Client: St. Anne
Location: Lodi, CA, United States
Completion date: 2018
Artwork budget: $120,000
St. Anne's Church
14 Majolica hand painted tile murals span the walkway of the public space at St. Anne’s plaza. The majolica tiles murals span the 351ft long plaza in-between the church and the school building in Lodi, California. A second project two years later, features Our Lady of Guadalupe wall mural was added in 2018. The artist matched the majolica tiles but done in porcelain. The plaza containing other features Mexican granite cobblestones, accented by ornate tiles from Arizona to create an unmistakable Spanish Mission-style architecture and the of the stations of the cross along the walkway path.
Goals were to use traditional materials and techniques that can be found similar to St. Bartholomew's Church originally built in 1229, in Majorca, Spain. Hand painted tiles were used for each of the 14 murals of the stations of the cross that are framed and mounted in metal frames along the walkway. Boarder design elements and colors were chosen to be congruent with school and the chapel designs these buildings span the two sides of the plaza. It was imperative that not only traditional materials were used but also traditional Majolica painting techniques. Earthenware tiles that were coated in Majolica glaze and hand painted with rare mason stains were applied an then each tile fired. Giving the overall design a lived in look.
Artist Ilena Finocchi worked with the plaza designer Tawni Urrutia on every approval level of the project. Sketches showing layouts of design. Hundreds of colors were mixed and tested in firings to achieve the look of tiles that appear at the ancient church in Spain. Each ram pressed red earthenware tile was hand painted with mason stains, fired, then mounted to board and framed in metal frame permanently installed in the ground along the walkway. The OLOG second part of the project was made to match the stations colors but the work was fired on Porcelain.
This project truly employed materials and techniques that are currently imitated and other materials and processes are used. The authenticity of vision for a project to be completed with old world materials and techniques was a pleasure to be apart of. The process and the finished plaza transcends the look and feel of its authentic materials and has had on overwhelmingly positive response from the community.