An ecumenical exhibition of 14 Brooklyn artists as visual ambassadors
Anders Knutsson, curator
Opening reception – Friday, February 20, 2015 - 7:00 PM
February 18 – April 16, 2015
The Episcopal Church of St. Luke and St. Matthew
520 Clinton Ave., Brooklyn NY 11230
(between Fulton Street and Atlantic Avenue)
Open Monday to Friday 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM; Sunday 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM
ARTISTS INTERPRET THE STATIONS OF THE CROSS, 14 Brooklyn Artists as Visual Ambassadors, an exhibition of 14 Brooklyn – based artists' works will be featured at the Episcopal Church of St. Luke and St. Matthew, 520 Clinton Ave., Brooklyn, NY for the Lenten season, from February 18 until April 16, 2015. The public is invited to attend the reception and artist talk at 7:00 PM on Friday, February 20, 2015. The reception will follow the first meditation on the stations at 6:00 PM. Those wishing to attend are invited to join in this special meditation.
It is the first in a series of exhibitions that will travel to both religious and secular venues throughout the United States.
As "ambassadors", the artists are sharing their creative culture and goodwill beyond their immediate circle of colleagues and art lovers to reach a larger community.
The 14 stations of the cross are presented by 14 artists, each working with only one restriction, to work with a uniform size for their artwork. Each artist was free to give full reign to create their individual interpretation of their selected moment of Jesus' last journey.
This project resurrects a connection between the church as patron of the arts and the artists as instruments of bringing the litany to the lay population. These works are created by artists of broad ethnic and religious backgrounds including Buddhists, Catholics, Jews, and even Agnostics. As "ambassadors," this diverse collective presents an open dialogue, with respectful interpretations of Jesus’ suffering, death, and resurrection.
The resultant artwork reflects an array of styles ranging from traditional illustrative depiction, to found object assemblage, non-objective abstraction, and color–field interpretations created by Pamella Allen, Audrey Anastasi, Joseph Anastasi, C. Bangs, Willie Mae Brown, Anders Knutsson, Franz Lanspersky, Sylvia Maier, Otto Neals, Donovan Nelson, Anne Peabody, Danny Simmons, Andrea Spiros, and Lawrence Terry.
Doris Schultz, part of the project team, hopes to reinvigorate the connection of the arts with community. She feels an obligation to create business models that link visual artists with viable opportunities to share their art with the community at large, and ultimately, for the artists to sell their work. This particular project not only combines the traditions of spiritual practice in the church with contemporary art creation, but it also bridges the work of a diverse group of Brooklyn artists to communities throughout the United States, as the exhibition travels. She says, "Brooklyn is a unique place to work and live. Brooklyn invites us into a state of mind which offers us the opportunity for freedom to be whoever you want to become." Ms. Schultz goes on to say, "The artists role as ambassador is crucial in our times – we need artists of all disciplines to share their view of the world, not only as their art can connect to spiritual traditions, but also to share Brooklyn's diversity with a population across all states. These 14 artists will be showing their work throughout the United States - The exhibition will embark upon a five city tour starting July 1, 2015."
This is the first of a continuous program whereby artists will be invited to submit their work for consideration to participate in future projects of this nature.
The Episcopal Church of St. Luke and St. Matthew is open Monday to Friday 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM; Sunday 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM. For more information, call 347.515.4044.
ABOUT THE TRADITION OF "Walking the Stations"
When "Walking the stations of the cross" worshipers follow, contemplate, and often pray as they visit the images of 14 specific events from condemnation to entombment. The story of Jesus' journey to his crucifixion is also known as "The Passion." Traditionally, artists have given physical form to the story of the passion. The role of art can be to instruct, educate, and interpret. Going beyond mere description, it can express a spiritual journey.
Always installed in the same sequence, the stations of the cross are:
1. Jesus Is Condemned to Death.
Pontius Pilate condemns Jesus to death.
2. Jesus Takes Up His Cross.
Jesus willingly accepts and patiently bears his cross.
3. Jesus Falls the First Time.
Weakened by torments and by loss of blood, Jesus falls beneath his cross.
4. Jesus Meets His Sorrowful Mother.
Jesus meets his mother, Mary, who is filled with grief.
5. Simon of Cyrene Helps Jesus Carry the Cross.
Soldiers force Simon of Cyrene to carry the cross.
6. Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus.
Veronica steps through the crowd to wipe the face of Jesus.
7. Jesus Falls a Second Time.
Jesus falls beneath the weight of the cross a second time.
8. Jesus Meets the Women of Jerusalem.
Jesus tells the women to weep not for him but for themselves and for their children.
9. Jesus Falls the Third Time.
Weakened almost to the point of death, Jesus falls a third time.
10. Jesus Is Stripped of His Garments.
The soldiers strip Jesus of his garments, treating him as a common criminal.
11. Jesus Is Nailed to the Cross.
Jesus’ hands and feet are nailed to the cross.
12. Jesus Dies on the Cross.
After suffering greatly on the cross, Jesus bows his head and dies.
13. Jesus Is Taken Down From the Cross.
The lifeless body of Jesus is tenderly placed in the arms of Mary, his mother.
14. Jesus Is Laid in the Tomb.
Born hard-wired to replicate what I see, the creative process is an intuitive one for me that is greatly informed by the mystic beauty of the natural world and my experiences with death and impermanence. In my infancy, it was the death of my mother followed by its relentless recurrence over the course of my lifetime that has driven me to seek out, replicate and create all that I can and cannot see to explore these confounding mysteries. I breath, I paint, I live in an attempt to capture what I have observed in my travels around the world, over land and sea, and find place in it. A Jamaica born, Brooklyn based artist, I use artifacts from my life experiences pulled from memory and observation, my work is layered in process: Mixed media paintings, printmaking, sculpture, paper making, Installation, photography/video essay & prose combine to create my own archetype, a universal language of images found and remembered that speaks to the diversity of my heritage, lived experiences and reverence for the mystic found in our natural world. Pamella Allen 2020