Art—it’s not just for museums any more.
Using art as a way to help evoke God’s presence is part of each morning’s Eucharist, said Phoebe Griswold, whose support of the Episcopal Church and Visual Arts group began after her husband became Presiding Bishop in 1998.
A visual meditation based on convention themes starts 10 minutes before the procession at each morning’s Eucharist. Ranging from figurative to abstract, the art convention-goers will see highlights sculpture, painting, photography, illumination, manuscript, iconography, collage, fabric and digital art, said fine artist Mel Ahlborn, a member of St. Stephen’s in Orinda, Calif. Ahlborn is coordinating the Convention project with the Rev. Eliza Linley, of St. John the Baptist in Capitola, Calif.
“I believe that God speaks through the artist in visual images,” Griswold said.
ECVA representatives said they hope the convention project will spur interest in including art in local parish worship after Convention.
“This is the first time that we have presented this approach in a broad and inclusive way,” she said. “It’s a real breakthrough.”
Ahlborn and Linley said they selected the artwork being shown at convention. Today’s reflections for the Day of Prayer feature a series by Suzanne Jones of Frederick, Md., based on reconciliation, and a multi-media piece by Judith Maxfield of Santa Cruz, Calif.
Information about the use of art in liturgy is available from the group’s website www.ecva.org.
“We are trying to connect the artist and the church,” Griswold said. “We hope to create a community of artists to inspire each other and the church.”
Ahlborn and Linley said the 10-minute reflection time allows those attending the Eucharist an opportunity “to meditate and focus their thoughts, and prepare for the Eucharist.”