November 25, 2023 to January 13, 2024


Open Saturdays from 12 to 5pm and by appointment

TANYA LYONS, Cloak #1 2022 (back detail), flameworked glass and mixed media, 70 x 52 x 33 inches


AGORA GALLERY is delighted to present an exhibition of new sculptural glass by Tanya Lyons. (Click here for Tanya Lyons’s work in the Gallery Shop.)  Many remember her stunning Reflecting Life exhibition at Agora Gallery in 2014, which featured a range of her glass creations combining primarily clear glass with natural and everyday objects, some taking the form of life-size dresses. After 25 years of working with clear glass, she has recently transitioned into working with coloured glass, with wonderful results. The exhibition consists of approximately 20 new glass artworks and will remain on display until January 13, 2024 (to coincide with Lights On Stratford). During this time, Agora Gallery will be open Thursday to Sunday from 11am to 5pm (closed for the holidays from December 24, 2023 to January 3, 2024).

Tanya Lyons attended high school in Stratford and graduated with honours from the Sheridan College glass program, with further studies at the University of Art and Design Helsinki, Finland, The Atlin Art Centre in BC, and the Toyama Institute of Glass Art in Japan. She taught glass at Sheridan College for four years, was a resident at the Harbourfront Centre and volunteered on the Board of Directors for the Glass Art Association of Canada. After 14 years in Quebec, Tanya moved back to her hometown community in the Ottawa Valley to raise her daughter and continue her sculptural work with glass. Reflecting her passion for helping people find their way, she continues to teach in the glass program at the Haliburton School of Art and Design. She is the Coordinator of the Madawaska Valley Studio Tour and a collaborating artist with the Ottawa Valley Community Arts organization. Tanya has always been a gatherer, collecting and taking in objects, moments and memories. She uses glass in combination with natural and found objects to express and reflect her experiences, thoughts and questions about the world we live in and who we are. Her work has been exhibited throughout North America, Europe and Japan and is in many private and public collections including the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec. She has received many awards for her work, including from Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, Conseil des Arts et des Lettres Québec, Craft Ontario and most recently the Established Artist Award from FUSION Clay and Glass Ontario (2023).

Of her artistic practice, Tanya says:

“I have always been a gatherer, collecting and taking in objects, moments and memories. As I move through life, I take traces with me, from the places I walk and the people I meet. When I unexpectedly entered into glass, I discovered a material that had a life of its own, rich with qualities and full of endless possibilities to reflect life. I fell in love with clear glass and the strength it held. I started to combine glass with natural objects to reflect moments and emotions. I used glass as a carrier or shell, placing natural objects within to add colour, texture and a sense of familiarity. I started making life size glass dresses to express the idea of changing how you feel as simply as changing your clothes: thinking about how different clothing can affect how we feel or how we are seen. This work, as well as new work that I have been developing, expresses moments in time, escapism and change. Questioning our identity and the roles we play in society. Creating pieces that trigger thoughts and raise questions about what is really important for quality of life. After working in clear glass for 25 years, I have transitioned into working with coloured glass, exploring different states of change that we move through, finding the transition of colours inspiring and powerful. After living away for most of my life, I have returned to the Ottawa Valley, to the rocks, trees and water, to a place that heals and inspires. Bringing natural elements back into my work and drawing attention to the environment that surrounds and supports us.”