Abi Spring grew up in rural Vermont in what is known as the Northeast Kingdom, a region most noted for its poverty, cold winters and its beauty. When asked where she is from will reply “From the end of the road, in the middle of nowhere.”
While some children get piano lessons from an early age, Spring studied painting and color theory. One of her earliest memories is of seeing slides of Impressionist paintings and being amazed at the rainbow of colors they used to describe their world. Her mother, a painter, taught her color theory by having her sort multicolor hair-tie yarns chromatically, by value and saturation.
She continued her arts education both formally; at Maine College of Art (BFA painting) and with a Masters degree from the glass program at The Australian National University; and informally in New York City during the 80’s going to galleries and museums.
She currently lives and works in Portland, Oregon in a 1950’s fire station. She is the recipient of many awards including a Nancy Stewart Deming award for excellence in painting, a grant to study glass casting in the Czech Republic, and residencies at Vermont Studio Center, the Museum of Contemporary Craft and with the Ford Family Foundation. Her work was selected for the New Glass Review in 2014. She has had several solo exhibitions and her work is in collections around the world.
Influenced by natural events like erosion and flow; the work of reductive painters, like Agnes Martin, and Ad Reinhardt; and the music of Ravi Shankar, she explores how work made via repetitive processes in glass, paint, and natural material installations can embody the meditative state that is required to make it.
Her current work explores the idea expressed by Jackson Pollock in his statement “ I am nature.” In this work she makes marks with liquid glass enamel in response to the slight irregularities found in the hand rolled opaque glass she uses as her background. Then in the following layers of clear glass she makes further marks in response to the prior layers. Finally the pieces are fused together in a kiln at 1500 degrees, and like layers in stone, remain as a record of the process.