You can’t help but notice the gleaming glasswork on the shelves of the Kemper Art Museum Store. The graceful silhouettes are as much sculpture as they are drinking carafes and table lamps.
The shining objects are by Kansas City artist Tyler Kimball, owner of Monarch Glass Studio in the 18th and Vine District. The studio offers classes, events, and a gallery with gifts, artwork, and modern light fixtures.
Kimball shows his work in museums and galleries internationally, and pushes the boundaries of glass art. He is nicknamed the “Rondel King,” producing thousands of the round glass pieces for stained-glass artists and architectural studios around the globe. Installations include 25-inch diameter crown bullion rondels for the Masters Clubhouse in Augusta, fine lace-like ones for artists in Japan, and brilliantly colored ones for a private residence in Manhattan.
“I’ve continued to marvel at the material and try to capture what intrigued me about glass from the very beginning,” Kimball says in the Kemper Art Museum Store biography. “The ability to bend and color light, refract and reflect and bring out the natural beauty of glass.”