Portrait of an Artist
When I lived in NYC, the dining room of my 4th floor apartment looked into a spectacular stained glass window at the Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation across the street. Glowing softly at night, the depiction of the Ascension and the Transfiguration (reputedly by John LaFarge) made quite a statement at dinner parties. (Every meal automatically blessed!)
This year Cindy, her husband Blaine, and their two dogs, Harley (golden retriever) and Gabe (chocolate lab) moved to Nashville for Blaine’s new job as EVP of the Bank of Tennessee.
This isn’t however the couple’s first residency in Music City. They lived here from 1987-1994 at which time Cindy taught first grade at Oak Hill. From there they lived in Memphis and Knoxville, TN, and also Carbondale and Quincy, IL .
The Strocks are happy to be back in Nashville, where incidentally son Steve, an internal medicine resident at Vanderbilt, and his pediatrician wife, Willmarie, also live. Daughter Claire recently moved to Indianapolis.
After designing stained glass gifts for friends and family, Cindy launched her custom stained glass business in earnest in 2012. From her design studio in her newly renovated West Meade home, Cindy creates exuberant and elegant one of a kind corporate gifts, personalized window hangings, and table top designs.
- Where did you grow up? How did you wind up in Nashville (the first time?)I was born in Syracuse, NY and moved eight times growing up. We lived in southern California, Boston, Cincinnati, and Connecticut. Blaine and I met when we were in college at Miami University in Oxford, OH.
- Who or what inspired you to pursue stained glass? In Quincy, we purchased a historic Queen Anne Victorian house built in 1897. In the upstairs rooms there were transoms above all the doors so I just knew that they needed to be done in stained glass.
- Describe your first piece. My first piece was a simple design for a transom. I used a large bevel cluster and some amber colored glass. I took a series of classes from a dear lady by the name of Eva; the rest is history, I was hooked!
- How do you help clients decide on a design? I love to create custom pieces for clients. We can work off a particular theme or color in which they might want to incorporate a piece into an existing window or one to hang as “window art”.
- Do you have any of your own work in your home? I brought a few pieces from our home in Quincy; I have a beveled clear window that I am having put into a new front door.
- Your have been an elementary school teacher and an artist? How are they alike? Or not? As a teacher, I always incorporated some kind or art into my lesson plans; even math is filled with art! Friday afternoons were always set aside for a free flowing classroom with art and music!
- How has Nashville changed since 1994? My goodness, how it has grown! When we lived in Franklin we were busy raising a family, so we did not get to come into Nashville that often. We are thrilled to be living in town now and experiencing all Nashville has to offer.
- What’s your favorite new thing about Nashville? I, unfortunately, have not been able to get out much yet. My days have been filled with overseeing a renovation and working in my studio to fill some window orders. We have gone downtown a few times to different venues but I really want a chance to just wander and explore.
- You have moved many times. What is your best advice for families relocating to a new city? Don’t sit back and wait for someone to come knocking on your door and show you around. Get out there and experience the joy of a new town. Have a block party to meet your new neighbors, they will become life long friends.
- You have also renovated several homes, famously on time and on budget! What is the secret to your success? I spend a lot of time researching and bargain hunting to fulfill many aspects of each build or renovation. Also, the biggie, no change orders!