St. Paul's Creates COVID-19 Memorial
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in the Carondelet neighborhood of St. Louis is offering everyone in the diocese a way to memorialize loved ones who have died during the pandemic.
The parish has commissioned artist Evan T. Smith to create a new icon that will be placed above an icon triptych already in place on their high altar. St. Paul's Vestry has decided to dedicate the art work to those who have died during this difficult time.
The Rev. Rebecca Ragland, rector at St. Paul's, calls the memorial an historical and spiritual marker. The memorial is for anyone -- not just St. Paul's members or only Episcopalians -- who has died from any circumstance throughout this pandemic time.
For a donation of $500, you can place a name (with birth and death dates) on a plaque that will remain in the chancel for perpetuity. Smaller markers are also available for a donation of $250. Donations of smaller amounts will provide the name of your loved one written on the back of the icon prior to hanging.
The total cost of the icon (including installation) is $7,000. An anonymous donor has offered to match up to $1000 in contributions to support the creation of the icon.
Donations should be made by July 1, 2021. St. Paul's will dedicate the memorial plaque and markers on Sunday, August 15.
To make a donation to this COVID-19 memorial:
About the Icon:
In 2016 artist Evan Smith designed a triptych of icons over the high altar at St. Paul’s: Jesus Christ Alpha and Omega, Mary Mother of God, and St. Paul. Their beauty and meaning have enriched the space for several yeas. Yet Evan always felt something more was needed.
In 2019 he proposed a design to hang above the triptych using the lunette shape. The width will gather the icons below and raise the eye toward an abstract design reminiscent of a rose window. The circularity calls the eye ever inward toward the center. Here we encounter the unknowable edges of God, ever deep and wide, and all of the circles within circles that bring us into the very depths and microcosms of life.
Now, the church has commissioned the piece to honor those who have died and to specifically name those whom donors wish to remember.
About the Artist:
Evan Smith is a multimedia artist who works collaboratively with his partner, Stacey Smith. Born in West Virginia, Evan now lives and works in St. Louis, Missouri. He is currently pursuing a Master of Fine Arts in Sculpture from Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville and received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Sculpture from Webster University.
Evan is a long-time member of St Paul’s. In addition to designing the triptych above the high altar, he also created the 13 changeable crosses placed throughout the nave.