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Brilliant Light: The Life and Art of Julee Lowe

From 2750 BC, when Egyptians created the first colored glass, to today, stained glass has given artists an incredible “canvas” for creating their art. Working with stained glass as a medium requires the artistic skill to conceive an appropriate and workable design and the engineering skills to assemble the pieces to withstand the tests of time. As it has evolved through time, the purpose of the stained glass window is not to allow those within a building to see the world outside or even to admit light; the purpose of the stained-glass window is to control light. Stained glass was the medium of choice for Lincoln artist Julee Lowe (1945-2012). In her career spanning more than 30 years, she mastered controlling the light—“Brilliant Light”–bending it to her will to the delight of all who gaze upon her works.

Julee Lowe’s art has lived on since her passing in July 2012 in majestic stained glass windows found in more than 30 churches across the Midwest. Homes too numerous to mention are also graced with her beautiful stained glass creations. A walking tour of some of the sites for which she made stained glass would be an ideal way to see Julee’s art and physically experience the light flowing through her work. Hildegard Center for the Arts is pleased to offer the next best thing, however, with a “Virtual Tour” and other added bonuses to help you experience her art and learn more about the life and art of Julee Lowe—bender of her own “Brilliant Light.”

As an introduction to Julee’s life and art, watch the video, Brilliant Light, and enjoy learning of her artistic philosophy as a stained glass artist. Next, images from six sacred installations, selected for both their artistic quality and their spiritual inspiration, are featured on a Virtual Tour. Here, the visitor can appreciate a deeply insightful poetic meditation on the colorful vision of Julee’s artistry and the history and background of these inspiring works. To learn more about the life and art of Julee Lowe, please visit the link featuring her bio which includes her life history, pictures, and remembrances from family and friends. The bio also includes many quotes from Julee who gives us a peek into her artistic process.

Three photo galleries are also available where the visitor will enjoy photographic examples of her art and of Julee at work and at play with family and friends. You can access a gallery of Julee’s personal life, a gallery featuring a sampling of some of Julee’s smaller works, and a third gallery of religious installations showing images from among the 24 churches/sites not included on the Virtual Tour. Finally, you can also peruse a listing of Julee’s religious installations (with addresses and brief descriptions) completed during her 30-year career. Note: As fine as the photographs on this website are, the viewer is encouraged to seek out some of these sites and enjoy Julee’s artistry in person. Nothing can substitute for the experience of viewing the stained glass on a bright day with sun streaming through the windows, bending this “brilliant light” to the wishes of the tremendously gifted artist, Julee Lowe.

 

You Are Invited

On September 14, 2014, at 4:00, the congregation of St. Mark’s on the Campus (1309 R Street Lincoln, NE), Julee’s home parish, is planning a celebration. The event will highlight Julee’s remarkable artistic contributions in an afternoon service, Choral Evensong, preceded at 3:15 by a guided tour of the spectacular stained glass and other sacred art created for St. Mark’s by Julee. A reception will follow. We hope that many in Lincoln and elsewhere will be able to join us in this celebration of Julee Lowe’s life and her “Brilliant Light”.

 

Special Thanks

A project like this depends on the generous and devoted assistance of many. Here are the people we would like to acknowledge and warmly thank for their very kind help in multiple ways: Alisha Bartels, Connie Backus-Yoder, Tom and Sharon Beachell, Fr. Sam and Mary Ann Boman, Helen Brame, Susan Brasch, Don Brockmeyer, Anne Burkholder, Maria Cadwallader, Kim Einspahr, Mary-Murrell Faulkner, Rebecca Fischer, Kiera Fritzen, Holly Gage-Hennecke, Anne Goddard, John Goldrich, Josh Hanshaw, Nan Hanway, Catherine Harrington, Audra Jensen, Jason Jewell, Kurt Knecht, Robert Kuzelka, Jan Lingren, Charles Lowe, Rebecca Lowe-Weyand, Pastor Ken McQueen, Julie Munford, Peg Sheldrake, Pamela Starr, Marcia Stephens, Fr. Jerry Thompson and the parish of St. Mark’s on the Campus, Hannah Wantz, Donna Mae Wiegand, and Anne Woita. Special thanks also to the congregations/staffs of St. David’s Episcopal Church, Southview Christian Church, Calvary Lutheran Church, Newman United Methodist Church, and Good Samaritan Hospital of Kearney for their assistance in developing the Virtual Tour.