Artist’s first window makes an impression

Ogilville Christian Church offers a new window on the world these days.

And 35 more views are coming later, all meant to highlight biblical elements through the artistry of stained glass.

Columbus artist Marcia Potts’ original work of a humbled sinner kneeling before a flowing image of Jesus recently was installed in the window at the sanctuary entrance of the church eight miles southwest of Columbus on State Road 58. The 8- by 6-foot effort, which cost about $4,000, represents an extensive team effort among Potts, framers, installers and stabilizers.

“When you listen to God tapping on your heart, great things can happen,” said Potts, 51.

As she spoke, she relaxed in a chair in the sanctuary, not far from where she sat last year when she felt that God prompted her, via a random picture projected on the screen at the front of the church, to create such a piece. The woman, who also sings with Ogilville’s praise team, learned the art of making stained glass from a class a year earlier.

Now church leaders are asking her to create stained glass biblical scenes, possibly from the Old Testament, for the 35 small windows circling high above the sanctuary. Her first piece took four-and-a-half months to complete, dominating her dining room and using up much of her time and energy.

The timeline for additional work is uncertain.

Potts said she is grateful for being given the freedom to work on the first piece, which she finished, fittingly enough, Thanksgiving morning.

“My prayer is simply that God somehow speaks to whoever looks at this (first) piece,” Potts said. “I am just a willing vessel.”

The art reflects symbolism as much as the day’s changing sunlight. The kneeling sinner, for instance, is broken into two different pieces of the work, symbolizing people’s brokenness before him. The cross is reflected in a brown hue “because sin is dirty,” as Potts put it. The figure of Jesus spills into three panels to symbolize the Trinity.

The Rev. Marty Wright, church pastor and a longtime friend of Potts and her family, sees more than creativity and art when he looks at it.

“The most important piece to me about all this is the idea of the church encouraging people to freely use their God-given gifts and talents,” said Wright, adding that that has been a special focus at the church in recent months.

The minister also mentioned that he quickly realized that when people in the sanctuary look through the glass into the foyer, they often are viewing people through the translucent glass that comprises Jesus in the picture.

“Seeing people through the lens of Jesus definitely is never a bad way to look at others,” he said.

Potts smiled and chuckled over son Adam Munn’s comment on her completed artwork — and that to come.

“You probably now have forever etched yourself into the history of that church,” he said to her.

About the artist

Who: Marcia Potts of Columbus. Began working with stained glass after completing a course in 2014.

Age: 51.

Family: Husband Jeff, son Adam Munn and daughter Hannah Potts.

On seeing the general image on a church projection screen that she eventually transferred to stained glass: “It was God hit me over the head with a two-by-four and said, ‘That needs to go over there (by the entrance).'”

The message of her first public stained glass work: “Follow the light. Follow Jesus.” In the piece, golden rays emanate from Christ.

SHARE
Brian Blair is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at bblair@therepublic.com or 812-379-5672.