From the transom of McBroom Beer Distributor to the stained glass windows in Waverly Presbyterian Church’s front staircase and beyond, Glenn Greene’s works are part of the artsy feel of Regent Square. Many are familiar with Greene’s sandwich board, which sits along South Braddock Avenue advertising his stained glass studio, but fewer people know that he created McBroom’s transom window from bottle bottoms, or that he donated two stained glass windows, original creations decorated with a Frick Park motif, to Waverly Presbyterian Church. Some of his restorations also grace the Honors College at the University of Pittsburgh.
Greene’s original stained glass artwork, stained glass window reproductions, and antique window restorations accent many homes in the area. He has been practicing his art since he became an apprentice to a stained glass artist 30 years ago.
“You want to be a stained glass artist, kid? Here’s a broom,” Greene recalled his first mentor saying.
The artist originally worked in a studio in Oakland, moving to in his current studio 13 years ago. The former Frank French Machine Shop, the century-old building located along Guthrie Street is filled with Greene’s original artwork, restored antique windows, and various types of stained glass gifts. The studio offers items that are affordable to people of all income levels.
From noon to 10 p.m. on June 20, the public is welcome to the studio for Greene’s first self-hosted exhibit of some of his artwork: “The Great 48.” The series is a group of 48 stained glass leaded windows, varying in size but related by the fact that they were created in groups of 12 over four months, 12 per month, four years ago.
Greene decided to fabricate the art pieces in a series after finding a crate of empty frames he had. His original works are abstract, combining familiar shapes and abstract forms with antique stained and beveled glass and newer stained glass. The images he creates are somehow familiar, capturing and transforming light, and serving as points of reflection to those viewing them.
While he is renowned for his original artwork, Greene also is well known for the stained glass window reproductions and antique leaded glass window restorations he’s created for many local homes. His ability to collaborate with homeowners to create lasting impressions through stained glass is a part of his work that is exceptionally satisfying to him.
“People can come in and talk to me. I really like to do work around here,” Greene said. “If you’ve got an old door that could use leaded glass, talk to me. I’ve done a bunch of them, and it’s a very exciting process.”
Annie Stunden, a neighbor of Greene’s who lives nearby in Edgewood, commissioned him to create original art glass windows to replace older transom windows in her Queen Anne Cottage style house. “He said, ‘I’ll design them and you’ll love them,’” she recalled.
Greene went to Stunden’s house and scoped the place, taking pictures of it from different perspectives, Stunden said, and even took into consideration that she is a quilter and has her quilts around the house. The original creations he made work well with her quilts, as well as with the home’s architecture and even a front stone wall.
“He came up with beautiful windows. And they have life to them,” Stunden said. “You just have to walk around the neighborhood to see Glenn’s creations. Mine are the most colorful, though.”