When Preston Singletary began working with glass in 1982, he had no idea that he’d be so connected to the material in the way that he was. It was only when Singletary began to experiment with using designs from my Tlingit cultural heritage that my work began to take on a new purpose and direction.
Over time, his skill with the material of glass and traditional form line design has strengthened and evolved, allowing him to explore more fully his own relationship to both his culture and chosen medium. This evolution and subsequent commercial success has positioned Preston Singletary as an influencer on contemporary indigenous art.
Through teaching and collaborating in glass with other Native American, Maori, Hawaiian, and Australian Aboriginal artists, he’s come to see that glass brings another dimension to indigenous art. The artistic perspective of indigenous people reflects a unique and vital visual language which has connections to the ancient codes and symbols of the land, and this interaction has informed and inspired his own work.
Preston Singletary’s work with glass transforms the notion that Native artists are only best when traditional materials are used. It has helped advocate on behalf of all indigenous people—affirming that they are still here—that they are declaring who we are through our art in connection to our culture.
Singletary’s work continues to evolve and connect his personal cultural perspective to current modern art movements and has received much attention for striving to keep the work fresh and relevant. “I am honored that my success has inspired other artists from underrepresented indigenous cultures to use glass and other non-traditional materials in their work, and hope that I can continue to encourage more innovation in this area as my career progresses.” Preston Singletary
See Preston Singletary’s other artworks at Traver Gallery.