Shades Mountain Baptist Church

Submitted by Guy Kemper

2+

Client: Shades Mountain Baptist Church

Location: Birmingham, AL, United States

Completion date: 2019

Artwork budget: $117,000

Project Team

Industry Resource

Anna Rothfuss

Derix Glasstudios

Design Build Contractor

Scott Gurosky

Myrick, Gurosky and Associates

Interior Designer

Tanya Burnett

Burnett Design

Industry Resource

Robert Christ

Glashütte Lamberts

Artist

Guy Kemper

Overview

Gate. A backlit, dynamic backdrop for the stage platform.
Mouth-blown, double-flashed Lamberts antique glass, etched. Fabricated at Derix Glasstudios.
12’W x 19’H

Goals

Rising above the baptistery, the artwork is an invitation to embark upon a spiritual journey. It is also a gate of light through which the spirit of God may enter the sanctuary. A gate to Paradise, or a dreamlike forest. Something monochromatic was desired due to the use of various lighting effects behind the art.

Process

First I worked with the client and architect to determine the best size and shape of the artwork.
Then came figuring out how to install the monumental glasswork without a frame, stacked upon itself in panels. This required the help of a glass engineer and the fabricator. I worked closely with the contractor, lighting consultant, interior designer and client to determine the best solutions for various issues.
The glass was etched using a digitally produced resist, to make the design emerge from the material. Blue vitreous enamel was airbrushed and fired onto the back of the blown glass as an augmentation.
Finally, all pieces were carefully ground to butt together seamlessly, then glued with two-part silicone to safety glass.