Flexible space defined by local art at Seabury

The story is actually quite short: there was a need for partitions, and partitions came to be.

With the collaborative effort of the Rev. Rowena Kemp, architect Duo Dickinson, the Rev. Puck Purnell, woodworker Tom Leary, and the administrative team and one resident at Seabury, four hanging quilted tapestries were installed within a year. Each tapestry was hand quilted by one of the residents, Linda Berry, throughout the year. The beautiful and lightweight holders were built by Tom Leary, and are on casters to be easily moved throughout the chapel. The intention behind the movability: creating intimate spaces within the chapel for smaller prayer services.

From left: the Rev. Rowena Kemp, Duo Dickinson, the Rev. Puck Purnell.

Seabury, which calls itself “an Active Life Plan Community,” sits on 66-acres in Bloomfield, CT. Although Seabury has had a long relationship with the Episcopal Church in Connecticut, residents are of all faith backgrounds, therefore the chapel space – called the Bishops’ Chapel – needed to be flexible and welcoming to all faiths.

The partitions are on casters, making them easy to move. Crafted by woodworker Tom Leary.

These partitions provide the flexibility needed, not only because they are mobile, but because they are not representative of any particular religious tradition. The colors are vibrant, and the pattern reflects a more modern interpretation of stained glass windows.

The tapestries are attached to a rod by velcro. The options with the tapestries are endless: different patterns for the various seasons, holidays, themes, etc. The Bishops’ Chapel, and Seabury, has the unique ability to mold and adapt the space to the desires of the community.

Traditional Episcopal services, prayer centers, major holiday festivals, or just quiet and intimate space, these partitions and the flexibility of the chapel provide the community of Seabury to worship God in unique and ever-changing ways.

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