The Mansfield Art Center is part of a TikTok video that has gone viral.
Darren Goodman shared a glassblowing performance to create “Tears of Joy” at his opening reception, surprising the audience with his showmanship and creating an 8-foot glass teardrop before their eyes.
It was January 16, the opening day of his “Trail of Tears” exhibition, made up of hundreds of mouth-blown glass pieces suspended in the form of colored teardrops and glass sculptures intertwined with elements of nature and found objects.
Since it was uploaded, the TikTok video has garnered over 1 million views.
“It’s very unusual for a museum to have a TikTok video,” said Jennifer Beavis, director of marketing and development. “In the first 10 hours, it got 13,000 views. It wasn’t expected, and it kept taking off.”
For Goodman’s exhibit, visitors will find hanging tree branches heavily laden with a rainbow of glass that dazzles in the natural light of the upstairs gallery.
The exhibition is one of the largest in the Mansfield Art Center
This large-scale installation is one of the most expansive blown glass exhibits at the Mansfield Art Center to date. “Trail of Tears” examines our deep connection to nature by taking us through a landscape imagined by Goodman.
Goodman creates his one-of-a-kind free-form glass pieces in his studio in Waynesville. A passionate musician, he incorporates music and glassblowing performances into his work, conveying a “glass experience” to his audience.
“Darren is a glass artist,” said George Whitten, executive director of the art center. “He sings. He dances. He’s very theatrical.
“He’s quite the artist.”
Goodman has exhibited her work worldwide, having traveled extensively across the United States, the volcanoes of Hawaii, and the streets of Paris.
Due to popular demand, the art center will house “Trail of Tears” until April 3.
“David is evolving the exhibit,” Beavis said. “He blew 200 butterflies and cocoons out of glass.”
The exhibition is free. Additionally, the art center will be offering glassblowing events in its hot shop for the duration of this exhibition, allowing visitors to experience a personal glassblowing experience.
Visit mansfieldartcenter.org, for more information and to register for glassblowing workshops.
Beavis takes over as director of marketing and development
Beavis was able to appreciate the TikTok video because until last month she handled social media for the art center. She has been in her new position for only three weeks.
Whitten credits Beavis with lowering the age of the art center’s core demographic, which was previously 55 and older. He is now 35 and over.
“We see this at all levels in our classrooms,” Beavis said. “It completely reversed the perception of the art center.”
Whitten, who admits he doesn’t follow social media much, said he was asked by outsiders who handles social media for the art center.
He and Beavis said the art center attracts many people who have never been there before.
“I’m very excited about the range of people we see,” Whitten said.
Beavis noted that she tried to open a dialogue with the audience.
“It made a huge difference in a short time,” she said. “There was an obvious disconnect between the museum and the education wing. There are so many crossovers.”
At the same time, the art center felled large bushes that obstructed the view of the building from Marion Avenue.
“It all fell into place at once,” Whitten said.
Beavis, a Wooster native, started at the art center in July. She was picking up her painting, which was part of the May Show, when the staff asked her to work there.
She had been a stay-at-home mom for eight years.
“The art center was one of the very first places I visited when I moved here,” Beavis said.
She has 15 years of management experience. Beavis worked for Limited Brands, which includes Bath & Body Works.
Whitten recommended a promotion for Beavis to the art center’s board of directors.
“I saw his performance, how we increased our numbers by 80% for the holiday fair,” he said. “It was (a promotion) pretty obvious to me. It was pretty much a no-brainer.”
Here is the online link to the video: