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The Illuminator

Published in the Coloradan

Phil Watkins Jr. (Art’70) can do without spotlight or limelight, but his work glories in illumination.

“Light is what brings it to life,” says the eighth-generation stained-glass artist, one of few in the country who handles every aspect of the craft, from delicate restorations to original designs on almost any scale. He can sketch, measure, pattern, cut, paint, glaze and install, at eye level or nine stories up.

Over six decades, Watkins has created or restored thousands of colored windows in churches, homes and commercial and civic buildings. He’s worked in 38 states, including, of course, Colorado, where he’s restored prized glass in the governor’s mansion, the capitol, the Brown Palace Hotel and Fairmont Cemetery. Since 1985, his wife, Jane Rosholt Watkins (Art’72), has been his primary artistic partner.

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