Janis & Tate @ Toronto’s Sandra Ainsley Gallery

Michael Janis & Tim Tate at Toronto’s Sandra Ainsley Gallery June 4 – July 30, 2022

Toronto, Canada’s famed Sandra Ainsley Gallery present the narrative glass artworks by WGS Co-Directors Tim Tate and Michael Janis. The show, titled “One Story is Not Enough” featured works by each artist as a solo, and a number of their collaborative wall murals.

Michael Janis’ imagery in frit powder is reflected in the gallery’s piano surface.

When Michael Janis and Tim Tate met, almost 20 years ago, they discovered a shared fascination of narrative sculpture- one that seeks to arrive at an image that is both unflinchingly candid in physical representation and psychologically evasive. Working together, they are interested in the simultaneous read of an immediately recognizable image that asks the viewer to linger over history and meanings that unfurl more slowly. Mark, line and material become an extension of touch in the act of representation. The relationship of hand to subject, negotiated through the material, can elicit a response of both visual and tactile.

“The Poetry of Everyday Objects” by Michael Janis & Tim Tate, 2021; Size:6H x 6W’; Cast Glass

With these confines they create work in many techniques, but if you stand slightly back and see their history a huge thread of interconnected stories weave through their work from day one. The beauty comes into focus and the viewer sees the edges of a world not dissimilar to this one, but so much more thoughtful.

Detail – “The Poetry of Everyday Objects”, Michael Janis & Tim Tate

They present this glimpse into that alternative world, seemingly unstuck in time somewhere between past and future.

Tim Tate, Lenticular series, 2022, each panel 41″H x 41″W, lenticular prints

Sandra Ainsley Gallery
The Warehouse
100 Sunrise Avenue, Unit 150
Toronto, Ontario Canada M4A 1B3

Tim Tate & Michael Janis Collaborate

The Collaboration…..

"All That Is Solid Melts Into Air" Michael Janis & Tim Tate; 2019, fused glass, cast glass, sgraffito imagery, steel; 6'-0" x 9'-0"

“All That Is Solid Melts Into Air” Michael Janis & Tim Tate; 2019, fused glass, cast glass, sgraffito imagery, steel; 6′-0″ x 9′-0″; Photo credit: Pete Duvall.

Michael Janis and Tim Tate have worked together as Co-Directors of the Washington Glass School and Studio for more than 15 years, working on their own individual work, teaching and creating a functioning arts studio in the nation’s capital. 

Michael Janis creates imagery with crushed glass powder his signature "sgraffito" technique.

Michael Janis creates imagery with crushed glass powder his signature “sgraffito” technique.

This summer, the two artists decided to build on that rich and storied history by collaborating on an impressive piece that would both combine and challenge their individual, and strongly, narrative work. 

Tim Tate works on the glass panels for the collaborative artwork.

Tim Tate works on the glass panels for the collaborative artwork.

 “All Things Solid Melt Into Air” is the title of their 6’ x 9’ wall installation, comprised of 54 separate kiln cast glass insets. To create this work, the artists made 42 separate bas-relief plaster molds, 12 sgraffito glass powder drawings, 12 lost wax glass castings and 4 months to produce this spectacular and monumental work.

Detail of "All That Is Solid Melts Into Air"

Detail of “All That Is Solid Melts Into Air” Photo credit: Pete Duvall

Referencing mankind’s interaction with nature as the artwork main theme, Tim and Michael set about to produce an experience that people will want to engage with…on a tactile basis.  One can explore each of the olive tinted glass tiles to feel sentiments and poetic visions of the artists, or step back and just enjoy the piece as one would enjoy a bird’s song. They are both immensely proud of this work, which will be shown at the Habatat Prime exhibit during SOFA Expo in Chicago, (October 31, 2019 – November 3, 2019).

Habatat Prime
Location: Roosevelt Collection @ 1023 S. Delano Court East, Chicago, IL 60605
Habatat will have transportation to and from the space that is 3 miles from the Pier.

Tim Tate & Michael Janis – Fulbright Recipients


Professor Janis

This March, WGS Professors Janis and Tate will be heading over the pond to Ye Olde England as Fulbright Scholars – heading to University Of Sunderland and the The Institute for International Research in Glass (IIRG).

Professor Tate

Sponsored by the US Department of State, the Fulbright Program is a program of competitive, merit-based grants for international educational exchange for students, scholars, professionals, scientists and artists, founded by US Senator J. William Fulbright. The Fulbright Program is one of the most prestigious awards programs worldwide, operating in over 155 countries. Forty-three Fulbright alumni have won Nobel Prizes, including two in 2010.

IIRG‘s Centre

The University of Sunderland has the largest glass and ceramics department in Europe. The Glass & Ceramic department is housed in the National Glass Centre’s landmark £17million building, adjacent to St.Peter’s Campus.

The UK National Glass Centre has interesting glass shop procedures. Above is photo by Anna Liukas from Sunderland’s 2010 calendar featuring shots of students at work in the hot shop.
Above, a flamework studio student pictured hard at work. photo: Anna Liukas
Apparently, the North East of England is much hotter than we were led to believe. Traveling light should be the bywords for our two intrepid scholars.

Tim and Michael will be teaching special courses at the University starting in the month of March, 2012. We are looking forward to their stories and blog photo updates of their escapades!