Joline El-Hai, artist of Bella Luz Studio
There is not much that fills my soul more than working with light combined with color. It floods my eyes and seems to go straight to my core, evoking a deep, quiet enthrallment. Gardening comes a close soul-filling second as it brings me in intimate contact with the critters and flora with whom I share space. Always within reach, my garden and art-making worlds frequently mingle to make a harmonious collaboration.
Raised under the sun-soaked skies of Southern California I developed an enduring passion for light and vivid color. As a teenager in 1975 I fell in love with the medium of stained glass. A recreational night class while in college propelled me into a decades-long preoccupation with and love for designing and fabricating stained glass panels. In time I incorporated techniques that add depth and detail, such as glass fusing and painting.
Creating small, affordable artworks is a priority so that many people may enjoy my artwork. In 1986 I experimented with glass fusing and developed distinctive glass face pins with signature bubble eyes and Bella Luz Studio was born. This captured my focus for eight years. In 1994 I further experimented with little illuminated artworks that use light and color like glass does and the Luminette, my nationally-known version of art nightlights, came into being. After more than two decades of making them I suspended studio activities except for commissions in order to tend to life's pressing demands. With the frequent encouragement of many loyal customers and after a several-year hiatus I was able to return to both the glass face pins and the Luminettes..... I'm back making them as of 2020.
Commissions for stained glass work are welcomed and I truly enjoy the process of working together with my clients. Have a treasured old suitcase? I can create a meaningful illuminated sculpture out of it for you. Or, would you like to see a particular image as a Luminette? Let me know -- I am often inspired by my customers' requests.
In addition to my artistic pursuits I am a gardener, a dancer and a chicken steward.
Thank you for your interest In my work and website, and for spreading the light!
Posing with a flower from my tree peony, in Seattle where I have been a resident since 1981.
Pilchuck Glass School, Stanwood, WA – kiln casting
Pratt Fine Arts Center, Seattle, WA – glass fusing
Pilchuck Glass School, Stanwood, WA – glass painting
Santa Monica College, Santa Monica, CA – design
UCSB, Santa Barbara, CA – studio art
UCLA, Los Angeles, CA – music theory and composition
Honors and Awards
Honorable Mention Award, Schack Art Center 22nd Juried Art ShowMerit Award, Sequim Museum & Arts Center, “TheTranscendence of Light.”
Niche Awards Finalist, lighting category, Buyers Market of American Craft.
Best Booth Award, Handmade Division, Seattle Gift Fair.
Best of Show, Handmade Division, Atlanta International Gift Fair.
Outstanding Booth Award, Oasis Gift Show, Phoenix, AZ.
Best Booth Peer Award, Best of the Northwest, Seattle, WA.
Award of Excellence, Pacific Northwest Arts Fair, Bellevue, WA.
Larson Gallery, Yakima Valley Community College, Yakima, WA –
“Third Biennial Group Show” Purchase award.
Ballard ArtWalk, Seattle, WA – solo exhibition.
Whatcom Museum, Bellingham, WA – “Reaching Beyond. Northwest Designer Craftsmen at 60” group show.Maude Kerns Art Center, Eugene, OR – “Art of the Northwest Designer Craftsmen” group show.
Confluence Gallery, Twisp, WA – “Mixing it Up” group show. Northwest Craft Center Gallery, Seattle, WA – “On the Road" group show.
Chase Gallery, Spokane, WA – “Confluence” NWDC group show.
Childhood’s End Gallery, Olympia, WA – “15 Ways with Light”
Sequim Museum & Arts Center, Sequim, WA – “The Transcendence of Glass”
Allied Arts Assoc. Gallery, Richland, WA – “Things We Hunt”, NWDC group
Phinney Neighborhood Center Gallery – “Connections & Light",
Greenwood/Phinney Artwalk, Seattle, WA, two person show.
Tacoma Art Museum, Tacoma, WA – “Building Birthday Bash” -
group show of non-edible birthday cakes.
Arts Council of Snohomish County Gallery, Everett, WA – solo show.
Frank & Dunya, Seattle, WA - illuminated glass light boxes, two
Storefronts Seattle, Seattle , WA – window installation.
The Funhouse Discovery Center of Orcas Island, WA – “Deep Secrets” large glass lightbox installation in vestibule.