Art Students Create Sand Carpet to Herald Holy Week

April 11th, 2014 by 


Photo by John Buckingham


Photo by John Buckingham


Photo by John Buckingham


Photo by John Buckingham


Photo by John Buckingham


Photo by John Buckingham


Photo by John Buckingham


Photo by John Buckingham

In Guatemala, Brazil and other Latin American countries, statues of saints are carried through the streets in elaborate processions during “Semana Santa,” Holy Week. Before the processions begin, people decorate the streets with carpets of colored sawdust, sand and flowers arranged in intricate designs portraying religious themes, animals, flowers, patterns, and their indigenous culture.

In this spirit, students in Fundamentals of Drawing with Susan Schmidt, associate professor of visual arts, have created a colorful sand carpet leading to the steps of the St. Joseph Memorial Chapel for Palm Sunday. Each student made cardboard shapes of “creatures with wings” to stencil layers of colored sand in their section of the carpet. The students’ designs feature angels, bees, a phoenix, dove and other birds, along with crosses and abstract patterns.

“Our hope is that this ‘outdoor drawing’ conveys the excitement of Holy Week within our community at Holy Cross,” said Schmidt. “I think that the students enjoyed the whole thing very much.”

The carpet, spanning 24 feet, will be on view in the Chapel Plaza for the three Masses on Palm Sunday, April 13, and as weather permits. Masses will be celebrated at 11:30 a.m., 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.

This project is supported by Catholics & Cultures, an initiative of the Rev. Michael C. McFarland, S.J. Center for Religion, Ethics and Culture to explore the diverse ways that ordinary Catholics experience their faith in countries and cultures around the world. Watch for the website coming in Fall 2014. Learn more about the Easter carpets, or tapetes, in Ouro Preto, Brazil by watching the Catholics & Cultures video now.

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