Alumni Profile: Sam Corso

President of Dufour/Corso Studios, LTD.
Baton Rouge, LA

Provide an educational background including professional experience.

Bachelor of Fine Art in Painting and Drawing from LSU. (1975)
Master of Fine Art in Stained Glass Design from LSU. (1977)
Post-Graduate Independent Study tour of Italy, studying the art and architecture of Rome, Florence, Siena, Venice, and Sicily. (1981)

I am currently President of Dufour/Corso Studios, Ltd. in Baton Rouge, where I design and fabricate artwork for public and private architecture and for gallery exhibition.

Why did you choose LSU for your education?

I enrolled in the School of Architecture at LSU as a freshman in 1971. The school was highly rated and I had been groomed from an early age to pursue this field, studying mechanical drawing in high school, drawing floor plans in my spare time, and dreaming of being the next Le Corbusier! During my Sophomore year I took free-hand drawing and a painting course in the Art Department and became quickly hooked on the idea of freedom of expression.

Tom Cavanaugh, Harry Harris and Janie McWorter were my earliest exposure to the medium and, with their encouragement, I changed my major to Art and began my life’s journey. After several courses in Bowers’ Graphic Design, Luchetti’s Jewelry Design, Bratcher’s Ceramics, Mauck’s Art History, and more Painting and Drawing, I was prepared to tackle Dufour’s Stained Glass classes. From the moment I took the pre-requisite Color Theory class, I knew that I had found my major medium…and a major professor. By the time I completed my fourth year in College and my senior project in glass, I was ready to begin my graduate studies. LSU’s world-renown stained glass Department was the obvious choice for Graduate School, not because it was the only school offering a terminal degree in this major, but because I knew that I would garner an unparalleled education under Dufour’s tutelage in this unique field. In 1977, armed with my graduate degree, I set out to pursue art’s Holy Grail.

How did your LSU degree help to prepare you for your profession?

During the 1970’s, the art curriculum was very relaxed so I was able to seek out the best courses and the best instructors that the University offered, thus designing my curriculum to concentrate in 2 and 3-D design, painting, and drawing. This Bauhaus type training, coupled with the influence from architecture and landscape architecture courses, allowed me to develop a multi-media career.

I continue to exhibit paintings in galleries and museums, and design and fabricate major commissions in stained glass, bronze and wood sculpture, mosaics, tapestries and furniture for public, liturgical, commercial, and residential architecture. This is possible because of the strong foundation and passion for expression that was fortified by my professors at LSU. As further testimony to their influence, I have taught classes as an Instructor Part-time in design, drawing, and painting in the Schools of Art, Landscape Architecture, Interior Design, and Continuing Education at LSU during a collective sixteen-year period. I have also conducted workshops in glass design and construction for the American Crafts Council and Arts and Crafts schools around the nation.

What current or past research and projects/exhibitions have you done?

I am currently working on several large-scale liturgical commissions, including 20 stained glass windows and a Crucifix with processional cross, along with a few residential projects. During my 30 year professional career, I have completed numerous glass commissions for churches throughout Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas and exhibited widely in juried and invitational exhibitions throughout the United States. Included are exhibitions at the Museums of Art in Mobile, Al.; Little Rock, Ar; Caspar, Wy; Downey, Ca; Missoula, Mont., and Jacksonville, Fl. In 2000, I was invited to exhibit, teach a course and deliver a lecture on my work to the Society of Artists in Glass’s Conference 2000 in Wanganui, New Zealand.

Please list any awards or special recognition that you have received.

In addition to two Artist Fellowships and a mini-grant from the Louisiana State Arts Council Division of the Arts, I have received numerous top cash and/or purchase awards in juried competition. In 2004, I won a competition to design and fabricate a 500 square-foot stained glass window for the W.C.C. Claiborne building, a Louisiana mandated Percent-for-Art commission. In 1982, I was honored by the Corning Museum of Glass by being selected for inclusion in New Glass Review IV, a selection of the “100 Best Glass Designers” in the world for the year. Articles about my work can be found in many periodicals and my biography is listed in Who’s Who in American Art, Who’s Who in the South and Southwest, American Artist of Renown, and Directory of International Biographies.

What are your plans for the future?

Just keep working…