Location: Burnsville, MN, United States
Completion date: 2016
Artwork budget: $60,000
Transformation of a round corner space into a Marian Shrine for Mary, Mother of the Church in Burnsville, MN: A life-size seated bronze sculpture of Mary atop a 33″ tall base of painted and waxed stucco, a 15 foot wide triptych with painted wood frames containing stained glass lit from behind with a custom made 400 bulb illumination source, 48 bronze roses in four sections, and two elaborately sculpted plaster bas-reliefs each 22″ x 44″.
The church lacked an artistic shrine dedicated to Mary, and had a round corner wall with skylight prepared for a time when the right vision and funding coincided. The plain brick walls were impersonal so for years the space had been used as backdrop for temporary hangings and other displays, waiting for a permanent transformation sacred to Mary and expressing the mission and identity of the church. The goal of the artist was to express an inviting, comforting, inspiring image of Mary and transform the corner into a visually attractive space in harmony with the architecture.
The artist and designer are one and the same, as the background of being an architectural designer helped inform the visioning process of the artist. The collaboration was mostly between the liturgy commission, the pastor, and the artist in realizing the goals for the project, and additionally between the artist Glenn Terry and woodworker Andy Scherer to create the wood frames for the triptych. The base was also created by the artist, giving a sense of Mary seated on a rock, while coordinating the colors to blend well with the brick tones.
The sculpture interprets a vision the artist received as a 24 year old architecture student 30 years prior to the commission. In 2007 MMOTC members saw a half-size model in the artist's studio. Six years later, ready to move forward, a competition was held for the shrine design leading to the commission. Much effort was made to make this as accurate to the vision as possible. Church members were very pleased with the results. Working on it was a profound and transformative experience, tuning into and attempting to express the incredible love and strength of the heart of Mary.