Presentation Academy
students help protect
statue of school’s foundress

Members of Presentation Academy’s National Art Honor Society helped protect a bronze statue of Mother Catherine Spalding from winter weather by brushing Trewax clear paste wax onto its surface Nov. 10. The statue stands in front of the Cathedral of the Assumption in downtown Louisville. (Record Photo by Ruby Thomas)

A group of Presentation Academy students, who are members of the National Art Honor Society, helped protect the bronze statue of Mother Catherine Spalding from winter weather Nov. 10.

After receiving some instructions from artist Raymond Graf, the students brushed Trewax clear paste wax over the statue, which stands in front of the Cathedral of the Assumption at 433 S. Fifth St. The carnauba wax will help preserve the bronze patina and help protect the statue from winter weather and from salt and other chemicals used to prevent freezing on the sidewalk, according to a press release from Presentation.

Graf sculpted the statue, which depicts the early days of Mother Catherine’s work caring for orphans. The statue was installed in July of 2015. Mother Catherine founded the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth in 1812 and founded Presentation Academy close to two decades later in 1831.

Suzanne Firestone, Presentation’s art department chair, said the project allowed the students to work on something that’s connected to the school and provided an art lesson they wouldn’t receive in the classroom.

Father Martin Linebach, rector of the Cathedral, said the project made the students “part of the legacy of Mother Catherine Spalding and her contribution, not only to the church but to the community of Louisville, especially in caring for those who need our assistance.”

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