Arts & Culture
12:00 am
Thu March 22, 2012

For Some, Art Is an Octopus Opening a Pickle Jar

Cathy Lybarger creates unusual glass art in her Madison studio.
Cathy Lybarger creates unusual glass art in her Madison studio.
Credit Cathy Lybarger/Etsy

For ages, people have pondered what exactly constitutes art.

Is it the high style work of the artistic elite like the Renaissance masters, or the pieces created for mass consumption à la Andy Warhol?

Or is it something else - perhaps a tiny glass octopus focused on getting at the contents of a pickle jar?

Cathy Lybarger is a glass artist who runs Aardvark Art Glass in Madison, and she shares her unique vision on what makes art with our material culture contributor Gianofer Fields.

Fields is a student in material culture at UW-Madison. Her It's a Material World project is funded by the Chipstone Foundation, a decorative arts foundation whose mission is preserving and interpreting their collection, as well as stimulating research and education in the decorative arts.

The octopus song we're hearing was written by her husband, Don, a member of the Madison-based band, the Whiskey Squirrels.