When I began working with glass in 1982, I had no idea that I'd be so connected to the material in the way that I am. It was only when I began to experiment with using designs from my Tlingit cultural heritage that my work began to take on a new purpose and direction.
Over time, my skill with the material of glass and traditional form line design has strengthened and evolved, allowing me to explore more fully my own relationship to both my culture and chosen medium. This evolution, and subsequent commercial success, has positioned me as an influence on contemporary indigenous art
Through teaching and collaborating in glass with other Native American, Maori, Hawaiian, and Australian Aboriginal artists, I've come to see that glass brings another dimension to indigenous art. The artistic perspective of indigenous people reflects a unique and vital visual language which has connections to the ancient codes and symbols of the land, and this interaction has informed and inspired my own work.
My work with glass transforms the notion that Native artists are only best when traditional materials are used. It has helped advocate on the behalf of all indigenous people—affirming that we are still here—that that we are declaring who we are through our art in connection to
My work continues to evolve and connect my personal cultural perspective to current modern art movements, and I have received much attention for striving to keep the work fresh and relevant. I have been honored that my success has inspired other artists from underrepresented indigenous cultures to use glass and other non-traditional materials in their work, and hope that I can continue to encourage more innovation in this area as my career progresses.
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 and lecturing internationally. In 2009, the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, WA, launched a major mid-career survey of his work, entitled Preston Singletary: Echoes, Fire, and Shadows. This exhibition featured Clan House, his largest commission to date, and traveled to venues across North America.
Blue Rain Gallery
130 Lincoln Ave Suite C
Santa Fe, NM 87501
3 Elm Street
Stockbridge, MA 02333
Spirit Wrestler Gallery
47 Water Street
Vancouver, BC, Canada V6B 1A1
110 Union Street
Seattle, WA 98101
Smaller works can be found at these galleries and gift shops:
Alaska on Madison, New York, NY
Bellevue Arts Museum Shop, Bellevue, WA
Berlin Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ
Boreal Traditions Gallery, Anchorage, AK
Dane Gallery, Nantucket, MA
Douglas Reynolds Gallery, Vancouver, BC
Museum of Glass Shop, Tacoma, WA
Rainmaker Gallery, Bristol, UK
Stonington Gallery, Seattle, WA
Vetri Gallery, Seattle, WA
Museum and Public Collections
Anchorage Museum at Rasmussen Center, Anchorage, AK
The Autry National Center, Los Angeles, CA
The British Museum, London, UK
The Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn, NY
The Burke Museum of Natural and Cultural History, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
City of Seattle, Portable Works Collection, Seattle, WA
Corning Museum of Glass, Corning NY (Rakow Commission)
Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CA
Ethnografiska Museet, Stockholm, Sweden
Detroit Institute of the Arts, Detroit, MI
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA
Fred Jones, Jr, Museum of Art, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK
Group Health Cooperative, Seattle, WA
Harborview Medical Center, Seattle, WA
Heard Museum of Art, Phoenix, AZ
Mint Museum of Art & Design, Charlotte, NC
Museum of Art + Design, New York, NY
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA
Museum of Glass, Tacoma, WA
The Museum of Natural History, Anchorage, AK
National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C.
National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh, UK
Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, WA
Spencer Museum of Art, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS
St. Paul’s Cathedral, Oklahoma City, OK
Tweed Museum of Art, University of Minnesota, Duluth, MN
Washington State Arts Commission, Olympia, WA
2009-2012 Museum of Glass, Tacoma, WA – Preston Singletary: Echoes, Fire, and Shadows.
Traveled to: National Museum of the American Indian, New York, NY; Heard Museum, Phoenix, AZ; Anchorage Museum at Rasmussen Center, Anchorage, AK
2010 John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, WI - Animal Instincts
2009 McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Kleinburg, ON – Challenging Traditions: Contemporary First Nations Art of the Northwest Coast
2005 The Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, University of Washington, Seattle, WA – Fusing Traditions
Museum of Art + Design, New York, NY – Changing Hands: Art Without Reservation, 2
2004 National Museum of the American Indian, Washington, DC - Our Universe
2003 Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, WA - Solo Exhibition, Threshold
Heard Museum, Phoenix, AZ – Fusing Traditions
Arnot Art Museum, New York - Representing Representation VI
2001 Fuller Museum, Brockton, Massachusetts - Lino Tagliapietra et Amici
2000 Sheldon Museum, Haines, AK - Traditions in Glass
2012 Traver Gallery, Seattle, WA – Solo Exhibition, Confluence
Blue Rain Gallery, Santa Fe, NM – Primitive | Elegant II (a collaboration with Dante Marioni)
2011 Traver Gallery, Tacoma, WA – Solo Exhibition, Contents of a Dream
Schantz Gallery, Stockbridge, MA – Solo Exhibition, Collector’s Weekend Showcase
Spirit Wrestler Gallery, Vancouver, BC – Ka Ka Win Chealth: Transformations in Glass (a collaboration with Joe David)
Blue Rain Gallery, Santa Fe, NM – Primitive | Elegant (a collaboration with Dante Marioni)
2009 Traver Gallery, Seattle, WA – Solo Exhibition, Beyond Primitivism
Blue Rain Gallery, Santa Fe NM – Solo Exhibition
2007 Traver Gallery, Tacoma, WA - The Uncle Who Went into the Forest
Spirit Wrestler Gallery, Vancouver, BC – Fire & Water: Pacific Visions in Glass and Jade (a collaboration with Lewis Tamihana Gardiner)
2006 Heller Gallery, New York, NY - Solo Exhibition, Raven Steals the Light
2004 Instituto Veneto di Scienze Lettere de Arti, Venice, Italy – Vetri. Nel Mondo. Oggi.
2001 Chappell Gallery, New York – Solo Exhibition, Glass Potlatch
1999 Gallery San Nicolo, Venice, Italy – Solo Exhibition, Current Work
Chappell Gallery, Boston, MA – Solo Exhibition, New Work
1998 Butters Gallery, Portland, OR - Solo Exhibition
1991-1997 The Glass Gallery, Bethesda, MD - Solo Exhibition
The West End Gallery, Bethesda, MD - Solo Exhibition
2009 Post, Melissa G. Preston Singletary: Echoes, Fire, and Shadows. University of
Washington Press and Museum of Glass; Seattle and London, 2009.
2007 “Native American Sculptor Heroes” Sculpture Review, Spring 2007, pp. 22-25.
“Glass Act - Visions of the West” Cowboys and Indians, January 2007, pp. 92-93.
2006 “Manawa - Pacific Heartbeat, A Celebration of Contemporary Maori and Northwest
Coast Art, University of Washington Press, 2006, pp. 98, 109, 133, 167.
2005 “Changing Hands: Art Without Reservation 2 Contemporary Native North American Art
from the West, Northwest and Pacific”, Museum of Arts and Design, 2005 pp. 110,
“Sculpture, Glass and American Museums”, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2005,
2004 “Glass Acts,” Art & Antiques, May 2004, pp. 43-49.
New Glass Review, Corning Museum of Glass, 2004, pp. 77-79.
“Vision Quest,” Glass Magazine, Matthew Kangas, June 2004.
2003 International Glass Art, Richard Wilfred Yelle, Schiffler Publishing, pp. 304-305.
“Preston Singletary, Tlingit,” Fjärde Världen, Carl Johan Gurt, January 2003, pp. 5-11.
“Preston Singletary,” Southwest Art Magazine, Dottie Indyke, June 2003, pg. 32-34.
“Crossing the Threshold,” Queen Anne Magnolia News, Nancy Worssam, June 11, p.14.
“The Perfect Couple: Native American Artifacts and Glass Art,”
Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Judy Wagonfeld. June 6, p. 18.
“Breaking Into Glass,” The Arizona Republic, John Carlos Villani, May 11, E1.
“A Seattle Collection,” Native Peoples, Barry Herem. July/August, pp. 64-66.
“Vision Quest,” Art Access. January, 2003.
“Fusing Traditions: Transformations in Glass by Native American Artists,” American
Indian Art Magazine Spring 2003, Carolyn Kastner & Rosalyn Tunis, p. 56.
“SAM Merges Native Art from Past with Modern Styles,” The Daily of the University of
Washington, May 29, p. 7.
2002 “In the Galleries,” Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Regina Hacket, March 7, 2002.
“Tradition and Experiment Fuse,” Anchorage Daily News, June 13, 2002, D6.
“In the Galleries,” Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Regina Hackett, March 7, 2002, D1.
“The Jet City,” Lars Falk, Gant Fall and Winter Catalogue, 2001.
2001 “Clan House: Preston Singletary at William Traver,” Glashaus, Geoff Wichert, 4th Ed,
“Cross Cultural Fusion,” Native Peoples Magazine, Gary Wyatt, November, 2001.
2000 “Modern Masters,” HGTV Artist Profile, aired January 25, 2001.
1999 “Native Art you won’t see in the Casinos,” New York Times, Charlie LeDuff, Sept. 19.
“Mythic Beings,” Gary Wyatt.
“Artist Profile,” Southwest Art, Bonnie Ganglehoff, August, 1999.
“Native and European Traditions Meet,” Native Peoples Magazine Spring, 1999.
1998 “Tackling Tradition with Style and Wit,” The Wall Street Journal, Gail King,Sept 4,1998
“Four in Glass,” New Art Examiner, Mars, Glen Brown.
1990 “The Glassblowers of the Pacific NW,” Glasswork Magazine, Japan, Dick Weiss, Nr 11.
1997 St James Guide to Native North American Artists.
Feature Article, Indian Artist Magazine, Ramona Gault, Winter, 1997.
“Four in Glass,” Fova Galleries, Matthew Kangas.
“A Place to Reflect,” The Seattle Times, Robin Updike, March 30.
1996 “A New Generation,” Glass Magazine #63, review, Geoffrey Wichart.
1995 Sköna Hem, Interior Magazine, Sweden, Lage Stone, July 1996.