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Hank Rhoda
Pitman, NJ

Artwork Details
Butterfly #1
Glass, brass, copper
6 foot wingspan

In an interview with reporter Nancy H. James, Hank Rhoda said, "I found, as early as in my childhood, that if I wanted something, I could learn how to make it myself. You just need the mindset that you can do whatever you want. I never had any lessons in art but I took some of my skills and transferred them over to see what I could create." These skills are vocational skills in race car and aircraft mechanics, piloting, solar energy engineering, historical furniture making and custom-home construction which helped to prepare Rhoda to become the full-time artist he is today.
"Any time you build something for yourself, there's a freedom that goes along with it. My driving force has always been to make art that is really unique." Experimenting with designs and construction, Rhoda created sculptural masterpieces--sometimes wrapping glass around driftwood or incorporating found objects. His signature pieces--vivid stained-glass butterflies with wing spans of up to 8 feet--grew out of nearly three decades of artistic experimentation. "I once made a large butterfly for a client whose house overlooked the bay. Small pleasure boats soon began coming up--almost to his dock--to see what this thing in his window was. Making it was kind of a lark and I enjoyed it. Sometimes hanging these can be rather sporty though."

"Unlike a painter, who can watch his work progress as he's working on it, a stained glass artist often doesn't know what kind of effect a piece will have until it's finished. I found when working with the stained glass that I would get enraptured by the colors," Rhoda said. 'You don't have to do anything--just look through the glass in the sunlight. It's least to me." Rhoda also says, "The nice thing about the art world is that anything goes. I don't have to adhere to logic and I don't have to adhere to peer pressure."

Rhoda has shown at various venues around the East Coast including Gloucester County College, Long Beach Center for the Arts, the Jewish Community Center in Cherry Hill and Wheaton Arts Center in Millville.