glass Clams represent Summer. Fall, bottom-left, is represented by an assortment of glass gourds, with no two gourds being exactly alike. And finally, the Winter themed sculpture is a representation of Ice Wine.
The owners of The Stand worked closely with April to devise this unique, food-themed concept. They wanted the work to show their dedication to using fresh, seasonal ingredients in their cuisine. Customers are often shocked to learn that these pieces are made of glass, and were made entirely by hand. While not a large-scale work, the attention to detail in each small component makes for a truly remarkable whole.
"Solar Flare" at the Townsend Hotel in Birmingham

The upscale Townsend Hotel in Birmingham, MI commissioned April to conceptualize and create a showcase centerpiece for their dining area, the Rugby Grille. The Grille needed a spectacular, breathtaking sculpture. April conceptualized a freestanding sculpture that would marry well with the rich woods, elaborate carpeting, and detailed wall coverings.
Comprised of hundreds of individually hand-blown glass parts, the sculpture is mounted onto a piece of black granite. The spotlights focused on the piece really make it come alive. Its placement in the recessed portion of the wall give diners the sense that they’re looking through a window into the midst of an actual solar flare. As beautiful as it is conceptual, it helps to enhance the already exceptional reputation of this restaurant.
"Current Leaves" at the Midwest Medical Center in Dearborn

This installation, commissioned in 2010, is made of hundreds of blown glass pieces that all have the same basic tripod shape. When nestled closely together in a palette of greens with spots of bronze, the result is an undulating field of grasses. Or maybe the view through close-knit branches swaying in the breeze! The beauty of this piece is that it is ultimately made out of a fairly simple shape repeated many times and modulated in color and rotation.
When designing a sculpture for a hospital or other medical facility, it’s important to April that the piece create sense of peace, and transcendence. That it can transport the viewer to a calmer, more serene space. This piece, and the following one, accomplish this in part by incorporating elements from nature. Anything to make one’s visit more pleasant.
"Bello Fiori" at St. Joe’s Hospital in Pontiac

This one-of-a-kind, custom installation greets visitors as they enter the lobby of St. Joe’s. The abstract flowers and vibrant colors encourage the viewer to focus on life, health, and natural beauty. The interior designers working for the hospital wanted a cheerful work of art that would offer a burst of brightness and positivity to those entering the hospital. April delivered on that with this exuberant, colorful piece.
The Donor Wall at The Flagstar Strand Theatre in Pontiac

Earlier this year, the Strand Theatre commissioned April to create this sculptural installation for their brand new Donor Wall. Each hand-blown glass star represents an individual who’s made a donation to the theatre. This truly unique piece greets visitors as soon as they walk into the theatre. The pattern of glass musical notes on the abstract score is based loosely on the tune to Eric Clapton’s classic song "Wonderful Tonight." The staff was made from powder coated steel by a local metal worker. Nested beneath the piece are a series of color-changing LED lights that can be adjusted to create just about any desired color scheme or mood. The result is a dynamic work of art that fits perfectly with the theme of performance, and gives the theatre’s many donors some much deserved recognition.
Going into 2018, we hope to add more new installations to this roster! If you like what you see here, follow us on Facebook and Instagram to see new pieces and installations as they’re developed.

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