Backstory of the Backdrop

Stephen Ervin Helps Us Dream Big

FOLLEN 2019: The painted backdrop now in the chancel arch is a midwinter offering to the community, to try to share some of the vision of the epochal transformation of Follen Church now underway, and that will unfold in the next weeks, months, and years. The depiction of new spaces/activities is not meant to be architecturally accurate, the people are cartoonish and adjacencies schematic at best, the perspective is completely idiosyncratic, and many details are omitted or made up. The new accessible elevator(!) will not open directly to the newly remodeled community center, the new stairwell will not have a geometric stained glass surround, and there may be no purple desk in any office—but we will have a glorious new music center on an all new third floor, a wonderful new outdoor deck off the Anne Smith room, an accessible ramp and single-level entry into the community center (and new bathrooms, furnace, air conditioning, a Marshman-side courtyard entrance, …and many other features not depicted.) In this ‘painted quilt’ I have tried to capture only some highlights of the vision that I know sustains the hard-working construction oversight group (COG*) whose arduous work (that “love made visible”) consumes many dedicated hours every week, involving complex considerations and agonizing decisions… This project, like many remodeling projects, has been a big nuisance, and may well take more time, more money, and more effort than projected,  and still be somehow imperfect, despite the very best efforts of the COG. I know that it is a shared vision of a glorious future somewhere over the rainbow that keeps them going. It’s my hope that this glimpse of our shared “big dream” coming true may also serve the community in a like manner. (And be more fun to look at than the industrial plastic sheet that shrouds the organ. : )  -Stephen Ervin