Last month Lawrence Journal reported on Zahner’s fabricated work for Dierk Van Keppel which is installed at the Lawrence Public Library. The artwork is one of several that Zahner has manufactured with the artist, using Zahner’s metal fabrication with Van Keppel’s glass-blowing and casting expertise.

Photo by Mike Yoder for Lawrence Journal-World.
Photo by Mike Yoder for Lawrence Journal-World.

Hanging from the ceiling in the central area of the renovated Lawrence Public Library is the glass artwork created by Percent for Artist winners Dierk Van Keppel and John Shreve of Kansas City.

After the library and Lawrence Cultural Arts Commission approved the concept, the next step was making sure it could be designed to be safe and sound. With design input from artist John Shreve, Tom Zahner and engineer Craig Long contributed to a written report on the structural design, ensuring its durability. A. Zahner Co. created the aluminum “cell body” framework.

“It’s glass, and glass is fragile,” Van Keppel says. “The framework and metal backing is the safety system to hold it together.”

The glass was first blown in his studio, and then each colorful DNA chain was fused together within a matrix of clear glass using a kiln. Van Keppel has put in more than 3,000 hours over the past year on the piece. He also made similar-style glass wayfinding panels that lead to the library entrance.

Read the full article at Lawrence Journal World

Any local artists interested in exhibiting their work in the new spaces are welcome to submit an application and three photograph examples of the artwork to or to the Welcome Desk in the library. The Library Art Committee will need 60 days advance notice to review materials. Find applications online at