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Former Student Completes Radiant Art Installation

Photo of Rachel Haynes holding a glass blown roundel.An artist who has focused exclusively on glassblowing since 2006, Rachel has steady hands with a creative touch.

Her commissioned installation of colored glass roundels provides a radiant backdrop for the Dallas College’s Founders’ Foyer.

“I wanted the piece to make people happy in that space, to really make them feel good,” she says of the bright colors of the glass roundels, purposefully located above the foyer's reception desk. “The luminosity of the glass and the bright colors do that.”

Rachel's educational journey began with studying fashion and fiber arts at the University of Central Oklahoma, then metal and ceramics at Dallas College’s Brookhaven Campus before earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Texas at Arlington.

“I decided I wanted to pursue an art degree while studying at the Brookhaven campus,” she remembers. “I have always loved art, but what made the difference for me was that all of the art teachers were working artists. They were not just teaching us ‘how to make art;’ they were showing us the whole process with their own work.”

Photo of Rachel Haynes and her husband Josh working on the installation of the glass blown roundels.Today, she is the primary instructor responsible for adult and youth programming at Oklahoma’s not-for-profit Tulsa Glassblowing Studio, Inc., helping to promote and preserve the art. She also teaches glassblowing classes as an adjunct professor at Tulsa Community College.

Rachel is passionate about her work, not only from an artistic point of view but in the whole creative process that turns sand into glass at 2,100 degrees.

“I love the luminosity of glass, that it transmits light unlike any other material,” she says.“But I also love that it’s a collaborative effort, and so much more rewarding when you share it. It’s also instant gratification, and so you’re constantly riding that high.”

That collective energy continued to flow throughout the installation process. The piece was named “Oleane’s Dream,” after employee Oleane Grase-Cole. “The installation took about four hours to put up, and the colors just weren’t flowing,” says Haynes. “Oleane kept walking by and having insight on how it would work, and just helped me put it all together.”

Watch a video of Rachel Haynes' glassblowing technique.

Photo of installed glass blown roundels.