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Local artist, student teaming up for Franklin fundraiser

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Catherine W. Idzerda
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
— One artist's work inspired another artist.

He, in turn, returned to the first artist and asked her and her friends to help him create something new.

It was a complex collaboration, but the result is a beautiful stained glass window that will be raffled off to support the art program at Franklin Middle School.

The original artist was Mary Weir, an eighth-grade student at Franklin. Last year in Sharon Whitcomb's art class she created her multicolored work for a class assignment on symmetry. The work later appeared in the Gazette.

The second artist is Richard Snyder, a Franklin Middle School graduate who now runs 1 Glass Impressions in Cambria.

For a time in the late 1970s, Snyder ran the Grand Gallery, a store and workshop on River Street in Janesville.

Last year, Snyder was in Janesville on business when he saw the artwork in the Gazette and instantly was charmed by it.

"It was the way the space was divided up," Snyder said.

He was struck, too, by the way she used the colors.

Snyder contacted Whitcomb, asked about the artwork, and the collaboration began. Snyder visited the art classes at Franklin and with Weir and her classmates planned a stained glass window based on her work.

The result is a 28-by-39-inch, 338-piece, stained-glass window crafted with traditional methods and framed with African mahogany. At its center, a large, blue-green piece of glass with granite-patterned swirls is surrounded by cut crystal topazes and amethysts.

Weir is amazed and delighted with the piece. On Monday, she posed next to the piece with her family and the artist.

Along with her required art classes, Weir also is in the art club that meets before school each morning.

When asked about how she created the original piece, Weir said that she had a little trouble getting started, deciding what she would do.

"Then I started drawing, and it just came to me," she said.


Raffle tickets for the stained glass piece are not yet available, said Sheryl Miller, public information specialist for the Janesville School District.

Tickets will go on sale after paperwork for the event has been completed and approved by district officials.

The anticipated price for the tickets is $5.

The district will make an announcement when the tickets go on sale.

Last updated: 3:49 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

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