August 18 – September 18, 2014
Each spring, the sixth graders at O’Hara Catholic School in Eugene, Oregon
complete a three month long study of the saints. Each student focuses on
learning about the life, legacy, and spirituality of a saint. As part of this
project, they demonstrate their knowledge through written reports and
One of the highlights of the project is the study and practice of iconography.
Students learn about the practice of writing icons through classroom
instruction, field trips to observe and interpret icons, and through working
with a local iconographer, Teresa Danovich. The class also receives support
and instruction from an ArtsBridge scholar, working in partnership with the
University of Oregon. They learn how icons have been written traditionally
and adapt those processes to create the art in this exhibit.
The class approaches the process of writing these icons with a great deal of
reverence and humility. Students are encouraged to increase their prayer
time and service work as they prepare to write their icons. They reflect on
the ways their saints demonstrated love for God and neighbor, and they
seek ways to continue their example in their own lives.
The Living Saints Project has received national recognition and awards in
several publications, including the Catholic Sentinel, Oregon Quarterly, and
Today’s Catholic Teacher.
verso: “St Peter”, acrylic on canvas, 11” x 17”
“St. Elizabeth of Hungary”, acrylic on canvas, 11” x 17”
“St. Teresa of Avila”, acrylic on canvas, 11” x 17”
“St. Vincent de Paul”, acrylic on canvas, 11” x 17”
Photos by Dennis Dirren