Christ Church Episcopal

Submitted by Arthur Stern

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Client: Christ Church Episcopal

Location: Portola Valley, CA, United States

Completion date: 2000

Artwork budget: $50,000

Project Team

Artist

Arthur Stern

Arthur Stern Studios

Architect

George (Tad) Cody, AIA

Cody Architects in Palo Alto, CA

Overview

I originally did art glass in the intimate Narthex addition to a 1950's A frame Church. The architect Tad Cody's family went to this Church & his design and wood detailing is exquisite. I created the entrance doors, a Narthex window, 6 panels around a window seat and doors into the Sanctuary. A few years later they had me create a glass mosaic cross to be installed on the new organ.

Goals

I matched the shapes and color palette in the building for the Narthex, allowing a vista out, but creating privacy with a geometric design that resembles hanging plants. The windows are built from hand-blown glass and beveled glass jewels. The gilded and mirrored glass cross was made to integrate with the organ and blend with the pipes, but still stand proud as an iconic symbol.

Process

I worked closely with the architect and a committee from the congregation. My initial designs were well received and we began fabrication soon after the presentation on the doors and Narthex window.

Additional Information

George (Tad) Cody, the architect became gravely ill during the fabrication, and even though I wasn't yet commissioned for the 6 panels around the window seat I went ahead and built them to complete his vision. He visited the Church and saw the new Narthex complete, only to pass away a few weeks later.