Sunday, January 18, 2009

St. Boniface

As part of their year-long heritage celebration, St. Boniface School in Northside commissioned me to create an image of their patron saint. The 16”x 20” acrylic painting depicts St. Boniface, dressed in medieval bishop’s robes, holding an open book and an oak branch. The book signifies his mission of evangelization, and the oak branch his conversion of people from paganism to Christianity. In 723, Boniface chopped down a massive oak tree dedicated to the pagan god Thor. The people converted to Christianity when they saw that Thor did not strike him down.

Though little is known about Boniface’s physical appearance, I attempted to depict a sense of his spirit. In particular, I hope his warm demeanor appeals to the grade school students who will see this image every day.

My studio is only a few blocks from St. Boniface School and Parish. I often hear their church bells while I am working and imagine myself back in Assisi. I felt honored that the school chose me to help them celebrate the 75th anniversary of their school building in this way. In the photo, kindergarten teacher Ginny Hampton shows my painting of St. Boniface to three of her students.

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