The Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) opens “Mindful: Exploring Mental Health through Art”- an exhibit that looks at mental health through the lens of contemporary craft. Mindful features more than 40 works created by 14 contemporary craft artists – WGS Co-Director Michael Janis’ glass artwork is highlighted in the show that runs January 28 – April 16, 2017.
Other artists include: Edward Eberle, Ian Thomas, Meredith Grimsley, Grace Kubilius, Swoon, Rose Clancy, Jesse Albrecht, Joan Iversen Goswell, Sophia Jung-Am Park, Alison Saar , Jennifer Ling Datchuk, Lyn Godley, and Kaitlyn Evans.
The exhibition highlights a variety of techniques and forms that include innovative art expressions rooted in traditional craft materials, as well as art that explores unexpected relationships between craft and painting, sculpture, conceptual, and installation art.
Along with the exhibition MOCA will plan innovative community programming, partnerships and education opportunities. Mindful reaches beyond the museum walls to examine creativity’s role in mental health, resiliency, and compassion.
This exhibition was organized by the Society for Contemporary Craft, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Michael will also be featured in a Virginia MOCA Artist Talk on April 13 – click HERE for details.
Maryland Public Television (MPT) will launch the fifth season of Artworks, MPT’s weekly arts series. The lively series is hosted by Rhea Feikin, a cultural icon in her own right. The show features intriguing profiles of established, emerging and experimental artists from across the country working in all creative categories: musicians, performers, visual artists, writers, designers, and artisans.
Michael Janis will be the guest Co-Host on two action-packed episodes – the first airing December 29, 2016 and the second airing January 5th, 2017.
Artworks: Episode 513
Premiere date: Thursday, December 29, 2016 at 8:30pm on MPT-HD (repeats Sundays at 12:30pm, MPT-2 Sundays at 12pm)
Description: Co-Host Michael Janis, Co-Director, Washington Glass School. Dutch artist Berndnaut Smilde’s monumental rainbow prism; Houston Grand Opera’s lush costumes; Fawzia Khan, surgeon turned sculptor; and pageantry of the Rose Parade meets Downton Abbey on New Year’s Day.
Click HERE to jump to watch online!
The Washington Post published the following review of Michael Janis’ solo show “Echoes of Leaves and Shadows” being exhibited at the Maurine Littleton Gallery through Oct 15. Art critic Mark Jenkins describes Michael’s skill as “extraordinary. Jenkins also enthuses that Janis’ glass artwork combines “the stateliness of stained-glass windows with the vivacity of pop art”. Have a read of the full text below:
By Mark Jenkins October 8, 2016
If Michael Janis worked with pencil or charcoal, his draftsmanship would be impressive. But the D.C. artist draws photorealist portraits with pulverized glass, placing the powder exactly with tiny tools. Which is extraordinary.
Most of the pieces in “Echoes of Leaves and Shadows,” at Maurine Littleton Gallery, include depictions of pretty young women. These gamines, who might be ballerinas or French New Wave stars, are rendered in granulated black glass fused by heat to clear glass sheets. The pieces aren’t just black-and-clear, though. Janis overlays and underlies patches of translucent colored glass, and often adds such 3-D glass elements as butterflies or flower petals. Aqua and orange are common in this array, among other hues. In one picture, an abstract yellow-green swirl contrasts the subject’s slightly darker green eyes.
Janis employs many variations, slicing faces into three equal parts or contrasting them with panels of textured glass. There are ceramic busts garlanded with glass leaves, and portraits embellished with near-opaque peacock- or dark-blue circles. The latter combine the stateliness of stained-glass windows with the vivacity of pop art — half medieval cathedral, half 1960s Vogue.
Michael Janis: Echoes of Leaves and Shadows On view through Oct. 15 at Maurine Littleton Gallery, 1667 Wisconsin Ave. NW. 202-333-9307. littletongallery.com.
Writing in the the East City Art the renowned critic wrote about his “glass works that cross the line between sculpture (as in relief sculpture) and painting, and which stand out in brilliant color….From both a technical and subjective viewpoint this is a striking show.”
Click HERE to jump to the article online.
The Mayor’s Arts Awards are the most prestigious honors conferred by the city of Washington, D.C. on artists, teachers, nonprofit organizations and patrons of the arts and humanities. D.C.’s 31st Annual Awards ceremony was held at the Historic Lincoln Theater this past Thursday, and Washington Glass School Co-Director Michael Janis was awarded the “Excellence in the Arts” honor!
The DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities works hard at supporting and advancing the arts, humanities and creative industries and presented the awards as recognition of how the creative community impacts the District.
The Awards Gala – modeled after Hollywood’s Academy Awards – had it all – the red carpet (but in green), media and press interviews, glamor, gowns, glitter.
Mayor Muriel Bowser welcomed the audience to the award ceremony and some incredible performances were throughout the evening’s ceremony. In addition to Michael Janis winning the Excellence in the Arts, the winners included Once Common Unity for Excellence in Creative Industries, Leron Boyd for Outstanding Student, Dawn Johnson for Excellence in Teaching and Tara Campbell for Outstanding New Artist. The DCCAH also presented three honors – Lou Stovall, for Lifetime Achievement, Julianne Brienza for Visionary Leadership and E. Ethelbert Miller for Distinguished Honor.
On September 11, 2001, nineteen terrorists hijacked four commercial airplanes. In a coordinated attack, these events forever changed the face of modern-day America. Artists, like all of us, struggled to comprehend the unfathomable destruction and loss of innocent life. They responded the way they knew best – through their art.
Artist Eric Fischl‘s somewhat controversial homage to the 9/11 victims, was expressed in his “Tumbling Woman” sculpture series. The awkward, unnatural pose — the woman is on her back, her legs lifted and held together to her left side — is meant to evoke the bodies that leapt from the World Trade Center towers. It’s a powerful, striking, vulnerable visual -particularly in glass – even without knowing the reference. Fischl said he felt an urgent responsibility to address the terrorist attack through his work, for the public, to help people make sense of what had happened. That is what art does at its best, he said, adding he saw his sculpture as “a sincere gesture of expressing the pain and vulnerability. Those feelings were part of the tragedy.”
In a similar tribute theme is Michael Janis’ “The Tower” from his tarot series of glass panels. That piece was selected in 2009 to be part the Corning Museum of Glass‘ (CMOG) ‘New Glass Review’. Tina Oldknow, CMOG’s curator of modern glass from 2000-2014, and the senior curator of modern and contemporary glass from 2014 until her retirement in September 2015, wrote this commentary on the Janis artwork and how the submissions that year showed a narrative influence. She wrote:
“To introduce my narrative category…(t)he more literal representations included the stories told by Debora Coombs, Ian Mowbray, and especially Michael Janis. … On the other hand, a truly big and dangerous event is depicted in Janis’s “The Tower” Tarot Card. Anyone familiar with the tarot knows that the tower, the 16th card of the major arcana, does not bring glad tidings. I was impressed by Janis’s powerful, sad, and appropriate interpretation of this card as a literal reflection of the tragic events of September 11, 2001.”
On this 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, we are reminded that art can document a time and place forever, as it often represents an exploration of the human condition. It’s a memory device that tells a story that is multi-layered, complex and paradoxical. The stories told through art are vulnerable to interpretation and thus keep the moment alive.
Recalling the devastation that came that day is painful for many. Yet we must remember the past, or we deprive ourselves of its lessons for overcoming our present struggles and divisions.
The DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities (DCCAH) has selected our Michael Janis as a finalist in the “Excellence in the Arts” category for the 31st Annual Mayor’s Arts Awards. The Mayors Arts Awards are the most prestigious honors conferred by the city on individual artists, teachers, nonprofit organizations, and patrons of the arts.
This year, the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities will present the 31st Annual Mayor’s Arts Awards Thursday, September 22, 2016, 7 pm at the Historic Lincoln Theatre.
Artists and Organizations will be recognized in six categories:
Excellence in the Arts
Excellence in the Humanities
Excellence in Creative Industries
Outstanding Student Award
Excellence in Arts Teaching
Outstanding New Artist
Special Awards will be given to individuals and organizations, recognizing their outstanding support to DC arts, humanities and creative industries.
Everyone is invited to come to the ceremony-
Mayor Muriel Bowser presents
The 31st Annual Mayor’s Arts Awards
Thursday, September 22, 2016 at 7 pm
Historic Lincoln Theatre
1215 U Street, NW, Washington, DC 20009
Red Carpet Pre-Show 6 pm
Reception 8:30 pm
Washington Glass Studio recently completed commissions for artwork in a refurbished downtown Bethesda building lobby. Working with art consultants, Directions in Art, Washington Glass Studio began creating artwork options for two levels of an office building that was undergoing a major renovation.
The proposed floor-to-ceiling glass artwork was designed to be fully backlit with LED panels, giving the artwork a strong visual punch. The artwork proposals were presented to the client, and the direction on colors was approved.
Working with the building architects, the design was modified to allow for a stainless steel surrounding frame. The framework would conceal the electrical transformers required for the LED wall. Timing and coordination issues for installation on two separate floors were addressed, as were wall structure concerns.
Michigan’s Habatat Galleries will be exhibiting at SCOPE New York March 3rd – 6th of 2016! Make sure to plan to stop by Habatat Galleries Booth for the most exciting display at the show – as they will be featuring works by Sean Hennessey, Michael Janis and Tim Tate!
With over 75 art fairs spanning more than 15 years, SCOPE is celebrated as the premier showcase for international emerging contemporary art and multi-disciplinary creative programming. Renowned for its uncanny ability to forecast new visual trends that are embraced globally, SCOPE Art Shows garner extensive critical acclaim. With an attendance of 1.2 million visitors, SCOPE Art Show is the largest and most global emerging art fair in the world.
SCOPE New York opens on Thursday, March 3, 2016, with a VIP Preview benefit, and will run March 3 – 6, 2016.
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