Students create tapestries for St. Joseph’s Chapel


Scarlett Chu, Editor

Two new tapestries were installed to adorn the altar wall in St. Joseph’s Chapel, a beautiful addition to our tri-weekly chapel meetings. Art Survey students in the winter term of 2019 to 2020 created the individual sections expressing cherished views and programs at Kent, and the embroidered designs included the school crest, images of the Kent scenery, various buildings, our musical and engineering programs, and our sports teams in action.

Ms. Lynch, Chair of the Art Department, was on the committee for Father Schell’s retirement Eucharist and celebration and thought it would be great for students to create a large altar cloth in his honor. “We asked him for a list of all the things he loved about Kent, and he listed the landscape, buildings, the orchestra, engineering, everything.” The students designed linear drawings and utilized embroidery stitches as a painting medium to bring their designs to light. Ms. Lynch stitched the blue and green edging over the summer, the colors symbolizing “Ordinary Time” in the church calendar for the Episcopal church. Though the celebration was canceled by the pandemic, the tapestries were a fitting touch to our school chapel, showcasing our student’s hand-made masterpieces. 

Ms. Lynch talks about the educational reason behind choosing embroidery: “It was traditionally women’s artwork, something that could be marginalized as an art form.” She mentioned how feminists today showcase embroidery in a new contemporary setting to give homage to female artists in the past who were not recognized for their work, and she thought it was a great message to send to the students. They also had to work and communicate together to create the two tapestry pieces—there were around 45 people working on them—and Ms. Lynch thought the back-and-forth discussion was also a great learning experience for the students. 

“This is a gift to the chapel from our students,” says Ms. Lynch. Dean Kelderman had been incredibly supportive of the idea when Ms. Lynch proposed it, and it isn’t difficult to see why. With them up for the majority of the school year, all can appreciate past and current students’ hard work as we sing our hymns and say our prayers.