Austin Stern has been blowing glass since the age of 14, as a high school student in Palo Alto, California. After earning a degree in glassblowing from Emporia State University in Kansas, Stern moved to Seattle to find a place in the Seattle glass community. Stern now lives and works in Seattle; making and exhibiting his work both nationally and internationally. Stern’s work is on exhibition at the Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, New York, the Bangkok Glass Company in Thailand, and Dogye Glass World in South Korea.
“I am inspired by the bright and highly saturated colors found in the toys and cartoons of my childhood, and the patterns found in both nature and the world of fashion. My current work explores interpersonal relationships and mental health. The ways in which we support each other, take care of ourselves, and how we cope with various anxieties and fears are all concepts my work explores through a cheerful lens of brightly colored playful creatures.”
The ‘Little Monsters’ series is a body of work where cartoon-like creatures interact with physical manifestations of their own anxieties. These worries which assail the monsters, gleefully weighing down their minds and bodies, are simultaneously sinister and comical representations of our daily setbacks and stumbling blocks. By approaching this subject matter from a playful and saccharine perspective, the viewer is invited to find the humor in the small battles we fight daily to find positivity, peace, and happiness.