Show Preview | William Morris

Friday Harbor, WA
San Juan Islands Museum of Art, February 14-May 13

William Morris, Mortar With Crows, glass, W28.

William Morris, Mortar With Crows, glass, W28.

This story was featured in the February 2015 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art February 2015 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story!

For the past 10 years, the San Juan Islands Museum of Art in Washington has been in a nomadic state, moving from one temporary location to the next, supported by a group of dedicated volunteers. But now the museum has found its permanent home in a 5,000-square-foot renovated garage, and it opens an inaugural exhibition of work from renowned glassblower William Morris titled Illuminated: Glass by William Morris 1998-2003, which runs from February 14 to May 13.

The island community is known for its creative talent, and showing Morris’ works brings international prestige. “We wanted something dramatic, something to make a big splash,” says director of marketing Rebecca Parks. “William is renowned around the world, and he’s a Pacific Northwest artist. We’re honored to have his work at our launch.”

Morris has changed the sculpture world with his unique blown-glass pieces, which are inspired by the human connection with the natural world. Growing up in Carmel, CA, Morris was attuned to the artistic lifestyle and gravitated to working with his hands. After many years working in ceramics, he reinvented the glass-blowing medium, and for over 20 years he has created works unparalleled in his field. “My interest is my relationship with the natural world and how it resonates through our humanity,” Morris says. “It lends itself well to expression in object form, especially in the form of artifacts. That’s why glass is so compelling to me, because it can be so many things.”

Morris’ objects include cinerary urns, fish traps, medicine jars, and masks inspired by the myths, artifacts, and animals of ancient cultures. His techniques create glass pieces that represent our connection to something greater than ourselves. “An object tells a story, whether it’s found or fashioned,” Morris says. “It tells the story of its origin, its process, and illuminates us to something outside of ourselves. I’m not trying to be too specific about a particular story or rhetoric—it’s more of a feeling, an impression, a reverence, a narrative.” —Joe Kovack

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Featured in the February 2015 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
Southwest Art February 2015 print issue or digital download Or subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss a story!

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