Art Contests

Made By Hand, Inspired From Above

Photos from the 2nd annual Art Fest at Sacred Heart of Jesus, Bayside. 

BAYSIDE — Mary Wadleigh Boyd, 83, comes from a family of artists.

The mother, grandmother and pro-life advocate has been a parishioner at Sacred Heart of Jesus, Bayside, for more than 50 years.

When asked to showcase her family’s talent at the parish’s second annual Art Fest, a free art show that was held in the church hall on Oct. 19-20, she jumped at the opportunity.

Four generations of the Boyd family, including Mary’s own parents, two children and six grandchildren, showcased several tables full of art from watercolor paintings and woodwork, to colorful glass sculptures and pottery.

“I think God gave each of us a unique talent, which we’ve been blessed to have passed down many generations … It’s a miracle we have to share,” Boyd said.

“With art, I’m inspired by everything I see around me … I look very carefully at the world. When I’m drawing or painting, I really open my eyes to see — I engage, it’s a relationship,” she said.   

As someone who is pro-life, Boyd said her creative relationship with the world has extended to welcome the newest generation: newborn babies.

She has volunteered for The Bridge to Life — a local pro-life resource center for pregnant women — for almost a decade, making sweaters for infants.

Boyd designs and knits hundreds of bright, colorful sweaters that are included with the baby layettes, bundles of supplies and clothing given to each newborn and mother in need at the center.

She said that volunteering at Bridge to Life is her favorite part of the week.

“Out of the hundreds I make, no two sweaters are alike,” Boyd said. “When I knit a sweater, I say prayers for the babies who will wear them — that they have a good life and loving people around them.”

Art Fest was a chance for Sacred Heart parishioners to show their creative gifts and talents. All weekend, in between Sunday Masses upstairs at the church, parishioners wandered the rows and tables of the art gallery, with live musical performances from the church organist and from Sacred Heart Catholic Academy students and alumni.

The gallery included art of all mediums and varieties, from lifelike sculptures and photography, to bright watercolor paintings and detailed sketches.

Sister Kathleen Masterson, R.S.M., the pastoral associate, and Diane Waranis, who teaches art at Sacred Heart Catholic Academy, encouraged parishioners and students to submit their work.

“We started the event last year, on Sacred Heart’s 140th anniversary, to bring the school community and the parish together,” Sister Kathleen said.

“The energy has been so present, and we wanted to continue showcasing God’s creation, catching the Spirit. With the wine, refreshments and live performances, we wanted to make it a full art gallery experience,” she said. 

Sister Kathleen said that the number of participating artists in the parish community is a “reflection of Christ and of His creation” throughout the generations.

“We began [the show] with a reading of Laudato si [Pope Francis’ 2015 encyclical on the environment], and from that it was like, how does God use us to continue creation, or to see different aspects of creation? [Art Fest] is a way of recognizing the beauty of creation all around us, in this community,” she said.

Father Alex Lee, the church’s new parochial vicar, is amazed by the talent in the parish. Though not an artist himself, he is impressed by how art expresses the beauty of the present moment.

“It allows us to see the world in a different way, and to use God-given talents,” he said.