Malcolm X, Shakespeare, Ella Fitzgerald . . . if these aren’t the first names that come to mind when someone says saint, perhaps you should march off to St. Gregory of Nyssa Church in San Francisco, where artist Mark Dukes recently completed a mural of magnificent magnitude.
“The Dancing Saints,” a neo-Byzantine iconographic work, spans the church’s rotunda and depicts 90 men and women (plus some children and animals) whose stories represent a “contemporary, spiritually progressive definition of saintliness,” according to Tikkun. The massive icon took 10 years for Dukes to complete. (In the photograph here, the Sufi poet Sadi and martyred Roman soldier Sergius flank statistician W. Edwards Deming.)