Chuck Borsari

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Morgan County Herald - August 2, 1989

Chuck Borsari again win coveted "Best of Show" award

Morgan County stained glass artist Chuck Borsari ended the decade of the 1980's as he began it - by winning Best of Show honors at the annual Howard Chandler Christy Art Show last weekend at the historic Commons in McConnelsville.

Borsari, who is a full-time professional artist, won the coveted Best of Show award in 1981; repeated in 1983; and returned to the winner's circle again last weekend. In each of the other years of the Eighties, he captured either first or second place ribbons in his area of competition, making him one of the winningest artists of the decade in Southeastern Ohio.

With his most recent triumph, Borsari joins Stockport native and painter Jim Lane as the only three-time Best of Show winners at the Art Show named after another Morgan County native and artist - Howard Chandler Christy. Lane, who now is an art teacher at Fort Frye School District, won top honors here in 1971, 1973, 1974. He participated in his 20th show here this year and appropriately won two awards for his paintings.

The weekend kicked-off with a picture-perfect day on Saturday: moderate temperatures, low humidity and lots of sunshine. Crowds of people from Columbus, Lancaster, Marietta, Zanesville and lots of Morgan Countians strolled the Commons in McConnelsville to view the artwork and make purchases for their homes. But by Sunday, the typical summer Ohio quickly changed and the day was marred with overcast skies and thundershowers.

But the weather didn't dampen the spirits of Borsari, who won the admiration of the judges for his stained glass artistry. Judges Jim Allen of Cincinnati and Cindy Taylor of Marietta commended Borsari for "his artform, the manner in which he displays his work, and the exceptional high quality of his designs and craftsmanship"

While the judges lavishly praised the overall work of Borsari, it was his stunning  18 - inch by 48 - inch achievement in stained glass that captured most of their attention. Brosari explained that the piece was privately commissioned by the children of a couple in Columbus, and this was the first time it was shown in public.

"The children came to my studio on the Sunday of the Super Bowl (in late January) to discuss their intention of giving their parents 'something special' for their 25th anniversary. I had complete artistic freedom to design anything that would be appropriate for such a significant event," the artist explained.

Most of February was spent conceptualizing and designing the project (including several trips to Columbus to meet with the children and visit the home to select an appropriate location where the work would hang). "When the design was complete, I again met with the children to show them the concept, select glass, and receive approval to continue." Glass realization took place in late March and April, and the work was installed in the couple's home the last week of April while the couple was in Hawaii celebrating their anniversary.

"Needless to say, they were overwhelmed when they came home and found the glass hanging in their family room," Borsari said. "After a private family celebration, I was the first person they called."

Much of Borsari's work is privately-commissioned such as the newest Best of Show winner and usually isn't on public display. For the Art Show, the Penn Township artist made arrangements to "borrow" the work for the weekend. It is now back in Columbus hanging in the owner's home.

"Since it was the 25th anniversary, I thought all clear glass would be most appropriate to connote the 'silver' anniversary," Borsari explained. In fact, there are five different textures of clear glass in the award winner. A large portion of the piece contains crystal - clear bevels, bevel clusters and clear jewels. The couple's name and date were engraved in the work, as well as a pair of lovebirds perched on a limb and surrounded by flowers.

The owners of the glasswork drove to McConnelsville Sunday to visit the Art Show and were pleasantly surprised to see their newest possession had been selected by the judges as the best of the entire show.

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