Ray Howlett's prismlike glass sculptures absorb the light surrounding them, creating an effect that looks like a neon web spun by a mind-blown spider, or perhaps a rainbow painted by tripping leprechauns. The technical term for this high-tech medium is dichroism, and in Dichroism: Holographic Works by Ray Howlett, now on display at Cleveland State University's Gallery C, the Nebraska artist expresses himself through color, light, and glass. "It's the interference of light that creates the colors," he says. "The materials teach the artists their limitations. But once you have an idea that pops in, it's almost an obligation to do it."
After a brief stint in the advertising world, Howlett discovered dichroic glass -- which has the ability to reflect intense light without producing glare -- in the '70s. "It took a long time to learn," he says, "because I was learning from these scientist types." Decades later, after making more than a thousand dichroic sculptures, Howlett says he's approaching a new level. "I'm interested in what happens with other physical properties of glass, using different temperatures, with melting," he says. "Now, glass melting -- that's playful."
Mondays-Fridays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Saturdays, 12-4 p.m. Starts: Feb. 16. Continues through March 4