Continuing Education for Clark Staff

October 23, 2014

Over the past few months the staff of Clark Architects have had multiple opportunities to further their educational pursuits. The education of architect encompasses a broad range of artistic skill which needs to be fostered and developed. In addition, the practicality and theory of design are also important factors to the design process. Specifically here at Clark, designing churches are a major emphasis of our work. Exploring how to build a church that looks like a church, the directives given by the Church, and the ritual requirements drive our design decision. Therefore extensive theological education is vital to the success of our work.


Accomplished architect and artist Robert Hanna has collaborated with Clark Architects in the past providing his rendering services (see his work for the St. Thomas Aquinas Newman Center here). Over a series of classes in the spring months of 2013, Clark staff meet with Mr. Hanna to learn some of his sketching and rendering techniques that he has cultivated over his lengthy career. His approach includes: drawing the basic structure, negative spaces, and adding texture. Additional topics covered were watercolor application and fountain pen use.


Armed with the wisdom of Mr. Hanna, Clark staff took several trips to the Nebraska State Capital to take these newly acquired skills into a practical setting. Designed by Bertram Goodhue with original artwork by Lee Lawrie and Hildreth Meiere, the state capital provided a nearly inexhaustible backdrop to hone sketching techniques.


In August the Clark staff met with local calligraphy instructor Mr. John Clark, also principal Kevin Clark's father. This introduction covered basic techniques to calligraphy and italic lettering. Here is to hoping we see an improvement in penmanship by rediscovering this lost art.


In September Kevin Clark, Chris Beardslee, and Kate Kelly traveled to The Liturgical Institute for a one day conference on the theology of Catholic art and architecture entitled "Decoding the Christian Temple." A full day of presentations covered the Rite if Dedication, history of the Temple, the different elements of a church, and the Heavenly Jerusalem. The Liturgical Institute, also Kate Kelly's alma mater, is home to some of the finest research on Catholic art and architecture with the scholarship of Dr. Denis McNamara.


Kate Kelly and Kevin Clark ventured to Colorado Springs, CO at the beginning of October for the annual meeting of The Society for Catholic Liturgy. The three day conference explored "The Temple Transformed: Liturgy, Art, Music, Architecture and the Fulfillment of the Old Testament." Clark and Kelly, both members of the SCL, were able to take in paper presentations covering memory, Bl. Elizabeth of the Trinity, ornament, and fundamental building forms. Included in the presenters were James McCrery, consultant architect on the St. Thomas Aquinas Church-Newman Center, and Bishop James Conley, Bishop of Lincoln who delivered the keynote address for the conference.