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PRATU: Passage and Transformation

PRATU: Passage and Transformation

John Leighton, 2011

In ancient Siam, or modern Thailand, pratu means “City Gate” Not just a doorway, but a formal entrance, a passage, which suggests a transformative experience. Brea Plaza, located directly in front of the northbound 57 Freeway off-ramp at Imperial Highway, is considered to be a “Southern Entrance” to the city of Brea, California.

I was a graduate student in the Art Department at Cal State University, Fullerton in 1976, when I was commissioned to make a 7- foot diameter circular stained glass window for a bank in the brand new Brea Plaza Shopping Center.  I had been experimenting with including small blown glass objects in residential stained glass windows. In the glass studio at CSUF, I made a wooden blowing mold to create relief glass tiles that were leaded into the center of the window. The window attracted some attention from the architectural glass world and it was published on the cover of Glass Studio Magazine!

Thirty-four years later, the new owners of Brea Plaza contacted me. The bank had been demolished during a remodel, but the owners had removed and crated my window. They asked me if I was interested in designing a piece of sculpture that would incorporate the window or some part of the original stained glass, for the newly remodeled center. The sculpture was to be part of the city of Brea’s “Art in Public Places” program.

My first glass studio was in a tiny store-front in Old Town Brea in 1975 and

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Location: Brea

Medium type: Glass

Date created: 2011

Dimensions: 10' x 8' x 15'

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