Catherine Rahn: 

Art and Sea

Deep Glass

Two Installations at The Indianapolis Art Center

and the Indianapolis Zoo

November 10, 2001 (Zoo)-January 13, 2002

November 30,2001 (Art Center)-January 13, 2002

Above: Diver installing Rahn Eel in shark tank at Indianapolis Zoo

Shark swims past a grouping of sculpted stars by Catherine Rahn: Indianapolis Zoo

Diver with sculpted Eel, part of Rahn installation in shark tank at the Indianapolis Zoo

Sharks and Rahn sea stars from above

Rahn: The St. Anthony Dives Maui, Hawaii 2000

Above: A Glass Sea Star Installed by Catherine Rahn on the prow of the St. Anthony, 

a trawler resting on the bottom of the ocean off the coast of Maui in the Hawaiian Island chain.

April, 2000. Select the image above to see the photo essay about the St. Anthony Dive


Fire shapes a Star: At the Appalachian Crafts Center on May 11, 1999


Deep Glass: Merging Art and Exploration

Catherine Rahn's source of inspiration is the ocean realm, where she has been SCUBA diving for two decades.

Since the 1980s, Rahn has been working in glass, a relatively new material for art that has attracted great interest among educators, collectors and the media. Glass is ideally suited to the creation of forms that parallel those found in the ocean. The flowing organic shapes inherent to working with blown and cast glass readily suggest sea forms. Although glassmakers have been making seaforms since at least the nineteenth century, these have always been objects for the curio cabinet, museum, aquarium. Few artists have ever attempted to combine art and exploration in the ocean realm.

In 1997, Rahn had the idea to take her work into the ocean as a way of merging her love of glass and the sea. Glass may be the ideal medium for art under water, as it is environmentally friendly (an inert material that actually gets stronger under compression) and symbolically loaded (the fragility of glass is an apt symbol for the fragility of the ocean). The work that Catherine Rahn places in the ocean never remains for more than a few hours—just long enough to document the project—in order to further minimize environmental impact. During the many dives the team has made in Fiji and elsewhere, great care has been taken not injure sea life or to cause a safety hazard by breaking the glass. The compact scale of the work (most components under 12" in diameter and made of solid glass) minimizes danger to divers and to sea creatures.

Rahn has made two expeditions to Fiji (in 1997 and 1998) to install work on the reefs there. The Emmy award winning videographer Stan Waterman recorded this part of the project, and he will be the narrator for the video (Viti Vetri). Catherine also seeks a larger audience for the work, and so in late August 1998 she made dives at Ripley’s Aquarium in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, where thousands of people saw her installing her artworks underwater and heard about the project from narrators positioned outside the tanks. It was especially gratifying for Rahn to see the reactions of children and work with them.



Visit the link below for an essay about the underwater expeditions in Fiji:

Catherine Rahn : Deep Glass


Above: Students surround the Deep Glass Pool exhibited at SOFA Chicago, November 1999. Click on photo to see more from SOFA.

Detail of Sea Star at Ormond Museum

For a view of Rahn's recent exhibition at The Ormond Art Museum visit:

Rahn at Ormond 1999


Catherine Rahn: Background information



University of Colorado - Boulder, Colorado
Boise State University - Boise, Idaho
Sun Valley Art Center - Sun Vallery, Idaho

Penland School of Craft - Penland, North Carolina
Stetson University - DeLand, Florida




Creatures Great and Small, Chappell Gallery - Boston, Massachusetts

The St. Anthony Dive and Exhibition, Elizabeth Doyle Gallery, Maui, Hawaii, April 2000


Deep Glass, Riley Hawk Gallery at SOFA Chicago
, November 1999

Retrospective Exhibition, Ormond Memorial Art Museum, May-June, 1999

Reef Glass: Catherine Rahn, Coplan Gallery, Boca Raton, Florida, March 1999

Beneath the Waves, Naples Art Gallery, Naples, Florida, March 1999


Underwater Rahn, Burroughs Chapin Art Museum, Myrtle Beach, SC, August-October, 1998

Installation inside Sting Ray Bay tank, Ripley Aquarium, Myrtle Beach, S.C., 1998


Museum of Arts and Science - Daytona Beach, Florida
Helander Gallery - Palm Beach, Florida


 Gail Severn Gallery - Sun Valley, Idaho


 Duncan Gallery of Arts, Stetson University - DeLand, Florida
Bell Gallery - Memphis, Tennessee


Boise State University Art Gallery - Boise, Idaho



Museum of Arts and Sciences - Daytona Beach, Florida
Duncan Gallery of Arts, Stetson University - DeLand, Florida

Numerous private collections


“The Next Wave”, House and Garden (April 1992)

“Profile and Portfolio”, Arts and Science (Spring, 1992)

“Fun House”, Architectural Record (April 1992)

“Root Guest House”, Ambiente (Summer 1992)

Torreano, John, Catherine Rahn: Recent Works - DeLand, Florida - Duncan Gallery of Arts, Stetson University, 1992

William Warmus, “Catherine Rahn: Deep Glass” Glass Art Magazine, (January, 1999)

Rick Sloan, "Catherine Rahn" in Sun Valley magazine, Summer/fall 1999