Alec M. Smith

St. Thomas More Chapel
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The St. Thomas More Chapel on the campus of Saint Mary's University of Minnesota, in Winona, was recently renovated. The President of the university Brother William Mann commissioned me to produce three original pieces of art. Two 66-inch tall oil portraits depicting Jean-Baptiste de La Salle and Mary of Nazareth are mounted on freestanding maple grids that bookend the sanctuary. Hanging above the altar is a 5-foot tall bronze crucifix.

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Representationally, Mary sits under dappled light in a garden. As you approach the painting her environment becomes abstracted. I designed this image as a tool for meditation. The viewer is drawn in to present focus through representation and then released into present awareness through abstraction.


This oil portrait of John the Baptist de La Salle is designed around narrative. He sits in his study meditating on the rosary when students entering interrupt him.

This image of Jesus is a transcendent image that moves away from an overtly suffering Jesus toward a moment of balance between the singular consciousness of the human nous, to the collective consciousness in everything.

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Jesus' body has subtle gesture that creates a slight forward movement but his eyes are closed to show his consciousness moving inward thru the portal of the heart's eye.


Left in Latin is sinestra and it is feminine. His feminine hand is opening out toward his mother, Mary, depicted in the portrait on that side. In Jungian philosophy the right hand represents consciousness. Jesus' right hand is closed on consciousness hanging on to it thru death.

© 2014 Alec M Smith Contact Me