It has been said that in the arts we tell lies to get at the truth. Cole uses different materials and perceptual perspectives to get at an idea from several different vantage points. He is interested in the intersection of our own personal histories and how their recalling changes over time. At what point in time do they translate from personal stories to self-aggrandized mythologies? Do these stories become part of the larger culture? Cole explores elements of personal navigation. How do we relate to the stars, the sea, or each other? Buoys act as a demarcation between safe passage and areas to avoid. Red buoys specifically are used to tell the traveler that they are returning to port. Carl Sagan said, “We are all made of stardust.” It is no wonder that we navigated by the stars even before we had the capacity to record our own stories.
Holding a BFA from the Cleveland Institute of Arts in Ohio and an MFA from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, in 2010, Brent Cole assumed the lead faculty position for Ball State University’s new glass program in the School of Art at the Marilyn K. Glick Center for Glass in Muncie, IN. Prior to this appointment, he served for six years beginning in 2004, as visiting assistant professor of glass at the University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL. Over the years Cole has participated in several artist residency programs including the Appalachian Center for Crafts in Smithville, TN, Ucross Foundation in Ucross, WY, and the Headlands Center for the Arts in Sausalito, CA. Cole's work utilizes natural and man-made navigational tools to describe metaphorical and contextual environments. His work has been exhibited frequently at Art Basel Miami and has been included in prestigious museum shows at the North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, NC, and at the John Michael Kohler Center for the Arts, Sheboygan, WI.