Michael Janis was born in Chicago, IL and currently lives in Washington, DC. Trained as an architect, his glass figures showcase his very disciplined approach to the medium. He became Co-Director of the Washington Glass School & Studio in 2005, where he teaches and oversees the studio’s many site specific and public art commissions. His portraiture works often look, at first glance, to be made with graphite or pastels, but actually are made using crushed glass. He painstakingly manipulates the individual grains of the glass powder with X-acto blades and brushes on flat glass and fired (fused) in electric kilns.
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. The DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities awarded him the 31st Annual Mayor’s Arts Award for “Excellence in the Arts”. This year, Janis’ glass sculpture, made in collaboration with artist Tim Tate, is featured in the 2022 Venice Biennale of Art exhibition, “Glassstress”. Janis’ artwork is in the permanent collection of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Tacoma Museum of Glass, Florida’s Imagine Museum and the Fort Wayne Museum of Fine Art.