Dissolving Barriers


The new exhibition opening at Episcopal Church & Visual Arts this week is titled ‘Art as Public Narrative: ECVA Imaging Ubuntu.’ Designed as a visual collaboration with the work of TEC’s Executive Council, the show’s call challenged artists around the country to submit work that illustrated the Zulu concept of Ubuntu.

“Artists have a unique opportunity to dissolve barriers. The images and objects we create serve as both public and personal narrative—a lens through which we observe that which exists both within and apart from us, and as a means by which we can convey both the seer and that which is seen in a distinctively connected way.

“To honor The Episcopal Church’s General Convention theme of Ubuntu, ECVA invited members of The Artists Registry to explore the concept of Ubuntu through an artistic lens, asking them to submit works that ‘weave together the threads of your personal and our communal story to create compelling and hope-filled images that will express the meaning and application of Ubuntu.'” ~ Diane Walker, Curator, Art as Public Narrative.

The online exhibition features 36 works of art from artists across the country created with textiles, drawing, mosaic, photography, iconography, watercolor, mixed media, oil, acrylic, digital media, and fiber sculpture. Submissions were reviewed by a committee of jurors: The Rev. Dr Melford “Bud” Holland, The Rev Canon Brian Prior, The Rev Canon Robert Two Bulls Jr, and The Rev Paul Fromberg. You can see their top selections here.

On View above and on the homepage Rain, mixed media by Rara Schlitt.

On View, on the Homepage, in the Masthead: Teaching Photography, photography by Jim Wroten. Why does this image serve as art for public narrative? Wroten explains, ” Urban parks provide an oasis of nature and tranquility in the hustle and bustle of modern city life. We can not only enjoy nature, but each other as well, in a relaxed and informal atmosphere. Even in the big city, it is OK to talk to strangers. … Here, the photographer witnessed the meeting of two individuals: a young boy learning to skate and the older gentleman, an experienced skater. By taking a few minutes to teach the young boy this move, the gentleman put his individuality aside (and removed his earphones) and illustrated Ubuntu: the view that humanity is an inter-connected web that often requires us to reach outside our usual groups and share ourselves with others.”

On View, also on the Homepage, Crucifixion watercolor by Alyssane McGaffey.

View the Show Online: Art as Public Narrative: ECVA Imaging Ubuntu, curated by Diane Walker. Jurors: The Rev. Dr Melford “Bud” Holland, The Rev Canon Brian Prior, The Rev Canon Robert Two Bulls Jr, and The Rev Paul Fromberg. The Rev. Fray Toy, Honorary Juror. Exhibition design: C. Robin Janning.

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