Visiting Al Gerritsen

This afternoon, I had the pleasure of visiting Al Gerritsen’s woodwork shop.  I commissioned him to carve me a magpie, to add to my collection.  It was such an enjoyable visit and I felt in awe of his humility and his great talent, both.  The smell of his shop brought me very close to the young child, Jesus…and what it must have been like growing up with a father who was a carpenter.  It was fun to see Al’s nativity under his front yard tree.  I am blessed that Fred and Catherine shared theirs with me.

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Today I learned that Al was a Franciscan during the 1950s and 1960s.  I also learned that he apprenticed with John Nugent in Lumsden, Saskatchewan.  After Vatican II, Al was one of the artists who helped develop the liturgical spaces within churches, turning those altars around to face the people and creating visual art works that spoke of the connection between the Creator and his people.

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John Nugent, Lumsden, making final inspection of a chalice, 1959. On the bench is one of his wood carvings, entitled “Mother and Child.”
Saskatchewan Archives Board

Here, find a slide show of some of what I noticed and heard stories about in the studio.  Magic!

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2 thoughts on “Visiting Al Gerritsen

  1. Hello
    I am a member of Holy Child Parish in Regina SK and have been trying to find a telephone number or email address for Al. Would you be kind enough to help me.
    Sincere thanks Gord Domm

    • Hello Gordon, I’m sure that Al will love hearing from you. Please write to me via shepaintsred@yahoo.ca and give me your phone number and contact info and I will pass it on to Al with your wishes. I really would feel uncomfortable passing you his info, but am sure he will get back to you. Kathleen

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