Paul Stankard overcame a challenging learning disability and worked in the industrial glass-blowing industry for years before deciding to pursue his own artful glass creations and become a full-time glass artist.

Paul Stankard overcame a challenging learning disability and worked in the industrial glass-blowing industry for years before deciding to pursue his own artful glass creations and become a full-time glass artist.

Now that his glass paperweight art is recognized internationally, the Massachusetts native is visiting Licking County, where 20 pieces of his work will be on display at The Works in downtown Newark. The show, "Garlands of Glass," features his work and pieces recently created by Works staff artist Aaron Buchholz.

During the exhibit opening held this weekend, Stankard was on hand to sign copies of his autobiography, "No Green Berries or Leaves: The creative journey of an artist in glass." The book was published by McDonald and Woodward Publishing of Granville.

"I'm 65 now and feel like I'm just beginning," Stankard said.

Stankard, whose studio is in New Jersey, struggled with dyslexia as a child although he was not actually diagnosed with a learning disability until he was a young adult. Struggling to read and complete math equations, Stankard said, he had low self-esteem.

"I felt like I was stupid," he said.

Dyslexia is a learning disability that causes people to see letters and numbers out of order.

After being diagnosed with a learning disability, Stankard began to look at life differently, he said.

"I learned how to overcome it," he said. "I educated myself with books on tape."

Stankard was able to read classic novels then, from which he learned "the depth of human emotion."

"I educated myself so I could make my work more significant," he said.

In his autobiography, Stankard tried to explain how he established his career and raised his family after "educating myself in nontraditional ways."

His glass paperweights now on display at The Works are examples of how Stankard has been able to share his view of nature in glass.

"My career has been spent interpreting nature in glass," he said. "I use native flowers in a referential way, incorporating human forms and other symbols in my design. There's a certain ambiguousness to the work."

Stankard's display opened this weekend and will continue through Jan. 10 at The Works, 55 S. First St., in downtown Newark.

His display is in conjunction with The Works' Holiday Traditions celebration, to be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, Nov. 28. The theme is "Season of Light," in which many of The Works' educational activities will be featured.

On Nov. 28, the facility will have a "Colorful Kinetic Chemistry Show" and a "Night Sky Lights Show" in the museum's new science theater, and people can visit the Gear Shop, museum or interactive learning laboratories.

Admission is $3 for children, $7 for adults and $5 for seniors. Members are admitted for free.For more information, call 740-349-9277 or visit www.attheworks.org.

lwince@thisweeknews.com