Children's Hospital Colorado

Colorful Glass Inspires with Light

A close-up of the glass artwork in the chapel at Children's Hospital Colorado, which is blue on top and green on the bottom with glass lines cutting through it diagonally and horizontally.
The glass design is centered on several themes: bringing the feeling of chaos to order, the idea of cycles of time and life and Axis Mundi, a metaphor for the vertical relationship between the sky and the earth.

Spirituality is a pathway to find meaning, hope, comfort and inner peace. Many people find spirituality through religion, and some find it through art or a connection with nature.

Patients, families, volunteers and staff will have the opportunity to feel a spiritual connection inside the Chapel at Children's Hospital Colorado.

"The Chapel is a safe place or a sacred space for one to come into from the chaos or crisis of life and find peace and hope," said Bob Flory, director of Pastoral Care at Children's. "It is a place in which a parent can offer in prayer the worries of a child's well-being or offer their thanksgiving."

The Chapel will feature beautiful art glass, designed and hand-made by Richard Parrish, artist and architect at Fusio Studio, Inc. in Bozeman, Mont.

"Creating that sacred space for patients and families was the challenge that Richard Parrish was given as an artist, and a challenge that we as Chaplains think he has answered beautifully," Flory said.

Six layers of colored glass will be fused and formed together in a custom-designed kiln to create a bright design, detailed with many textures and patterns.

"It was important for me to create artwork compatible with Pastoral Care department's vision and to bring forth an idea that would make an impact," said Parrish. "The chapel is a place for the whole family so the artwork needed to be for everyone."

His glass design connects lines and colors together, adding order to many different shapes and sizes. And his deep, earthy color palette adds a subtle calm to the space.

"I used deep colors because it helped create the desired calming effect, but natural light from the east wall of glass windows in the hospital will brighten the colors and add light to the Chapel," Parrish said. "I really love the interaction of light and color."

The experience of designing a piece like this was a spiritual one Parrish, and he hopes it has the same effect on the people who need it the most.

"Hopefully patients and families will find their own meaning in it," said Parrish. "That's the beauty of it."