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New Church Interior Painting for Local Parish

My latest church interior painting is to benefit the local parish of St. Thomas Aquinas in Jamaica Plain, several miles from where I live. What you see is the skeletal “work in progress” – still much to be done!


St. Thomas Aquinas Parish, Jamaica Plain, MA – Work-in-Progress, Oil on Canvas, 16″ x 20″, ©Michelle Arnold Paine

St. Thomas Aquinas parish was the first parish in Jamaica Plain, and was the mother parish for several other parishes in the Boston neighborhood. The beautiful neo-Gothic building dates to the 1890’s.

The project evolved from a some work I did in 2004 while attending my local parish, Blessed Sacrament, in the Cambridgeport neighborhood of Cambridge. It was a year of recovery and re-organization for the Boston Archdiocese, and that year Blessed Sacrament became one of the 88 parishes to be closed by the Archdiocese.

It was a beautiful church – a wood-panelled choir, high ceilings, and seating for at least 500. I went one morning to begin a drawing. When the pastor saw me working, he suggested we make the postcards of the drawing as a commemorative gift for members of the parish.

Blessed Sacrament Parish, Cambridge, MA, Ink on Paper, 14″ x 22″, ©Michelle Arnold Paine

Now that the church has been converted into a condominium complex, we are grateful to have the drawing as a record of God’s presence and work in that place.

A church building is a place to encounter God – and a place where one’s individual encounter with God joins with another to create a communal space, experience and tradition. I am thrilled to offer my love for church architecture to the living community of Saint Thomas Aquinas Parish.

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