Room for Hope: Art of Palestine
This exhibit was sponsored by The Bethlehem Lutheran Christmas Church in Palestine and the Bright Stars of Bethlehem organization as part of an initiative to bring art, culture and education to Christians and Muslims and to empower people in a context of continuing conflict. Many of the works expressed messages of hope for the future rather than concentrating on the current oppression. The reception featured a food sampler from the Middle East catered by Sudha Abbasi and a lecture by Dr Michael Spath, Director of the Indiana Center for Middle East Peace.
The Art of Sadao Watanabe
Watanabe converted to Christianity as a young man, and his art is completely dedicated to Biblical themes. It tells the stories of the Bible in a Japanese environment with Jesus clad in a kimono. The exhibit was part of a FPC Religious Arts Festival and featured a knowledgeable speaker, Sandra Bowden, of Christians in the Visual Arts. The artist was named as a national treasure of Japan and his work is acclaimed throughout the world.
Tossed and Found
Co-sponsored by FPC Earth Care Ministry and the Interfaith Earth Care coalition, this exhibition featured art made from materials that were recycled, repurposed, and reimagined. It showed the creations of eight local artists using materials ranging from plastic to bottle caps, mops, wood and metal. The congregation was asked to share their “junk” in collection bins to be used in our “junk to art” workshop bringing awareness to the trash we all collect and the need to “Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle”
ReNEWal: Art of All Abilities
Curated by DoArt Collaborative with support from Anthony Wayne Foundation, ReNEWal highlighted art created by people who have found artistic creativity as a way to transcend their disabilities. Some 70-80 works by 30 artists were featured and many proudly attended the reception. Photos of various works in the exhibit were made and used as bulletin covers throughout the run of the show. In conjunction with the exhibit the gallery, in collaboration with the Adult Education Committee, held two luncheon sessions to hear from families who have firsthand experiences living with loved ones with disabilities and how their special needs affect family life. Their message is, “We’re not special, we’re just living our lives like you are.”
Parish Art Shows and Workshops
We encourage our congregation to be creative in several ways, including a variety of workshops lead by visiting artists. Every other year we organize a Parish art show. Paintings, drawings, photography, ceramics, sculpture, fabric art, as well as creative writing by members are featured in the gallery. Always a popular show!