Tony Jojola is one of the foremost glass artists in the country today. That’s not surprising since the Isleta Pueblo Native worked closely with renowned artist Dale Chihuly for many years.
In looking at his work, it’s easy to see how some of his work has been influenced by Native pottery forms, with some inspiration directly from his elders. Later, he received valuable encouragement as a student at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe — where he had his first experience using molten glass.
Now fired up, so to speak, he went on to study at the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Deer Isle, Maine, which then led to work at the Pilchuck Glass School in Seattle, Wash., “where he served as apprentice to Dale Chihuly, the acknowledged master of American glass art and eventually became a member of his famed team of glass artists.
Jojola credits his time at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts for cementing his commitment to the medium. Later, he would be Artist in Residence there,” a statement from the Berlin Gallery at the Heard Museum reads.
With Chihuly’s help, Jojola established the Taos Glass Workshop in 1999, “giving back to his community by training at-risk youth in a viable and fulfilling skill. To introduce his art form to Pueblo Indians he teaches young people the art of glass making,” the statement continues.
”Crafts were part of my family heritage,” he says in the article, “and I tried making pottery and jewelry. Nothing really grabbed me until I discovered glass” he has said. He finds glassmaking “a way to take old traditions and apply them in a new and very beautiful way.”
Jojola’s work has been exhibited in Wheelwright Museum, the National Museum of the American Indian, the Heard Museum, the Burke Museum. His work has been collected in many private and public collections.