TERRA COTTA > IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Preserving a legacy
Viktor Verhovod, an artisan at Gladding, McBean terra cotta factory in Lincoln, hand-sculptured the bas relief of the Sacred Heart of Jesus embedded in the tower of the new Sacred Heart school in Sacramento, California.
Historically, the bas relief of the Sacred Heart of Jesus which is displayed directly over the church’s front entrance was originally designed and crafted in the 1930’s by Portuguese immigrants who worked for Gladding, McBean. Another smaller sculpture, also crafted by artisans at Gladding, McBean, was placed at the entrance of the old Sacred heart School.
About the Artisan
Early in life, Viktor’s parents recognized his gift as an artist and did all they could to provide him with a formal education in art. When he was 10 years old his parents sent him to art school. Viktor learned many of his skills and techniques from his father and from his early years at art school, but it was through his formal education at a 4 year college in Usbekistan, Tashkent that he learned complex Russian art techniques used to detail complex figures and portraits.
When asked to express his feelings about working on the bas relief of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Viktor said that he was both humbled and appreciative to be able to express his faith and beliefs through a serious piece of art. When he was not working physically on the sculpture, he thought about it constantly.
Sacred Heart on the Sculpture
Says Sacred Heart, "It is fitting this sculpture which depicts Christ sitting (an ancient position of one who is teaching) is placed at the very entrance of Sacred Heart School where the children will be reminded on a day to day basis of Christ’s infinite love for us." Viktor Verhovod has helped create and preserve a legacy that will be a symbol of the Sacred Heart community for decades to come.