Conversation with Preston Singletary
Available on demand 12:01 AM ET, December 1, 2021, to 11:59 PM ET, January 31, 2022
Internationally acclaimed glass artist, Preston Singletary (Tlingit American), discusses his inspirations and passion for glass art in advance of the opening of Preston Singletary: Raven and the Box of Daylight, January 28, 2022, at the museum in Washington, DC. Singletary incorporates traditional Northwest Coast and Tlingit imagery into his glass masterpieces.
Preston Singletary (Tlingit American)
The art of Preston Singletary has become synonymous with the relationship between European glass blowing traditions and Northwest Native art. His artworks feature themes of transformation, animal spirits, and shamanism through elegant blown glass forms and mystical sand-carved Tlingit designs.
Singletary learned the art of glass blowing by working with artists in the Seattle area including Benjamin Moore and Dante Marioni. As a student and assistant, he initially focused on mastering the techniques of the European tradition. His work took him to Kosta Boda (Sweden) where he studied Scandinavian design and met his future wife. Throughout his 30+ years of glass-blowing experience, he has also had opportunities to learn the secrets of the Venetian glass masters by working with Italian legends Lino Tagliapietra, Cecco Ongaro, and Pino Signoretto. In 2010, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Arts degree from the University of Puget Sound.
Now recognized internationally, Singletary’s artworks are included in museum collections such as The British Museum (London, UK), The Museum of Fine Arts (Boston, MA), The Seattle Art Museum (Seattle WA), the Corning Museum of Glass (Corning, NY), the Mint Museum of Art and Design (Charlotte, NC), the Heard Museum (Phoenix, AZ), and the Smithsonian Institution (Washington, DC).
Singletary maintains an active schedule by teaching, lecturing, and exhibiting internationally. In 2009, the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, WA, launched a major mid-career survey of his work, Preston Singletary: Echoes, Fire, and Shadows. In 2018 he launched a new traveling exhibition with the Museum of Glass, Raven and the Box of Daylight, which pushes the boundaries of glass as a medium for storytelling.
Moderator | David W. Penney
David W. Penney is the Associate Director of Museum Scholarship, Exhibitions, and Public Engagement at the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI). Penney was appointed as the first Associate Director of the newly organized Museum Scholarship Group at the NMAI in April 2011 after a long career at The Detroit Institute of Arts where he served as curator of Native American Art, Chief Curator, and ultimately Vice President of Exhibitions and Collections Strategies. Penney earned a PhD (1989) in art history and archaeology from Columbia University and his Bachelor of Arts degree in art history from New York University.
Preston Singletary: Raven and the Box of Daylight is organized by the artist and Museum of Glass, Tacoma, Washington. It is guest curated by Miranda Belarde-Lewis, PhD. The multisensory visitor experience is designed by zoe|juniper.