2017 Lent Art Exhibit
“River of Life”
This piece was originally written as a press release and became a feature article in the March 28th San Marcos Daily Record. To view all of the works included in the show, visit the River Of Life Gallery.
An interest in how art helps us expand our thinking and stretch our perspective has led First Lutheran Church on Holland Street to explore the connection between visual arts and spirituality.
A conversation with Dr. Cynthia Gonzales, FLC Music Director and Professor of Music at Texs State, about utilizing visual arts in ministry led to brainstorming an art show. Dr. Gonzales is very connected to the arts community and encouraged Pastor Tim to make it happen.
They chose the theme “River of Life” both because it connects to the heart of this city and because water is perhaps the most common religious symbol and image.
The call went out in January, with no assurance of how many artists would respond. By the mid-February deadline, we received nearly 40 entries from 11 different artists. The entries came from San Marcos, Dripping Springs, Austin, Seguin and San Antonio, making the reach much further than anticipated. “The quality of works amazed us. When it came time to jury, we didn’t have any decisions to make other than how much we could fit on our walls.” Bauerkemper explained. “We were able to take at least one piece from each artist. We would like to take more but will have to find more room. We may look at going down a hall next time. One of the artists, Marietta Hutchison, was so excited about the show she came and helped us hang it. We had a great time working together.”
The art is also being used as a worship element. The Lutheran tradition for Lent is to have midweek services that tie to a single theme, usually with a community meal. Each Wednesday there is a simple meal, soup and bread, and time for fellowship starting at 5:30. The meal is available until the soup runs out, and a brief 30 minute service of Evening Prayer starts at 6:45. “This is an open table. There is plenty to share. No expectations and no strings attached. It is very casual. Just a moment of pause for some God time. All are welcome.” Each week, the message incorporates one of the works of art. “The artist may not have had a Biblical theme in mind when they produced the creation, but we believe all art inherently reflects God’s presence in creation, so the connections are right there when we lay faith right along what we see.”
The show is up until Easter. It is available to be viewed Monday to Thursday from 10 am to 5 pm, or on Wednesday evenings during dinner and worship. The church is also open on Sunday morning surrounding Sunday worship at 10:30.
Plans are already in the works for a fall show. The working theme is “Children At Play”. “I thought that would be a fun one. I am going to get the call for entries out early so artists might find a way to capture the natural activity of kids and Summer. We would love to encourage artists to find ways to express the joy and wonder in the eyes and play of children. With our preschool ministry, kids are all over the place here all week long. They have loved seeing the art and I’m imagining they will love seeing pictures of children, maybe even of themselves.”
“Reflections” by Mikko Kudo of Dripping Springs
Used for our Evening Prayer reflection connected to Jeremiah 17:7-8
Blessed are those who trust in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord.
They shall be like a tree planted by water, sending out its roots by the stream.
It shall not fear when heat comes, and its leaves shall stay green;
in the year of drought it is not anxious, and it does not cease to bear fruit.
“What Lies Hidden” by Susan Hanson of San Marcos
Used for reflection on John 3:1-5 “Born of Water”
“Poured Out” by Linda Bennighof of Austin
Used in our Evening Prayer reflection on John 4, Jesus and the Woman at The Well
“Light On The Shore” By Gwendolyn Hustvedt of San Marcos
Will be used 4/5 for our final Evening Prayer reflection on Revelation 22, “Water of Life, Tree of Life”
Also used as part of worship was “Luke 1:78-79” by Marietta Hutchison.
It is not included here at this time due to technical issues.