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Bethlehem Evangelical Lutheran Church Features New Stained Glass Art

on August 20, 2017 - 2:11pm

Nambe artist Spin Dunbar created the newest piece of stained glass art at Bethlehem Evangelical Lutheran Church. Photo by Audrey Derell​/Courtesy 



​Los Alamos Daily Post


The newly installed stained glass window by Nambe artist Spin Dunbar at Bethlehem Evangelical Lutheran Church emcompasses elements celebrated at the church: The Holy Trinity, Martin Luther's heart design and Song. 

Spin Dunbar

The end result shows contemporary images of The Holy Trinity symbol and the Holy Cross as well as a visualization of sound waves in the background.


“I wanted to combine those three elements and create a unity from those elements,” Dunbar said. “It does become a conveyor of messages.”


Dunbar explained that the original purpose of stained glass windows was to tell the stories in the Bible through iconography.


Bethlehem Evangelical Lutheran Church commissioned the recent work in memorial to a member of its congregation, Bill Olson. A committee was formed for the window and they hired Dunbar a little more than a year ago. It was installed earlier this month.


Local artist and Bethlehem Evangelical Lutheran Church member Thelma Hahn served on the committee. She explained that Dunbar was selected because “he had very good examples of work that’s been done.”


Hahn added the committee met with Dunbar and decided they liked his work and they liked him. She added Dunbar was very patient with the committee and revised his design for the window about six times.


Dunbar said the process of making a piece of stained glass art is not easy.


“A lot of thought goes into the making of a window-not just the procedure but the reasons why,” he said.


Staff and members of the church said they are pleased with the final product.


“I think it’s beautiful and it does add to the sanctuary,” Office Administrator Becky McMillan said.


She said the lighting that comes through the colored glass is preferable to the glare that used to come out the original window.


Hahn also is pleased with Dunbar’s work.


“I think it’s lovely,” she said. She said she has done enough stained glass work to know the colors in Dunbar’s work are beautiful.


“We are all very happy with it,” she said.


Dunbar has been working with stained glass for 46 years. He has done work not just in New Mexico but around the nation. Dunbar has done work at the Basilica in Santa Fe as well as at the library in Artesia. He also created stained glass art for “Game of Thrones” author George Martin’s library. Additionally, he worked on numerous stained glass restoration projects for churches.


“It’s always something different,” he said.


Dunbar said what he enjoys the most is getting to know people.


“This is their community; their church and I try to encompass their feelings,” he said.

For more information about Dunbar and his work, visit