Owensboro native Brook White completes sculpture garden honoring glass artist Stephen Powell

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A unique monument honoring the late Stephen Rolfe Powell, internationally renowned KY glass artist and educator, now stands at Center College in Danville, where Stephen lived and worked for 30 years. Brook Forrest White Jr., from Owensboro, is one of Stephen’s former students and runs the Flame Run Hot Shop in Louisville. Brooke had a vision to honor his friend and mentor through a collaborative project with former students of his friend and mentor Stephen. The memorial serves as a landmark where locals and visitors from all over the world can come to celebrate Stephen’s legacy.

Two years after Stephen Powell’s death, some former students were talking and noticed that there was still no headstone or memorial in Stephen’s honor. It was a wild idea to pay homage to a larger artist and educator who had a tremendous impact on those who knew him.

Stephen’s protégé, former student and confidant, Brooke led the design and construction of Center College’s Stephen Rolfe Powell Memorial Sculpture Garden and outdoor classrooms. lesson. Now, with the support of several former students, donors, and Stephen’s family and friends, the vision has come to fruition.

The Stephen Powell Memorial Sculpture Garden features 25-foot-tall steel and glass sculptures that spectators can walk through. There are also gardens, promenades, custom-built he three artistic benches, and a small amphitheater that serves as an open-air classroom. Campus meeting space. The sculpture, titled Soaring Renegade Peacock, is made of stainless steel made by Louisville artist Dave Caudill and a large colorful glass disc made by Brook and his team at Flame Run. Its shape is reminiscent of Stefan’s iconic glass vessels. The entire sculpture is illuminated, and an illuminated circle incorporating fragments of Stephen’s work is placed on the ground beneath the towering piece. Stephen’s other former students who helped create the sculpture and bench include Louisville artists Paul Nelson, Paul Hugue, and John Stokes.

Stephen Powell is highly regarded and collected around the world, and the Smithsonian Institution has one of his works in its collection. But his impact was most profound in the small community of Danville, Kentucky, where he lived and worked for over 30 years. He founded the Hot Glass Program at Center College, which drew a great deal of attention from the college and the town. In 2003 he helped establish a community arts center. The organization has since grown into a regional arts hub as the Arts Center of the Bluegrass.

Quote from Brooke:
“Stephen Powell inspired and influenced many students, friends and colleagues.After his untimely death, the impact he had on Center College, the Danville community and the world of glass art. I felt it was important to create something in his honor to recognize the A space that invites you to discover a little bit of your personal vibrancy.In many ways Steven was greater than life.I wanted to make the last Steve project a success, in true Steve style.” . With the help and encouragement of an amazing team, my vision came together and now the Stephen Rolf Powell Sculpture Garden exists. hope it reflects ”

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