Richard Jolley was born in Wichita, Kansas in 1952 and then moved in his youth to Oak Ridge, Tennessee. In 1970, the artist began his studies at Tusculum College in Greenville, Tennessee, studying glass under Michael Taylor. Taylor was then invited to create his next program at George Peabody College in Nashville (now a part of Vanderbilt University) where Jolley later completed his B.F.A. In the fall of that year, Jolley further polished his technique at Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina under the instruction of Richard Ritter. Jolley continues this teaching tradition by frequently returning to Penland and through unique programs designed to involve at-risk students in the Knoxville community with professional working artists.
Building and maintaining a glass studio in Knoxville since 1975, Richard Jolley has participated in over 65 solo museum and gallery exhibitions throughout the country as well as Europe and Japan. Early in his career, Jolley had been included in some of the most important glass exhibitions at the Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art, Sapporro, Japan, and the International Exhibition Glass in Kanazawa, Japan, as well as Grounds for Sculpture in New Jersey and Laumier Sculpture Park in Missouri. Over the next decade the artist continued to be included in important museum exhibitions surveying contemporary glass and sculpture such as the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Museum of Fine Art, Boston, Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and the Carnegie Museum of Art and most recently in the Wornick Collection exhibited at the Museum of Fine Art, Boston. After numerous solo exhibitions Mark R. Leach of the Mint Museum of Art in Charlotte, North Carolina, organized the first cohesive exhibition of Jolley’s mature glass sculpture works in 1997. Then in 2002
Richard Guber, then Director of the Ogden Museum of Southern Art and Stephen Wicks, Curator of the Knoxville Museum of Art, organized the artist’s first major retrospective exhibition that traveled to 14 museums in the US over five years. Richard Jolley’s extensive body of work along with the glass work of Tommie Rush, his wife, will be re-examined by the Mobile Museum of Art in April of 2011.
Since 1973, the artist’s work has been extensively collected both privately and by
public institutions. Found in over 33 public collections, notable establishments
include the Carnegie Museum of Art, Corning Museum of Glass, Knoxville
Museum of Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Modern Art, Museum of Fine Arts,
Boston, Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC,
and the Frederick Weisman Art Foundation in Los Angeles.—richardjolley.com