This art has an edge

Event cel­e­brates stained-glass artist.

Sun Sentinel Broward Edition - - FRONT PAGE - By Brooke Baitinger Staff writer

When South Florida churches needed stained glass decades ago, one man knew bet­ter than any­one else how to make them stand­outs.

He knew be­cause he al­ready had de­signed stained glass in more than 700 churches world­wide.

Con­rad Pickel, who spent the fi­nal years of his life re­sid­ing in Boyn­ton Beach, added flair to coastal com­mu­ni­ties us­ing in­no­va­tive stained-glass tech­niques.

On Satur­day, Boyn­ton Beach will cel­e­brate the renowned stained glass artist by of­fer­ing tours, pre­sen­ta­tions and exhibits.

The event is part of the city’s an­nual Con­rad Pickel cel­e­bra­tion, hon­or­ing the artist who died at age 88 in 1994.

The cel­e­bra­tion be­gins at 8 a.m. and lasts un­til 1 p.m., with tours end­ing at 10:30 a.m. Tour­go­ers will visit some of Pickel’s most no­table works in Boyn­ton Beach, such as:

the stained-glass win­dow at Boyn­ton Me­mo­rial Park and Mau­soleum, 1611 S. Seacrest Blvd.

the twin stained-glass win­dows at As­cen­sion Lutheran Church, 2929 S. Seacrest Blvd.

the mas­sive tri­an­gu­lar stained-glass win­dow at St. Joseph’s Epis­co­pal Church, 3300 Seacrest Blvd.

and the build­ing Pickel once used as his own gallery, Gallery Fan­ta­sia at 1000 S. Fed­eral High­way, which Pickel de­signed and built in1974.

Pickel, whowas born in Ger­many and started his stained glass ca­reer at the famed Mayer stu­dio in Mu­nich, was a vi­sion­ary for his time, said Boyn­ton Beach’s Pub­lic Art Man­ager Debby Coles-Dobay. . The artist cre­ated an out­let for him­self in Boyn­ton Beach when other artists of his time were open­ing gal­leries in big cities, she said.

“Hewanted to share his art with every­body,” she said. “It wasn’t just a gallery. Hewanted peo­ple to come in and ex­pe­ri­ence and en­joy the art.”

Pickel cre­ated the largest stained glass win­dow in the­world in 1969, us­ing more than 22,000 square feet of faceted glass.

It is housed in the mau­soleum in Res­ur­rec­tion Ceme­tery in Jus­tice, Ill.

Pickel moved to the United States in 1928, ac­cord­ing to au­thor Gene Moody, who re­cently wrote a pic­to­rial bi­og­ra­phy about the artist.

Pickel and his wife moved to Vero Beach in 1955, Moody said, and later moved to Boyn­ton Beach, when he opened Gal­le­ria Fan­ta­sia.

Moody’s pic­to­rial bi­og­ra­phy, “A Ta­pes­try in Stained Glass,” will be fea­tured as one of three pre­sen­ta­tions at the Boyn­ton Beach City Li­brary af­ter the his­toric bus tours.

Boyn­ton Beach His­toric Plan­ner War­ren Adams will give a pre­sen­ta­tion fo­cus­ing on Pickel’s his­toric time­line and im­print, and Boyn­ton Beach His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety his­to­rian Gin­ger Ped­er­sen will dis­cuss one of Pickel’s stained-glass win­dows in a West Palm Beach church.

Les­lie Miller of Pickel Stu­dios will also give a stained-glass demon­stra­tion.

To reg­is­ter for the bus tour, call 561-742-6010.

CITY OF BOYN­TON BEACH/COUR­TESY

Con­rad Pickel added flair to coastal com­mu­ni­ties us­ing in­no­va­tive stained-glass tech­niques.

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