This mosaic was commissioned as an interactive piece of art for the parishioners of Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church in the summer of 2021. After having reduced in-person worship opportunities due to the covid pandemic, the church celebrated a return to church in August of 2021 with an outdoor Mass and the Grand Re-Opening Event. At this Grand Re-Opening event, parishioners were invited to write their initials or family initials on the back of a glass tile and place it on the mosaic. This piece of art would come to symbolize the many people who make up the church and to honor the collective experiences and struggles overcome through the pandemic.
“And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:24-25
After listening to the ideas shared among Father Jason and the members of the committee, artist Katie Bretzlaff created and revised a design that features:
A white lily to symbolize the Virgin Mary, designed to resemble a fleur de lis to further represent the Virgin Mary and the French heritage of the church. The idea of a flower was also selected to show growth and life, especially during the challenges of the pandemic.
The light blue that fills the background is a nod to the use of blue in the sanctuary, and as a color of peace. The blue tiles of the background flow throughout the background around the lily to represent the Holy Spirit. Hints of color are scattered throughout the background to include variety and diversity.
A dark grout was selected to add contrast and to pull together the design - to represent the collective shared experiences of the past two years.
As a finished piece, the mosaic was created to create a simple, yet strong visual design. Unlike a painting, photograph, or other art forms, it should be noted that being a mosaic, it was made out of many different materials from the Earth: glass (sand and fire,) wood, clay, water + sand (grout) and the process of putting it together contributes to the meaning and importance of the piece.
Most importantly, it was created with much love and prayer by the hundreds of people who added their tile to the mosaic, in person or in spirit
Make sure you take a close look at this piece of art as it is currently displayed in front of the cantor stand in the church. It will be displayed in church for some time, before it finds a permanent home on our property.