Stained glass has long enhanced the charm of St. Augustine. The Trinity Episcopal Parish's original building proudly sported stained glass windows as far back as the 1850s. Around the turn of the century Henry Flagler enlisted the help of Louis Comfort Tiffany to design the glass windows in the Ponce de Leon Hotel (now Flagler College) and the Cathedral Basilica's nave was decorated with stained glass windows. Many other structures in St. Augustine have followed suit, and now the city enjoys a large concentration of gorgeous stained glass.
The local interest in stained glass continues today. The Sisters of St. Joseph here in St. Augustine maintain a stained glass studio where they create and restore stained glass for various organizations around the country. Locally, they have done considerable work on the glass in the Cathedral, St. Benedict the Moor Catholic Church, and St. Andrew Presbyterian Church in Jacksonville. They have also created pieces for churches in New York, Mississippi, and North Carolina, as well as churches around the state of Florida. As members of the American Glass Guild, they brought attention to this city as a stained glass destination.
The American Glass Guild has chosen St. Augustine as the location for its 2013 Annual American Glass Guild Conference May 15-18, and for those who appreciate the glow of this art, this conference is sure to entertain. There will be workshops and lectures led by stained glass experts on various styles and techniques, as well as social time for artists to connect and discuss their craft. The majority of conference events will be held at the Hilton Historic Bayfront.
Also, as part of the conference, the St. Augustine Art Association is hosting a juried art show of stained glass works submitted by artists from around the country. The works will be displayed throughout the month of May.
The incredible pieces displayed in the show center around a variety of subject matter, ranging from more traditional religious themes to non-objective design. All demonstrate a profound grasp of color and composition that testify to the unique possibilities of this medium.
The works in this show are for sale through the St. Augustine Art Association gallery. There will also be a silent auction at the Hilton Historic Bayfront on Thursday, May 16, and a live auction at the St. Augustine Art Association on Friday, May 17. Both auctions raise money for the American Glass Guild.
The Florida sunshine attracts many visitors to this city, but it’s the stained glass of our beautiful buildings that adds a colorful dimension that all visitors to St. Augustine can enjoy.