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Virginia Beach - George Campbell(Cam)Langley, formerly of Virginia Beach, glassblower and co-founder of the Glass Studio, who was known primarily for his stemware and fantasy flowers died on March 15 at his home in Birmingham, AL. He was 64.
Born in Norfolk, Cam received a degree in Civil Engineering from Virginia Tech in 1970. His early engineering career was with the VA State Health Dept. in Richmond; eventually he moved back to Virginia Beach to work in his father's firm, Langley, McDonald & Overman Consulting Engineers.
His interest in glass was piqued after observing glassblowing demonstrations at the Jamestown Glasshouse, exhibits at the Chrysler Museum of Art, and the Corning Museum of Glass. After reading a book written by Harvey Littleton, who was known as the "father of the modern glass movement", he contacted Harvey unaware of Littleton's eminence. Littleton invited him to see his glass collection and suggested Cam attend The Penland School of Crafts in NC. The 3 week stint at Penland just whetted his appetite for glass.
Langley enrolled at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He received a National Endowment for the Arts apprentice fellowship and spent 4 years as a non-degree student. He acquired precise glassblowing techniques there and refined his imagery using experimental forms from nature as inspiration. He participated in numerous art fairs including several American Craft Council (ACC) art fairs, the Virginia Beach Boardwalk Art Show and Coconut Grove, Miami, FL.
A participant in the studio art glass movement for almost 30 years, Langley was a revered figure in Alabama art circles and his work is recognized nationally and internationally. His glass was represented by more than 50 galleries and featured in many private and public collections; including The Frederick Weisman Collection, Southern Progress Corporation, and commissioned gifts for the former President of the Czech Republic and German Ambassador to the US. He was commissioned for a special bouquet of red flowers for the Coca Cola executive offices, and Walter Chrysler personally selected his work for the renowned glass collection of the Chrysler Museum, Norfolk, Va. His work has been collected by the New Orleans Museum of Art, the Huntsville and Birmingham Museum of Art and the Montgomery Museum currently hosted a retrospective exhibition of 22 glass objects that will become part of their permanent collection.
In 2007, Cam and his wife Janice Kluge, UAB Professor Emeritus and current studio artist, established The Kluge/Langley Endowed Scholarship for the UAB Department of Art and Art History to honor their artistic legacy. In 1983, Cam moved to Birmingham to marry Janice. On their first wedding anniversary, Cam made glass flowers as a gift for his wife and said they were permanent flowers and a gift of love that would never die. Glass bouquets from that prototype became his signature production interest.
He is survived by his wife, Janice Kluge, beloved dog Tanzy, and two brothers: Mark Langley and his wife, Ditty, sons Eric, Marcus, Adam, Matthew of Wilmington, NC, Tom Langley and his wife, Bev Hyde, daughter Andrea, sons Brian and Amory, Virginia Beach, Va., and Janice's nephews Chris and Nick Gilliam. He is predeceased by his parents, George(Buck)and Elizabeth (Lib) Langley of Virginia Beach.
Cam's website on the Caring Bridge chronicled his illness with neuroendrocine cancer that is a rare and aggressive cancer diagnosed 1 in 100,000 people. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations sent to either The
, The UAB Kluge/Langley Endowed art scholarship, or The Triangle Park in Forest Park.
Around 1985, Cam and Janice restarted a Langley family tradition by taking their niece and nephews to the Outer Banks for a week in Rodanthe, NC every summer - no parents allowed. Cam loved the beach and was known for his home-made biscuits and chocolate chip pancakes. The cousins bonded to Uncle Clam and Aunt Longlegs and to each other, and this annual tradition continues…
Published in The Virginian Pilot on Mar. 17, 2013