Shelley Muzylowski Allen

Works Intro | Exhibitions | Publications | Videos | Projects


Shelley Muzylowski Allen was born in Manitoba, Canada, and has a B.F.A. in Painting and Intaglio from the Emily Carr Institute of Art & Design (Vancouver, B.C.). In 1998, Shelley worked with the William Morris sculpture team in Washington State as a glass-sculpting assistant through 2004. In 2005, Shelley established a glass and sculpture studio with her husband, artist Rik Allen at their property in Skagit County, Washington. Shelley has been awarded Provincial and Canada Council grants, and her work is held nationally and internationally in public institutions and private collections.


Exhibitions (in the last 2 years)


Making Our Mark, Group Sculpture Exhibition – Bellevue Arts Museum, WA Fired Up: Contemporary Glass by Women Artists – Toledo Museum of Art, OH

Dream/Space Glass Sculpture Feature, Duncan McClellan Gallery – St. Petersburg Florida Art Palm Beach – Habatat Galleries, MI – West Palm Beach, FL

Solo Glass Exhibition – Blue Rain Gallery – Santa Fe, NM SOFA Chicago – Habatat Galleries, MI

45th Annual International Glass Invitational – Habatat Galleries, MI


Collision & Fission, Contemporary Glass Art – Huailai, China 44th Annual International Glass Invitational – Habatat Galleries, MI Art Palm Beach – Habatat Galleries, MI – West Palm Beach, FL

Commentaries – Longboat Key Center for the Arts, Ringling College – Sarasota, FL SOLO Glass Sculpture Exhibition – Blue Rain Gallery, Santa Fe NM

SOFA Chicago – Habatat Galleries, MI



I am interested in universal iconography of animals, and more importantly in how we as humans essentially respond to their form and inherent traits. Animals have played an all-pervasive role in the history of human kind, and have been observed, depicted, interpreted, utilized, and imbued with cultural and psychological inferences. We attach to them our superstition and ideology and can associate them with mythology and even divinity.My work is a meditation on these archetypical animal forms who have had presence throughout human history and can embody the basic needs of the human psyche. Inspired by Netsuke, functional miniature Japanese sculptures, I focus on the forms of animals that reside around my rural Northwest studio. I use the black glass to accentuate gesture and to cultivate reverence for commonplace animals.

Glass is a medium that keeps me in the moment. Striving to bring a painterly quality to this dynamic medium, I layer color to add depth to the sculpture being made. The textures and patterns have the fluidity and gesture of brushwork and enrich the strong, three-dimensional form.The hot glass process inspires a rhythm that parallels the rhythm of life, and requires me to work intuitively. I sculpt instinctively and try to remain candid in my portrayal of the subject and to the significance of the act of creating its image.

By suspending figures in moments of tension, recalling myths and legends through animal forms, I hope to convey a place that different species have occupied over time. From the long and storied history of the horse and all that is has signified through the ages, to medieval tapestries depicting the lure of the unicorn, to the miniature sculptural tradition of the Japanese Netsuke and the disapearance of the Red Gazelle, animals have been associated with mythology, legend, magic and divinity. As symbols and icons of eras and cultures around the world, it is important that I capture the inherent nature of these creatures in my work reflecting not just my own insights but inspiring an emotional experience and connection in the viewer.


Art Experience & Awardsin the last 3 years


Feature Artist – Wheaton Village Glass Weekend,Millville, NJ


Guest Artist – Tianyuan IGAF,Huailai, China Guest Artist – Museum of Glass,Tacoma, WA


Panelist – Landscape of Glass in America—Glass Arts Society, Chicago, IL Gaffer Olympics Residency—Pilchuck Glass School

Guest Artist – Benzaiten Center for the Creative Arts, Florida Guest Artist – Toledo Glass Pavilion, OH


Selected Collections

Sir Elton John

Sara Morgan – Kinder Morgan, Inc. – Houston, Texas Grand Rapids Art Museum – Grand Rapids, MI Museum of Glass, Tacoma, WA

Museum of Northwest Art, La Conner, WA

Toyama City Institute of Glass Arts Permanent Collection, Toyama, Japan


Media in the last 3 years


“Archetypal Animals” Glass Art Magazine. Cover & p. 6-11


“Visiting Artist Profile” Fuse Magazine, MOG Jan-June Issue, Cover Story & p. 9


“Glass Art: 112 Contemporary Artists”, Schiffer Publishing, Inside Cover & p. 160-161

“Bellwether” American Art Collector, October 2015 Issue 120, p. 178-179