Conrad Schmitt Studios New Ceiling in Arizona: A Visual Triumph

Our good friends at Conrad Schmitt Studios have done something amazing in the Diocese of Phoenix in Arizona.  Here can be seen stunning before and after pics of their recent project at the church of St. Bernadette in Scottsdale, Arizona.  The parish community had a new church built in 2016 to accommodate a rapidly growing parish.  

After an ambitious fundraising campaign and months of planning, the final result is this brilliant interpretation of the transcendentals: unity, truth, beauty, and goodness.  These are properties of being, originally spoken of by Socrates as recorded by Plato and elaborated upon by Catholic theologians over the centuries.  Like the ceiling, the transcendentals are considered to be ontologically one and therefore they are convertible.  For example, where there is truth, there is also goodness and beauty.  

The stencil work of the exquisite baroque murals are symbolic, reflected by the new stained glass windows that also enhance the resplendent space.  This heavenly vision brings to mind in some ways the glorious ceiling of the frescoed Sistine Chapel with its successive registers each telling a story in a symphony of color and detail.  

Many thanks to B. Gunar Gruenke, a national leader in liturgical arts, part of a long lineage of recognized ecclesiastical artists.  He is the third generation owner and president of Conrad Schmitt Studios, Inc. (founded in 1889), making his life vocation to carry on his family's incredible legacy of maintaining the absolute highest standards of liturgical arts and decorating, headquartered in New Berlin, Wisconsin.  

Below is the barrel vault as it appeared before the ceiling project.  

Following is a photo of the completed project...

More images can be seen on the parish Facebook page here.  

Hearty congratulations to the pastor, Fr. Don Kline and all the other priests and faithful of the parish.  After a long wait, the project is finally accomplished.  As they say in Italy: "Bravissimo!"  Below is an image of the mighty ciborium built in the baroque style over the main altar.  The sunburst of the Holy Spirit is influenced by the ciborium found over the papal altar in St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City.  

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