David Levi split his childhood between St. Louis, Missouri, and Austria. He went to public schools in Vienna, and traveled throughout Europe with his family. His father, a cultural historian, served for several years as rector of Black Mountain College in the forties, an avant-garde art school in North Carolina, which was very influential in the history of American art.
David was exposed to glass making for the first time in college. He soon realized the only way to learn the fundamentals of the craft was to go to the source. He apprenticed with a world-renowned master glassblower, Jan-Erik Ritzman, in Sweden, where the tradition has been passed from master to student over many generations for hundreds of years. There he became enamored with the rich traditions of Scandinavian life and culture.
Soon after founding Ibex Glass Studio, David developed an innovative approach to the medium of glass, in sculpture and design. Recognition for his work followed quickly, with invitations to exhibit in the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C., and the Museum of Arts & Design in New York City. He received a National Endowment for the Arts Grant in 1988, and was one of several dozen artisans, in different media, invited to meet the President at the White House for the inauguration of the White House Collection of American Crafts. Two of his pieces are included in this exhibition.
The work of Ibex sometimes embodies a whimsical feeling and at other times has a classical appeal, but it is always cheerful, precise and perfect. His simplistic shapes and bold colors make the work comfortable and approachable. His bowls and vases are meant to be used and enjoyed.