June 13, 2019 - 8:00 am

The Chapel at Trinity Church in the Central West End (600 North Euclid at Washington Avenue) is the site of a permanent new installation, On the Surface of Things, by St. Louis artist John Early.

Eight 23-carat gold leaf rectangles enhance the visitor’s experience both in, and of, the chapel space. “Viewed collectively,” said Mr. Early, “the rectangles decrease in size as they rise higher on the wall to emphasize verticality – creating a slow, subtle movement connecting the terrestrial to the celestial.”

Trinity Pastor Jon Stratton said, “We are grateful for John Early’s beautiful interpretation of the spirit – a modern celebration of faith joining Trinity’s 164-year continuum of worship. By placing gold leaf on top of small blemishes and other surface imperfections in the chapel, the artist reminds us of God’s grace, illuminating – rather than concealing – who we are.”

Visitors may view the Trinity Chapel, which also includes an installation of colorful parishioner-created origami, Tuesdays through Fridays during church office hours (8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.).

This project was sponsored by Trinity’s Arts Committee, which creates temporary art installations for the church sanctuary. The committee also manages and curates the Parish Gallery, which displays the work of local artists in three to five exhibits each year. The Parish Gallery can be found online at

Trinity Episcopal Church, founded in 1855, has stood at the corner of Euclid and Washington since 1935. Trinity is urban, socially progressive and Anglo-Catholic in its worship. Its Rector is 34-year-old Jon Stratton, a social-justice activist involved with the Clean Missouri campaign and a member of the leadership team with Missouri Jobs with Justice. Trinity’s parishioners are young and old, black and white, gay and straight, some with many material resources and some with few, some new to the Episcopal Church and some long steeped in its traditions. Families are traditional and non- traditional. Children are a valued part of Trinity’s community and are always welcome. Trinity has weekly Sunday school activities and, once a month, offers an alternative, lively and informal “Messy Church” service for children and families. For more information – including the church’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram links – go to the church website at

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John Early is an interdisciplinary artist who works in installation and site-based forms. Using a visual language of marks and traces, his drawings, sculptures, and spatial interventions elevate the overlooked, reframing the relationship with things familiar, forgotten, or cast aside. More recently, his work has taken the form of quasi-archeological explorations of the physical fabric and material landscape of St. Louis. He is currently a Lecturer in the College of Art at Washington University.