Celestine Wilson Hughes began to feel like a real artist about the time she got a band saw and started cutting wood in the backyard for painting projects. Before that she considered herself a vendor of jewelry and hand-painted t-shirts. Customers told her she was an artist and she began to adopt that mantle. Wilson Hughes, who is self-taught, makes large totemic sculptures out of colored glass shards. Her works are celebrations of community, the garden and especially of women’s undervalued inner strength and women’s bodies. Hughes just got a studio outside her house when she started a residency at the 40th St. A.I.R. (Artist in Residence) studios in West Philadelphia. We talked with Celestine on Dec. 9, 2012 at her 40th St. A.I.R. studio.
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This episode is edited by Peter Crimmins. The music is by Eric Biondo. The slide show is edited by artblog Intern Alison McMenamin. Thanks to the Knight Foundation for helping us get the ball rolling on this project. Thanks also to J-Lab‘s Enterprise Reporting Fund and William Penn Foundation for additional support and to our partner WHYY NewsWorks for their ongoing support and for sharing artblog radio episodes on the arts & culture page of their community news site NewsWorks.org. You can subscribe to artblog radio on iTunes.