<p><strong>An image of Schwidder&rsquo;s art at The Church of the Good Shepherd in Federal Way, Wash. Photo by Deb Smith</strong></p>

An image of Schwidder’s art at The Church of the Good Shepherd in Federal Way, Wash. Photo by Deb Smith


Ernst Schwidder, a Seattle native whose liturgical carvings exist in more than 300 churches across the nation, is the subject of tours and a PowerPoint presentation in the on Saturday, March 1, and Sunday, March 2.

The Saturday tour will begin at 9 a.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church (1200 10th Ave. E.), where Schwidder’s father was pastor. It will continue by carpool caravan to Phinney Ridge Lutheran Church, Magnolia Lutheran Church (2414 31st Ave. W.); the Compass Center chapel and, finally, to St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church in West Seattle, ending by 4 p.m.

The Rev. Roger Sylwester of West Seattle is a member of the Schwidder Project (www.schwidderart.org), which is compiling a catalog of Schwidder’s liturgical art, housed at Valparaiso University in Indiana, where Schwidder was the first chair of the art department. Later, he served as art department chair at Seattle Pacific University and then at Pacific Lutheran University, until retiring in 1992. He died in 1998.

On Sunday, March 2, at 4 p.m., at Queen Anne Lutheran Church, Sylwester and two retired colleagues — the Rev. Richard Tietjen of Tacoma and the Rev. Joel Nickel of Salem, Ore. — will present photos they have taken as they document Schwidder’s art at more than100 sites so far. 

In addition to documenting Schwidder’s work, the project team seeks to assist parishioners to treasure visual art as an enhancement to worship and as an abiding reinforcement of teaching the faithful over the generations, according to Tietjen.