Michael Janis

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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 medium.

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 Alliance’s Emerging Artist Award 2009, the Bay Area Glass Institute’s 2010 Saxe Fellowship and he was named a “Rising Star” at Wheaton Arts 2011. His glass artwork was featured in Corning Museum’s ‘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, Florida’s 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 museum’s 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 video: americanart.si.edu

The American Glass Guild (AGG) featured Michael Janis as the keynote speaker for the organization’s 20th Anniversary Conference, held 2021.