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Artist of the Month
October 2014

Artist of the Month

David Willis

David Willis has created a diverse body of work connected by the threads of expression, execution, and an innovative cross-disciplinary approach to glass. Taking advantage of the complexities of his material and processes, his work investigates the simplicity of everyday experience. Willis is represented by Austin Art Projects in Palm Desert, California.

Click on each photo to the right for a full picture. 

David Willis

Artist of the Month

Artist Statement:

Glass, recently liberated from the factory and laboratory, might be the most versatile and the least deeply explored (read also accessible) art material. An interesting combination. Glass provides me with a very broad range for me in terms of how my work might take form.

While most heavily trained as a flameworker, my interest in my material and fascination with possibilities in general have driven me to seek and value fluency in all glass disciplines. Encountering roadblocks, and neither expecting this to change nor having much interest in designing away from where I want to go, I try to move over, around, and through.

I am deeply indebted to the many talented and generous people within and without the fields of glass and art for their past and continuing contributions to my understanding. Thank you.

About David Willis

Born in 1967, David Willis grew up outside of New York City. He attended the University of California at Berkeley earning a bachelor of arts degree in social science with an emphasis on social change, and a minor in conservation and resources studies in 1992. Willis began working with glass in 1994.

In his utilization of flameworking, glassblowing, hot sculpting, and cold assembly, often in combination, Willis takes advantage of a broad understanding, focused ability and calm sensibility in his original and often groundbreaking practice. Driven by an intense curiosity his work continues to broaden and evolve.  Currently investigating painterly works in crushed glass, Willis freely exits the box of traditional approach in the realization of his unique projects.

Willis has been an instructor at institutions including the Pilchuck Glass School, the Studio at the Corning Museum of Glass, and the Penland School of Crafts. He has been a Visiting Artist in Residence at the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, WA, and the Niijima Glass Art Festival in Niijima, Japan. His work is included in public and private collections nationally and abroad and has been published in books and periodicals including Contemporary Flameworking vol. III, New Glass Review, ArtNews and American Craft. He currently lives and maintains his studio in Portland, Oregon.

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Acknowledgment of Gallery:
We are grateful to Austin Art Projects, Palm Desert, California, for providing the materials for the Artist of the Month.

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Our Mission

The Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to further the development and appreciation of art made from glass.

The Alliance informs collectors, critics and curators by encouraging and supporting museum exhibitions, university glass departments and specialized teaching programs, regional collector groups, visits to private collections, and public seminars.