Vignettes | Arts News | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Seven Days needs your financial support!

Vignettes 

State of the Arts

Think "religious art" means velvet paintings of Jesus? Think again. The Episcopalian Church is known for encouraging the creation of original art with sacred themes, even works on the daring side. (In 1984, Manhattan's Cathedral of St. John the Divine got flak for exhibiting the sculpture "Christa," a female crucified Christ figure.)

In 2000, these creative impulses gave birth to an organization called the Episcopal Church & Visual Arts (ECVA). Its stated mission is "to encourage artists, individuals, congregations and scholars to engage the visual arts in the spiritual life of the church."

Burlington's St. Paul's Cathedral just formed a chapter of ECVA, only the 10th in the nation. The church is celebrating its commitment to the arts through May with a show that features more than 58 spiritually themed works in various media by local Episcopal artists. Notable among them - particularly because it stands 12 feet tall - is Melinda White-Bronson's "Good News Angel," a plaster/mixed-media sculptural installation.

Show organizer and parishioner Judith McManis says another highlight of the show is a group of icons by Zachary Roesemann. "They're the real deal. Not 'icons lite.'" Then there's the unsigned "mystery painting," which was discovered in the cathedral during a cleaning session. The congregation is selling it via silent auction. "We're calling it 'Easter Bunny,'" McManis says, "but it's a very different interpretation. Some people think it's just strange beyond words."

McManis' liturgical fabric art has already appeared in three ECVA exhibits elsewhere. She says members of the fledging Vermont chapter hope to hold an annual show and host "meet the artist" gatherings around the state. They'll also set up a website "so people can interact with each other and find us as artists."

For now, McManis is encouraged by the turnout of about 65 people at the show's April 29 opening. "The whole premise of the show is the expression of people's experience of spiritual things," she says. "And, boy, that varies all over the map."

"Art and Spirit: Expressions of Our Spiritual Connection" is on view at St. Paul's Cathedral in Burlington through May. Reception during First Friday Art Walk, May 4, 6-9 p.m.

Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

About The Author

Margot Harrison

Margot Harrison

Bio:
Margot Harrison is the Associate Editor at Seven Days; she coordinates literary and film coverage. In 2005, she won the John D. Donoghue award for arts criticism from the Vermont Press Association.

Comments


Comments are closed.

Since 2014, Seven Days has allowed readers to comment on all stories posted on our website. While we’ve appreciated the suggestions and insights, the time has come to shut them down — at least temporarily.

While we champion free speech, facts are a matter of life and death during the coronavirus pandemic, and right now Seven Days is prioritizing the production of responsible journalism over moderating online debates between readers.

To criticize, correct or praise our reporting, please send us a letter to the editor. Or send us a tip. We’ll check it out and report the results.

Online comments may return when we have better tech tools for managing them. Thanks for reading.

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative
newsletters:

All content © 2020 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401  |  Contact Us
Website powered by Foundation