John Schum learned the art of stained glass on a dare!

After watching a NOVA special about stained glass on PBS, John Schum thought ” I could do that.” As a tool maker who was skilled in all manner of technical accuracy, he thought “If I can grind something within 50 millionths of an inch, I bet I could work in stained glass”. After sharing this with his buddies in the tool shop where he worked, they offered him a dare- prove it- make that stained glass.

He learned well, and now has a fulfilling second career as a stained glass restoration and repair company as well as a teacher at one of southern Ohio’s foremost glass schools. You can’t miss his beautiful shop with the stained glass awning on North South Street.

He wasn’t always located at his present address at 39 North South Street, however. “I had a booth at the St. Columbkille Oktoberfest, and Molly Dullea (owner of the General Denver) came over and talked to me. She offered me a space on the third floor of the hotel in exchange for lessons. So I became an art teacher.”

After 5 years in the General Denver, John moved his space to his current location. This new street level storefront meant that he had a great space to showcase his work as well as other artists in the region. As President of the Wilmington Comunity Arts Collaborative, John provides a gallery space for local artists to show and sell their work. There are currently some beautiful creations in store for holiday shopping and always something new and interesting to check out.

South Street Gallery Art School

The studio classroom space is cozy and inviting. It always seems like something interesting is happening in this space. During my visit in Shop Small Saturday, or “Holidazzle Saturday” I saw a beautiful piece that featured a silver cross and blue translucent glass panes. “This is what student was able to do after only 7 hours of instruction”. It was incredible! “I just love when I see that little light go on- that moment when a student gets it.” Clearly, John is a natural teacher who loves his work.

If you’re interested in learning more or signing up for Art classes, be sure to get in touch with John. And don’t forget that the South Street Gallery is participating in the $25 Days of Christmas!

South Street Gallery

39 N. South Street

Wilmington, OH 45177


South Street Gallery Website


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