I was commissioned to create the “Unity Mural” or “St. Dominic’s Mural” for Shrine of St. Francis Xavier & Our Lady of Guadalupe/St. Dominic’s Parish in Grand Rapids, MI. The finished mural was blessed by Bishop Walkowiak on Dec. 11, 2018. The arching ‘M’ shaped clouds in the painting were a symbol that resounded and deepened in my heart as paint-layers amassed, signifying the protective and guiding embrace of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Throughout history the saints have stood on soft or rough patches of earth in situations of good or ill but in the company of she whose soul does magnify the Light of the World (Magnificat)—the mural’s design began with that Light radiating from the bosom of the Virgin. I penciled the humble St. Juan Diego knelt before Our Lady of Guadalupe and reflected on God the Father’s presence symbolized by rays of sun.
In a previous blog post I touched on the idea of being a vessel for God to work through. Now I realize more deeply that what I go through: the emotions, ideas, and experiences in my life during the time I am creating a work of art can all be meaningful and can enable me to fill the artwork with that meaning. In walking with the sufferings and joys of life, the inspirations that may come from my experiences can be imbued into the art I create.