Sculpture

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Dear Artists, The cancellation of the Catholic Artists Conference haunts me.  This is something I feel is needed very strongly and I don't want to quit.  Many of you have emailed me directly and as a group to inquire about the possibilities of something in the future.  Thank you for your thoughts and prayers. I do think there is a market for regional Catholic artists retreats and perhaps a national Catholic artists conference.  In attempting the Catholic Artists Conference I found out several important facts: (1) Catholic Artists are hard to find but come from all over the country, (2) Catholic artists are passionate about what they do (3) Catholic artists want to meet with other Catholic artists, (4) Price is important but not a deal breaker for the right event, (5) prayer is a central theme, (6) a workshop/retreat is a favorite format, (7) there are many amateur artists who want to learn from professional artists, and (8) artists can be their own anchor event. I've started a FB page for Catholic Artists.  I decided to use a page rather than a group to make it easier for new people to find the page.  With a page we can share our work for others to find when searching for Catholic Artists.  More than one editor is allowed.  I already had 595 likes from promotional posts under the old Fall 2016 Catholic Arts Conference page and I will try to recover what I can from that work.  When we do have a local, regional or national event planned, it will be easier to find through a page rather than a group. https://www.facebook.com/CatholicArtistsOrg/ I'm so sorry the Catholic Artists Conference was cancelled. It was my fault for connecting it to a large painting exhibit that I couldn't afford. Fund raising is hard to do. In hindsight, future events have to be independently self supportive.  That is not that hard to do, and by breaking them down into regional workshop/retreats the transportation expenses are easier for artists to manage.  The fee for the speaker(s) need to be shared by the artists attending.  There are upfront costs to establishing a workshop/retreat and even more for a conference.  Some financial backing is needed for those up front costs but should come back to the sponsor if done right (this is key to the organizer and introduces risk). Your suggestions are greatly welcome.  Blessed Fra Angelico pray for us. John

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St. Benedict Center in Schuyler, Nebraska
St. Benedict Center in Schuyler, Nebraska
It is with a heavy heart that I must announce the cancellation of the Catholic Artists Conference. I was not able to raise enough funds to bring a collection of paintings from Europe which was the anchor to the conference.  I should have realized that this anchor could have, and did in fact pull down the boat.  I am sorry to those who are disappointed about this.  All who have registered will receive their payments back in full. I think there is great need for a Catholic Artists Conference.  From my experience there is a hunger on the part of Catholic Artists to meet others and share in the cooperative work of developing art for a community of faithful people.  There are many forms of Catholic art from sacramental to liturgical.  Sacred art is part of the New Evangelization and is a vehicle, much like Lectio Divina, that calls people to Christ.  Dr. Jem Sullivan has written a booklet about Sacred Art and the New Evangelization through the Knights of Columbus.  I would like to share that booklet in PDF form as it was to be part of the materials shared at the conference. http://www.catholic-artists.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/New-Evangelization.pdf I will keep up this blog and the directory of Catholic artists.  I will continue to promote Catholic Art and in fact I will get back to my own art, painting the mysteries of the Holy Rosary.  

Visco   http://www.iiculture.org/details.asp?idOfEvent=526 Please join Anthony Visco on Saturday evening, January 30th, 2016 at 7:00 pm at the international Institute for Culture, Ivy Hall, Philadelphia where he will be lecturing on "Image and Likeness:The Body of Christ in Art and Architecture". As the inaugural presentation in this series Mr. Anthony Visco will discuss the sign and symbol of the human form, what is "image and likeness" in sacred art and architecture, and how they function within our liturgy to bring us closer to a Eucharistic center.

detail of Synagoga looking to Ecclesia, clay version by Joshua Koffman
detail of Synagoga looking to Ecclesia, clay version by Joshua Koffman
On his last day in the United States Pope Francis stopped at St Joseph's University to see a completed statue by Philadelphia artist Joshua Koffman. The statue depicts Jewish and Christian cultures sharing their scriptures. See this St. Joseph's website for history of Synagoga and Ecclesia and the development of the statue: http://www.sju.edu/int/academics/centers/ijcr/archives/Sculpture%20development.html http://www.jewishnews.co.uk/pope-francis-blesses-statue-celebrating-catholic-jewish-relations-on-us-tour/ http://www.timesofisrael.com/pope-francis-visits-catholic-jewish-statue-in-philadelphia/

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Search for Catholic Artists
Search for Catholic Artists
Here's exactly what I hoped for: a search in Google for 'Catholic Artists' would produce a first page result including www.Catholic-Artists.org or www.Catholic-Artists-Conference.com. It's in the name but that's not enough. It happened with the conference, the Faces of Christ planned tour events, and their respective websites. See www.Faces-of-Christ.com Facebook had a lot to do with it too. All those websites referring back to www.Catholic-Artists.org has pushed this page to the number two position on page one - the only listing higher is Wikipedia. Try the search in Yahoo!? www.Catholic-Artists-Conference.com is there on page one! Try the search in Bing? Same result. So why is this important? If you are a Catholic Artist in fine art, sculpture, architecture, music or film, then you want a listing on www.Catholic-Artists.org in order to be easily found by a search among your peers in the DIRECTORY at www.Catholic-Artists.org. Incidentally, the DIRECTORY is where people go while on this site, in addition to the galleries. FINE ART is the most popular gallery because it is the most populated with images. So all you sculptors, architects, musicians, and film producers can ride in on the coat tails of fine artists - and get found at www.Catholic-Artists.org. UPDATE: The conference is getting the detail part of planning done but promotion is very important too, as are donations to make this all possible. I need your help. Artists, please sign up at the JOIN tab. If you have videos or images of your work then send those to me. I am happy to promote any Catholic Artist. We are looking for the best for the conference which is open now for professionals to register at www.Catholic-Artists-Conference.com. If you just want to browse and donate, you can find the DONATE button on any one of the links above. Thank you. God Bless, John

Sacred Architecture Journal
Maria Hubbard Stained Glass
I just received my copy of "Sacred Architecture" by Journal of the Instititue for Sacred Architecture. It is a quarterly periodical by editor, Duncan Stroik and others at www.SacredArchitecture.org The cover is a photo of Tramezso at the Basilica of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, Venice by Prof. Richard T. Mortel, Riyadh. The back cover is an ad by Rohn & Associates for whom Maria Hubbard works. Maria's work is shown above. I bring this up because both are in Catholic-Artists.org and Duncan Stroik is a scheduled speaker at the Catholic Artists Conference at St. Benedict Center in Schuyler, NE from Sept 12-14, 2016. If you are a professional Catholic artist then you will want to attend this conference. See www.Catholic-Artists-Conference.com The conference will debut the Faces of Christ Collection from Europe. See www.Faces-of-Christ.com. Our theme is prayer - how is our conversation with God as an artist manifested in our work for the sake of evangelization? Artists have much responsibility when it comes to the faithful. We would like to share ideas between fine artists, sculptors, architects, film producers, and musicians. The "Sacred Architecture" journal does this in print form. Come to the conference to experience the same in person! We are now taking donations to support the Faces of Christ Collection exhibit. You can donate at http://www.faces-of-christ.com/ God Bless.

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I received a box full of Soapstone carvings from Fred Anchao of Kisii, Kenya today.  The art is made by him and the villagers of Kisii.  Soapstone is hard but soft enough to carve into these wonderful creations.  Fred's family is Catholic.  The money raised from the sale of art goes to support the village and especially the education of their children.  Please contact me if you are interested in purchasing one of these unique pieces of art.  Other pieces can be custom made through commission and shipped directly to you.  God Bless. vase ornaments Jesus Holy Vase heart box Soapstone art from Kisii, Kenya by Fred Anchao Soapstone Art from Kenya by Fred  Anchao

White Soapstone art from Kenya
White Soapstone art from Kenya
I have purchased a beautiful white soapstone vase from Fred Anchao.  He is raising funds for his village of Kisii, Kenya who needs 8000 USD for a shade project.  The Spring is here and the Summer is coming; imagine the Summer in Kenya... The shade project will supply rooftops for people while they are working.  The village of Kisii, Kenya makes soapstone carvings to support themselves and children in the village. Friends of East Africa and Taback, help by selling the village art to raise money for schools fair treatment of children, especially girls.  Kisii Facts here: http://www.ventureimports.com/index.php/products/kisii-stone-all/kisii-carving-information.html Please help support Kisii villagers by purchasing Catholic art from Fred Anchao.  He can be found on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/fred.anchao  He can communicate directly with you by Messenger and take payment by PayPal or Western Union.  His work is shown in the sculpture gallery of this website http://www.catholic-artists.org/sculpture/ Fred and his village of Kisii, Kenya also have three sets of the Stations of the Cross.  These are a unique masterpiece that could be purchased for a Catholic Church.  See them in this website at http://www.catholic-artists.org/sculpture/ Blessings
Holy Vase by Fred Anchao of Kisumu, Kenya
Holy Vase by Fred Anchao of Kisumu, Kenya

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Holy Vase by Kenyan Catholic Artist
Holy Vase by Kenyan Catholic Artist
  Kisii, Kenya is a village in Kenya, Africa outside of Kisumu  on the shore of Lake Victoria https://www.google.com/maps/place/Kisii,+Kenya/@-0.3073256,34.7606392,10z/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x182b3becb25f4161:0x44516a90c78b2db1 In this village is a group of people who carve from white and red soapstone, a rock harder than chalk but softer than granite. FEA USA is an organization http://feausa.org/our-strategy.html who helps people resolve the disparity of equal rights for girls and women in third world countries by developing "opportunities for innovative and effective changes in their lives and and by creating capacity and promoting economic development in their communities." Fred Anchao is a Christian Artist in Kisii, Kenya.  I found him on Facebook in my search for Catholic Artists https://www.facebook.com/fred.anchao.  He has done many carvings of soapstone in the images of Mary, our mother as well as crosses and other religious devotionals. I bought the above pictured fluted vase today from Fred Anchoa through www.feausa.org for only 275 USA by Paypal (and that includes the overseas shipping).  I look forward to receiving the vase but more importantly, I hope that my wife and I can support children in the village of Kisii.  The proceeds of the vase will go to support education and medication for our Christian brothers and sisters in Africa.  Please look for Fred Anchoa on Facebook. God Bless.

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CAS Mass for Artists The Catholic Artists Society will host their annual Mass for Artists at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City at 3:30 pm on May 10, 2015.  Dino Marcantonio, president of Catholic Artists Society, has told me that the Mass is open to anyone.  Although I can't be there, I can pray with those praying for artists, their families and loved ones, passed and present. The Catholic Artists Society was initiated in response to Pope Benedict XVI’s Address to Artists at the Sistine Chapel in November, 2009. Following the Holy Father’s call for artists to be “custodians of Beauty” and “heralds and witnesses of Hope for humanity” the society seeks to encourage the ongoing artistic and spiritual development of artists and media professionals, so that their work may more perfectly reflect God’s glory, enriching and ennobling men and women, our society and our culture.   Their addresses: http://www.catholicartistssociety.org/ https://www.facebook.com/CatholicArtistsSociety https://twitter.com/CathArtSociety  

Jesus Carries the Cross
Jesus Carries the Cross
Jesus meets his Mother
Jesus meets his Mother
Fred Anchao is a Lutheran Christian artist in Kisii, Kenya who teaches his craft and supports his community through religious art.  I found Fred's artwork on Facebook which you can see here https://www.facebook.com/fred.anchao?fref=ts&ref=br_tf  Fred's family and his community work together to create artwork from hard but delicate soapstone. Soapstone occurs naturally in Kenya and is pulled from the earth by hand without big machines.  Kisii is a village sustaining themselves out of the earth, literally.  The soapstone, white and sometimes red, is rigid enough to withstand sawing and chopping with a sharp knife but soft enough to carve details.  See Youtube "Carving a fair trade soapstone piece in Kisii, Kenya"  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dhccdpkqcvw "Mary, mother of God" is the title of the piece below, which has some of the red soapstone.  The sun on the left shines down upon Mary and Jesus to show the delight and beauty of their life together, Mary raising Jesus.  It is balanced on the right by red soapstone, representing the sorrows which pierce Mary.  This season of Lent is a reminder of the beauty of life with Jesus mingled with our sorrows on earth.  This earthly world is filled with many sorrows but people like Fred and his family find JOY in JESUS, making devotionals of our Christian Faith out of the rock of the earth.
Holy Mother of God
Holy Mother of God
 

St. Anastasia
St. Anastasia
Comment from the artist Eve Palguta: The lilies represent purity (as does the white robe), the blue geometric background represents snowflakes (her feast day is celebrated on December 25th) and the blood stains are from her tortures suffered before death (legend has it her breasts were torn off before she was martyred). The painting was done to commemorate such heroic women who bore extreme suffering and attacks upon their feminine dignity for the sake of their beliefs, specifically in the Catholic faith. Here is a listing of web links which belong to artists featured in the 5th Nationwide Juried Catholic Arts Exhibition at St. Vincent College in Latrobe, PA http://gallery.stvincent.edu http://www.janetmckenzie.com/OriginalImages.html http://www.neilsoncarlin.com/portfolio.html http://gwynethholston.com/religious-paintings/ http://www.bernadettecarstensen.com/ http://www.zachbrownart.com/ http://www.christinefrechardgallery.com/#!pasquale-pristera/c1itj http://www.christopherruane.com/Set/Sacred-Art-Modern-World http://www.carrfineart.com/ http://matthewjamescollins.com/about/ http://www.religionnews.com/2014/11/04/exhibit-sacred-catholic-art-embraces-contemporary-vision/ (Fr Robert Keffer, Paul Jurgens nor Eileen Cunis do not have a web site that I can find) https://sites.google.com/site/carlsstudio/carl-g-fougerousse http://www.jordanhainsey.com/photography/ http://www.sljonsonstudios.com/ http://pixels.com/featured/madonna-of-children-beverly-klucher.html http://www.philaopenstudios.org/artist-profile/thomas-kohlmann http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/religion/exhibit-of-sacred-catholic-art-embraces-a-contemporary-vision/2014/11/04/ba308af0-6445-11e4-ab86-46000e1d0035_story.html http://www.jamespatrickreid.com/scenes_from_history_and_lit/simon_of_cyrene_oil_on_canv.html http://www.kelly-schumacher.com/Portfolio_ManOfSorrows.html http://www.krooney.net/rsilasbr.html http://www.jdwelshfineart.com/

Picturing Mary
Picturing Mary
If you can't travel to Washington, DC to see the exhibit Picturing Mary, the National Museum of Women in the Arts has a digital collection of videos and images which cover a small part of the exhibit: http://nmwa.org/global-icon Here's the full site for the National Museum of Women in the Arts http://nmwa.org/exhibitions/picturing-mary-woman-mother-idea which also includes two other online previews.

ad for John_light blue We’re working on a Catholic Artists Conference for October 2016 in Nebraska. The exact date or location aren’t set yet but we’re closing in on our second (more reasonable) prospect. I conducted a survey some time ago and costs for artists were among the chief factors; so we're keeping the costs down by choosing a less expensive venue. We may have an international collection debut to work into our conference which needs considerable hanging space. We want to include the five different areas of art because they depend upon each other to some degree but also work to bring people to the Catholic Faith. The new evangelization could be a part of what is discussed at the conference. Another important element will be prayer and that creative experience for the artist. Getting these artists together will create some interesting conversations. Having some committed patrons and clergy there will help reinforce the goal of creating sacred art – that which brings one to prayer. I would encourage you to “Enter your information” at http://Catholic-Artists.COM so we and others can find you. I will take the listing and post it in the directory http://Catholic-Artists.ORG which also contains a five galleries, one for each of the artist categories. I will ask for images / drawings / recordings of your works to show in the gallery once you register. God Bless, JohnM

Jill Rodts, founder of the Art of Faith Show is asking for Catholic artists to join her conference in Rock Island during the last weekend in February 2015.  I've participated in this show as an artist and had a wonderful time.  St. Pius X is a wonderful community and people come from all over the quad cities. Art of Faith Mission was founded in 2011 to support sacred art and faith. Capturing the beauty of the rich deposit of faith in sacred scriptures and in sacred tradition, artists are called to embrace Gospel values and proclaim them visually to the world promoting the culture of life.
Call for Artists
Art of Faith show announcement

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[Not a valid template]   Who is your favorite living Catholic artist?  This is a great big question because it includes the arts of fine art, sculpture, architecture, music, and film.  You don't need one for each category but just one or two artists you like very well. Prayer before and during painting is a major contributing factor in my choice of Ann Chapin.  Her style of iconography is not so stark and includes many figures and furnishings.  Although done in iconographic method, the faces, figures and clothing resemble reality; they have body and perspective. My second favorite Catholic artist is Audrey Assad.  Audrey is a very talented musician presently on tour in the U.S. http://www.audreyassad.com/  Her voice is beautiful and her very Catholic songs are remarkable for their lyrics and for their composition. Catholic art can take the range between traditional and contemporary.  Each calls us to prayer (sacred art).  Each stirs our feeling of faith and emotions we feel when close to God.  The Catholic Church is rich with beautiful imagery, both historically and contemporarily. It is a little hard to find living Catholic artists and that is why I need your help.  Please comment to this blog post with your favorite living Catholic artist and why.  God Bless you.