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.