Having been trained as a research scientist at the Medical University of South Carolina, Jerry Hymel joined the faculty at Hinds Community College, Raymond, Mississippi in 1972. However, in January 1979, Jerry’s life was thrown a curve when a tree he was cutting for a friend fell the wrong way and pinned him severing his spinal cord. A devoted teacher, Jerry returned to teaching the following September. After several hospitalizations and various medical complications, it became apparent that a change in life-style was necessary. Following retirement in 1982, Jerry pursued a hobby in stained glass. The hobby expanded into a cottage industry that has increased in size and scope.
In 1987, Jerry became a member of the Craftsmen Guild of Mississippi. Since that time, he has been featured in a touring exhibit throughout the Southeast, featured on the cover of the Bell South phone book (1993), on the cover of “Hindsight” (a Hinds Community College publication), and has had his ornaments on display on the White House Christmas tree.
In 1999, he represented MS. and the U.S. at the international festival for handicapped artist in Los Angeles,California. The event was called “Art and Soul, An International Exhibition of Visual Arts.” This event is sponsored by Very Special Arts, part of the Kennedy Foundation. In 2000, Hinds Community College dedicated Mississippi Arts Week to Jerry. The dedication program said “For his outstanding craftsmanship, his gentle sense of humor, his unwavering courage and perseverance,and his magnaminous spirit,we dedicate this year’s Arts Week to Jerry Hymel, proprietor of Our Glass Studio of Raymond and former Raymond Campus biology instructor.” Also, later that year, Jerry was honored by the Spinal Cord Injury Association for his contribution to the handicap community.
Once a teacher- always a teacher- Jerry has taught stained glass at Penland, NC, Arrowmont in Gatlinburg, TN and the at Allisons Wells Craft School in Canton, MS. The later is associated with Elderhostel International.
Jerry’s work is wide and varied- from gift items to kaleidoscopes, from bathroom windows to church windows, from new creations to restorations. The Our Glass Studio run by Hymel stays busy and is never boring. In addition to the various commission projects, he has his items for sale at the Craft Gallery at the Craftsmen’s Guild of Mississippi and two galleries of the Louisiana Crafts Guild: San Souci in Lafayette, and The Guild GalleryJulia Street in New Orleans.
During the late spring and all throughout the fall, Jerry exhibits at some of the foremost craft shows in the Southeast.