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Saturday 26 November 2022
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Syracuse Artist Raffles Commission in Support of Syracuse’s Symphoria

oddystainglassA Syracuse artist is raffling off a piece of his stained glass art in support of the Symphoria.

In 1981, Robert Oddy moved from England to central New York to teach at Syracuse University. After 16 years, he decided to leave academia to pursue his stained glass art full-time and never looked back.

“Some work is framed. We call those ‘autonomous panels’ because you put a nice wooden frame around it, and people hang those in a window,” the artist told WAER. “But most of my work is made to be installed in a window.”

Oddy asks his patrons, who come from across the nation, for exact measurements and photos of the space in which his art will go to get a real sense of the environment and its lighting, which helps him determine the best color and pattern combination.

“Selection of glass is one of the most important things that I do,” Oddy told WAER. “What I’m trying to do is create an impression. With glass, you don’t have the fine control that a painter has. So you pick glass that has the right kinds of texture, the right kinds of streakiness, color variation, and so on.”

Glass artists typically heat up raw materials to about 2,400 degrees to transform them into glass and shape them into a piece of art. However, Oddy uses bins upon bins of glass sorted by size and color, typical hand held glass cutters, and a diamond band saw to make his artwork.

It’s with these tools that Oddy will make the art to be donated. The keyword there being will, as he hasn’t actually made anything yet.

“Instead of having a piece already made, it’s a commission,” Oddy told WAER. “So the winner can come to me, and I’ll treat them exactly like any other client, work with them on design, and figuring out what they need, where they want it in their house, just like I would with a normal client. The only difference is they won’t have to pay for it because they would have won it.”

Oddy’s work is valued at a price of $10,000. The proceeds of his commission raffle will go right to the Symphoria, which he says is his way of supporting a beloved cultural institution.

“I have a lot of admiration for the musicians,” Oddy told Syracuse.com. “They performed that year with the knowledge that they might not get paid at all. But they stuck together and made music for this community. It was a courageous thing for them to do.”

Raffle tickets cost $40, but three can also be purchased for $100. They can be bought ahead of time by calling 299-5598. More information is at experiencesymphoria.org.