By Phillip Milano 

Aly Volk’s “Iceburst” and Kayla Socha’s “Silly Lilly” chandeliers will be lighting up the annual Cummer Ball gala fundraiser this Saturday, March 16.cummer chandeliers17.JPG

The glowing light work of the two 21-year-old Jacksonville University glass majors, along with that of 34 other JU students, faculty and recent alumni, will be on display and for sale at the glittering affair, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens in Riverside. (See gallery of photos at
“I love that we got to do this,” said Socha, who with the others worked for weeks on her piece and was helping load it up for transport recently. “We don’t get an opportunity like this anywhere else, to show our work.”
Brian Frus, JU assistant professor of glass, who’s collaborated with the Cummer on projects before, said the museum contacted him about JU’s Glass and Ceramics programs partnering with the ball, and it’s been a labor of love over more than a month now.
ju chandeliers cummer2.JPG“It’s a cool chance to spotlight our talent. How many places can you do work with, that will give the students a chance to exhibit their art in a museum like this?” he said while helping unload chandeliers at the Cummer. “I’m into engaged learning opportunities, and this is that and more. It allows the students to display what they’ve done, and then to have it critiqued directly in the marketplace, with a sale being the best final critique.”
Amy Chamberlin, the Cummer’s associate director of marketing, said the works will all be up for bid during a live auction at the ball, and will also be on sale in the facility’s store afterward.
“It’s so nice to have a local aspect to the pieces,” she said. “It’s a great chance to showcase local artists.”cummer chandeliers28.JPG

Taking the light projects from conception, through creation, to learning about pricing, marketing, installing and more was a big draw for JU student D.C. Mills III, 25, a glass minor.
“It’s a lot of fun to create something when there’s an end game in mind,” he said. “You feel more accomplished because there’s more of a utilitarian aspect to it.”
For more on JU’s Glass and Ceramics programs, visit For more on the 2013 Cummer Ball, visit
Here are participants and their works for the Cummer Ball:
Abbie Warnken                                  A Gentle Breeze 
Alex Borelli                                         Frosted Pitcher Plant
Aly Volk                                               Iceburst
Aly Volk                                               Shades of Green
Amanda Sellars                                Rose Flower Pot
Amanda Sellars                                 April Showers
Austin Collins                                    Textured Teal
Ben Reses                                           Tsunami Over Land
Ben Reses                                           Double Tsunami Over Fertile Land
Brett Wickizer                                   Summer Sky
Brett Wickizer                                   Raindrop in the Sky
Brian Frus (Faculty)                         Purple Storm
Cat Plesko, Cassie MacLelellan,
Troy Troupe                                       Midair Tree
Cecilia Matthews                              Flowering Vine Lamp
Cecilia Matthews                             Air, Land, Ocean
Dan Mc Nulty                                    River Run
Dana C. Tupa (Faculty)                     Coral Bells
Danny, Nicole, Belinda                    Birdhouse
Donald Mills                                      Autumn Vines
Donald Mills                                      Red Dome Light
Donald Mills                                      Green Room
Donald Mills                                      Plum Purdy
Donald Mills                                      Bellflower
Emily Laskelle                                   Waves
Joe Desisto                                         Spring Leaf
Joe Desisto                                         Shower
Jordan Cummings                            Tree-Scape
Josh Hill                                               Midnight Rose Garden
Jules Welch                                       Garden Delight
Justin Ferrell                                     Atlantic Blue Drift
Justin Ferrell                                     Suwannee River Vine Drift
Justin Ferrell                                     St. Johns River Drift
Justin Ferrell                                     Indian River Tiki Drift
Kayla Socha                                        Silly Lilly
Kimberly Fahey                                 Spring
Lauren Slater                                     Bird Song
Lee Knaus                                           Aquatic Breath
Maddie Varner                                 Light Like an Egyptian
Miranda, Joshua, Billy                   Lucky Gold Tree
Nicole Samek                                    Bombooyah
Tiffany W. Leach (Faculty)           Rose Bloom
Tiffany W. Leach                              Red
Sierra Williamson                           Starry Set
Cathy Agoris (BFA 2012)                Pallid Pinecone