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In my almost four decades of developing and pursuing a career as an international fine art appraiser, I have, of course, encountered a great many very accomplished artists, many of whom had international reputations. Few have impressed me as much as Ana Thiel of San Miguel de Alliende, Mexico. Her international reputation as a major artist working in glass in richly deserved. Her reputation as a very lovely person is also richly deserved and I am very proud to call her my friend.

Glass is unique in many of its limitations and the demands it makes on the artist. The degree of success represented by an artwork in glass is largely due to the artist’s success in overcoming the limitations, pushing the medium and creating new effects and shapes. Ana’s reputation is therefore indicative of her success in bending the material to her creative imagination and vision. Not only is her work a testiment to her technical virtuosity, but most of it is very beautiful also. Some of her pieces can be seen at her website www.anathiel.net.

Tomorrow (May 5) Ana has an exhibition opening at the Museo de Arte y Vivrio–The Museum of Art and Glass in Madrid, Spain. She has shown her work numerous times in Spain as well as having solo shows in Mexico, Sweden, USA, Japan, Portugal, Finland, Canada, Germany, Peru and Costa Rica. She has also been in group exhibits in many of these countries and also in France, Panama, Egypt, China, Ukraine, Belgium, Czechoslovakia (as it was then) and Switzerland. She seems far too young for such a resume, but she works very hard at her large studio in San Miguel and at numerous other studios where she does residencies and seminars–such as Pilchuck in Washington state.

Ana Thiel is the subject of a gorgious new book as well as being included in 10 other books and an extensive list of catalogs and journals. I am especially glad that she has received so much recognition because I was thrilled by her work when Melinda and I three times visited her home and studio. I believe I can say that I immediately knew I was in the presence of a major artistic talent. When we met at a lunch arranged by friends so we could meet, we enjoyed her as a beautiful, engaging and very kind person, but her work itself told me that I now knew a glass artist of true international significance. We are so pleased that she’ll be lecturing–and hopefully exhibiting–in Santa Fe next year.