Art Meets Vintage
By Suzanne Vanderhoef
Owning his own gallery has been a longtime dream of Gregory Dierlam. But that dream became reality when the St. Charles artist opened Art Meets Vintage – a collective of 20+ local artists who use vintage and antique items to create artwork.
“The great thing about Art Meets Vintage for me, and why I really wanted to create this space is it really combined my two passions,” says Dierlam. “I’ve been a collector since I think I was a kid, so after a while I think most artists through creativity and production you amass a little bit of a collection of art of your own, and so it was just a great platform for myself to show my work in a professional space and also offer that opportunity for a lot of artists that are up and coming in the St. Louis and St. Charles area.”
Dielam himself works primarily in two mediums: oil painting and glass creations, which he describes as upcycle design. He does it by taking discarded, cast-off bits and pieces of glass and fusing them into larger pieces.
Those larger, fused pieces then go through a secondary, low-temperature firing called the slump, where Dielam places the flat fused glass over a bowl-shaped mold with flat, insulation-like fiber blanket pieces placed in the mold to create a less structured, more organic shape.
The final step is to create a base to hold the sculpted glass pieces. As a kid who grew up loving erector sets and Legos, Dielam reaches back into his childhood for inspiration.
“In vintage shops I found older erector sets and builder sets and I started creating interesting abstract forms sometimes pushing them in directions they weren’t meant to go to create these almost like kinetic bases where the glass seems in itself that it could move because of the organic shape that I’ve tried to achieve with my work and then also the kinetic shapes and almost like kinetic movement of the bases.”
The result is one of a kind pieces that combine the fluidity of the glass with the solid angular pieces of the base. Something Dielam says he finds meditative to look at, as well as create.
“It’s so like therapeutic and I will get lost in that process of just creating my composition with all these little pieces to create a larger work.”