St. Thomas the Apostle ChurchAnn Arbor, Michigan
This 120-year-old Romanesque church originally featured prominent murals and detailed stencils in the sanctuary space. During repair and re-decoration campaigns over the years, much of the artwork was painted over. In 2020, when capacity for services was restricted because of the Covid-19 pandemic, church leaders took advantage of the opportunity to revitalize the space and contacted Conrad Schmitt Studios, Inc. for assistance. The center mural depicts the Ascension of Christ into Heaven, surrounded by the twelve apostles. This mural is a homage to the original Ascension mural visible in historic photographs of the church. At the lower sanctuary walls, stencils and medallions featuring symbols for each of the twelve apostles adorn the walls, corresponding in location to each of the figures represented in the mural above. A deep blue mural featuring the dove of the Holy Spirit accentuates the sanctuary ceiling. In arched panels above the two side shrines, new murals depict the life of St. Thomas, patron of the church. The murals show two important events in the life of the saint. At left, the scene of Doubting Thomas depicts Thomas requesting proof of Jesus’s resurrection before believing. At right, the Thomas’s ultimate sacrifice and martyrdom in India. The images chronicle the development of his faith and honor the patron of the church with beautiful and inspiring artwork.