Stories of Light

Featuring the Art of Bettina Stumm

Stories of Light is on display from November 1 to December 31. Come by St. Faith’s Anglican Church to experience the artist’s work Tuesday-Friday from 9:30 to 4pm or on Sundays.

Artist’s Statement

In this series I explore how light interacts with translucent and transparent surfaces, most notably glass. I am fascinated by the intricacies, layers, shapes, and colours that emerge in stained glass and glass-blown art. As I meditate on the glass-making process, I am struck by the many ways it resembles the spiritual life: Glass is a chemical combination of sand and soda ash, heated to extreme temperatures until it melts and flows. To impart colour to the glass, certain minerals and elements are mixed in. Once malleable, the glass can be molded, cast, blown, pressed, or drawn into its desirable form. Glass literally makes beauty from ashes through the crucible of fire—a pain/pane through which light can be transmitted. Stained glass takes this process a step further, as the hardened glass must be scored, fractured, chipped, and then pieced together again with heated lead or copper stripping to fit the artist’s design. This process is not unlike the spiritual journey, in which we have the potential to become vessels of light and beauty through crucibles of brokenness and loss.  

In these selections from my “Stories of Light” series, I have followed my fascination with glasswork in my abstract art. Through mediums like acrylic paint, mixed paper, and alcohol inks on wood panel, I play with the ways that light encounters and touches a surface. My art materials are opaque, yet they are meant to give the illusion of translucent and transparent glass with the colours and layers of paint I use. My hope is that viewers will experience this tension between opacity and transparency as reflective of the spiritual path – our dark nights of the soul entwined with moments of illumination, our shadowed seasons of longing enlivened with flashes of epiphany, and our deep encounters with Divine Light “through a glass darkly.”

Beauty in the Fragments: An Ode To Stained Glass Chester Cathedral, UK (Diptych)

Acrylic on Wood Panel, 12 x 12 inches

An Ode to Stained Glass, Christ the King Cathedral, QB (Diptych)

Acrylic on Wood Panel, 12 x 12 inches


Acrylic, Mixed Paper, and Alcohol Ink on Wood Panel, 8 x 8 inches

Blue View (Diptych)

Acrylic on Wood Panel, 8 x 8 inches

Shards and Facets

Acrylic on Wood Panel, 10 x 10 inches

Standing, Still (Diptych)

Acrylic, Mixed Paper on Wood Panel, 10 x 16 inches

About Bettina

Bettina Stumm is a mixed media and textile artist who currently lives on the ancestral and unceded territory of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations, commonly known as Vancouver, BC. She is a published author, academic, and artist who is passionate about all things creative. She is especially interested in the connections between embodiment, spirituality, and visual art and the ways that creative practices can bring joy to our lives as well as help us navigate challenging circumstances. With a doctorate in English Literature from UBC, Bettina has written extensively on the ethical potential that creative acts have in the world. She has also taught for many years both in and outside academia. Most recently her art has explored abstract expressions of illness and disability, and visual meditations on light, beauty, brokenness, and spiritual longing. Visit Bettina’s website, Blue Leaf Studio to see more of her art or to contact her.

Other Recent Art Exhibits