Washington Glass School Goes All SOFA Chicago

SOFA_CHICAGO_500x500Every fall Chicago, IL hosts the critically acclaimed Sculpture Objects & Functional Art Expo, more commonly known as SOFA. SOFA Chicago 2015 will be held November 6 – 8, 2015 at Navy Pier’s Festival Hall, where masterworks from top international galleries and dealers from numerous countries will exhibit. An opening night preview will be held Thursday, November 5. On par with Art Basel and TEFAF Maastricht, the critically acclaimed art fair has been continuously run every year since 1994. What distinguishes SOFA from other top art events is its focus on three-dimensional artworks that cross the boundaries of fine art, decorative art and design. SOFA is noted for its exceptional presentation of artwork by international galleries and it is enhanced by the many talks to attend in the Lecture Series given by award-wining designers and artists. 

This year, a number of Washington Glass School artists will be featured at the art fair, and the artists are bringing new works that have taken them in new directions. Tim Tate will be giving a “Booth Talk” at Habatat Galleries (space #1400) on Saturday, Nov 7 @ 1:00 pm. Just after that talk, at 2:00 pm, Sean Hennessey and Michael Janis will be featured at the Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass (AACG) Ice Cream Social on the terrace at Navy Pier.

Allegra Marquart, "The Princess and the Pea", 2015, Cast glass shapes wall mounted over a sewn panel, 14"x 28"

Allegra Marquart, “The Princess and the Pea”, Cast glass shapes wall mounted over a sewn panel, 14″x 28″ photo: Pete Duvall

Allegra Marquart (Maurine Littleton Gallery, Space #821) has mixed her cast glass with textile, exploring the new possibilities for color, texture and especially line. Allegra has been stitching connections that create open, delicate looking backgrounds that complements and comments on the bolder glass shapes which are mounted slightly in front.  The glass and the threads compliment concepts of fragility and ambiguity. 

Sean Hennessey

Sean Hennessey, clockwise from top left: “The Doors that May Open”, “The Relentless Path Upward”, “The Gift of Time”, “From Mud and Soap”, cast glass, imagery, steel, LED; 24″ x 36







Sean Hennessey (Habatat Galleries, Space #1400) will be presenting works that take him in a new direction, both in terms of the brightness of the colors and in the use of a separate panel that incorporates photographed and drawn imagery, telling a slightly different side of the story from the larger panel. 

Audrey Wilson (Alida Anderson Art Projects, Space #402) makes her debut at the art fair. Her new mixed media works explore alternate and extraordinary realms.

Audrey Wilson, " Luminiferous Aether Electrode"

Audrey Wilson, ” Luminiferous Aether Electrode”, Cast glass, electronics, found objects, photo Pete Duvall

Michael Janis (Maurine Littleton Gallery, Space #821) explores concepts of identity with his frit powder (sgraffito) drawings with cast glass elements. New this year are his ceramic and glass sculptures.

Michael Janis, "Regeneration", cast glass, ceramic, 14” x 16” x 12” photo: Pete Duvall

Michael Janis, “Regeneration”, cast glass, ceramic, 14” x 16” x 12” photo: Pete Duvall




Tim Tate (Habatat Galleries, Space #1400) is showing his new illuminated pieces, his infinity series. Tim entices the viewer to look deeply into his created environments, create an optical and physical illusion of infinity through apparent limitless space.  There is an intimacy created by viewing deeply into a circular opening, as if peering through a portal to another reality.

Tim Tate, "Violet Tattoo Infinity", Cast Poly-Vitro, Glass, Lighting; photo: Pete Duvall

Tim Tate, “Violet Tattoo Infinity”, Cast Poly-Vitro, Glass, Lighting; photo: Pete Duvall






SOFA Chicago November 5-8, 2015

600 East Grand Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611


Chicago SOFA Floor Plan 2015

Janis & Tate @ Catholic University Architecture Department? Fab!

Washington Glass School’s Professor Michael Janis and Professor Tim Tate will present a lecture on glass art and architecture to students and faculty of Catholic University’s School for Architecture and Planning (CUArch) at the Crough Center for Architectural Studies as part of the Fall 2015 Fab Lab Lecture series.

Catholic University Architecture Department presents Michael Janis and Tim Tate

Catholic University Architecture Department presents Michael Janis and Tim Tate

We have just 3 things to say about this:




Pittsburgh’s SCC’s “Mindful” Exhibit: Exploring Mental Health through Art

Michael Janis;"Echoes" detail; fused glass, glass powder imagery; 2015

Michael Janis; “Echoes” detail; fused glass, glass powder imagery; 2015. photo by AnythingPhotographic

To raise awareness and increase understanding of mental illness, The Society for Contemporary Craft (SCC) located in Pittsburgh, PA, will be mounting a “socially engaged art experience”  opening September 18th through March 12, 2016. 

The  traveling exhibition titled Mindful: Exploring Mental Health through Art is designed to break down societal stigmas and offers an opportunity to encounter and understand mental health through the lens of contemporary craft. Featuring more than 40 works created by 14 contemporary artists in the project’s main exhibition, and WGS artist Michael Janis’ glass artwork will be highlighted.

One in four adults lives with a mental health condition, yet this common illness often remains hidden behind a wall of secrecy and isolation. 

Presenting contemporary art in craft media by international, national and regional artists since 1971, the Society for Contemporary Craft offers cutting edge exhibitions focused on multicultural diversity and non-mainstream art. The SCC remains one of the nation’s only non-profit institutions focused on contemporary craft..

Learn more about the Mindful project by visiting the SCC website for the exhibit: www.exploremindfulart.com


The Society of Contemporary Craft

Mindful: Exploring Mental Health through Art

2100 Smallman St, Pittsburgh, PA 15222

For more info:


or call 412.261.7003.

Penland School of Craft Auction Features Michael Janis’ “Flying In Place”

Michael Janis, "Flying in Place", fused glass powder imagery, steel, silver

Michael Janis, “Flying in Place”, fused glass powder imagery, steel, silver, 24″ x 7″

With less than one month to go until the 2015 Penland Benefit Auction, Penland, the national center for craft education located in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains featured Washington Glass School co-director Michael Janis and his artwork “Flying in Place”. Below, Michael Rogers, Professor of Imaging Arts and Sciences at Rochester Institute of Technology, describes Michael’s work and his process. “Flying in Place” and many other works of glass will be up for bidding at the 30th anniversary of the Penland Benefit Auction this summer. You can now view all of these works online in the 2015 auction catalog.

“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. However, Michael is much more than technically adept.

Michael Janis, "Flying in Place",glass, glass powder imagery, silver, steel, 24"dia x 7"

Michael Janis, “Flying in Place”,glass, glass powder imagery, silver, steel, 24″dia x 7″ The frit powder imagery is presented as distorted in the front-on viewing, and the distorted image is viewed un-distorted in the reflection of the silvered glass cylinder.

“After all, Michael is a storyteller, an artist who draws simultaneously upon the past, present, and future to develop the content of his work. Through memory, awareness, and intuitiveness, one could say Michael evokes meaning in his work. With Flying in Place, we are presented with a stunningly beautiful and fascinating piece of poetic narrative. Metaphorically rich in associations, this work preserves its mystery while engaging the viewer’s curiosity. In the end, Michael’s intense ability with material and technique allows him to transcend these aspects of making to communicate his intention directly. Michael’s genius is in suspending reality and creating an illusion one can get lost in. In this way, he captivates the viewer.

“When I see this work by Michael Janis I think that here is a mature artist, an artist at the top of his game.” – Michael Rogers

Please join the Penland Benefit Auction on August 7 and 8, 2015.

Join Penland’s event page to stay up to date on the latest auction news and stories.

Absentee bidders can register by clicking this link. For reservations, please contact Jackie Head at 828-765-2359 x 112 or auction@penland.org.

For more information about the 2015 Annual Benefit Auction, click here to visit Penland’s auction website or call 828-765-2359 x 112.

Washington Glass School At S.O.F.A. Chicago 2014


Every fall – for the past 20 years – Chicago, IL hosts the internationally acclaimed Sculpture Objects & Functional Art Fair (aka SOFA Chicago).  

The 21st SOFA Chicago will be held November 7 – 9, 2014 at Navy Pier’s Festival Hall where masterworks from top international galleries and dealers from numerous countries will exhibit. Opening night gala preview will be held Thursday, November 6.

Washington Glass School is represented by artists Michael Janis and Allegra Marquart at Maurine Littleton Gallery and Sean Hennessey and Tim Tate are exhibiting at Habatat Galleries Space.

Allegra Marquart, "On The Bus", 2014,  cast glass, enamel OA dimensions 48" L x  24" H.

Allegra Marquart, “On The Bus” (detail), 2014, cast glass, enamel; OA dimensions 48″ L x 24″ H. Photo by Anything Photographic

Allegra Marquart will present a number of her new wall installations. Her new works are not strictly narrative but relate to etchings the artist made years ago when she first moved to the city and began interpreting what she saw on the streets with humor and an eye for juxtaposing disparate situations and individuals.

Sean Hennessey, "The Fur-Suit of Happiness" Cast Glass, Paint, Video (Photo by Anything Photographic)

Sean Hennessey, “The Fur-Suit of Happiness” Cast Glass, Paint, Video
(Photo by Anything Photographic)

Sean Hennessey will be showing his cast glass/ mixed media panels at Habatat Galleries. His new works integrate electronics and videos into the panels.


Tim Tate, “The Healing Polyopticon”, Poly-Vitro, Glass, Video

Tim Tate will be showing his installation “The Healing Polyopticon” – a 5 ft wide installation consisting of 16 video pieces in varying sizes of cast black frames. Each video is in the form of an eye blinking; each eye different. Surrounding this cluster of 16 video frames are cast black flowers that fills out the 5 ft wide circle . The work is based on a terminal diagnosis he received 30 years ago – and he imagined that he was being kept safe by those who passed before him – all keeping an eye on him thru portals. In this sculpture he portrays people who had effected his life in a positive way…keeping him from passing over, making him safe; imbuing him with self healing energy. This powerful sculpture will at Habatat Galleries space.


Michael Janis, “Breathing In The Quiet” and “Waiting For The Lover’s Words”, fused glass powder imagery, glass, steel. (Photo by Anything Photographic)

Michael Janis will be showing a number of new works at Maurine Littleton Gallery space. The American Institute of Interior Designers (ASID) chose his work as part of their picks for SOFA Selectswhere highlighted pieces chosen by noted curators, designers, and critics give viewers of the fair way to navigate the huge show.

If you are going to the show – be sure to stop by and visit with the artists – all will be at the Chicago Fair!

Smithsonian American Art Museum Features Michael Janis

Smithsonian Distinguished Artist Michael Janis

Michael Janis at the Smithsonian Museum. Photo by Miriam Rosenthal.


Washington Glass School sgraffito workshop. Photo by Miriam Rosenthal.

The James Renwick Alliance (JRA) is an independent national non-profit organization that celebrates the achievements of America’s craft artists and fosters scholarship, education and public appreciation of craft art. The JRA is the exclusive support group of the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the U.S. national showcase of contemporary American craft. Washington Glass School Co-Director Michael Janis was named “Distinguished Artist” by the JRA. The weekend’s events included a sgraffito glass workshop with Michael held at the Washington Glass School and Michael Janis presented at the Smithsonian Museum’s Turner Auditorium outlining his career, process, and artwork. The talk at the museum was broadcast live and the Smithsonian staff promised that it would be available online soon. 3.michael.janis.smithsonian.american.art.museum.artist_glassThe final event was the JRA hosted dinner on Sunday evening – it was a very busy exciting weekend for the Washington Glass School!4.a.distinguished_artist.james.renwick.alliance.shea.trump.janis_glass_cuddle

Congratulations to Michael – well done and well deserved!


Michael Janis @ Smithsonian American Art Museum


Smithsonian’s American Art Museum McEvoy Auditorium will feature Michael Janis starting at 2pm Sunday, May 4th.

Michael Janis was recently featured in American Craft Magazine as “one of a select number of artists in the world creating sgraffito glass art.” The Creative Glass Center of America dubbed him a “Rising
Star of the 21st Century.” His mastery of this difficult technique shows itself in the dreamlike images which he creates by “drawing” with frit powders upon glass which is then fused into painterly panels of
subtle depth and luminosity. This architect-turned-glass-art-star will be made a James Renwick Alliance Distinguished Artist on the weekend of May 3-4.  On Sunday, Michael Janis will present a slide lecture on his work and career at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.michael.janis.smithsonian.american.art.museum

Janis is a Fulbright Scholar and has taught at the UK’s National Glass Centre at Sunderland University. His work is included in the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago and numerous private collections. He will be teaching at Penland School of Craft in August.

Michael Janis @ Arizona & New Mexico AACG


Michael Janis enchants the crowd that assembled at Winterowd Gallery in Santa Fe.


Professor Michael Janis was out west this past week, speaking to the Arizona Glass Alliance in Scottsdale, AZ and in Santa Fe, NM, he presented to the Glass Alliance New Mexico.


The Glass Alliance Maestro program brings collectors, artists, students and galleries together.

The audiences loved how he explained the process of drawing with crushed glass powder (frit) and how the imagery was layered in his process. The visit to the Southwest was an exciting trip for our Maestro Janis!

DC Center for the Creative Economy Tables The Fulbright Experience


The Center for the Creative Economy is organizing a series of discussions via a new project called “The Communal Table at Eatonville“. ReSourceArts and Artomatic are partners in this effort. 

Join Washington Glass School Co-Director Michael Janis and Flux Studio founder Novie Trump in a table discussion ‘Fulbright Experience” at Eatonville restaurant in. Michael was named a Fulbright Scholar in 2012, and Novie was recently approved as a Fulbright candidate. 

Wednesday, November 13th, noon to 2 pm.

Eatonville Restaurant in the Zora Room

2121 14th St. NW
Washington, DC 20009
(corner of 14th and V Streets)


The Center for the Creative Economy is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to promoting communication between the creative economic clusters in the city of Washington, DC (as defined by the Creative Capital report published by the WDCEP and DC Planning Dept.) Through this effort to unify the creative economic clusters, this organization will form a stronger voice for artists in the city, create strong bonds between the varying artistic groups in the city, and produce a reformed and more powerful asset to the economy of the city.

The mission of the Center for the Creative Economy is to promote community and interaction between the various creative economic clusters in the District of Columbia, thereby offering the city a more vibrant art scene. Although Washington, DC, has numerous participants in the fields of museums and heritage, building arts, culinary arts, performing arts, media and communications, and arts/crafts and design projects, these differing clusters have only a vague sense of community, both in their respective fields and outside of them. It is therefore the goal of the Center for the Creative Economy to foster a sense of community between the creative clusters in the District in the effort of creating a more cohesive, better funded, and more profitable creative economy. 

The DC5 in St Pete

The “DC5″ glass art exhibit – now thru June.

The “DC Five” – (WGS artists Sean Hennessey, Michael Janis, Allegra Marquart, Tim Tate and Erwin Timmers) exhibit of glass artwork at Florida’s Duncan McClellan Gallery in St Petersburg opened with a great reception!
Weren’t able to fly down to sunny Florida? Here are some shots of the show, and of the St Petersburg Museum of Fine Art lecture by Sean Hennessey and Tim Tate on their glass artwork.

Erwin Timmers work is in the center of the gallery.

Sean Hennessey and Tim Tate’s mixed media artwork on the walls.
Erwin Timmers’ kilnformed glass artwork is made from recycled building materials.
Duncan McClellan Gallery knows how to best display the artwork.
Allegra Marquart’s fused and sandcarved glass panels look great!
Michael Janis’ glass tarot cards on exhibit.
Sean Hennessey talks about his artwork at the Museum of Fine Arts in St Petersburg.
Tim Tate makes a point during his talk at the MFA.
Sean looking so much more relaxed than he does here in DC – he loves Florida.
Jacob Stout gave a hotshop demonstration on the Saturday.
L-R Duncan McClellan, Tim Tate, Sean Hennessey.

‘DC-5′ – Works by Artists of the Washington Glass School

Duncan McClellan Gallery

550 24th Street South,

St. Petersburg, FL 33712

(855) 436.4527