Oct 20

Traditional PR still counts

These days, it seems like all PR is going to social media. Traditional media, however, still matter.

We’ve been doing it all for one of our clients, Edie Martin Stained Glass Studio in Eagle, Idaho. We set up a YouTube channel and help maintain their Facebook page. We’re also doing traditional news media, including the release pasted below. Last Sunday, the Idaho Press Tribune in Nampa published a story about Martin’s 30 years making stained glass art and we are pleased at this success. We’ll keep you posted on this blog regarding further progress on this account.

Boise artist Edie Martin blends art and faith
Stained glass creations find niches in local galleries, churches and homes

For more information,
Edie Martin, 939-9618
Martin Johncox, 658-9100

Some people take artistic journeys, while others take spiritual journeys. For Boise artist Edie Martin, the past 35 years have been a lot of both.

Martin’s stained glass art – encompassing the Bible, Egyptian influences, Art Nouveau and Americana – has been found in Idaho homes, galleries and churches for decades. One of her works, “The Demise of Enmity” has this month been accepted for exhibition at the prestigious 3rd Nationwide Catholic Arts Competition and Exhibition at St. Vincent College in Latrobe, Pa. (one of the judges is Sister Wendy Beckett, art expert who attained some fame from PBS).

Edie Martin and Pastor Jim Grunow

Martin liked art classes as far back as Star Elementary School and also took art at Meridian High School Eagle Junior High School and in college while studying for a degree in education.

“I have always liked to make things and have one or more projects on the table, with a few more incubating in my mind,” Martin said. “My stained glass artwork is a passion for me and the meaning is very important to me, whether it’s honoring God or making a window that someone will enjoy for a lifetime. Stained glass is a great medium for that.”

Martin got her start in stained glass while living in Kansas City in the 1970s. She moved into a home that had hideous plastic sidelights with orange and aqua bubbles around the door.

“I wanted to put in some nice stained glass and dared to think that I could learn to do it,” Martin said. “I took some stained glass classes at Maple Woods Community College and made the sidelights my first project.”

Martin returned with her family to Boise in 1981and sold her first work in the early 1980s to a remodeling company that needed some door sidelights for a project. In 1988, she began selling at a shop called Homespun Gifts at the Westgate Mall and later sold in the Old Town Antique Mall in Nampa and has sold at numerous local Art In The Park and Beaux Art events. She now exhibits at the new Gaia Gallery in Eagle, Art Source Gallery in downtown Boise/Boise Airport and has always sold things directly from her Web site and studio.

In addition to creating, Martin devotes considerable time and effort to study. In 1999, she earned a second bachelor’s degree from Boise State University with a degree in visual art. She’s also taken classes at the renowned Pilchuck Glass School in Seattle and frequently travels to trade shows for more instruction. She is a member of the Stained Glass association of America, which is over 100 years old. The constant training has taught her many techniques, some obscure and some common, such as lead and foil construction, sandblasting, etching, fusing, slumping and glass painting.

“Glass art is a huge field and there’s so much to learn – geometry, chemistry, technique and tradition,” Martin said. “The constant study is rewarding and allows me to offer more to my clients.”

Faith in God is important to Martin and for many years she had a desire to create church windows, intrigued by the ancient relationship between stained glass and churches. She took some classes in glass painting, to learn to create figures, faces and other details not possible with glass alone.

“I had always wanted to do church windows and when the church I belonged to, Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran, built a new sanctuary, I volunteered to do it,” Martin said. “It took several months to design on paper and over a year to complete and install.”

Martin’s windows were part of an expansion, started in 1998, that doubled the size of the church and provided a new sanctuary. Martin donated all her work and materials and another member donated all the fine custom woodwork in the sanctuary.

The Shepherd of the Valley project, finished in 2003, consisted of 8 windows, each about 6½ feet tall by 3 ½ feet wide. The windows depict various Old and New Testament stories. In keeping with an ancient practice, the Old Testament windows are on one side of the church and the New Testament stories are on the other side.  An amber ribbon of glass moves through all the windows to represent the presence of God and the windows are called “The Spirit Moves Through Time and Space.”

“The windows create a special sense of sanctity and holiness in the space. It was an amazing gift of love to the church,” said Pastor Jim Grunow of Shepherd of the Valley.  “I’ve been a pastor for 37 years and I’ve never gathered in a worship space like this. She’s very humble about it and a gifted child of God.”

From beginning to end, the windows accurately tell a compressed story of the Bible. Once a month during chapel time, the Pastor brings the preschool children before a window, so the cycle is completed in one year.

“One of the children pointed out each window has a cross in it – the supporting metal frame – but I had overlooked that before,” Grunow said. “People see new things in the windows all the time. You don’t encounter a lot of lay people who have this level of theological sophistication.”

After the high-profile Shepherd of the Valley project, Martin began developing a name among the religious community as a glass artist. In 2006, Martin completed seven windows for the Southside United Methodist Church in Nampa. Each window was a little larger than 6’ by 2’ and they are done around a Creation theme.

Martin also made a 2½’ by 6’ window for the entryway of the Covenant Presbyterian Church in Boise, commissioned to honor an esteemed member of the church who passed away. The window depicts one of the member’s favorite passages, John 15:5, “I am the vine; you are the branches……..” One of Martin’s hanging panels is in a Methodist Church in Farmington, New Mexico, and another is at the Fra Angelico Art Foundation in Chicago, a center for Judeo-Christian spiritual art.

Martin has recently finished another religious piece, showing a woman holding a lamp and comparing the word of God to light. These days, she concentrates more on gallery pieces, and she currently has about a dozen hanging panels at the downtown Boise Art Source gallery, and several more at the airport Art Source and Gaia Galleries.

Martin’s studio is in her Eagle home, which is equipped with kilns, air compressor, grinding wheels, ventilation shafts, a sandblasting booth, hundreds of types of glass, work tables, tools, and display area. Martin also keeps herself busy with sidelights and windows for construction and remodeling projects.

While Martin is capable of doing just about anything with stained glass, “I sometimes think it would be nice to return to the home in Kansas City I used to live in and photograph that first job I did.”

“I love the moment when I lift the piece from my work table and see it with the light coming through it for the first time as an assembled art piece.  Viewing the artwork during the process of being made does not begin to compare with seeing it when the light shines through it.  I could go on and on about the metaphors about light bringing the work to life.  Suffice it to say that I want to create pieces that draw the eye and hold the eye of the viewers enough to take in the details, see the beauty, and “read” the meaning.”