April started working with glass in 1997, at open access hot shop studios in her hometown of Seattle, WA. She went on to study at the Australian National University, Canberra, Australia where she graduated with honors in 2004. In 2003, she changed her focus from blown to engraved glass after studying under Czech master engraver, Jiri Harcuba. Surgent exhibits, teaches and lectures internationally and has received many accolades for her work, including the Neddy Fellowship through the Behnke Foundation and a 2016 USA Ford Fellowship.
Interested in marine ecology, she uses experiences of working with conservation research scientists to inform her work aimed at cultivating public awareness about climate change and anthropogenic impact on the environment. In 2013, she worked at Palmer station as a recipient of the National Science Foundation’s, Antarctic Artist and Writers Program and in 2016 as a volunteer field biologist for the Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program. Most recently, Surgent worked from the Farallon Islands National Wildlife Refuge, 30 miles west of San Francisco with Point Blue Conservation and in
SW Alaska with the US Geological Survey. Surgent lives and works on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State.