A few months ago, I moved to New Orleans, a city known for its endlessly delicious restaurants, its mixture of diverse cultures, and its world-famous Mardi Gras festivals. But there’s something about the city I didn’t know before I started taking my daily afternoon walks around my neighborhood.
I used to think stained glass windows belonged in only the most sacred places and luxurious homes. But many of my neighborhood’s shotgun houses— including my own— feature windows with stunning, often primary colored stained glass windows. While many of these designs are fairly simple, it’s always wonderful to spot one.
My introduction to these charming old home accents glass inspired me to compile a list of five stained glass artists who bring a modern twist to the art.
ben houtkamp| @bens.website
The art of stained glass has been around for hundreds and hundreds of years, but the medium continues to evolve in interesting directions. Artist Ben Houtkamp pays tribute to childhood nostalgia with modern stained glass pieces that feature vivid colors and playful shapes. If you live in Chicago, you might’ve seen his works around the city, as he’s created commissions for Foxtrot Market and a bar called Nights and Weekends. Houtkamp’s creations are so unmistakably contemporary that you’d never think about how old his techniques are from looking at them.
Kennedy | @daylightglassworks
The owner of Atlanta, Georgia’s ATL Glassworks highlights her pure talent on this engaging Instagram account. The feed provides an inspiring range of design styles while maintaining a traditional feel. I was drawn in by the relaxing, muted color palettes and stayed for perfect, adorable dog designs. Kennedy has a knack for adding subtle textures and depth to otherwise intentionally simple designs.
Tom Fruin | @tomfruin
Brooklyn artist Tom Fruin is guided by the philosophy that art should be accessible, and he creates massive public installations with reclaimed materials. I was immediately to attracted to one of his most prominent installations, the Watertower series, in which Fruin added enormous, stained-glass water towers to rooftops across the country. While stained glass can often feel delicate, Fruin’s massive structures infuse the art form with a sculptural, architectural strength.
Anna Fredriksen | @galadrielglassworks
There’s an ethereal feel to Anna Fredriksen’s feed and, more specifically, her gorgeous stained glass pieces. She uses a mystical, enchanting perspective to create works with colorful swords, holographic flowers, and stunning four-leaf clovers. Her Instagram account will transport you into a more charming world, and likely provide a welcome contrast to overhyped influencers chatting about products you couldn’t care less about.
Kelsie Mcnair | @soft_shapes
If I could spit out what I wanted my brain to look like in the form if an Instagram account, I’d like it to be just like the @soft_shapes feed. Multidisciplinary artist Kelsie McNair’s clever shapes, exciting palettes, and seemingly effortless philosophy shed a contemporary light on the world of stained glass. Follow McNair’s feed to discover all kinds of experiments, artistic processes, and colorful new ways to experience light.