As a conclusion to the large-scale renovations that took place at St. Mark Parish in North Buffalo over the winter, the parish will welcome the nearing of summer with a formal dedication to the updated church's interior.
At 4 p.m., Saturday, June 17, Bishop Richard J. Malone will visit St. Mark's to bless the walls adorned with hand-painted designs, courtesy of Swiatek Studios. A reception will follow. Funds from the Upon This Rock campaign, as well as the generosity of individual private donors, made the repainting possible.
Before the parish hired Swiatek Studios, the walls were white, although they were not always this color. In the process of coming up with a color for the new walls, the owners, Henry Swiatek Jr. and his son, Brett, decided to return them to a pale green, the color of the church's original paint.
"The investigation into doing the interior of St. Mark's had its genesis probably two years ago, when my son, Brett, and (Pastor) Father Joseph Rogliano first discussed the scope of where the decoration of the interior of the church should go," Henry Swiatek recalled of the planning.
As church designs come and go, Swiatek noted that people often think that old paint jobs are gone, but in reality, the original paint is still there under the built-up layers.
In addition to the new paint, many ornate stenciled designs, all of which had to be drawn and then hand-cut by the artisans who completed the project, now adorn the walls near the church's stained glass windows.
"They're just taking us into the stratosphere with their vision and the masterpiece they're creating," commented Father Rogliano. "As the paintings were cleaned and we were moving into the church, (Swiatek's) recommendation was that we be true to the historic nature of the church and what once was."