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Shining Starr

Local artist breathes new life into centuries-old art form
The largest and most complex piece Starr has built is this 58-by-26-inch salvaged antique window frame with 24 glass panels.

After learning at a young age the ancient practice of creating stained glass art, Britton Starr is bringing the medium back into the mainstream, hoping to make it relevant to a new age of artists.

Starr, who moved to Evansville seven years ago from Bloomington, Indiana, learned how to build stained glass pieces while a student at Bedford North Lawrence High School in Bedford, Indiana. Starr says according to his teacher, he was pretty good at it.

Starr strayed from stained glass art after graduating high school, but he recently returned to the unique medium and began selling pieces in 2019. He launched his business, Starr Art Co. LLC, in March 2020.

Much of Starr’s glass is sourced from Kokomo Opalescent Glass in Kokomo, Indiana — the oldest producer of hand cast, cathedral, and opalescent glass in the U.S. Starr estimates he has about 800 pounds of glass stored in his basement, where he creates the delicate artwork.

“The glass itself, the individual pieces, are a work of art,” he says. “There’s so much in terms of individual variation with colors and textures. I really appreciate the fact that no two sheets are going to be the same.”

▲ Britton Starr says part of the appeal of working with stained glass is the way it interacts with the environment and how it can paint a space based on the way light hits it.

Starr has commissioned a variety of pieces, from Mickey Mouse-styled artwork to chess pieces. The largest and most complex piece he’s built is a 58-by-26-inch salvaged antique window frame with 24 individual glass panels.

Starr says for the past three years he’s been recovering eclectic window frames into which he installs his artwork. Part of the appeal of working with stained glass is how it interacts with the environment and changes based on the ways light hits it.

“Glass can color a space like a painting, but the difference is light, and the quantity of the light really contributes to how it interplays with the space,” he says.

While Starr works on his stained glass art only part time (he is a full-time IT engineer at OneMain Financial), you can find him selling his distinctive pieces at Haynie’s Corner during First Fridays or on his Instagram page @starrartco.

Sharp Artstarrartco.com

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