“FirePower. I play with fire for a living. I melt glass. I am a teacher and an entertainer,” states Artist Jennifer Levine.
Every once in a while we are given an opportunity for a chance meeting. It is one that may or may not have happened in it’s own due time. This opportunity allows us to engage in conversation with what we find out is a like minded creative soul. And after a lengthy conversation we are surprised that our paths did not cross before.
Last December I was given such an opportunity by the Owner and Publisher of 303 Magazine, AB Aharonian, as an assignment to meet with the creator of FirePower Productions, Jennifer Levine. Her dynamic energy struck me. Her powerful words inspired me. Her connection and enthusiastic approach to sharing the arts was gloriously deafening.
“The most difficult challenges of the art industry or the glass industry specific is finding a reputable and reliable person to guide you into this field,” smiles Jennifer. “Then to have the means with which to rent equipment, have the time to just practice every spare minute you have. As with any field, you can’t just jump behind a blowtorch and expect to make a living. It’s the quintessential Edisonian philosophy about what it is to be genius: 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration,” laughs Jennifer. “Not that I ever aspire to be a genius, but the only method to become any level of decent in this field is to practice and sweat. Sweat a lot!” states Jennifer. “When people ask me how long it takes to make one piece, I don’t waste a second to answer… 13 years.”
“I think that everybody has a unique methodology for approaching work. For me, I enjoy the process. No matter how many times I have done prep work or a particular type of piece, I still find the simple joy in creating. I love what I do, wholly and completely. I love the process, love giving demos to help people reconnect with art. Love the look of a shiny piece of glass after I take it out of the kiln and wipe away the dust. I am blessed to do what I do,” smiles Jennifer.
A couple years ago Jennifer created FirePower Productions. Her production company brings the fire, torch and excitement of “live” art to the masses at festivals, special events and nightclubs.
“Having started FirePower Productions I have found an even greater joy in the simple act of teaching people about my medium. My passions have become more directed in answering questions and engaging audiences with art,” smiles Jennifer.
“I look up and am able to connect directly with folks eye to eye. Suddenly, behind my flaming blowtorch, I see a spark ignited within them. If I can just keep that spark alive for half a minute, I’ve done my day right.”
“After my first lesson in glass and behind the torch, I called my folks to tell them, “At last, I found my hands.”, laughs Jennifer.
“I live in gratitude for that simple understanding. All artists have a calling, a vocation and it is up to them to figure out how they can communicate and exist in the world around them. I respect my field and am in amazement I can do what I do for a living. I am honored to be a part of the glassblowing industry. My worst day blosing glass is still better than the best day I had as an editor and programmer in a corporate environment.”
Not many speak, inspire, share and encourage the arts as Jennifer does. She is a “Go big or go home!” kind of woman. It is her laughter that allows her to continue with her keys to success of “determination, belief and many failures”.
“Before he was mainstream, I saw a Chihuly exhibit Fall of 1994 when I was a freshman in college for Art at the University of North Texas. I was immediately compelled by his presentation in show, backlit with beautiful colors. I thought: Heck, I’ve spent my whole life trying to replicate nature’s purest colors and here’s this guy creating in living color! I loved the work, but also the connection this medium had to an audience. There was something almost primal in the medium that touched all types of folks,” smiles Jennifer and continues “I loved the relationship between the art and the audience, so communicative and relatable… it was beautiful. I was taking drawing and paintings studies at the time; the next week I changed my major to sculpture.”
Here is a list of events where you can find Jennifer Levine and her Artists of FirePower Productions creating art:
*December 6th, Illuzion’s Glass Gallery, 7p.m., 238 Broadway Street, Denver, CO
*December 7th, Wings Over the Rockies 4th Annual 1940’s and 50’s White Christmas Ball, A Tribute to Pearl Harbor, 5p.m., 7711 E. Academy Blvd, Denver, CO
*December 14th, “A Scientific Christmas” at My Other Bar, 1120 E. 6th Avenue, Denver, CO, please call for specifics, 720-389-8773
*December 21st, “1st Annual Dixie Maid Pickles Beard and Mustache Competition” at Brendan’s Pub, 404 Broadway, Denver, CO, please call for specifics, 720-627-5374.
You can also find Jennifer at the following:
Enjoy your artistic adventures this First Friday and I do hope that I see you out and about. And remember, Art happens whether you know it or not. There is no time like the present to become an art collector. Just listen and the art will speak to you, and then you won’t be able to live without it.