Saturday, October 9, 2010

Inspired Lives: Andrew Glasgow

10 days of travel to see art, meet with artists, educators, curators and arts mobilizers have filled and inspired me in a way I had not imagined. As a result, my next several blogs will be dedicated to what I am calling "Inspired Lives".

It is with absolute purpose that I begin my tribute to my friend Andrew Glasgow, a man who is living with terminal cancer, a man who has astounded the medical world with his strength and tenacity, a man who has created such a global imprint on the world of craft and design that everyone knows him and has been affected by him, and a man who by example is teaching those he encounters how to live a more meaningful life.

Andrew's home in the hills of North Carolina is more than just a reflection of Andrew; it is Andrew. Gutted, redesigned and remodeled for him by his friend, artist and architect Randy Shull, every detail is a considered, personal choice with a meaningful story behind it: the orange cabinets, with their initial color pow and which upon closer inspection reveal painstakingly layered and rubbed colors; the windows which create the illusion that Andrew is the sole inhabitant of this gorgeous part of the country; the GammaPar and terrazzo floors both cool and warm at the same time, displaying an attention to detail and an expansive vision; and the built-in cabinetry meant to house his exceptionally curated and deeply personal collection of art and craft.

As Andrew cooked me a southern breakfast complete with cheese grits, my eyes flitted about, landing on one remarkable object and detail after another. In my dreams, I will someday have a home as beautiful as his. But it was Andrew's words which had the most profound effect on me. He knows his days are limited and has accepted that inevitability with grace and yet without succumbing. He told me that once he learned to embrace his cancer, it gave him greater strength to live, strength to defy the odds yet look life squarely in the eyes for all that it can be. Chemotherapy is a necessary nuisance, so he plans for it without dwelling on it. As he recognizes that he still has more to give to this world, Andrew is re- entering the work arena with a balanced fervor that so many of us strive for with limited success. His friends are his tribe, and their/our common language is honesty, as nothing less has meaning.

I am having technical issues posting images today, so a link to my images can be found at


  1. Andrew is a special person to so very many in the world of art and craft but for me it's a more personal connection. Andrew introduced me to my partner, David and brought a love into my life that I wasn't expecting. We love Andrew and hope to keep him around for a long time.

  2. Your blog is one of the best things I've read about Andrew. You have captured his life/environment/philosophy/attitude/accomplishments in such a small number of words. Brilliantly written and sensitively inspired.
    I am part of Andrew's vast extended family. There are so many of us all bound together by our love and respect of and for Andrew. He has been a close friend and inspiration to me for 15 years and more so in the last year and a half by his approach to his illness and his life. It has changed me profoundly and I am grateful.

  3. Beautifully said. Andrew is a special person in this world, and you captured his remarkable attitude so well.