As so often happens while observing students in the classroom, I would speculate about those I considered of unusual talent, and then further who would continue to develop. Jeff was a perfect student. He was disciplined, confident, perceptive, intelligent and extremely creative. His visual answers to problems given him were courageous and envied by his peers. His solutions were not the “easy way out”, and I therefore found him to be one of the genuine creative persons in the class.
The feature that is now apparent is that Jeff is one of the few who has not abandoned his gift for the expediencies that often prevail upon artists. Over the years he has made most significant contributions in his statements utilizing stained glass. I recently looked at the evolution of his work while preparing a lecture on the medium, and found a healthy profundity in his maturation. I am proud of this talented designer/artist and feel privileged that I was a part of his early training.
Paul A. Dufour, Professor Emeritus, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Wow! You are not only a wonderful artist, but you are a good communicator! You have the Holy Spirit who is there constantly giving you new inspiration. It was indeed a joy to be with you and the community of St. Joseph’s Church in Stanton to ask God’s divine blessing upon your precious artwork. Yes, it was a community project, and God selected the right master to make this project turn out so well. God’s peace. Your brother in Christ and Mary,
Most Rev. Michael D. Pfeifer, OMI; Bishop of San Angelo, Texas
Our parish building committee reviewed several websites of art glass. The work of Jeff Smith, Architectural Stained Glass, Inc., caught our attention immediately. The work is creative, bold yet subtle, fresh and very appealing to the eye. From the moment we met Jeff, we discovered his passion for his work. He listened to the committee’s thoughts and ideas while taking into consideration the existing space, the new chapel, and the landscape.
After seeing Jeff’s first renderings, there was no doubt we had made the right decision. He expanded upon our comments, responded to the environment and created a design that exceeded all expectations. As the project continued he kept in constant contact, and was able to complete his work under an unusually tight timeline.
We are so pleased with the beautiful windows. They are exceptional in craftsmanship and masterfully done with careful attention to detail. The stained glass draws us into deeper prayer and reflection. The chapel and its atmosphere is truly created by the wonderful glass . . . lots of compliments! Just what we wanted! We couldn’t be happier!
Rev. Stephen Orr, Pastor, Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart Parish, Ankeny, Iowa
Jeff Smith is an outstanding artist; he has a fabulous sense of color, design and proportion. Combined with his deep understanding of the nature of light, his work adds a transformative quality to the spaces he works within.
Recently, on behalf of the City of Houston, we commissioned Jeff to design the entrances to one of our neighborhood fire stations. His ability to work with an unusual client was essential. He spent a great deal of time, energy and dedication in researching the site and client. More importantly to the process was Jeff’s talent for revealing the possibilities and limitations of his medium to the fire fighters. He created an abstract representation of the tools and elements of the fire fighter’s trade. More importantly he engaged and guided the fire fighters through the process.
That Jeff was able to create an abstract projection of light and color, providing a multidimensional experience of constant changes for both the public and the staff, is phenomenal – a true testament to Jeff’s passion and skills as an artist. I value his professionalism, commitment to projects and his affable approach within a complex process.
Matthew Lennon, Director of Civic Art + Design, Houston Arts Alliance, Houston, Texas
It was great to see the finished chapel (Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart, Ankeny, Iowa)! The space is great and the windows work really well there. They are especially powerful at night from the outside. I also like the mix of transparent and opaque glass to give the windows life during the nighttime. Another nice nighttime effect is the cast of colored light onto the surrounding walls and ground surface. I saw the chapel first in the dark, so those impressions have stuck with me!
From the inside during the daytime, the colors are bright, crisp, and uplifting. There is a perfect mix of transparent and opaque glasses to shield the traffic but still give a sense of the outside. The Sacred Heart and other subtle imagery have been well received.
Fr. Steve mentioned how grateful they are for my recommendation to work with you on the glass. They are very happy with the end result, and have received many favorable comments from the community. Well done! Way to go, Jeff!!
Ken Griessemer, Liturgical Design Consultant, Kenneth J. Griesemer & Associates, Albuquerque, New Mexico
I went to St. Bridget last evening near sunset while the choir practiced, to enjoy the glass at that time of day. The design and the light it casts and the dynamic effects it gives to the space are wonderful. The church needs some more improvements, but now it finally feels like a sacred space, connected to creation in the way I hoped it would be. THANK YOU!
(Later) St Bridget’s stained glass is still one of my very top favorites for both the artwork and the process of working with you.
Don Brubeck, Project Architect for St. Bridget Church, Bassetti Architects, Seattle, Washington
It was a special joy and privilege to work with Jeff Smith in developing a series of five stained glass windows on the Five Books of Moses. Jeff is an outstanding artist; he has a fabulous sense of color, of design and proportions. He brought to our project a major conceptual breakthrough which has made these windows one of the most glorious and often viewed and visited parts of our very large worship complex.
In addition, I would want to underscore what a very special, fine human being Jeff is. He worked carefully in developing the theme, and spent a great deal of time, energy and dedication in researching his work. I would give him the very highest recommendation and commend him to anyone who is interested in a world class stained glass artist. I can say, with the utmost confidence, that those who acquire his work will be richly rewarded.
Rabbi Joseph P. Weinberg, Senior Rabbi, Washington Hebrew Congregation, Washington, DC
When dealing with works of art, I have often found the “heart and soul” of the artist inseparable from the quality of the final work. Jeff Smith is a person of high capability, tremendous character and deep conviction. His work reflects the character of the man – and both are superb. I have had the pleasure of working with Jeff on a couple of different projects and, suffice it to say, I would not be writing this if I had not emerged from each of those experiences with an extremely high regard for Jeff.
Ray L. Hunt, CEO, Hunt Consolidated, Inc., Dallas, Texas
Thank you so much for coming and talking to the 8th graders! It really means a lot to us! You are an amazing artist! You did a very good job on the stained glass! I can’t imagine how long it took to do that! I really want to go and see the white glass tonight! I’m really excited. The windows are so very cool and people could stare at it for hours and still find new meaning in them! Thank you for making them for us!
Megan, Eighth Grade Class, St. Ann’s Catholic School, Midland, Texas
Jeff Smith/Architectural Stained Glass designed the stained glass windows for our new chapel. The openness and sensitivity with which Jeff worked with the church’s committee to envision this project was beyond our highest expectations. The windows that Jeff designed, hand-crafted, and installed are now one of our church’s most highly prized architectural features. Our members and visitors alike agree that these windows lead people to a sense of awe, mystery, beauty, and an experience of the holy. I cannot say enough about the positive impact that Jeff Smith’s work has had on our faith community and all of the people from the wider community that use our chapel.
Martie McMane, Senior Pastor, First Congregational Church, Boulder, Colorado
Thank you for the beautiful work you created and installed at The Point at CC Young. And thank you for posting the information about its creation and your background on your website. My father is moving to CC Young next month, and your artwork has provided profound comfort during this difficult transition in our lives after the loss of my mother.
Family of a Resident, Dallas, TX
You are spoken of often. You are present to us each and every visit to church. We celebrated our 40th anniversary recently by having a special Mass. Many of our friends visited St. Matthew for the first time and were in awe. Father Don joined us afterwards and chatted about the windows. The consensus was that the church is alive!
Joan Donahue, Parishioner, St. Matthew Catholic Church, Windham, NH
In his 34 years as a stained glass artist, Jeff Smith has demonstrated an incredible understanding of glass, color and light. Few glass artists have equaled his talent. His work reflects the quiet self-assuredness which he himself is known for. From the smallest to the largest, each commission has resulted in an original work of art, carefully created to engage the space in which it is located.
Jeff has designed and executed a broad range of stained glass windows across the country and is continually sought after for new commissions. His studio, located in the mountains of West Texas, is the perfect setting for the study of light and provides the needed meditative silence for inspiration.
Paul M. Dennehy, AIA, Dennehy Architects, Fort Worth, Texas
Every time I sit in church your windows continue to move me! I was sharing with a woman how special your windows are to me. She was distraught, going through a tough time. To make a long story short, she sat in church one afternoon and was moved to paint the altar window. I want to let you know how your art touches people. I also want to let you know she painted it to “heal”. Her painting is beautiful, but the subject and artist are beautiful to begin with.
Parishioner, St. Stephen Catholic Church, El Paso, Texas
Frankly, I was not expecting very much when I came to the Task Force Meeting last Thursday to view the model for the glass art submitted by Jeff Smith. However, I must confess that after viewing his design for the new church I was deeply impressed. The energy of form, subtlety of modulated lights and darks, and dynamism of linear movement that it brings to the (sanctuary) is truly awe-inspiring. Furthermore, his style works excellently within the rather immense bare interior to help focus the worshipers’ attention on the altar. In fact, it works so well to enforce the altar focal point, I find it extremely difficult to conceive of the interior as unified and whole without it!
Dr. John A. Calabrese, Professor of Art, Texas Women’s University
At Presbyterian Hospital of Plano Jeff developed a beautiful as well as intellectual design that has made the Chapel the focal point for the hospital’s interiors. We hope to collaborate in the near future with Jeff to bring the added dimension of his glass to our design. I hope that you will also give this talented artist your consideration.
Bob Brendle, Vice President, Hellmuth, Obata & Kassabaum, Inc., St. Louis, MO
Jeff Smith designed the stained glass for St. Bridget Catholic Church here in Seattle. He worked with a church committee of which I was a part, helping us develop a theme related to our parish mission and identity, something that would “tell the story” of who we are to our current parishioners as well as to the next generations. The glass work is outstanding, as visitors are constantly telling us. The church is filled with a brilliant light, and the variety of the textures and colors are striking without being distracting. Small prisms splash tiny rainbows throughout the church, and especially lift the spirit on sunny Sunday mornings. It’s simply masterful! I will always feel proud for my part in helping create this legacy for future parishioners, and grateful to Jeff for his creativity and artistry.
Deacon Denny Duffell, Pastoral Associate, St. Bridget Parish, Seattle, Washington
Jeff Smith is a most important person to the St. Alcuin Montessori School. He designed and installed the stained glass for our present campus. Everyone — staff, students and visitors — comments on the beauty of these windows. Jeff is very good at his craft. I would recommend him unreservedly for any project involving stained glass.
Ron Ackerman, Director, St. Alcuin Montessori School, Dallas, TX
For more than eight years, I have had the pleasure of knowing Jeff Smith, who, through his wonderful work, has helped fulfill our design concepts for projects of all scales and types. Always responsive and reliable, he consistently produces outstanding results. He has a rare combination of skills: he is a conceptual thinker, a talented artist, a good communicator, a team player and a detail oriented technician.
Jeff’s dedication to quality and generous spirit have endeared him to all who have known and worked with him. He deserves to be awarded the best, most challenging projects available, and I recommend him without reservation.
Carol Hermanovski, President, Carol Hermanovski Design, Dallas, TX
I have found Jeff to be extremely talented, creative and professional in his business relationships with everyone from art committee members to general contractors. He has demonstrated his ability to be focused, organized, timely, and committed to excellence in his field of glass art. In addition he has a wonderful ability to listen to others, and integrate his client’s visions with his own aesthetic.
I highly recommend Jeff G. Smith and I feel confident that he will be able to provide excellent results. The windows he recently completed at the Washington Hebrew Congregation are truly magnificent, and have been very well received by the congregation members.
Elizabeth Michaels, Michaels Art Advisory, Falls Church, VA
The strength and power of Jeff Smith’s designs lie in their openness to interpretation. The lines, shapes and light qualities are available for each person to discover what is most meaningful and significant to them. Church historian Newell Williams commented once that hymns with clear, well-defined theology seldom survive revision of the hymnal. The ones that last are evocative but vague enough that people with different understandings can find themselves in the words. Likewise, a lot of religious art has been made through the centuries, but not all of it has had enduring appeal.
Art that does endure has an evocative but flexible quality. It is the very nature of art to be variously interpretable — and therefore, as the church interprets, reinterprets and reinterprets yet again our liturgical practices, it is important that our art and architecture remains meaningful for the generations that come after us.
Clay Foster, Sculptor and Committee Member, Immaculate Conception Church, Denton, TX
Sadly I was unable to attend the dedication of the Five Books of Moses Windows. However, when I saw them last week, they moved me beyond any words. Your composition, your choice of colors and design, the arrangement of the various parts, the movement within the entire grouping were all so beautiful — I could not believe human hands had created such a jewel.
I have been involved in “art” all my life and of course visited museums and cathedrals in most of the art cities of Europe. I thought your windows were as beautiful as any I’ve ever seen.
Kathryn Yochelson, Author and Lecturer on Israeli Art, Washington, DC
Jeff Smith completed stained glass windows for our award winning Center for Arts and Education at The Point on the campus of C. C. Young. Jeff encountered some challenges in that he had to coordinate his work with another artist’s completed sculpture, work closely with the general contractor and an aggressive schedule, on top of which he came in replacing another artist who was unable to work within the construction schedule. Jeff’s professionalism and personality caused the complexity of the project to be easily coordinated and executed. He adapted his talent to the work space and the time frame.
Kenneth T. Durand, President & CEO, C. C. Young, Dallas, TX
The first time my wife and I visited The Point we were struck by the beauty of the stained glass. The work is beautiful at any time, but in the afternoon when the sun shines on it, it is gorgeous. Thanks for your work. Please know it is of lasting enjoyment for all.
Paul M. Harris, Dallas, TX
On behalf of First Presbyterian Church of Pine Bluff, Arkansas, we wish to thank you for your amazing window, God’s Gifts. Not just a simple stained glass window, but a piece of indescribable work dedicated to and designed for giving glory to God and enhancing with great magnificence and stunning light our place of worship. This is truly a crowning achievement, and it will magnify our worship to God in so many ways, both seen and unseen, that we can’t even begin to count them.
Rev. Lance Clemmons & Thomas E. Brown, Clerk of Session, First Presbyterian Church, Pine Bluff, Arkansas
I wanted to write and tell you how beautiful your artwork is at St. Bridget Church. Every time I go to mass, I find myself looking at all the amazing panels and noticing new, interesting details. What an amazing artist you are and what a great gift you have given us. Thank you very much.
Jeanette Whiting, Parishioner, St. Bridget Parish, Seattle, WA
I had the opportunity of working directly with Jeff for over a year in the development of a significant stained glass commission for the chapel of the Presbyterian Hospital (formerly Presbyterian and Childrens Healthcare Center) of Plano, Texas. I observed Jeff, not only as a design artist, but as one who created a very positive environment. He successfully met the requirements of the interior designers, architects, owners and donor. He accepted critique of his design, and responded in a manner favorable to everyone’s satisfaction.
Jeff displayed unusual artistic ability in designing these windows that complement the philosophy of the organization as well as the wishes of the donor. He was patient and creative throughout the entire process.
Joe Gunn, Administrator/CEO, Craig General Hospital, Vinita, OK