The stained glass portion of "From Behind the Mask" is roughly 270sq ft. and contains over 30 colors of glass in its palette.
The imagery of the waterfall and rays of light evoke ideas of spirituality and religion in an inclusive non denominational way.
The arches are a focal point in the design, and were devised as a way to acknowledge and create a dialogue with the Paris Stancell Mural across the street also comprised of arches.
Detail of the glass in the sun
Detail of the glass in the sun
The glass took well over a month to cut and arrange in the studio.
The pieces were laid out one arch at a time. The table was built for this specific project so I was able to devise a way to work with no seams whatsoever in the glass.
Detail of assembled glass, with Harvey
Detail of assembled glass
The tiny squares within the rays had to be divided into smaller segments to ensure that most of the glass would be in contact with the thinset. The larger the shape the less likely is was to fully rest on the imperfect wall.
The installation happened within 3 days in December. We were extraordinarily lucky to get hit with three good days of warm weather.
On the third day we were able to grout everything in one swoop.
My assistants, Khalil and Koran helped to clean off and buff the glass surface and paint some reflective colors in the archway.
A shot of the wall in April completely finished with the installed Baluba Mask.
This Mask is a ceremonial tribal mask used in rituals of the Baluba people. The brass in the mask denotes youth and strength. Its intended to bring strength and widsom to the bearer
The main figure is depicted removing his mask and presenting his true self, an act symbolic of healing.
Katherine Clark Gray led a series of mask making workshops over the summer with Bibleway youth. The students designed and created paper mache masks.
Inspired, I felt it would be appropriate to incorporate masks into the design. A continuation of the theme, culminating in the class returning to work on one last HUGE mask.
The shape was carved out of block of foam held together by countless dowel rods. The final shape was then coated in layers of cement and mesh.
The final shape was split in half for easy installation and covered with cement board triangles to hold glass and mirror.
Katie prepping the large mask for a workshop with the Vision Quest, and St Gabe's Students.
The group quickly took to making patterns with the gold mirror, and using various marbles and beads to decorate the eyes and mouthpiece
Katie finishing up after the workshops ended
Layers of paint were added throughout with subtle hints of reflected colors from the boy's yellow shirt and the blue waterfall.
The mural was wrapped up in the winter of 2008, however the weather prohibited us from installing the mask, so we waited until April. For the remainder of the winter, the wall looked like this.
Joseph Verdi and Matt Dougherty of Nicholas Della Vecchia Construction, provided their expertise with the mask mounting. We spent one whole day making sure 6 rods were firmly level and anchored in place.
I was confident in my plans, but because the sculpture would be hung 20 feet high over a parking lot I wanted to make sure the installation was tight. Joe and Matt were great to work with, and the mask was up without incident.
A good shot of the mask relief. Once everything was mounted, I paved and caulked the edges so the mask runs seamlessly into the wall.