JAMES MONGRAIN

Artist Statement

"Inspired by the Venetian tradition of goblet making, I strive for a level of precision that unites traditional elegance with contemporary flair. These elements also manifest in my newest creations, sculptural chandeliers. It’s my intention to continue to produce pieces that incorporate modern elements of form, color, and craftsmanship."

Biography

Born in 1968 in Minnesota, James Mongrain was introduced to glass while enrolled at Moorhead State University, under the instruction of his brother Jeff Mongrain, an internationally-renowned artist. He later studied glassblowing at Massachusetts College of Art and Appalachian Center for Crafts in Smithville, Tenn. At the onset of his career, Mongrain worked in hot shops around the country, including New York, Cincinnati, and New Orleans, where he focused his attention on becoming technically proficient in the Venetian tradition of goblet making. This aesthetic continues to interest Mongrain; he recently crafted a series of Veronese vases which takea traditional Italian form.

In 1993, Mongrain worked as a co-gaffer at Pilchuck Glass Schoore he met internationally-renowned glass artist and mentor Dale Chihuly. Two years later, Chihuly invited Mongrain to move to Seattle, Wash. to work for Chihuly, Inc. as a gaffer for the "Chihuly over Venice" installation. The project took him to glass factories in Ireland, Mexico, and France, and culminated with the installation of 14 chandeliers over the canals and piazza of Venice.

In 1997, Mongrain opened Mongrain Glass Studio in Seattle, which he continues to own and operate in Mukilteo, Wash. today.

In 1999, he was nominated for the Louis Comfort Tiffany Award, and began the "Jerusalem Cylinders" with Chihuly; the pieces were part of the "In the Light of Jerusalem 2000" project. Mongrain was also a lead figure among a team of glassblowers working on Chihuly’s "Fiore Di Como" in the Belliago hotel, Las Vegas, and the "Bridge of Glass" in Tacoma, Wash.

Over the years, he collaborated with a number of contemporary artists including Jim Dine, Kiki Smith, Jeff Koons, Robert Wilson, and Walter Lieberman.

Mongrain’s work has been exhibited nation-wide in galleries including the American Craft Museum in New York City, William Traver, Foster White Gallery and Vetri in Seattle, Jenkins Johnson Gallery in San Francisco, Louisville Museum of Art in Kentucky, Marta Hewett in Cincinnati, and the Grohe Glass Gallery in Boston. He continues to work for Chihuly and other artists on special projects, but has focused his attention on designing and crafting Venetian goblets, Veronese vases, and a variety of custom work including sculptural chandeliers.

Education
Work Experience
Exhibitions
Classes Taught, Lectures and Demonstrations Given
Publications


Born, Minnesota, January 30, 1968

Education:

1991-1993
Appalachian Center for Crafts, Smithville, TN

1989-1991

Massachusetts College of Art, Boston, MA

1988

Moorhead State University, Moorhead, MN

Awards / Nominations:

1999
Nominated for Louis Comfort Tiffany Award

Work Experience

2003
Gaffer, Pilchuck Glass School
Stanwood, WA

Artist in Residence, Museum of Glass
Tacoma, WA

2002
Consultant at Glassworks (formerly Louis Factory)
West Virginia

2000
Gaffer, Chihuly at Nuutajarvi
Nuutajarvi, Finland

1999
Gaffer, Pilchuck Glass School
Stanwood, WA

Gaffer, Chihuly at Nuutajarvi
Nuutajarvi, Finland

1997-present
Owns & Operates Mongrain Glass Studio Inc.
Seattle, WA

1997
Gaffer, Chihuly over Venice
Waterford, Ireland

Gaffer, Chihuly over Venice
Monterey, Mexico

Gaffer, Cirva, Chihuly over Venice
Marseilles, France

Gaffer, Vianne, Chihuly over Venice
Vianne, France

Gaffer, Pilchuck Stanwood, WA

Architectural Commission
Cincinnati, Ohio

1996-Present

Gaffer, Chihuly, Inc.
Seattle, WA

Gaffer/Pilchuck
Stanwood, WA

Intructor/Penland
Penland, WA

Robert Wilson Project
Marseilles, France

Kiki Smith Project
Cincinnati, Ohio

Jeff Koons Project
Wheaton, NJ

Charles Ray Project
Cincinnati, Ohio

Joel Otterson Project Cincinnati, Ohio

Chandelier Commission
Cincinnati, Ohio

Glass Book Publication Project
Kent, Ohio

1994
Pilchuck Staff / Co-Gaffer
Stanwood, WA

1993
Instructor / Urban Glass
Brooklyn, NY

Instructor / Glassworks
New Orleans, LA

1992
Gaffer / Ibex Studio
Boston, MA

Exhibitions

2003
"Chandeliers"
Traver Gallery
Seattle, WA.

"Sculpture,"
Perimiter Gallery
New York, NY

"The Glass Vessel: An International Invitational"
Kentucky Museum of Arts & Design
Louisville, KY


"Objects for Use"
American Craft Museum
New York City, NY

1999
Traver Gallery
Seattle, WA

Luminosity Art Gallery
Anne Arbor, MI

Jenkins Johnson Gallery
San Francisco, CA

Margo Jacobson Gallery
Portland, OR

1998
"Floating Glasses," William Traver Gallery,
Seattle, WA (in collaboration with Walter Lieberman)

1997
Foster White Gallery
Seattle, WA

1996
Marta Hewitt
Cincinnati, OH


Vetri International Glass
Seattle, WA

1995
Marta Hewett
Cincinnati, OH

Pilchuck Faculty Show
Stanwood, WA

Penland Faculty Show
Penland, NC

1994
"Luminosity II,"
New Orleans, LA

"A Gathering of Glass,"
Wimberly, TX

Glass Lovers Weekend
Wheaton, NJ

A Glass for Wine
New York, NY

Grohe Glass Gallery
Boston, MA

Classes Taught, Lectures and Demonstrations Given

2003
Demo, Glass Art Society Conference
Seattle, WA

2002
"Paint and Blow," Penland School of Crafts
Penland, NC (with Walter Lieberman)

2000
G.A.S Conference
New York, NY

Denmark School of Design
Copenhagen, Denmark

1999
Konstfackskolan (National College of Art and Design ) Sweden
Stockholm, Sweden

1995-97
Pilchuk Glass School
Stanwood, WA

Glassblowing, Penland School of Crafts
Penland, NC

1994
Visiting Artist, Tyler School of Art
Elkine Park, PA

1993
Visiting Artist, University of Hawaii
Honolulu, Hawaii

Visiting Artist, Edinburgh College of Art
Edinburgh, Scotland

1992
New Orleans School of Glassworks
New Orleans, LA

1991
Ontario College of Art
Toronto, Canada

Alfred State University
Alfred, NY

1990
M.I.T.
Boston, MA

Glasgow School of Art
Glasgow, Scotland

Publications

2001
Objects for Use
Paul J.Smith

2001
Object Lessons
Guild Publishing

2001
House and Garden (August issue)

2000
Urban Glass. Richard Yelle Publisher

1999
Elle Decor
November Issue

American Craft, Portfolio Section
Aug-Sept Issue

Seattle Magazine
February Issue