About The Artist
Angi took the long, scenic route from growing up in Aspen Colorado to North Texas. But the stops along the way in California (twice), Mississippi, and Alaska provided a wealth of inspiration for her art. Being an air force wife isn't always easy, but it does have the advantage of lots of travel, opportunities to meet interesting people, and exposure to art from a variety of cultures.
Angi's original career had little to do with art; she worked for 22 years in hospitals as a Respiratory Therapist. When the air force transferred her husband to Korea for a year, she stayed behind in Atwell, California with their teenage daughter. Looking for something to fill the time, she decided to take some art courses, and in short order her love of art led her to become a full time art student at Cal State University. In 1985, when the air force transferred the family back to Carswell Air Force Base in Fort Worth, Texas, Angi pursued her art education at the University of Texas at Arlington and the University of North Texas in Denton TX.
Before she could finish her undergraduate degree, air force life stepped in again, and the Graham's found themselves back in California. It was in the early 90's in Sacramento, California that her interest in glass began. Just after moving to California, her dog broke a piece of antique glass. When she discovered a replacement piece would cost $1500, she decided to take some classes and make her own. After taking sandblasting and fusing classes at a local glass store, the owners were impressed enough with her talents to hire her where she went on to design stained glass windows and do paintings on glass for church windows.
Before moving to Alaska, she was forced to sell her pet hedgehogs. Her friend and ex employer, Craig Milliron of Arrow Springs wanted them, but only had beadmaking equipment to trade for them. Even though at that time she never expected to make use of the equipment, she agreed to the trade. Just in case her friend Loren Stump ever taught a class in Alaska, she would be ready. Less than a year later, she found herself vice president of the Alaska Glass Beadmakers group, even though she was still not a bead maker. It wasn't long after that when Loren did came to Anchorage and taught a class. It was at that point she became a full time beadmaker. And before leaving Alaska she went on to become President of The Alaska Glass Beadmakers, and Northwest Regional Director for the Society of Glass Beadmakers, now known as the International Society of Glass Beadmakers or ISGB. She was also a member and Treasurer of The Alaskan Art Association.
Angi is a multi-media artist, and before becoming immersed in glass, her paintings were shown at the 500X Gallery in Dallas TX and several other galleries and shows in the Dallas/Ft Worth Texas area. She has also worked successfully with wood, metal, and clay. Her beads have been displayed at the Gatherings of the International Society of Glass Beadmakers, the George Ohr Museum in Biloxi, Mississippi, and Japan to name a few. They can be seen at the Bead Museum in Glendale AZ and at bead shows throughout the country.
In addition to being a great passion in her life, Angi finds her art to be therapeutic. She enjoys developing and learning new techniques that she can share with students, and clients. One of the things Angi likes most about glass is its versatility. Using techniques such as sandblasting, fusing, painting, bending, and blowing glass, she has created a wide array of items, such as large painted scenes for church windows and fused or sandblasted art pieces for galleries, to the tiniest and most delicate glass beads.