Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington

From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Deacon Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302

‘Peoples of World’ mural unveiled at Morning Star Boys’ Ranch

the Inland Register

(From the Feb. 6, 2006 edition of the Inland Register)

Artist Gregory Hartman fields questions from Morning Star Boys’ Ranch residents during the Jan. 19 dedication of the fifth and final in a series of murals – “The Peoples of Asia” — depicting the diversity of the peoples of the world. (IR photo from Morning Star Boys’ Ranch)

The final mural in a series of five that dramatically illustrate the diversity of the peoples of the world was unveiled last month at Morning Star Boys’ Ranch, located on Spokane’s Glenrose Prairie.

“The Peoples of Asia” now hangs with four companion pieces by artist Gregory Hartman at Murphy House, the residential facility at the main campus of the Ranch, which serves boys in need ages 10-17.

During the dedication ceremony, Hartman provided an overview for the boys, staff and guests about the widely varied cultures, belief systems, histories and nations of Asia, from Genghis Khan and Mongolia to the Buddhist monks of Tibet and the Zen activities of Japan. China, Russia, India, Vietnam, Laos and Malaysia were also described briefly by Hartman.

The fourth in the series of acrylic-on-cloth murals, “The People of Australia,” was presented in December. Sponsored by George and P.J. Watters, the mural illustrates the varied populations, wildlife, history and geography of the region of the world dominated by the Australian Continent.

Previous murals have featured the peoples of Africa, Europe, and the Americas.

Ranch officials said that boys who come to Morning Star hail from varied ethnic, religious and cultural backgrounds and the murals recognize and embrace that diversity.

During the unveiling of “The Peoples of Australia” in December, artist Hartman talked about his own travels there, including time in Papua New Guinea, Tahiti and Tonga. He answered several questions from the boys and described various island cultures as well as exotic birds, insects and animals including different types of kangaroos – all of which find expression in the mural.

Ted and BJ Dolle were patrons for the Peoples of Europe work. The Peoples of Africa mural was sponsored by the Dolle and Schaller families. The Peoples of the Americas was sponsored in “loving memory of Ron Warrick and Lynn Spear.”

The newest mural was supported by Morning Star itself in honor of Father Joseph Weitensteiner, long-time director of the Ranch.

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