Ornate Garden Gate and Altar
|St. John’s Episcopal Church|
110 South Clay Street
I have always had a strong interest in the history of religion, and in my studies in college I developed a great respect for the early beginnings of man and his religious connections. So when the opportunity came for me to make the altarpiece at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Sturgis, I was really excited to try to do it.
The crucifixion is the central drama of the whole altarpiece, but I was able to create a total environment in which all things relate – the crucifix, the altar, and the candlesticks – rather than being assembled piecemeal, which happens in many situations.
I think that in many contemporary churches there are too many easy modern forms, considered from the decorative standpoint in the architectural design. They don’t have real meaning. I am in sympathy with the idea of retaining old forms.
When I did the gate for St. John’s, I tried to retain the forms, from the past. I felt very strongly that I should go back to some of the early Gothic forms and bring those forms into the present.
Kirk Newman – Speaking about his work at St. John’s Episcopal Church around 1984