7/25 What a Master Brings.
by lefever on July 25, 2011
I watched these videos on the making of Christ the Light – both are telling. One tells us the function of a church to a community – so very impressed by the medical care extended to those without medical insurance. I am one of those people without medical insurance. http://www.ctlcathedral.org/resources/video_display1.shtml
The other tells of the depth of thought traversed in the making of the Cathedral Architecture, shared by the architect himself. http://www.ctlcathedral.org/resources/video_display2.shtml
Such a high calling, if not the highest ambition in creative design: being called to create something that expresses the theology of God, in this case, in wood, glass, and concrete. I would consider this the highest occupation as an artist.
Often have I advocated the importance that a church saves its money in various ways to afford the commission of a master.
To create something beautiful and unique to the people of that church, expressing the love of The Master in image and symbol, evocative, thoughtful, profound, layered, is the only true choice. For a church to me symbolizes the synthesis of all that is human and all that is holy in the Spirit – as a created space it amalgamates the intellect, the spirit, the physical and emotional in tangible deed. It is the highest call, the greatest honor in the creative field. Plug into that space a church of people actively serving their community in love and care… imagine it. Of course it begins with the people.
I am photographing eight churches out of 1600 plus in Memphis. There were only eight that I could find with art – (I am sure there were a few more but when I tell others of the eight it becomes a game for them to name them – and people always guess the eight! The churches with the art and aesthetic are known around Memphis).
I am in St. John Episcopal Church. Inside this church are murals by a famous artist/muralist John Henry DeRosen, a Pole and second-generation muralist, who had escaped from Nazi terrorized Europe. He had eventually made a name for himself with his unique style, in painting religious murals. His Large Christ dominates the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington D.C.
St. John’s Episcopal of Memphis had commissioned DeRosen in 1951 – it took him two years to paint the eight murals within St. John’s. They commissioned a master muralist. It was expensive at the time yet this Episcopal Church feels it was money well spent.
Besides the story that art can tell beyond words, it can launch the imagination, fix the memory, and start conversations. Also, it is widely accepted, Beauty is attractive.