Regis Sommers

Regis Sommers shows off stained glass accents Wednesday prior to their installation into the fence at the Casa Grande Art Museum.

CASA GRANDE — Thirty-three round stained glass accents have been added to the fence at the Casa Grande Art Museum.

Made by John Rooney of Adventures in Stained glass and installed by Central Arizona College welding instructors Richard Santasiero and Timothy Gates, the stained glass accents are one of the final touches to the fence, which is part of a museum beautification project.

“We’re so excited to have these stained glass pieces added,” said Regis Sommers, a Casa Grande Art Museum board member. “It’s been a few years of planning and installation. The board is very grateful to the Casa Grande Art Association for all that they’ve done and to Jeanette Rhodes for her donation.”

The fence is part of a museum upgrade project started a few years ago by the Casa Grande Art Association.

“It’s amazing to see the fence and the upgrade project completed,” Sommers said. “With the fence and the landscaping, this now has the appearance of a true art museum. I believe it’s made a big difference.”

The custom-made steel fence was installed in 2019 at the museum, 319 W. Third St. It was the idea of Stan Balka, an artist and welder. Area artist Leah Kiser designed the fence, which was built by welding students at CAC who donated their labor.

Materials were paid for by donation.

The Casa Grande Art Association has overseen the upgrade project at the museum, which also included landscape work, installation of mosaics and improvements to the historic structure.

The art association hosted fundraisers and community art projects as part of its overall efforts to improve the facility.

With the stained glass accents installed, the fence is nearly complete. The final step involves installing solar lighting bars that will be mounted to the base of each panel so it will be backlit at night. Additional work will also be done on each pillar on the fence.

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Melissa St. Aude is the Arts & Entertainment editor at PinalCentral. She can be reached at mstaude@pinalcentral.com.