Thursday, January 7, 2010

Priest Carves A Jesuit

At the St. Mary Mission. In 1991, Don Rutledge carved two giant wooden sculptures of Father Pierre DeSmet, S.J. and Chief Big Face to celebrate the mission's 150th anniversary.

By the time Fr. Micheal Drury arrived 13 years later, rain, wind and sun had so badly damaged the figures that one was rotting from the inside.

For four months, Fr. Drury labored on 8-foot larch logs — under the guidance of totem pole artist George Gulli. The team was able to restore Chief Big Face, but needed to build Father DeSmet from scratch. A third carving was made of Chief Victor, after looking at old pictures and consulting Salish elders to make it historically correct.

Link (here) to the original piece at the Great Falls Tribune.

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