Lake Avenue Church Installs Long-Awaited Art Glass Work This Week

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From STAFF REPORTS

5:27 pm | June 8, 2016


This week, Lake Avenue church installs a long-awaited public glass art element to the recently renovated Maple Street Children’s Center. Built in the 1930’s, the building has hosted numerous ministries of the church and even provided classroom space for the inaugural class of 39 students at the founding of Fuller Theological Seminary in 1947. Under the architectural oversite of Hugo Suarez, the renovation of the space was completed earlier this year.

As part of the original design, the architect had called for a large glass art detail to help obscure an exterior exit stairwell. To further accentuate this design element, a center panel was to be included as well. Under the leadership of former Church Chair, Lee Merritt, a committee was formed to track the progress of the construction project and art glass.

Early in this process, the team sought to find ways in which to artistically demonstrate the important biblical themes of spiritual growth and community. Not knowing how this might best play out artistically, the team consulted with two professional artists, Douglas Lochner, from Oakview CA, Principal of Art That Works and Alyse Ochniak, who holds a Masters in Fine Arts degree from Azusa Pacific University and works in botanical illustrating. Both of these artists worked as volunteers to help outline a process for both articulating the design / installation of the art and creating appropriate art for the space. A call for art submissions was sent out to the artist community within the church as well as the Azusa Pacific University School of Art.

After processing upwards of 25 submissions, the committee decided on a concept presented by Katherine English, an undergraduate art student at Azusa Pacific University who was completing her final year of study.

At the direction of the Lake Avenue team, English pursued the theme of growth through the use of a tree and focus on a verse from scripture, Isaiah 61:3, “They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.” The team picked this verse at the recommendation of Alyse Ochniak as she saw it perfectly representing the ways in which people in the church seek to display God’s splendor to a hurting and troubled world.

When asked about her inspiration for the work, artist English said “I was definitely thinking about God as Creator and how we are all tied together under that reality; how we each grow individually in our own lives but also together in and through Christ.”

“That we are part of community that is headed towards something greater and that as we move forward we are always being guided by the one who made us,” English continued. “It’s been something that’s been on my mind recently just because of the stage of life I’m in, but I think it is something that everyone can relate to. Growth and community are always constants in life, I think.

The work will be installed on the west facing elevation of the Maple Street Children’s Center and will be visible to eastbound traffic on the 210 Freeway. Installation is set for week of June 6, 2016.

Lake Avenue Church, 393 North Lake Avenue, Pasadena, (626) 844-4700 or visit www.lakeave.org.