Curator's Statement
  Thumbnail Gallery

The Artists

  Connie Backus-Yoder
  Joyce Caggiano
  Deborah A. Cantwell
  Mary Anne Carley
  Osuna Miguel Conesa
  James D. Curtis
  Kelly Daniels
  Barbara Desrosiers
  Cathy Gibbons
  Joel Haas
  Jenna Higgins
  C. Robin Janning
  Caroline Kramer
  Marcia Landry
  Jeanelle McCall
  Judith McManis
  Romney O. Nesbitt
  Margaret A. Parker
  Donna Rathert
  Lynn Runnells
  Deborah Scarff
  Suzanne Schleck
  Janet Strickler
  Susan Tilt
  Vanessa Wells
  Tracy Williams
  Copyright Statement

Curator's Statement




The church has entered the holy season of Advent, a time of wondrous expectation when we gather and ponder the mystery of God incarnate.  How could it be that the Creator and Master of the entire physical known universe could become so small, less than the smallest atom on a speck of dust, to be born as one of us?  This is a deep and inscrutable mystery beyond all form of human comprehension.

“Unto us a Child is Born” ponders this mystery through the creative gift of art.  Looking at these works, taking them in with a contemplative eye and heart, one begins to cross the boundary between this world and the world of spirit.  It is from this world of spirit and devotion that these works of art originate.  There is no limit to the styles or media presented here; there are paintings, drawings, woodblocks, photographs, sculptures, vestments, etc.  Yet all reflect the creative imagination of souls seeking and embracing the mystery of God coming to dwell in our midst, Emmanuel!

The opening piece titled: “O War Torn Town of Bethlehem” by Donna Rathert is one of ironic paradox. In this work the birth of this wondrous Semitic child brings joy to the heart of Mary, who embraces the child in her arms, but this Christ child is wrapped in swaddling cloth in the colors of the Palestinian flag, and Mary wears a head scarf with the Star of David on it.  It is as if to say that this child is born into the world to bring together that which would never come together except by the grace and love of God.  The odious barrier wall surrounding the young maiden and child reflect the tragic reality of life in Bethlehem today where Christian and Muslim Palestinian children live behind what Archbishop Desmond Tutu has identified as an apartheid wall.  There is a feeling of foreboding in this work, of uncertainty, and indeed this puts into a modern context the fear Mary and Joseph must have experienced when they fled the birth place of our Lord to protect the child from slaughter.  Sadly today, over 20 centuries later, a mother trying to escape from Bethlehem with her child could very well be shot and killed.  This gives us much to ponder in this Advent season as we continue to rest our hopes in the birth of Christ, while praying and working toward peace in the Holy Land and beyond.   In spite of the oppressive elements in this work, the power and sanctity of this most holy night are present, and the gaze of the Christ child looking into the eyes of Mary remains firm, fearless, and confident.

I invite the viewers to enter the mystery of the incarnation through these holy images and discover for themselves what these images represent for their lives.  Each interpretation will be unique for art has the power to touch us individually at the core of our souls, and reveal things hidden.  Collectively these images illustrate the many different expressions the movement from darkness to light can take.  Advent is a time in which we move from darkness to light.  We have been gifted here by artists in our ever evolving Episcopal Church whose styles are as diverse as the many views in the church on a plethora of issues; nevertheless they all celebrate the wondrous birth of the Christ Child, the ultimate gift of humility, God from whom all things are born, birthing into the world as one of us.  It is time to rejoice, for soon the light of the world will be upon us. Rejoice, Rejoice!!!

The Rev. Wilfredo Benitez-Rivera
Curator, Unto Us

To begin viewing the Exhibition, please click HERE.

To view the Thumbnail Gallery, please click HERE.





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©2006 The Episcopal Church and Visual Arts