Mary’s future icon writers, the students from St. Alphonsus Parish, Minnesota, graced the walls of the church lobby at St. Alphonsus Parish, Minnesota with their renderings of the Icon of Our Mother of Perpetual Help. The young artists created their beautiful portraits of Our Mother featured here as part of the festivities for a Redemptorists’ Icon Mission conducted by Bro. Dan Korn, C.Ss.R. The art project was under the direction of Bethany Collins, the Art Specialist for St. Alphonsus Parish School.
Younger students colored a photocopy outline of the famous Icon using colored pencils and crayons after first viewing multiple versions of the Icon online. The students were encouraged to make color choices based on what they saw. The backgrounds were then painted with metallic watercolor which the kids loved to use.
In the upper grades, the children were more formally introduced to Our Mother of Perpetual Help. Gloria Katzmarek, the Middle School Religion teacher, discussed characteristics of religious icons with the students before Ms. Collins asked the students if they were up for the challenge of drawing and enlarging the image freehand. “They said emphatically ‘we can do it!'”
The older students worked in groups in which Ms. Collins assigned a director to be in charge of drawing the main image. The rest of the students worked on the cherubs and other symbols. Once the group had a drawing that they were satisfied with, they used watercolors for the final image. Metallic watercolor was used to finish the background. “Students really worked as a team and utilized everyone’s strengths,” Ms. Collins added. “The kids were impressed with how well their Icon drawings turned out. Students only have art once a week for 45 minutes, we have to be efficient and use our time wisely!”