Joby Glass

206.390.1659

313 5th Avenue SE Suite A, Olympia, Washington, 98501

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JOBY SHIMOMURA

I was born in Lawrence, Kansas in 1972, and raised in Seattle, Washington. I grew up with artistic parents: my father was an art professor at the University of Kansas, and my mother was the artistic director for the Northwest Asian American Theatre. For as long as I can remember, creative expression has been a constant thread throughout my life.

 

As a teenager, I became engaged in local civic youth activities and quickly became exposed, and then addicted, to public policy advocacy and political campaigning. After graduating from high school, rather than attend college, I decided to move to Washington, D.C. and worked in a congressional office. This early experience in D.C. inspired my continued interest in politics.

 

After my initial stint in the “lesser” Washington, I moved back to Seattle and began to work on political campaigns. I managed several electoral campaigns, including campaigns for city council, legislature, congress, and governor. In 1999, I returned to D.C. for six years to serve as Jay Inslee’s chief of staff in the United States Congress. After leaving in 2005, I had a short-lived “retirement” from politics and opened a stained glass studio in Seattle’s Pioneer Square where I worked full-time creating custom widows for clients. But in 2010, I put my glass business on hold to manage Jay Inslee’s reelection campaign and then went on to manage his 2012 race for Governor. Most recently, I served  three years in the Governor’s office as his chief of staff, leaving in 2016 to reconnect with my passion for creating glass art.

 

I’ve always admired colored and textured glass, but it wasn’t until I took a stained glass class over ten years ago that I really felt connected to the medium. 

 

When I returned to glass after working for the Governor, I took classes and started experimenting with fusing and painting on glass. After discovering these new techniques, my next path forward as a glass artist was reignited and I opened my new studio, Joby Glass, in 2016 in the heart of downtown Olympia, Washington. I currently work, experiment, and create there each day.

ARTIST STATEMENT

My work reflects my approach and attitude towards life: I welcome the organic process of the unplanned and find beauty in the odd and unexpected.  Rather than following a preset design, I create each panel not knowing what the final piece will look like. My intuition guides me as I allow the patterns in the glass to develop into layered images and a juxtaposition of colors, shapes and textures. Often, the satisfying mistakes are incorporated into a piece. This improvisational approach is absolutely essential because it leaves open the possibilities of discovering something truly authentic. As in life, accidents and odd turns in the glass become interesting creations.