This stained-glass window depicts the remarkable beauty and contrast of the landscape of Eastern Montana and projects how the grace and goodness of God minister to us.
The artist, in a ride through the area with members of the stained-glass committee several years ago, was inspired by the landscape’s singular beauty. He was particularly impressed by the “rich pockets of life” that burst forth wherever water was present.
Water is the central theme of the work.
At the center of the window, water spills into a small pool and is surrounded by images of cattle, sheep and grain, the lifeblood of our economic community.
The hills and buttes are portrayed on both sides of the window by layers of glass. The large blue expanse suggests Montana’s “Big Sky”.
The strong vertical emphasis and the inverted arc
at the top of the window draw the eye upward and outward, as if one were looking at the dam or spillway of Fort Peck.
Birds soar upward with the rays of the sun.
The window is rich in symbolism. The design represents a sheltered place within a more hostile environment. The water represents our cleansing,
healing and rebirth through baptism. The birds are representative of the Holy Spirt, as are the spheres.
The window visualizes a message of thanksgiving and harmony. The brilliant rays of light direct our prayers toward heaven.
The design was executed in fabricated glass,
set in an epoxy matrix and covered with a sand finish.
This stained glass process originated in France.
Molten glass was ladled from a glass furnace
and casted into molds to form the 8 by 12 inch slabs.
To shape the glass into its window pattern pieces,
the glass is rough cut with a diamond bladed masonry saw and then shaped with a chipping hammer.
The tops of the glass pieces are faceted to
increase the light refraction. Components of the window came from West Virginia, Utah and England.
The window was designed by Mark Gulsrud, Tacoma, Washington. It was fashioned and installed by Jim Perry of Perry Stained Glass Studio of Issaquah, Washington.
The window was dedicated November 25, 1990.
Stained Glass Window Installation
(section by section)
by Jim Perry of Perry Stained Glass Studio
of Issaquah, WA, with
Paul Aune and Don Fast