As clear as glass – George Low shares his artwork at public display

George Low stands beside one of his creations: a stained glass window depiction pelicans. Low is the featured artist of the month at the NWT Centennial Library.Angele Cano/NNSL photo

George Low’s home is a testament to the creative people in his life.

While he has his own artistic style with glassware, stained glass and other artwork, he explained he is inspired by a lineage of artists and creative people in his family.

For Low, his glass creations and artwork could be called a second career, but it’s something he has been doing since as far back as he remembers.

His artwork is on display in the NWT Centennial Library throughout May.

Low retired in 2006 after 35 years as a biologist with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans in Hay River.

However, his glassworks, art and home renovations have doubled his busy schedule.

Low’s home is a testament to his occupation. Wall-to-wall art abounds, and he points to work done by his father, his daughter and his wife.

Growing up in northern Manitoba, Low said drawing and creating art were one of the few pastimes for his family.

“My dad was quite an artist,” he said. “He used to draw wildlife and landscapes with crayons, then pencil, then oil. He drew some really nice scenes. He’s 10 times better than I ever was. There was no TV and the radio was spotty, so that’s just what we did.”

Stained glass, sandblasted glass, paintings and drawings at Low’s display depict northern scenes of wilderness and wildlife.

Low noted his work doesn’t come naturally.

“Artistry has always been a great effort for me,” he said. “I’m not really a natural artist. I have to work hard at it.”

His workshop is filled with glassware sandblasted with northern images – he calls this the bread and butter of his occupation.

Of all the work he does, he enjoys working on stained-glass windows the most. He has been commissioned by private buyers to create several large windows with images of everything from marine life to a dogsled team.

“That’s what I really like doing,” he said. “There is a lot to it. You have to design the scene, then you pick the glass and colour, and make sure it all fits together. It occupies your mind and you get right into it.”