A SOUTH Oxford church will next month welcome nine students from America for a transatlantic art project.

St Luke’s Church has invited the visitors, from North Park University, in Chicago, to stay in Oxford.

The trip was organised with the help of Professor Tim Lowly, who is a renowned artist in America for his “egg tempera” pictures – a technique which uses egg yolk mixed with paint.

Rev Jane Sherwood, of St Luke’s, said the church first got in touch with Prof Lowly through the internet picture service Flickr and arranged the visit that way.

She said: “We are quite an arty church and a few of us belong to an internet art group where we post pictures of ourselves for others to draw.

“The Chicago students and Prof Lowly will help us with an art project which will stay here, as well as take part in a week of activities we have planned.

“It’s a really good way of doing something together.”

The project, Mrs Sherwood said, will be “made of wood”, but it is not yet known what it will focus on.

However, the vicar added that much of Prof Lowly’s work in the past has been inspired by his 28-year-old daughter, who has brain damage.

Members of the St Luke’s Church congregration will contribute to the project and there are hopes people from the wider community will also join in.

The American visitors will be staying in Oxford from May 13 to 22. North Park University is a Christian art school, serving more than 3,000 students.

Mrs Sherwood said: “It is the first time we have done anything quite like this but it will be really nice to spend the week with them.

“Many of them will never have been here before until then. And maybe, one day, we will get to visit them too. You never know.”

Jo Duckles, a spokeswoman for the Diocese of Oxford, said: “This is an exciting visit and we hope that the students enjoy their experience visiting the UK.

“We look forward to seeing the art work that is produced during this project.”