Kathy Maynard and Tina Montgomery currently are featured as Artists in Residence at the Thunder Bay Arts Council Gallery for the month of November. Both share the art of creating stained glass.
A collection of their work is on display at the TBAC Gallery throughout November. An open house in their honor will be held this Friday from 5:30-7 p.m. at the gallery, located at 127 W. Chisholm. The event is free and open to the public.
For Montgomery, taking her first stained glass class in 1998 started it all.
"Years of assorted hobbies had finally transitioned into something close to the heart," Montgomery said. "A timeless medium, from my perspective, glass has become my passion, a way to translate daily sights into treasures."
Throughout the past 15 years since that first class, stained glass also has become Montgomery's business. In 2004, she opened My Glass Wings in downtown Alpena. The business has become the avenue for sharing her love of art glass with others.
"Teaching and custom work transform my interpretations into glass treasures that are ageless," Montgomery said. "Color, texture and design all work together to keep my world interesting, challenging and exciting. Each design situation is a journey of discovery, making new friends along the way."
Moving to the Alpena area in 1990 from their travels with the U.S. Air Force, Montgomery and her husband, Monte, enjoy their home in the Lachine area. Their son, Nathan, and his wife, Jennifer, live in Michigan. Gardening, home remodeling and the occasional day at home keep both very busy.
Maynard began making stained glass at her Hubbard Lake home in 1990 after completing a class at the studio of Art and Judy Guren. As a child growing up in Greeneville, Tenn., she was intrigued by the drama created when the sun shone through the windows of a church during Sunday morning services.
"We used to sit right beneath a huge stained glass depiction of Jesus Christ and some children, and I would imagine myself as one of the youngsters," she said.
After honing her skills for 15 years, she was commissioned to create seven large windows for the new Ossineke United Methodist Church. Using antique glass from two old churches, she spent over two years designing, cutting and placing more than a thousand pieces together in her home studio. At the same time she did commissions for other clients.
In the course of her career, Maynard has crafted numerous works, including full-sized windows, glass panels and suncatchers. Taking her work to a new level, she is also creating multi-dimensional panels and sculptural compositions.
Maynard's work has been featured in The Alpena News, and is displayed in many homes in the area.