Client: Northeast Georgia Health System
Location: Braselton, GA, United States
Completion date: 2016
A long held desire to see a modern, full-service hospital in the region found its fulfillment in Northeast Georgia Medical Center Braselton. Plans for the beautiful chapel offered a perfect opportunity for the Braselton family to honor Henry Edward Braselton, a founding father. The chapel was made possible through a collaborative project between Distinctive Art Source, artist Laura Mentor, the Braselton family and The Medical Center Foundation.
In naming the chapel after their husband, father and grandfather, members of the Braselton family wanted to create a peaceful place of respite that would connect all members of the community. The donor family shared stories about Henry E. Braselton so the artist could truly understand and appreciate his life. The design of the four interior chapel windows is the artist’s interpretation of the values of the man for whom the chapel is named –Illumination, Healing, Industry and Stewardship. The chapel windows also reflect the rural life of an agricultural community and celebrate their shared commitment to live as good stewards of the earth. The exterior windows, left to right: Blowing Grasses; Starry Night; Treetop, Meadow and Forest Floor; Moths and Butterflies; Rain, Water, Fishes; Birds; Animals.
After learning from the Medical Center Foundation that the chapel donor family would like to tell the story of the people of Braselton through the stained glass windows in the chapel, Distinctive Art Source immediately contacted stained glass artist Laura Mentor to discuss the project. The fact that Laura was not only an exceptional stained glass artist, but also a storyteller, made her a perfect fit for this project. Laura Mentor, artist, and Barbara Harriman, Distinctive Art Source, met many members of the Braselton family as well as Nancy Colston and Maggie James of The Medical Center Foundation. During time spent together, the Braseltons generously shared stories and memories of their father and husband. Laura Mentor spent many additional hours visiting the family home, meeting other members of the family, touring Braselton and reading books on the history of Braselton. A few months later, Laura and DAS revealed watercolor renderings of proposed compositions for each window. There were tears of joy as the renderings were reviewed and the family discovered the inclusion of many personal elements including their family cat and scenes depicting their father in the fields and woods.
Artist Statement: “The chapel itself was created as a quiet haven for reflection. The stained glass windows were inspired by my experiences of walking through the beautiful landscape of this part of Georgia, learning about the history of Braselton and listening to stories that members of the Braselton family shared with me. I hope that my windows will encourage reflection on the stories told within them, and invite you to explore more deeply the region which inspired them.” - Laura Mentor