Creation Windows

The stained glass windows in Room 100 are called “Creation.” These windows won Best of Show in the Visual Arts Award category of the 2000-2001 BENE International Stained Glass Competition. Window panels depicting water, crops, and sun combine to resemble a cross-section of the earth. The opaque glass allows for some contact with the outdoors, such as trees and clouds, as well as foot or vehicle traffic. The windows were installed in January 2000.

Genesis Windows

The stained glass windows in the Room 200 Complex are called “Genesis.” These windows won Honorable Mention in the Visual Arts Award category of the 2000-2001 BENE International Stained Glass Competition. The windows integrate the basic elements of nature—earth, air, fire, and water—with the vine, which represents the community. These windows also incorporate elements of the Genesis creation story, which describes creation of the world and its inhabitants taking place over several days. The windows were installed in November 1999.

 The Story of the Windows

The windows were designed by Sister Stephana Toomey, O.P., of the Elkins Park, Pennsylvania Dominicans. Sister Stephana was the founder of Efharisto Studio, Inc. of Baltimore, Maryland. She held a master’s degree from the Tyler School of Fine Arts, Temple University, and a bachelor’s degree in art education from Moore College of Fine Arts, both of Philadelphia. She was a member of the Interfaith Forum on Religion, Art, and Architecture (IFRAA), an AIA Affiliate, and a member of the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI). In 1999, she won the Fra Angelico Award, a lifetime achievement award given by The Dominican Institute for the Arts to a Dominican man or woman who demonstrates the Dominican Charism of Preaching through Excellence in Art. 

The windows were fabricated by Mark Beard. He used mouth-blown German, French, English and Freemont (American) glass. Each piece of glass was selected by Sister Stephana and Mark Beard. 

The provision of the stained glass windows was organized by a committee representing the equity-holding congregations of Oakland Mills Interfaith, Inc. The themes were carefully chosen to reflect the interfaith setting. For example, the vine is a symbol of community in both the Hebrew and Christian scriptures.