Sacred Art: Icons in Nature

It is clear that the Western mind is divorced from Nature, the primary condition that has led to the current ecological catastrophe. Artist Angela Manno feels that the only way back, indeed our own survival, depends on nothing less than a re-enchantment with the Earth as a living reality. It is for this reason she chose to depict non-human species in a traditionally religious form – the icon. Her aim in creating these works is to elevate non-human species to their rightful and equal place in the community of being.

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The Need to Create

We have a great need to visually express ourselves—be it on a cave wall, the side of a building, inside a subway car, on a piece of paper or canvas. Veronica Michalowski explores multiple mediums, allowing the creative idea to lead the way. She elevates the ordinary, such as eggs, guitars, even sewer covers and explores their possibilities.

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Crowned in Lukumi

“I am crowned in Lukumi” is where artist Lolei Pavão begins. In this month’s Novel Becomings post, we explore art from the religions that grew from Africa. As African religions encountered other places they began a process of becoming something novel. In some of these practices, religion is a way of life, and can never be separated from life. Here we see art that is part of religious practices, and we get a rare peek into some of the religions of the African diaspora and the sacred art that guides us through this story.

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Suddenly an Artist

Ken Grunewald is an artist, but he only discovered his talent a few years ago. Before retirement Ken worked in military intelligence. It took a pandemic for him to discover his interest in and talent for drawing. We are all constantly becoming, and Ken became an artist.

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In Color and Song

Featured artist Patrick Lockard is a joyful soul who delights in discovering the world around him. He has a fun-loving spirit and enjoys music, art, sports, and community activities. He also has autism and is intellectually challenged. With the support of his mother, Marlene Terrazas, he has flourished. This month’s Novel Becomings shares Patrick’s gifts as an artist who loves to draw, color, and sing.

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Living in Wonder and Whimsy

Often art brings joy. Its novelty grabs our attention in a world of sameness. In this case art was created to burst through endless grey and snow-filled days, and it became a life. Whitney Relf lives art. She surrounds herself with fun and whimsical items to bring her joy. She constantly changes little things and big things so there is always something different. It might not be every one’s cup of tea but it is a house full of wonders and color.

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On Not Having A Body

Meet Dave Huth. He loves beetles, salamanders, frogs and all creatures very small. He is a teacher, storyteller, picture maker, and whistler of jaunty tunes. In this piece, Dave offers a glimpse into his obsession with finding new and effective ways to draw people into deep thinking and even deeper feeling about ecology and human life.

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Weaving Across Cultures

In this piece, Kat Reeves interviews Doña Paula, a textile artist in Guatemala whose work provides a vivid example of the interwoven nature of things, by participating in a program that not only involves the coming together of individuals from multiple cultures but also invites her to create unique pieces that combine multiple cultural expressions.

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Sincerity In Calligraphy

In this piece, Jared Morningstar describes the challenging but rewarding process of producing an artistic rendering of the 112th Surah of the Qur’an—Surah Al-Ikhlāṣ (tr: The Chapter of Sincerity). “I found the process of creating this work to be rather demanding. A high degree of precision was involved, both in perception in order to begin accurately reproducing the piece, but also with the strokes themselves, especially in the final pass with pen.”

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