Born in Chicago, IL
Lives and works in Washington, DC
As the child of a Chinese/Filipino immigrant and grandson
of Greek and German immigrants, the family histories and struggle to
assimilate has been a perpetual source for Michael Janis narrative
work that deals with understanding identity. Trained as an architect,
his glass artworks often showcase his very disciplined approach to the
After a 20 year career as an architect in the United States
and Australia, Janis returned to the US with a focus on working with
glass. In 2005, Janis became the Co-Director of the Washington Glass
School in Washington, DC. Janis has received numerous awards for his
artwork including the Florida Art Glass Alliances Emerging Artist
Award 2009, the Bay Area Glass Institutes 2010 Saxe Fellowship
and he was named a Rising Star at Wheaton Arts 2011. His
glass artwork was featured in Corning Museums New Glass
Review #30 & #31. The DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities
awarded Michael the 31st Mayor's Arts Award for Excellence in the Arts.
The Fuller Craft Museum in Massachusetts mounted a solo
show of Janis glass panels and sculpture in 2011, where the museum
has his work in their permanent collection. His artwork is also in the
permanent collection of the Art Institute of Chicago, Floridas
Imagine Museum and in the Permanent Collection of the Bucharest Embassy,
US Department of State, Romania. Fort Wayne Museum of Art has acquired
Traces of Memory a large cast glass sculpture collaboration
between Tim Tate and Janis for the museums permanent collection.
Installation of the large work is planned for the fall of 2021
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).
American Craft Magazine featured an extensive profile
on Janis work in the April/May 2013 issue. In the following issue
(June/July), the magazine interviewed him on the process his studio
undertook to create the cast glass panels for the U.S. Library of Congress
new entry doors.
The James Renwick Alliance named him Distinguished Glass
Artist for 2014, and he presented a talk about his work at the Smithsonian
American Art Museum in May 2014. Click on the link to see the Smithsonian
The American Glass Guild (AGG) featured Michael Janis
as the keynote speaker for the organizations 20th Anniversary
Conference, held 2021.