Robin Saenger and Steve Corrado's upcoming show "Metal and Glass Arts" isn't just an exhibit of beauty in art. It's a celebration of their partnership.
The pair have been life partners for about eight years, but that personal relationship comes shining through in their artistic abilities. They met about nine years ago when Saenger was working on a glass project at the popular Kelly's Chic-a-boom Room bar and restaurant in Dunedin and needed a metal worker. She looked up Corrado, a metal manufacturing engineer. She was impressed with his work; he was blown away by hers. She encouraged him to tap into his artistic side and soon they began working side-by-side at their Tarpon Springs studio.
Their exhibit opens with a reception at 4 p.m. Oct. 6 and runs through Nov. 3 at the gallery inside the Alric Pottberg Library on the west campus of Pasco-Hernando Community College, 10230 Ridge Road, New Port Richey.
Saenger, a former Tarpon Springs commissioner, moved to the northern Pinellas city a few years after discovering her love for glass art in the late 1970s. A friend had pushed her into taking a class when she lived in Texas.
"Go learn how to do this and make me something," she remembers her friend saying.
It wasn't long before Saenger, then an elementary school teacher and a lifelong doodler, took her passion and made it a profession, mostly working on commission pieces. Since then, she has designed hundreds of art glass creations, including stained, carved and beveled glass. Her glass of choice is Lambert glass, a manufactured antique German glass rich in colors with crystal-like characteristics. Her pieces in the PHCC show will feature faces, including a queen of hearts, jack of diamonds and a fairy.
Corrado comes from a family of artists and says he has always had an "artistic flair" and embraced van mural art of the 1970s. His paint of choice is still automotive paint.
"It's a little different," he said, noting its durability for outdoor pieces. "A lot of people don't use those."
Corrado's professional background has given him a vast knowledge of the science behind metals, making it easier to manipulate the medium for his art. Much of his art is inspired by the MADI art movement known for its whimsy, bold colors and geometric shapes.
"I am what you call an emerging artist and finding my way," he said.
He also believes in the idea that one man's junk is another man's treasure.
"I enjoy rummaging through scrap yards and (finding) those kinds of things and using them for my sculpting," he said.
The artistic duo has married their artwork, and a couple of their collaborations will be on display in their upcoming show, which Corrado calls "light-hearted" and "fun."
"I'd like people to just walk away with a smile on their face and enjoy the show," he said.