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Religious art show features work of acclaimed artists

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published May 4, 2011

 This 16-foot “Holy Trinity” statue is part of an art show contest in which the members of places of worship can cast votes in an online contest.

This 16-foot “Holy Trinity” statue is part of an art show contest in which the members of places of worship can cast votes in an online contest.

Photo by Erin Sanchez


Christine Broses had a “little” idea for a small art show at her church, St. Anastasia Roman Catholic Church in Troy, to raise funds for people in need.

But when the Rev. J.J. Mech, pastor of the church and an artist, learned of it, he had something much bigger in mind.

“We had never done something like this before and were about to give up several times,” she said. “When we were about to give up, something would happen to bring it back to life again,” she said.

For example, when Brose and the committee realized they had no idea how to set up the art for a show, she got an offer of help from a seminary student who used to set up displays at art galleries.

The result is “Art for God’s Sake.”

Noted artists will share and sell the spiritual, iconic work they’ve created to give glory to God at the church during a three-day event.

Archbishop Allen Vigneron is honorary chairman of the event, which will feature work by local clergy, including Mech.

“Art for God’s Sake” volunteer Ercy Coronel said the three-day event has been two years in the making. Its mission is to expose the community to the “transcendent beauty of art while inviting artists to share their talents, so the knowledge of God can be better revealed and the preaching of the Gospel can become clearer to the human mind.”

A portion of the proceeds from the event will benefit the St. Aloysius Outreach Center in Detroit, which serves the poor.

The event kicks off with a formal gala and wine tasting the first evening. Musical performances, guided tours of the church and chapel, and the “Splat Experience” will be offered throughout the event. In the Splat Experience, an artist creates a painting as spiritual music is performed.

Sculptures, icons, drawings and paintings depicting sacred themes will be on display during the show.

One of the featured artists, Timothy Schmalz, said his call to sculpture was a spiritual one.

“I am devoted to creating artwork that glorifies Christ. The reason for this devotion, apart from my Christian beliefs, is that an artist needs an epic subject to create epic art,” reads his mission statement.

His work includes a sculpture of St. Catherine of Siena for the Dominican Cathedral\Museum grounds in Siena, Italy; a scale sculpture of the Holy Family titled “A Quiet Moment” for the Franciscan Council of the Holy Land erected at the Millennium Center in Bethlehem, Israel; and a bronze sculpture of the Holy Family also titled “A Quiet Moment” given to Pope John Paul II and now a permanent part of the Vatican collection.

In addition, Resurrection Cemetery in Clinton Township commissioned a 16-foot “Holy Trinity” statue valued at $50,000 that will be awarded to the church that garners the most votes online in the Cheer For Your Church contest. The statue is currently installed on the grounds of St. Anastasia; it will be awarded to the winning church Aug. 15.

Details on the contest will be available online at

“The artists are really excited,” Broses said. “There’s never been anything like this in this area.”

“Art For God’s Sake” will be held May 13-15 on the grounds of St. Anastasia Roman Catholic Church, 4571 John R in Troy. For a complete list of events, admission prices and featured artists, visit