Saint Michaels

Liturgical, Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Where language touches the earth, there is the holy, there is the sacred. -N. Scott Momaday


The three sacramental mosaics I designed for St. Michael’s demarcate three of the most significant sacred passages in the congregants’ lives. Upon entering St. Michael’s Parish, the baptismal font and mosaic floor remind all parishioners of the moment they became a member of the family of God. At the front of the parish, right below the altar is a mosaic image of St. Michael, the defender of the church. When a casket is placed on this spot at the end of one’s life, the wings of St. Michael become a metaphor for one’s journey and faith in the resurrection. The third mosaic placed at the base of the altar, display iconography associated with the eucharist. This sacred spot marks the place where couples stand in front of each other to recite their marraige vows.

Breath, wind, fire, and water are all elements of the sacraments. Their movement, energy, and color suggest a living presence, yet remain theolgically accurate, precisely reflective of the Vatican II exhortation to ‘resourcement’ or return to the sources, particularly Pseudo Dionsius and Saint Thomas Aquinas. Each mosaic was pieced together with individually-cut glass smalti. This is excruciatingly precise and yet intuitive work. On a good day, one square foot will be completed. On a bad day, one or more previous days work is wiped away and began anew.

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