In the Fall of 2021, I was invited by architectural art historian, and UTEP Department of Art colleague, Dr. Max Grossman to serve on the Advisory Council of Restore Sacred Heart Church. The mission of the group is to restore the most iconic building in El Paso’s Segundo Barrio, along with the adjoining ex-Sacred Heart School building (now the Pastoral Center) and the structure housing the Jesuit residence/parish offices.
Sacred Heart School and Sacred Heart Church were established in 1892 and 1893, respectively. The original church and school were built in 1893. The Jesuit residence was added in 1898 but expanded in 1911 in order to serve all area Jesuits. A second floor was added to the school in 1899. The current church replaced the original building in 1923. Sacred Heart Church and Immaculate Conception Church are the oldest Catholic parishes in the City of El Paso.
The buildings of the Sacred Heart Church complex are between 97 and 127 years old and in great need of restoration and infrastructural upgrades but the limited financial resources of this barrio parish has made this impossible.
The design of the logo and fundraising merchandise was inspired by the gothic arch-shaped ironwork over one of the church's entryways as well as the distinctive turquoise color used in its nave. Design included a cap and t-shirt whose back features the slogan "Brick by Brick", or "Ladrillo por Ladrillo" in Spanish, a reference to the fact the structure is literally falling apart in places, thus making its restoration even more urgent. In addition, a ubiquitous mesh mercado bag speaks to the everyday culture of the church's setting. The trifold makes a clever play on the main focus of the all-volunteer group—the sacred heart at the center of it all.