Artwork that captures the imagination and inspires the soul will be on display at Woodbury Lutheran’s 11th annual Festival of Christian Art, sponsored by the church’s visual arts committee.
This free exhibit is open to the public March 23through April 17, everyday from noon to 4:30 p.m. at Woodbury Lutheran Church.
When you enter into Woodbury Lutheran’s large and brightly lit sanctuary, you’ll see what Senior Pastor (and art lover) Dean Nadasdy describes as a place that begs for art—a place where visitors can come to contemplate 40-50 pieces of Christian-themed artistic entries in a variety of media. In addition to the regular exhibition, there is always a featured artist who displays several of his or her pieces.
Previously featured artists have included He Qi (pronounced ho-chee), internationally known for his commitment to the creation of modern Chinese Christian art, and Judy Dodds, a calligraphy artist from St. Paul whose work embraces traditional illumination techniques.
This year’s featured artist is Ashley Dull, whose picturesque landscape oil paintings integrate spectacular uses of light, color and texture. You may have seen her work displayed at Kelley Gallery in Woodbury.
Dull—an ironic name for an artist to be sure—wants each of her pieces to bring a message of hope and a simple reminder of life’s goodness. I’ve viewed her work online, depictions of forested paths and brilliant light that seem as realistic as a captured memory. And I’m excited to experience her work in person.
Regular submissions to the festival are juried by well-known jurist/artists for cash prizes. Some of my past favorites include interesting pieces by James Quentin Young, who designs from old wood, metal and found objects. He says that the use of discarded and broken items in his art not only supports the recycling movement but portrays an acceptance of our own flawed and rejected lives. That thought is as beautiful to me as his artwork.
Etchings by Joan Bohlig have also been a regular favorite for their folktale storytelling quality. She began a series of etchings on biblical themes in 1974 when she sketched Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing on a church bulletin during a sermon on that theme. Since then, her work has been used in numerous book illustrations and on book covers.
It’s remarkable to realize the depth of artistic talent that flows through Woodbury. Community members, some of whom I didn’t even know were artists, have amazed me with their marvelous artwork on display in this festival. And for some local artists, this festival is the first place they’ve ever submitted their art for exhibition.
The talent annually showcased here runs the gamut from emerging to renowned, all of which provide a beautiful visual setting for meditation and prayer.
I look forward to viewing this year’s entries and hope that you’ll find a moment to take in the beauty that these artists have created and dedicated to spiritual truth. For more information or to reserve a date for a group tour, contact Woodbury Lutheran Church at 651-739-5144.