The Art Of Faith
About The Art of Faith
Texas, like the rest of the country, has been made richer by the contributions given to it by the diverse array of immigrants who chose to settle within its borders. Today, many of those contributions are so much a part of daily life that nary a thought is given to them.
Among the many things which immigrants brought to this land was their religion. In some communities, particularly (but not exclusively) in Central Texas, the importance of new Texans’ faith in God was manifested in elaborately decorated churches, which were also community hubs where all kinds of gatherings were held. They are collectively known today as the Painted Churches of Texas.
The Painted Churches were built by a variety of communities, but are primarily associated with the Czechs and Germans, and to a lesser extent the Polish. The artistry and craftsmanship on display within the churches is striking, and captured my attention from the moment I first became aware of it.
In 1983 the Texas Historical Commission nominated several of the churches to be placed on the National Register of Historic Places. The nomination, titled Churches in Texas with Decorative Interior Painting, gave brief historical synopses of the churches while describing in detail the architectural characteristics and types of decorative painting techniques associated with each. Though the document identified only fifteen Painted Churches, there are at least twenty five churches in Texas that could be classified as such.
The Art of Faith is an homage to the Texans who created these beautiful structures. It is inspired by my deep admiration for their work as well as my own faith in God, and will hopefully help to tell a very small part of their stories.