Originally from Colorado, Joshua Hershman was born in 1981 and first began working with glass at the age of 17. In 2004, he graduated from the prominent Craft and Design Program at Sheridan College in Ontario, Canada. In 2008, he went on to earn a BFA with Distinction from the California College of the Arts in Oakland, California. Most recently, he was invited to attend the Master’s program at the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University, in the Sculptural/Dimensional Studies program.
With a background in craft and design, Hershman uses his dynamic range of skills including flameworking, glass blowing, coldworking, and casting to create highly detailed, innovative, and thought provoking sculpture. Joshua was raised in a socially conscious household, where artistic paths were fostered from an early age. Being born with no peripheral vision or depth perception, decades of vision therapy led him to have a lifelong fascination with the complex nature of the visual system as well as the science of light and optics. By using cameras themselves as frames for his experimental photographic processes, Hershman asks us to look more closely into the simple act of taking a photograph. His work focuses on the significance that film and photography have played on the development of contemporary global culture, and shows how the complex nature of our image-based society is constantly being redefined by the lens.
Over the past 16 years, Hershman has worked closely with several internationally recognized artists, and has exhibited at SOFA Chicago, ArtHamptons, and The Armory Show. His work has received numerous awards, was included in the Bullseye e-merge 2010 international glass competition, and is part of many national and international private collections. Hershman has been invited to participate in several Artist-in-Residence programs including: North Lands Creative Glass in Scotland, D&L Art Glass in Colorado, and the Appalachian Center for Craft in Tennessee. He taught casting at the University of Colorado, and has lectured at many academic and creative institutions throughout the United States. Most recently, Joshua has been nominated by the American Craft Council for the first ever Emerging Voices Award.
Since early childhood, I have experienced the world without peripheral vision or depth perception. My vision has since been corrected, but through this process I came to acknowledge the curious nature of such visual anomalies, and began to mimic these irregularities within my work. By using broken cameras and intentionally defective lenses, I manipulate light and encourage alternate ways of looking at photography by allowing the optical and fluid qualities of glass to bring new meaning and depth to the photographic image.
By taking photographs and fusing them permanently within glass, I link two diverse yet parallel vocabularies into a unique, sculptural vernacular. The natural play of light and optics inherently found in glass imitates the actual process of taking pictures and exposing negatives. Allowing the work itself to capture these forces, the invisible and counter-intuitive nature of light is revealed. Using the camera as a point of departure, I emphasize the aesthetics of its design, functionality, and iconic meaning, effectively demonstrating how images can both shape and distort our culture, memories, and global consciousness.