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Preston Singletary

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 twenty 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 Handelsbanken (Stockholm, Sweden).  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.




  • The Pilchuck Glass School, Stanwood, WA.
  • Studied with Lino Tagliapietra, Checco Ongaro, Benjamin Moore, Dorit Brand,
  • Judy Hill, Dan Daily, and Pino Signoretto
  •  Awards
  • 2010                 Honorary doctorate, University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, WA
  • 2009                 National Native Artist Exchange Award, New England Foundation for the Arts, Boston, MA
  • 2004                 1st Place Contemporary Art, Sealaska Heritage Foundation, “Celebration 2004,” AK
  • 2003                 Rakow Commission, Corning Museum of Glass, Corning, NY
  • 2002                 Seattle Arts Commission, Purchase Award
  • 2000                 Mayor’s Award and 1st, 2nd, 3rd Diversified Arts, Best of Division, Indian Art NW, Portland, OR
  • 1999                 1st, 2nd, 3rd place, Diversified Arts, Best of Division, Indian Art NW, Portland, OR
  • 1998                 1st place, Diversified Arts, Best of Aivision, Indian Art NW, Portland, OR
  • 1998                 Jon & Mary Shirley Scholarship, Pratt Fine Arts Center
  • 1995                 Washington Mutual Foundation, Study Grant, The Pilchuck Glass School.
  • 1988/90            The Glass House Goblet Competition Purchase Award
  • 1985                 Work Study Grant, The Institute of Alaska Native Arts


Post, Melissa G. Preston Singletary: Echoes, Fire, and Shadows.  University of Washington Press and Museum of Glass; Seattle and London, 2009.


“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.

“Manawa - Pacific Heartbeat, A Celebration of Contemporary Maori and Northwest Coast Art, University of Washington Press, 2006, pp. 98, 109, 133, 167.           

“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, 159, 198-199.

 “Sculpture, Glass and American Museums”, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2005, pp. 178-179.           

“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.

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.

“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.

“Clan House: Preston Singletary at William Traver,” Glashaus, Geoff Wichert, 4th Ed, pp. 6-7.

“Cross Cultural Fusion,” Native Peoples Magazine, Gary Wyatt, November, 2001.

“Modern Masters,” HGTV Artist Profile, aired January 25, 2001.

“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.

“Tackling Tradition with Style and Wit,” The Wall Street Journal, Gail King, Sept 4, 1998

“Four in Glass,” New Art Examiner, Mars, Glen Brown.


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.

“A New Generation,” Glass Magazine #63, review, Geoffrey Wichart.

Sköna Hem, Interior Magazine, Sweden, Lage Stone, July 1996.

“The Glassblowers of the Pacific NW,” Glasswork Magazine, Japan, Dick Weiss, Nr 11.


Professional Affiliations

  • 2009- current            IslandWood environmental school, Bainbridge Island, WA – Board of Directors
  • 2008                        Institute of American Indian Arts, Santa Fe, NM - Community Advisory Committee
  • 2007-current            Museum of Glass, Tacoma, WA - Community Advisory Committee
  • 2006-current            Artstream Cultural Resources, Pagosa Springs, CO - Community Advisory Committee       
  • 2005-current            Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, WA - Board of Trustees and Community Advisory Committee
  • 2000-current            Pilchuck Glass School, Seattle, WA - Board of Trustees and Community Advisory Committee

Teaching and Lectures

  • 2010                 Keynote Speaker, Gates Millennium Scholars National Conference, Los Angeles, CA
  • 2008                 Guest lecturer and teacher, Institute of American Indian Arts, Santa Fe, NM
  • 2007                 Guest lecturer, Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO
  •                         Guest lecturer Museum of Glass, Tacoma, WA
  • 2006, 2009        Instructor, Pilchuck Glass School              
  • 2004                 Lecturer, Museum of Art and History, Anchorage, AK
  •                         Lecturer, Native Heritage Center, Anchorage, AK
  • 2003                 Lecturer, Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, WA
  •                         Faculty Instructor, Pilchuck Glass School, Stanwood, WA
  •                         Guest Lecturer, Museum of Northwest Art, LaConner, WA
  •                         Guest Lecturer, University of Washington’s Native Studies Department, Seattle, WA
  •                         Guest Lecturer, California College of Art and Crafts, Oakland, CA
  •                         Guest Lecturer, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA
  •                         Guest Lecturer, The Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
  • 2002                 Guest Lecturer, Microsoft Art Collection Panel Discussion, Collecting Glass Today
  •                         Guest Lecturer and Demonstrator, The Renwick Gallery at the Smithsonian, The James Renwick Alliance
  • 2001                 Guest Lecturer, Native American Art Society Association Conference, From the Fire Pit of the Canoe People
  •                         Instructor and Co-Creator, Founder’s Totem Pole, Pilchuck Glass School, Stanwood, WA
  • 2000                 Artist Assistant to Joe David, Artist in Residence Program, Pilchuck Glass School, Stanwood, WA
  •                         Visiting Artist, Taos Glass Arts and Education, Taos, NM
  • 1999                 Demonstrator, Glass Art Society, Tampa, Florida
  • 1998                 Visiting Artist, Ezra Glass Studio, Kanazu, Japan - Documents 98
  • 1993                 Instructor - Kosta Boda, Sweden, Itala and Nuutaajarvi, Finland
  •                         Co–Founder - Maggio Gallery, New Orleans, LA
  • 1992-1999        Collectors Conference Workshop Instructor - Pilchuck Glass School, Stanwood, WA
  • 1985-1998         Artist assistant to: Benjamin Moore, Richard Royal, Dale Chihuly, Dan Daily, Fritz Dreisbach,
                             Dante Marioni, Lino Tagliapietra, Temo Sarpenava, Stanislav Libenský, Sonja Blomdahl,
                             Ann Wåhlstrom, and Marvin Lipofsky
  • 1988-90             Gaffer - The Pilchuck Glass School.
  •                          Glassblower - The Glass Eye Studios, Seattle, WA.


Solo Gallery Exhibitions

  • 2012            Traver Gallery, Seattle, WA – Confluence
  • 2011            Traver Gallery, Tacoma, WA – Contents of a Dream
  •                     Schantz Gallery, Stockbridge, MA – Collector’s Weekend Showcase           
  • 2009            Traver Gallery, Seattle, WA –  Beyond Primitivism
  •                    Blue Rain Gallery, Santa Fe NM – Solo Exhibition
  • 2007            William Traver Gallery, Tacoma, WA - The Uncle Who Went into the Forest
  • 2006            Heller Gallery, New York, NY - Raven Steals the Light
  • 2004            Instituto Veneto di Scienze Lettere de Arti, Venice, Italy – Vetri. Nel Mondo. Oggi.
  •                    Boreal Traditions, Anchorage, AK - Solo Exhibition
  • 2002-current     Blue Rain Gallery, Santa Fe, NM - Solo Exhibitions
  • 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
  • 1996-current     William Traver Gallery, Seattle, WA - Solo Exhibitions
  • 1991-1997    The Glass Gallery, Bethesda, MD - Solo Exhibition
  •                     The West End Gallery, Bethesda, MD - Solo Exhibition

Group Gallery Exhibitions

  • 2011            Spirit Wrestler Gallery, Vancouver, BC – Collaboration with Joe David, Ka Ka Win Chealth
  •                    Blue Rain Gallery, Santa Fe, NM – Collaboration with Dante Marioni, SOFA Chicago
  • 2010            Silver Dollar City, Branson, MO - Craft In America
  •                    Blue Rain Gallery, Santa Fe, NM – Collaboration with Marcus Amerman, Voices From the Temple Mound
  • 2007            Spirit Wrestler Gallery, Vancouver, BC - Collaboration with Lewis Gardiner, Fire & Water
  • 2006            Spirit Wrestler Gallery, Vancouver, BC - Manawa Pacific Heartbeat: A Celebration of Contemporary Maori and Northwest Coast Art.
  • 2005            Visual Arts Center, University of California, Fullerton, CA – Hybrid Harvest: Contemporary Native American Arts
  •                     Holsten Galleries, Stockbridge, MA - Group Exhibition
  •                     Blue Rain Gallery, Taos, NM – Collaboration with Tammy Garcia, Visions in Glass
  • 2004            Port of Seattle, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport - Multiplicity: Glass in all its Glory
  •                    Holsten Galleries, Stockbridge, MA - Group Exhibition
  • 2003            Stonington Gallery, Seattle, WA – Group Exhibition
  •                    Santa Fe Art Institute - nDn Art
  • 2001            Quintana Gallery, Portland, OR - Collaborations in Glass
  • 2000            Lower Columbia College, Longview, WA - Cultural Edge: Contemporary views of Native Artists
  •                    Indian Art NW and Butters Gallery, Portland, OR - Festival and Gallery Exhibition
  • 1999            Sea-Tac Airport, Sea-Tac, WA - Port of Seattle Show
  • 1998            Spirit Wrestler, Vancouver, B.C. Canada- Premonitions
  •                    Morgan Contemporary Glass, Pittsburgh, PA - Group Show
  • 1997            Fova Gallery, Texas Tech, Lubbock, TX - Four in Glass
  •                    Kiva Fine Arts, Santa Fe, NM - Group Show
  •                    Vetri International Glass, Seattle, WA - NW Coast Images in Glass
  • 1993-97       The Margo Jacobson Gallery, Portland, OR - Group Show
  •                    Gumps, San Francisco, CA - 5 NW Artists
  • 1995-current       Center on Contemporary Arts and Pratt Fine Arts Center, Seattle, WA
  •                     Bumbershoot Arts Festival, Seattle, WA - A Powerful Presence, Pilchuck 25 Years
  • 1994             Gallery Glass 1, Stockholm, Sweden - Six Glass Artists
  • 1992             The Visual Arts Center of Alaska, Anchorage, AK - New Visions
  •                     Gallery Nakama, Tokyo, Japan - Goblet Show
  • 1991             Gallery Nakama, Tokyo, Japan - Goblet Show
  • 1990             Maurine Littleton Gallery, Washington, D.C. - Goblet Show
  •                     Kurland Summers Gallery, Los Angeles, CA - Group Show
  •                     Seibu Department Store, Tokyo, Japan - Group Show
  • 1989             International Glass Trade Show, Tokyo, Japan
  • 1989-current       The William Traver Gallery, Seattle, WA - The Annual Pilchuck Glass Show
  • 1988-96        The Glass House, Seattle, WA - Annual Goblet Show


Museum Exhibitions

  • 2009-2012            Museum of Glass, Tacoma, WA – Preston Singletary: Echoes, Fire, and Shadows.
  •                             Traveling 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
  • 2005                     The Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
  •                             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

Juried Art Show

  • 2002                 Sealaska, Juneau AK - Juried Art Show: Art & At.oow!

Touring Group Shows

  • 2009                McMichael Canadian Art Collection –
                           Challenging Traditions: Contemporary First Nations Art of the Northwest Coast
  • 2000                Birmingham International Festival & the American Folk Art Museum, Orlando, FL -
                           Head, Heart & Hands
  •                         American Craft Museum, New York, NY & Yakima Nation Museum & Cultural Center -                        
                           Head, Hearts & Hands
  •                        Kentucky Arts & Crafts Gallery, Louisville, KY -
                           Millennium Glass (other venues scheduled)
  •                        Kentucky Art & Craft Gallery, Louisville, KY and The Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, OH -
                           Head, Heart and Hands

Invitational Shows

  •      1998-2000           Blue Rain Gallery, Taos, NM and Ellipse Art Center, Arlington, VA – Invitational Exhibition                   

Select Collections

  • Anchorage Museum at Rasmussen Center,  Anchorage, AK              
  • The Autry National Center, Los Angeles, CA
  • The British Museum, London, UK
  • 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
  • Handelsbanken, Stockholm, Sweden
  • 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
  • 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
  • The Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn, NY
  • The Museum of Natural History, Anchorage, AK
  • Washington State Arts Commission, Olympia, WA           

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