John Kiley is a fourth generation Seattle native who attended The Pilchuck Glass School and the Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina. Throughout his career as a professional glass artist, which began in 1992 at the age of 19, Kiley has worked with the most renowned masters in the field and has become an established mentor in his own right.
After working as an assistant in the Benjamin Moore studio, John Kiley joined Dale Chihuly as a gaffer on the chandelier team of his Chihuly Over Venice project, he traveled to Finland, Ireland, Mexico and Italy. He spent four years as an assistant to Dante Marioni before becoming a principal team member with Lino Tagliapietra in 1994. In addition to blowing glass in Tagliapietra’s private Murano studio, Kiley has traveled all over the world with the maestro.
John Kiley has taught glassblowing at the National College of Art and Design in Ireland, the Bezalel Academy of Arts in Israel, the Pittsburgh Glass Center and the Pratt Fine Arts Center in Seattle. In 2009, he became the Glass Director of the Schack Center in Everett, WA, an 18,000 sq-ft art center that opened in 2011, for whom he managed the design, construction, and now operation of the glass department.
Works by Kiley are in many public and private collections, including, The Museum Of Glass, Tacoma, WA; The Shanghai Museum of Glass, Shanghai, China; Sir Elton John;the Seven Bridges Foundation;Emirates Airline and Fly Dubai Airlines.
John Kiley constructs his pieces in separate sections then focuses on how the sections fuse together and how the membranes that connect them can be passageways to enhanced visual experience. Between the sphere’s soft roundness and the cleavage’s hard edges, light revels in infinite motion. Sightlines open and close through lens-like holes and shift with the subtle movement of the viewer’s gaze. By deconstructing the form and externalizing its inner parts, Kiley challenges the traditional view of beauty as that which is pristine and complete. John Kiley not only questions which is more beautiful—the whole or its parts, the inside or the outside, negative or positive space, the light, the shadow, or the reflection—but posits that it is the interaction of all of these characteristics that results in the beautiful sum.