Contemporary Glass Art

Michael JanisMichael Janis
Monday, September 23, 2019
1 – 2:30 pm in Buchner Hall
Alumnae/i House
(Directions / Campus Map)

Registration Fee: $18

Spend the day on campus! Register for both Sage programs on 9/23 (Contemporary Glass Art as well as Chihuly: Up Close and Personal) and get a free lunch voucher to use that day in the new Mary Fisher Dining Center.

Program Description

Michael Janis, one of the finest glass artists working in the field today, is known for his work using the exceptionally difficult sgraffito technique. In this program Mr. Janis will describe his processes, which require intense focus and attention to detail and allow him to create dreamlike imagery and evocative portraits using crushed glass powder. He will also describe how his art challenges us to look past a person's outward facade, and to peer even deeper to discover the individual’s emotions and reveal the identity and the soul within.

A Professor at Rochester Institute of Technology's School For American Crafts in New York wrote: “Michael Janis is an exceptional visual artist, an innovator, and a master of the technique of fusing with glass powder-essentially ‘painting with glass on glass.’ It takes years of trial and error for an artist to achieve fluency in an area of artistic endeavor where one must charter unknown territory to make discoveries unique to themselves. Through skill, vision, tenacity, and dedication, Michael has created a strong and clear voice with the material that is truly his own. Certainly painters would envy Michael’s ability to orchestrate translucency, opacity, and transparency in tandem with chromatic diversity to achieve depth in the two-dimensional plane.”

Mr. Janis will also outline how the Washington Glass School and Studio creates large-scale public art, including the Monumental Glass Doors for the Library of Congress. He will also describe how the WGS&S works with diverse communities on their public art projects, and some of those outstanding pieces will be highlighted.

  • Janis Process

  • Light Touch in Passing

  • Mariposo Detail

  •  Radiance

Program Objectives

Participants will:

  • Gain insight into the career and artistry of Michael Janis, and learn why he transitioned from architecture to glass art, and how the two fields merge
  • Learn how Michael uses his artistry to gain insight and understanding into the complexities of the human condition
  • Learn about the art and the craft of glass - a seemingly untamable medium – and how to adapt to its unpredictability
  • Learn about changes happening in the art world, including differing techniques and how art is sold

Program Format

  • Presentation
  • Question and answer

About Michael Janis

Michael JanisAfter 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 and Studio in Washington, DC, where he now teaches and creates. He also teaches workshops on his unique techniques in glass around the world.

Mr. Janis has received numerous awards for his artwork, and was named a “Rising Star” at Wheaton Arts in 2011. His artwork was twice featured in Corning Museum of Glass’ “New Glass Review” - a review of the year’s top 100 glass works. In 2012, Janis was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship. He attended 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).

In 2016, the DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities (DCCAH) awarded Mr. Janis the 31st Annual Mayor’s Arts Award for “Excellence in the Arts” – a most prestigious honor conferred by the city on individual artists, teachers, nonprofit organizations, and patrons of the arts. More recently, the DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities awarded Janis a 2019 Artist Fellowship. His artwork is now in the permanent collection of the Art Institute of Chicago, as well as in the US Department of State artwork collection at the US Embassy in Bucharest.