Hidden Desires to be Explored at Chrysler Museum Glass Studio

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Avery Shaffer brings his persona, 'Abel Valerie' to the Chrysler Museum of Art's Glass Studio April 19. (Photo courtesy of Avery Shaffer)

Next Thursday at 8:00pm, the monthly Third Thursday event at the Chrysler Museum Glass Studio will combine glass performance, live music, and tableau vivant into a tantalizing evening of ecstatic amusement presented by Avery Shaffer, through his virtual persona Abel Valerie.

Abel Valerie will orchestrate a perpetual canon of hidden desire and tabooed histories, directed by Patrick Mullins, Virginia Stage Company’s Associate Producer. Leveraging art from ancient time through contemporary period, the glass studio will transform into a wide open frolic of glass and performance art.

Tickets for the Thursday, April 19 performance should be reserved in advance online at reservations.chrysler.org. Admission is free for Museum Members and students with ID, $5 for all others. The Glass Studio is an intimately sized space and these are popular events. Plan on arriving early.

Suggested attire ranges from Thursday casual to cheeky horrific, while audience members are invited to fill in their own blank as mythic and modern heroes emerge throughout the evening.

Avery Shaffer, an artist and designer working in glass and social media, received his BFA from East Carolina University with a concentration in painting. His glass studio, Ellenburg and Shaffer creates nationally prominent commercial work. In his personal exploration, Shaffer uses large, wall-mounted glass pieces to explore gay identity and the male form. Using his online persona, Abel Valerie, he has created a body of work including the warehouse party/shows of *Who is Abel Valerie* and *Starseed*, which have taken the virtually interactive component into real time.

Shaffer utilizes transparency and the male form through historical art, religious context and social media as the heart of his research. He creates virtual windows with vitreous enamels that allow alter ego online guises to peer out. In his studio practice he employs ancient craft techniques of stained glass filtered through modern modes of communication to create a new iconography.

Patrick Mullins is the Associate Producer at Virginia Stage Company and the Founder and Director of Limbic System, Inc.. with over a decade of making theatre, events, art shows and community conversations. According to Mullins’ philosophy, experiences beyond our normal circumstance best burst our self-protective bubbles and start us on a path to understanding those who are unlike us.  His company, The Limbic System, Inc. creates real and virtual spaces for life-changing interactions.

Third Thursday: Abel Valerie’s Perpetual Canon