installing illuminated passage

october 11, 2013


aligning templates and rolling silks

After the silks were steam-set, washed, ironed dry, and treated with fire-retardant, they were carefully re-registered with the original templates. This was done in case there had been any further shrinkage during steaming. The templates were recalibrated to match the actual silks with the patterns aligning correctly left to right.

Then the silks were rolled to keep them from wrinkling and for ease of portability and hanging.

Finally, the silk panels were numbered with a clip-on number corresponding to a master sheet.

The templates then also were rolled to be hung on the site wall to indicate where the brackets would be installed.

site prep

The blank wall before...

Dave Durbin of Durbin Construction designed and built a jig for placing the brackets in proper alignment.


We began by hanging my rigid gray (synthetic felt) templates to indicate silk placement.
Brackets were installed at the tops of each template. This aligned the design on the silk panels and aligned the artwork with the architecture.



Once the templates were in place and looked correct with the slope of the ceiling, the brackets were installed.
Below, the highest bracket at top right required a ladder to access.

the first silk is hung

The silk panels have sewn sleeves that slip over the stainless steel rods.



Good things come to those who wait. After over two and a half years, my silk mural entitled Illuminated Passage was installed on October 11, 2013.


I made the artwork in pieces. The installation was the first time I saw the work as an assembled whole.

At one point near the end of the installation, I caught sight of the whole mural and I just sat down on the floor.
I was overwhelmed.
It’s better than I could have made it.
I suppose art should always be that way… bigger than the artist.


end of installation thoughts on video

Here is a short video clip taken at the end of the day of installation, October 11, 2013. I was physically wiped out but positively elated with the successful install.



Biggest thanks to the supernaturally brilliant Divine Creator for inspiring us to be smarter than we are.
Special thanks to David Durbin of Durbin Construction for his talent and fearless hard work at 35 feet up.
Big thanks also to video friends Shawn Franklin and Rick Dupea for bringing joy and humor and capturing the installation on video and photography. Shawn doubled as DJ filling the room with a great selection of tunes to keep us calm and keep us moving.
Thanks to Rhonda and her team at Liberty for scrambling to get the lift working, and for helping in many ways.
Thanks to Jayna Williams and Steve Roseborough at Capital Communications Inc. for their lighting design expertise.
Thanks to the Bethel/Liberty Art Selection Committee for their good passion for this artwork and the school.
Thanks to WSAC Project Manager, Mike Sweney for patiently embracing this vision.
Thanks to my dear friends and family who have supported me and prayed me through my recent illness, encouraging me to persevere that this project may have a lasting, positive impact.

The installation (and video) team at the January 15 reception: David Durbin (Durbin Construction), me, and Shawn Franklin. I'm so thankful for these men's contributions to Illuminated Passage.


This project is sponsored by The WSAC Art in Public Places Program in partnership with the Bethel School District.