Epiphany Gallery is especially honored to be showing a partial selection of an extensive body of stained-glass work created by Don Rustad. Don is the father of Mount Calvary’s Julie LaHammer and her five siblings. Julie and her sister, Barbara, helped install the stained-glass exhibit. Don watched as we hung pieces on the wall and filled the glass cases. To see how lovingly his daughters handled and spoke of each piece was a joy. Julie and Barbara had a story for each of Don’s creations. Every piece is known and cherished. As we finished finding a place for each colorful creation, Don wheeled his wheelchair back for a look at the exhibit. He gave us a thumbs up and said he’s never before had an exhibit. He then said, “you all can go on home, I’m going to stay right here and look at this all night.” His work is a blessing!
An excerpt from his biography tells how Don started working with stained glass at age 66:
“After an early retirement and a move to Florida, Don & Donna made another major move from Florida to Sun City, Arizona. They had a beautiful stained-glass sidelight window that moved with them and arrived in Arizona undamaged. The window had been custom made for them for their home in Florida, but it did not fit into their home in Arizona. Don went to the stained-glass shop at the Bell Recreation Center and asked if somebody could retrofit the window to fit their new home. Don watched the work being done on his window and while an artist was re-sizing his window, they talked about the classes offered at the stained-glass shop. Don signed up for a class before taking his window home.
At 92, Don is still working with glass, spending about six hours a day designing, cutting and producing jewelry, bowls and many kinds of art to hang in windows and beautify the homes of his friends and family. Don estimates he has made over 400 pieces of stained-glass art that is currently on display in homes, churches, and shops, as well as a Christian retreat center in Arizona.”