The Process: Setting Up a Museum Solo Exhibition

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As part of an ongoing series, we focus on the process of an event or artwork as the basis for the blog posting. Today, the blog posting is a two-fer where the photo documentation is both about Michael Janis’ creative process and info about Michael Janis’ solo show at Fuller Craft Museum, opening this Saturday, August 6, 2011.

The Fuller Craft Museum, Brockton, Massachusetts

The lead time for a museum show is very long – the Fuller Craft Museum contacted Michael in 2009 requesting a solo show at the museum in 2011, so Michael has been planning some aspect of the work for well over a year and features twenty five of his glass artworks. This posting will focus on his site specific sculpture in the show – titled “Unpredictable Factors”.

To help visualize the space, images of previous exhibitions and a floor plan of the gallery space within the museum were sent to Michael to help plan out the show.



Floor Plan of Fuller Museum’s Tarlow Gallery



Marc Petrovic’s exhibition in Fuller’s Tarlow Gallery 2007.



Michael said that he wanted to create a large scale work for the museum show, and had focused on using one of the 8′ wide floor-to-ceiling window areas as the location, with the idea that the light and view beyond could be integrated into the work.


Concepts for the sculpture were sketched by Michael, and details of the steel work were outlined.



Sketches were integrated with photos of the gallery as the studies advanced.

Michael focused on the design with a central image sculpture and proceeded forward with creation of the other artwork pieces for the show. Working with noted metalsmith Chris Shea, the architectural metal work for the large sculpture was created.


Firing of separate layers of the components within the sculpture and the fitting to the metal framework took place in late spring of 2011.

In August, all 25 works by Michael Janis were crated and packed for shipping to the Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton – about 20 miles south of Boston, Massachusetts.

Upon arrival at the Fuller Museum, the artwork is opened, inspected and cataloged by the Museum staff.



Fuller Registrar Donna Eleyi inspects the incoming work.



The condition of each piece is noted and the packing is documented. Here Donna Eleyi photographs the unpacking by Preparator Jason Ram.



The works are placed to allow for the arrangement by Fuller Museum curator Perry Price.



Installation of the steel framework for Michael Janis’ large sculpture “Unpredictable Factors” proceeds.



With completion of the wall mounting the artworks, the remaining tasks for the museum show are to install wall text for the show and artwork wall labels.

The exhibition opens Saturday, August 6, and there is a public reception August 7, from 2-5 pm. For more info on Michael’s lecture at the museum- click HERE.

Michael Janis: A Lighter Hand

August 6 – November 6, 2011

Reception Aug 7, 2011, 2-5pm


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