Artist of the Month
Michael Janis first began working with glass as an architect in Australia. After returning to the U.S. to focus entirely on his art, Janis became co-director of the Washington Glass School in D.C. in 2005 and was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship in 2012. In 2011 the Fuller Craft Museum mounted a solo show of Janis’ work. He is represented by Maurine Littleton Gallery, Washington, D.C.
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Inspired by ways we transform ourselves, I work at creating glass pieces that have both visual and spatial depth. By layering and fusing sheets of glass with overlapping elements, I strive for an interactive commentary using simple forms with intricate glass powder drawings. These works are a continuation of my frit powder drawings that I have been working on for some time now. The layered compositions allow me to make unusual juxtapositions of imagery. I think of this process as a type of poetic invention, a process of evoking non-linear narratives that trigger multiple associations in the mind of the viewer. The use of glass as a substrate adds a visual treat and a three dimensionality that paper or canvas cannot deliver.
My kilnformed work takes scenes and suspends them within layers of fused, formed and coldworked sheet glass. Using crushed glass powder to create drawings, I like to play on the elements of light, color and also sequence. The composition of imagery and color at the service of narrative within these panels is intuitive. If this intuition is informed, it is certainly vulnerable and in search of empathy. The time consuming process of my artwork helps me to focus and experiment with the ways and means to depict the poetry, symbolism and magic of the everyday. The layering of elements reacts to perceptions of gender, culture and time.
About Michael Janis
After a 20 year career as an architect in the United States and Australia, Michael Janis returned to the U.S. with a focus on working with glass. In 2005, Janis became the co-director of the Washington Glass School in Washington, D.C. Awarded a Fulbright Scholarship in 2012, Janis went to England's University of Sunderland and taught at the UK's National Glass Centre where he became an artist-in-residence at the Institute for International Research in Glass (IIRG).
Janis has received numerous awards for his artwork including the Florida Art Glass Alliance’s Emerging Artist Award 2009, the Bay Area Glass Institute’s 2010 Saxe Fellowship, and he was named a “Rising Star” at Wheaton Arts 2011. His glass artwork was featured in Corning Museum’s New Glass Review #30 and #31. The Fuller Craft Museum in Massachusetts mounted a solo show of Janis’ glass panels and sculpture in 2011. His artwork is in the permanent collection of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Acknowledgment of Gallery:
We are grateful to Maurine Littleton Gallery, Washington, D.C., for providing the materials for the Artist of the Month.
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