STANTON — It was at an ordinary meeting of the leaders at Trinity Evangelical Free Church when it was mentioned the church narthax could use some art work, perhaps a mural or simple painting.
What transpired was neither ordinary or simple.
The church at 415 N. Mill St. in Stanton, recently installed a 20-by-25-foot 3-dimensional piece of artwork designed and created by member Ken Crouse.
“I had an idea in mind and did some simple sketches,” said Crouse, who has designed sets for numerous plays. “I knew I wanted to portray the Trinity, to represent what we believe and also to correspond with our name. But I tried to simplify things to make it easier to understand.”
The artwork consists of three 6-by-12-foot panels representing the Father, Son and Spirit with the 17-foot-long cross adorning the middle section. The entire project is made of Styrofoam, plaster and latex paint.
Crouse did the construction in several locations and then individually transported the three pieces via hay wagon to the church building.
“It took about 500 hours of work, “ he said, “I broke a pinkie and had to start that hand over. I used durabond plaster to smooth out the skin texture.
Mark Edwards, one of the church leaders, explained the panels are on a pulley system to raise and lower them when necessary.
“This is more than we could have imagined,” Edwards said.
The panels depict the hands of God, the cross and tomb identify the Son, and the dove and heavenly light represent the Spirit, according to Crouse.
“There are things I would like to tweak, but in general am happy with how it turned out. Once we placed it, it was the first I had seen all three pieces together,” he said.
If an indoor location can be found, Crouse plans to enter the piece in ArtPrize in Grand Rapids this year.