Artist to discuss life-size mural at Mesa church - East Valley Tribune: Get Out

Artist to discuss life-size mural at Mesa church

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Posted: Friday, May 23, 2008 12:46 pm | Updated: 9:48 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

It's a mural of brilliant colors that has become an integral part of the Mass at St. Timothy's Catholic Community in Mesa.

Lawn Griffiths on Spiritual Life

It's a mural of brilliant colors that has become an integral part of the Mass at St. Timothy's Catholic Community in Mesa.

Lawn Griffiths on Spiritual Life

"Salvation's Family" is a dramatic collection of the saints and giants of the faith. It wraps around the altar of the church at 1730 W. Guadalupe Road. The 30-by-30-foot mural features 29 life-size people from Christianity's pantheon, including Mary and Joseph, Saints Peter, Paul and Timothy, St. Maria Goretti, St. Vincent de Paul, Pope John Paul XXIII, Pope John Paul II, Mother Teresa and Father Eusebio Kino. The sky above the figures contains Jesus, six angels and a dragon.

On Friday, artist Steve Voita will take part in a "Meet the Artist Night." The 51-year-old Voita will discuss the inspiration that led to him doing the massive and commanding work. He will talk about the recently completed art project in the sanctuary with the mural as his backdrop. The event is free.

Voita credits the parish's pastor, the Rev. Jack Spaulding, for the mural concept and for developing the list of people to be featured.

Voita, a fourth-generation Arizonan, sketched it out with acrylic paint. He began the project in 2006 and had the basic images in place by that December. His wife, Linda, a skilled portrait artist, helped paint the faces and advised in all aspects of the mural. Lines converge on Christ and draw the viewer to look toward his ascension. Throughout 2007, the Voitas enhanced the work and finished in December.

The artist is a graduate of Ontario College of Art in Toronto. He has been a professional artist for 30 years, and for 10 years maintained the Voita Gallery in Scottsdale. He now operates from studios in Phoenix and Young.

Lesser known is that Voita is the featured artist for U-Haul trucks. His works are on the sides of the trucks as part of the America's Moving Adventure series.

His work has also been found in the New Yorker, Road & Track, Private Pilot and Flight magazines. A portrait of President Ronald Reagan by Voita is in the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif. Voita also did murals that adorn the walls of the new liturgical center at historic Mission San Luis Rey of San Diego, as well as Catholic churches St. Thomas the Apostle in Phoenix and St. Gabriel the Archangel in Cave Creek.

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