Blessed Sacrament students feasting on new mural

Wichita artist Connie Ernatt, left, whose work is displayed around Wichita, oversaw the mural work which involved several artists. She and her husband, John, are members of Blessed Sacrament Parish and own Diver Studio in Wichita. (Advance photos)

Blessed Sacrament Catholic School students enjoy a banquet every time they eat in the school cafeteria.

Although their food is tasty, another banquet, a heavenly banquet, adorns the north wall of the cafeteria to remind them why God made them: “To know him, to love him, and to serve him in this world, and to be happy with him forever in the next.”

The 64-foot long scene of paint and mosaics is a feast of color for the nearly 400 students who dine there.

A section of the 64-foot mural depicts a saint along with food and utensils.

Connie Ernatt, who oversaw much of the work, said many children’s hands were involved in the two-year-long venture originally suggested by Assistant Principal Pamela Loyle. The children made drawings of the food and the utensils, such as the menorah and chalice, that would eventually decorate the table.

Ernatt enlarged the drawings to scale on Masonite boards. “I then handed them off to an Arts Partner,” she said last week. Susan de Wit and Susie Cunningham of Arts Partners in Wichita donated their time and talent to the venture. They painted ceramic tiles, arranged them, and glued them onto the painted Masonite.

Drawings of Jesus and the saints were also enlarged to scale and placed on Masonite. “I cut them out into pieces, almost like puzzle pieces,” Ernatt said. “And so there were pieces that each kid could paint and then it would all come back together like a puzzle for each saint.”

The halos are decorated with gold and other jewelry for added interest.

Connie and her husband, John, who also contributed to the banquet, are members of Blessed Sacrament Parish and owners of Diver Studio in Wichita. Connie has many public commissions including the Sedgwick County Law Enforcement Memorial and the caged troll by the Keeper of the Plains sculpture.

Their son, Ernie, a student at Kapaun Mt. Carmel, also helped paint the table.