A new portrait cross hangs behind the pulpit at St. Pauls Lutheran Church, painted by Prince Rupert artist Joan Mostad.
The task of love, dedicated to the church on Dec. 4 took more than a year to paint. It now hangs looking over the wooden altar formed by the hands of the artist’s grandfather father.
Mostad’s father, Randolph Mostad, was active in the church all of his life and she wanted to capture his memory in the work of art which is centrepiece to the wooden altar built in the 1940s.
Pastor Diana Edis said she recognized the need to make the next generation of worshipers feel welcome and decided a year ago to freshen up the traditional-styled sanctuary of the church with a new look. She decided a more modern brighter portrait of the cross should replace the previous portrait.
“I think it is incredible for the life of the church,” Edis said of the bold gold cross standing empty in front of a bright blue sky.
Edis wanted the new artwork to connect the past with the present. She said was able to achieve that goal by collaborating Mostad’s passion for painting with her father’s carpentry to have a complete altar and cross pair crafted by the church’s inter-generational members.
Mostad’s father tended to the church building with “love and care,” the pastor said. The church’s congregation was happy to see Mostad’s family legacy continue into the future.
The year-long process had both Edis and Mostad in close communication with each other to get the painting just right. The new painting’s style is a continuation of the previous painting, keeping many of the same colours as its predecessor, however, it also brings in new elements that better reflect the environment where the church is located.
“You can see it’s grounded in the Pacific Northwest with the salal down at the bottom down of it, a local greenery, and it just gives a sense of being very coastal, very grounded here in the area,” Edis said.
The old painting will not be thrown away but will be archived at the church for future generations, Edis said. In fact, it will be kept safe within the same altar, tucked away and protected behind its successor.
Norman Galimski | Journalist
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