Artist: Preston Singletary

  • Preston Singletary grew up in the Seattle area listening to stories told by his great-grandparents, who were both full Tlingit. In high school he met and became friends with future glass artist Dante Marioni, son of glass artist Paul Marioni. Shortly after graduating high school, Singletary (who was actively pursuing a career as a musician at the time) was asked by Dante Marioni to work as a night watchman at what was then the Glass Eye, a Seattle glass-blowing studio. Singletary quickly moved from being night watchman to working the day shift to eventually joining one of the studio’s production teams. In 1984, Singletary took part in a workshop at Pilchuck Glass School for the first time. He has since been involved in Pilchuck as both a teacher and student. Singletary has blown glass around the world in countries such as Sweden, Italy, and Finland. In the late 1980s, Singletary began incorporating traditional Tlingit themes into his work and reaching out to other Northwest Coast Native American artists.

    Early on, Singletary’s work drew heavily from European glass artworks, especially those done in the Modernist style. Today he is perhaps best known for his use of glass to express and explore traditional Tlingit themes. Many of his works reference clan crests, including the killer whale, which his family claims. Singletary has worked extensively with other native artists creating glass art works such as the Founders Totem Pole (2001) and Devilfish Prow, one of a series created in collaboration with Maori artist Lewis Tamihana Gardiner (2007).

  • British Museum, London, England, UK

    City of Seattle, Portable Works Collection, Seattle, WA

    Corning Museum of Glass, Corning NY (Rakow Commission)

    Detroit Institute of Arts, Detriot, MI

    Ethnografiska Museet, Stockholm, Sweden

    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.

    Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, WA

    Seattle University, 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


  • 2013     Mayor’s Arts Awards, “Raising the Bar,”  Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture, Seattle, WA

    2010     Honorary Doctorate of Arts, 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.



    Selected Solo Gallery Exhibitions

    2013                 Traver Gallery, Seattle, WA – Listen for the Raven

    2012                 Traver Gallery, Seattle, WA – Confluence

    2011                 Traver Gallery, Tacoma, WA – Contents of a Dream

    2009                 Traver Gallery, Seattle, WA – Beyond Primitivism

    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

    1996-2006        William Traver Gallery, Seattle, WA – Solo Exhibitions

    1991-1997        The Glass Gallery, Bethesda, MD – Solo Exhibition


    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; The Heard Museum, Phoenix,  AZ; Anchorage Museum at Rasmussen Center,  Anchorage,  AK

    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

                            Birmingham International Festival, American Folk Art Museum, American Craft Museum,                      New York, Kentucky Art & Craft Gallery, Louisville, & Yakima Nation Museum &                               Cultural Center – Head, Heart & Hands