The Holy Family

Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix

Project Timeline: Winter 2019

St. Joseph the Worker

Sacred Heart Catholic Church - Phoenix, Arizona

Project Timeline: Fall 2018

The Four Women Doctors of the Church

Xavier College Preparatory High School - Phoenix, Arizona

Project Timeline: 2013

Xavier Prep, in it's ongoing mission to nurture the faith-lives of its students, wanted to celebrate the Four Women Doctors of the Church in a visual way that would become woven into the fabric of the school's faith culture. They asked for the four saints to be painted as icons that could be placed in each classroom, accompanying the students through each level of their high-school career and acting as class patron. Freshman were given to St. Therese of Lisieux, sophomores to St. Catherine of Siena, Juniors to St. Teresa of Avila, and Seniors to the newly-canonized St. Hildegard of Bingen. The original paintings are each life-sized at 5 feet high and 1.5 feet wide. They hang at the entrance to the school, and they are often displayed in the school masses. 

Ruth chose to paint the women saints borrowing heavily from the iconographic tradition, in order to help introduce students to the most sacred and ancient form of Catholic liturgical art. Their forms are stylized and still, graceful, yet strong, suggesting rootedness in the firm foundation of the Church. Yet, their faces are subtly naturalistic and softer, appealing to young people who are learning to look at traditional sacred art for the first time. They are relatable, yet they challenge the viewer and call them into the heavenly realm. Each painting is surrounded by a field of pure gold leaf, evoking the uncreated, glorious light of heaven. Each saint holds an emblem of their lives or martyrdom.

Limited edition giclee and gold leaf prints will be available soon through the Sacred Art Gallery in Scottsdale, Arizona. Contact us for more information.

University of Mary - Occursus Domini Chapel

Bismarck, North Dakota

Project Timeline: Spring 2017

The Occursus Domini chapel was conceived by the University's president, Msgr. James Shea, and largely funded by the generous patronage of the of the Vetter family of Bismarck, North Dakota. The chapel resides in the newly built St. Scholastica residents hall for women, the third floor of which is home to juniors and seniors who are engaged in serious vocational discernment. Msgr. Shea envisioned a chapel of Eucharistic encounter where the young women could come and pray with Christ in an intimate and sacramentally beautiful chapel, even in the midst of a bustling university dorm. Designed by architect Adam Hermanson of Integration Design Group, Arvada, Colorado, the design of the chapel invites the worshiper progressively, to more intimate encounter with Christ, ultimately in the Eucharist, which is reserved in a beautifully crafted tabernacle surrounded by luminous alabaster panels.  

The four works of art by Ruth Stricklin are painted on solid wood icon boards constructed by Fr. Dimitri Kulp of St. John's Workshop, Blue River, Wisconsin, and incorporate gold leaf borders, enhancing the sense of sacramental beauty and encounter with the living Christ.