St. Thomas Aquinas Design Sketch for the beautiful University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota.
The prospect of sculpting this portrait project inspired Slater immensely because of the high ideals and spiritual teachings of St. Thomas Aquinas. One of the many perks of specializing in portrait sculpture is the depth of research undertaken before beginning a portrait. Slater read a treasure trove of inspiring information about St. Thomas and studied many images of him before beginning work on the design concept. Paula proposed this bronze portrait be over life size (appropximately 6’8” high). Her design sketch shows the portrait of St. Thomas expressing motion while he teaches, with an elegant swirl of his cloak draped across his body, manuscript in his left hand as his right hand points to the heavens. Since this statue would be up above the viewer, she sketched his head turned slightly down as he reads, so that
his full face can be seen.