SAN JUAN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — A new attraction has opened in San Juan, but many may mistake it for a church. The Gelman Stained Glass Museum is not only aiming to educate but to inspire many.

“Now that we have opened our doors and people are finding out that we are not a church they are coming in with open arms,” said Director Miriam Cepeda.

The museum currently has 174 windows, however, that number is growing.

Cepeda told ValleyCentral that the museum’s collection is just a small piece of the stained glass industry.

“So these windows are all from various churches across the United States,” Cepeda said. “They are all original antiques, they are from master artists from the stained glass industry in the 19 and 20th Century.” 

Since its opening, the museum has seen about 5,000 people walk through its halls. While the pandemic has posed a challenge for the museum’s opening, it’s what many people get out of the art work that makes this experience special.

“I would say this has been a blessing not only for us here working at the museum but those that are visiting the museum,” Cepeda said. “They get a sense of personal well-being coming and visiting this museum and getting that sacred experience when they come and visit.”  

However, the museum has served another purpose.

“We get a lot of brides that want to get married here of course they are more than welcome to get married here,” Cepeda said. “But they think we are a church and if we have a priest and things of that nature or officiants, but we are a museum first a foremost.” 

As the museum plans to grow even more Cepeda hopes this will get more people in the valley to appreciate this unique artwork.

“Our goal here is to invigorate the community, uplift and inspire the community in this style of art for the most part gets forgotten,” Cepeda said.

The museum is currently only taking visitations by appointment. For more information CLICK HERE.