"Gateway: When Spirit Speaks" - CODAworx

“Gateway: When Spirit Speaks”

Submitted by Joel Pfeiffer

Client: Ovation Jewish Community Center

Location: Mequon, WI, United States

Completion date: 2018

Artwork budget: $18,000

Project Team


Joel Pfeiffer

Art Coordinator

Randy Crosby

Ovation Jewish Community Center


My glass creations are an exploration of how light, color, steel and glass can be melded together in new and unexpected visual delights. These sculptural statements capture both the eye and ”steel” the light, holding them for conversation and thought.
The realization of each piece is a product of play and discovery. Many times during the creative process, I may stop, take apart and reassemble only to be led into something new and unexpected. It is like a speck of sand that may irritate the oyster, yet it turns into a pearl. The art moves me, and I keep finding myself in surprising new places.


I was approached by the Ovation Jewish Community Center about having a solo show of glass sculptures inside their facility. Once I saw the outdoor entrance to the facility, it begged for a colorful statement. When “Gateway: When Spirit Speaks” was completed, a donor purchased it to permanently welcome residents and guests to the facility.


In the creation of Gateway I had to work with a fabrication company in bending the initial I beam for the steel framework. I then cut the glass into circles and used frit (crushed colored glass) fused into the designs. The glass then was affixed to the framework. I collaborated with staff and engineers about pouring footings to secure the piece.
The Sculpture is a beacon of light for all that enter and exit the building and continues to change with the light of day and with the seasons.