HomeBensalem TimesSt. Mary commissions mural in celebration of 50th anniversary

St. Mary commissions mural in celebration of 50th anniversary

Local artist Jessica Jackson designed the piece that promotes community partnership

Artist Jessica Jackson (L), and Robert Sikora, principal of Saint Andrew Catholic School. Submitted Photo

St. Mary Medical Center announced plans to install a mural at Saint Andrew Catholic School in Newtown. The mural, which will honor community partnership, was designed by local artist Jessica Jackson and will be revealed during a celebratory event at the school in early April. The project caps off a year-long celebration of St. Mary Medical Center’s 50th anniversary. 

“I can’t think of a better way to wrap up St. Mary Medical Center’s 50th anniversary than with a beautification project celebrating our community,” said Michael Magro, DO, president of St. Mary Medical Center. “Community partnership is and always has been central to our mission. We cherish our long-standing partnership with Saint Andrew Catholic School, and I am thrilled at the prospect of this mural having a positive impact on the children of our community for years to come.”

Students, teachers and administrators from Saint Andrew Catholic School, employees from St. Mary Medical Center and more will be invited to attend the mural reveal event in April. 

“Saint Andrew Catholic School is a dedicated community, and more importantly, a family,” said Robert Sikora, school principal. “It is our responsibility as a Catholic school to develop the whole person and nurture the individual, so every child can grow in spirituality, as well as in emotional and intellectual ability. This mural embodies the spirit of that responsibility, and we are happy to partner with our friends at St. Mary on this impactful project.”

The mural, titled “The Pieces of Us,” features stained glass imagery that captures the intricate connections between the church and medical center, including behaviors, relationships and collaborative efforts. Using the power of art to convey these narratives is intended to inspire resilience and community engagement. 

“Art has a unique way of expressing and evoking emotions, often capturing the essence of love in its various forms,” Jackson said. “A healthy community is a complex interplay of genetics, behaviors and the relationships we build with those around us. When the church and medical system collaborate, a powerful force of love and support can emerge, fostering a cohesive and joyful community.”

Through the support of Mural Arts Philadelphia, St. Mary selected Jackson for the project after a lengthy candidate search and interview process. Jackson’s journey from using art as a personal coping mechanism to leading the impactful initiative, Murals, Art & Design, is an inspiring one. She is committed to promoting art as a tool for mental health care and addressing societal issues like gun violence and school bullying, showcasing her dedication to making a positive impact on her community. The services that Jackson provides, such as hosting community paint days and creating murals, help foster a positive and supportive community environment. 

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