Art: St. Francis Statue
The Saint Francis statue in the Narthex was created and given in loving memory of Eloise Watson by her family, Mr. & Mrs. John Moss of Austin and Mr. & Mrs. Dennis Mitchell of Evanston, Illinois. The vestry accepted the offer to create an original sculpture of Saint Francis to be placed in the courtyard in August, 1976.
The artist, Mr. Dennis Mitchell, received his B.A. and M.A. degrees in ceramics from Fort Hays Kansas State College in 1968 and 1969, and his M.F.A. in ceramics from Arizona State University in 1971. Among other awards for his work, Mr. Mitchell received a National Endowment for the Arts, Craftsman’s fellowship grant in 1975-76. The sculpture is stoneware, which is clay fired at an extremely high temperature, making the work suitable for an outside environment. It was created in one piece, cut in half, hollowed out, and fired in two pieces. This is a usual procedure in such works of this size unless an artist has access to a very large kiln. When the work was completed the committee decided to place the statue in the northex in a garden setting. The base for the statue was designed by Mary Ann Bower and Robert Falstad. The base was made by Mr. Falstad, who is a talented craftsman as well as a professional engineer with Union Carbide.