Our Lady of the Smile was St. Therese’s beloved statue that sat on her nightstand. One day when Therese was very ill, the statue turned her head and smiled at the Saint, making her well.
Our Lady is shown as pregnant and walking, stepping on “evil” (the snake). On the back of her gown are columbine flowers; tradition says that when Our Lady traveled to greet her cousin Elizabeth, columbines sprang up in each of the footprints. French lace is imprinted on the rim of her gown, in tribute to St. Zellie Martin, St. Therese’s French mother.
My goal when sculpting this piece was to reflect the warmth and love that Therese felt and experienced at the moment the statue of Our Lady smiled at her.
As work progressed on The Little Flower sculpture, Rev. Chavez spoke to me about commissioning me to sculpt the beloved statue of St. Therese of Lisieux, Our Lady of the Smile. Coincidentally, and unbeknownst to us at the time, the day he spoke to me regarding this piece was the anniversary of the day the statue of Our Lady had smiled at Therese. Upon completion of The Little Flower I began sculpting Our Lady, and work progressed quickly. Samuel my production manager son and Bill Weaver, along with Shidoni Foundry were instrumental in the completion of the work. Our Lady was installed outside the front door of the Shrine of the Little Flower. She stands on a granite pedestal designed by Rev. Chavez, and greets those arriving and leaving the church.
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CODA: Collaboration of Design + Art
The global online community that celebrates design projects featuring commissioned artworks.
[ manifesto ]
Art matters. Attention to the details of our environment leads to love of place, which brings us to take responsibility for the spaces where we live and work. And by extension, the people with whom we live and work. And by extension, to our local communities, our cities, our nations, and our world.
We champion the role of artists in our society. We need artists to provide us with inspiration, creativity, and imagination, and to help us envision a better world.
Architects and designers know that remarkable design can change everything. They connect the dots across disciplines, collaborating with artists to make the world a more beautiful place. They are the ultimate patrons of the arts.
In the process, design professionals promote imagination and creativity, and through their commissions, make original art integral to and accessible in people's lives.
Art in our public and private spaces helps us fight ordinary buildings, ordinary streets, ordinary cities. We celebrate the extraordinary.
The architecture of our buildings and the design of our interiors affect our happiness and well-being. Each of us deserves a daily dose of inspiration.