Maria Loh, a 17 year old native of Fargo, ND, has created an incredible chalk artwork of Mary—and we’re going crazy for it!
Maria chose to draw the image of Our Lady of Lourdes as done by Hector Garrido, an image she’s been familiar with since childhood. Her grandparents had the image on a fridge magnet and Maria would admire it when she visited.
“My desire to do the the image was increased when I found out the Shrine at Lourdes was going to be temporarily closed due to the current health situation. I felt that many people would be wanting to partake in the miraculous waters there and receive comfort in both body and spirit, particularly now, and to be unable to access one of the greatest sources of healing in our world might be very disheartening; so I drew the image with the intention of reminding people that Our Lady hasn’t abandoned us and the springs will be open again soon,” Loh says.
Loh has been working with the chalk medium for about four years and it started out as a challenge to use the materials she had available. After this challenge, Maria said of continuing in the medium, “There was something about the chalk connecting on the sidewalk that made me want to continue. This new interest led me to start researching street art and chalk or pastels as an art medium.”
Loh also works with graphite pencils, colored pencils, acrylics, and watercolor paint, though chalk remains her favorite during the warm months.
Loh, a junior in high school, says that she hopes art will continue to play a major role in her life and how she glorifies God. She’s considering a liberal arts education with “a dash of art history”. For now, though, she’ll continue to hone her skills and explore new mediums.
On her particular devotion to Mary, for Maria it all began with a coloring book. “I love Mary in all Her forms, but I have a particular regard for Our Lady of Perpetual Help. I first learned of Her sacred image from a coloring book I had as a child. (The art coming into play again) The short paragraph next to the picture described how the Child Jesus was so frightened by the instruments of His crucifixion, that He came running to the arms of His Mother, and in the process, lost His sandal. While coloring it, I loved thinking about running into the arms of Mary and would often imagine myself doing it. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized what a great comfort it is to be able to entrust ourselves to Mary’s arms and know we are safe and loved in Her protective embrace. Her feast day is June 27 and I’m already planning my next piece in honor of Her image.”
We can’t wait to see what this young woman creates next! To keep up with her artwork and journey, you can follow along on her Facebook page for her art: Art by Maria Loh.