Designed for middle-school aged children, the Spring Mural Program expands on Sunday School lessons from the Fall program. So, far, eight canvases have been designed and finished to date and each stands 8 feet high by 12 feet wide. The children participate in all steps of the process: from canvas preparation through the final design and painting, all with the highest quality fine arts materials available. Finishing is done by adult volunteer staff due to a need for oil-based museum-quality varnishes. The finished murals are prepared for exhibit with processes designed to protect their beauty and message for many years.
Like music, dance and the theater arts, this program is designed for expression of faith, albeit visual. These young teens are tasked with a common theme of the Trinity. From there, the Winter Sunday classes begin to take time to focus on possible personal meaning and construct subjects and links that together translate the grace they feel in their own lives. There is no mandate on skill; only an interest to participate and a will toward discovery, both personal and in a group.
The range of images and styles has been vast. In all cases, the children take responsibility for canvas preparation, design, layout and painting. Adult staff guide and question all aspects of the process reinforcing the Episcopal faith and the ministry of the Father through Christ and the Holy Spirit. Some years it’s quite literal, as the mural titled “Peace Circle” with images of children from all walks forming a circle around Jesus. Other years it can be a bit esoteric, as last year’s image titled “The Last Supper” with twelve lily pads and twelve lily buds in a semi-circle. Just as there are hymns that resonate and sometimes trigger our closest moments with God, these visual expressions will last beyond a generation, especially for the artists themselves.