Client: Assumption High School
Location: Louisville, KY, United States
Completion date: 2021
A young woman gazes at her future self, the universe encapsulated inside of her. She is like a seed, full of unknown possibilities. Which path to take?
The artwork also depicts the Assumption of Mary, rising into the cosmos in resplendent glory. The Mary figure is her future self, a powerful woman rising from adolescence. Mary can also be seen as the teachers at Assumption who will reveal her gifts and guide her, giving her wings. This is the bird shape, flying out the window at graduation, leaving the constraints of high school for the much bigger world beyond.
The artwork had several complex goals. First priority was to appeal to the students using bold color and movement. I wanted to tell a story of female empowerment. Architecturally, the window prominently announces the chapel on the second floor, as one enters the school. Thematically, it was to narrate the journey an incoming freshman is about the take, under the guidance of a Catholic education, and an optimistic future. I also wanted to tell the story of the school's namesake, the Assumption of Mary into Heaven.
This project was made during Covid lockdown. I was very fortunate to have already established a close working relationship with my team at Derix Glasstudios, who translated my painting with sensitivity and emotion. I couldn't be there as I typically am to oversee the production but this was not a problem. The etching of the blown flashed glass with hydroflouric acid, and application of fired vitreous enamels is a feat of superb craft.
There was a wonderful collaboration with the architect to arrive at an optimal installation that could meet the budget. I wanted to have the blown glass side facing the lobby, which is not possible to attach suction cups to, so we used a spyder crane to hoist the panels from the second floor chapel.