Over two years, student paints ‘Last Supper’ mural in school cafeteria


Solomon Gustavo/Review Cretin-Derham Hall sophomore Jessica Lutmer with “The Last Supper” mural she painted on a wall in the cafeteria of St. Peter’s Catholic School in North St. Paul. She began work on the painting while she was an eighth-grader at the school.

“’The Last Supper’ seems apropos for the cafeteria, for eating,” said St. Peter’s Catholic School Principal Alison Dahlman. 

The Notre Dame alum said a lot of Catholic institutions have the painting in their eating areas, and that she thought a mural of it would be a nice addition to the North St. Paul school.

Dahlman said she presented the concept two years ago to then eighth-grader Jessica Lutmer. 

“She came up to me ... because I was a person at school that would always be drawing,” said Lutmer, a North St. Paul resident. 

“Always,” confirmed her mother, Jackie. 

Beginning two years ago, they began researching how to pull off a mural-sized painting, said Jackie. “None of us knew how to do something this big.”

Using a projector to put an image of mural up onto the cafeteria wall, Lutmer traced in the figures of the well-known scene and went from there.

Both she and her mother said one of the biggest takeaways from the experience is that the best way to paint a mural is to paint from the background of the picture and move forward from it. 

Lutmer said she worked on the mural in the summers and would largely take the school years off. Now, in her sophomore year at Cretin-Derham Hall, she’s completed the large undertaking. 

Dahlman said a trim will soon be painted to frame the mural, though otherwise, the large addition to the cafeteria is mostly done. 

The principal joked that during the 24-month painting process, she sometimes felt like an impatient papal patron of the arts, poking into the Sistine Chapel asking, “Is it done, yet?”

As for St. Peter’s cafeteria Michelangelo, “I’ve always liked to do drawing and painting,” said Lutmer. 

Jackie said her daughter is currently working through charcoal sketches and yielding some “pretty amazing stuff.”

 

–Solomon Gustavo can be reached at sgustavo@lillienews.com or 651-748-7815.

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