Planet Earth: Celebrating the Beauty of God’s Creation
In nature, nothing exists alone. Rachel Carson (1962)
With Christ’s resurrection and spring’s arrival, we have many reasons to take note of, give thanks for, and ensure proper stewardship of God’s grand creation, Planet Earth. Indeed, living our faith in balanced and harmonious relationship with Nature’s many gifts to our planet — plants, animals, humans, the earth itself — is one of our most important roles as Christians. As they so often do, the artists among us play a special role in using their creativity to communicate and help illuminate the beauty of creation and the challenges of stewardship. They also inspire us to environmental activism by re-imagining and expressing through their mediums the extraordinariness of existence itself.
Each of the works selected for St. Michael’s group exhibition “Planet Earth: Celebrating the Beauty of God’s Creation,” opening in our Parish Hall on April 21, portrays something singularly beautiful in our world — a butterfly or a bird, a landscape, seeds and leaves, the details of an exotic flower, a body of water — to underscore how much we stand to lose by not exercising our responsibility as Earth’s most prominent stewards of creation. Using paint, paper, encaustic, photography, or other materials, the artists, who include Rosana Azar, Pooja Campbell, Judith Peck, Tal Shpantzer, and Angela White, all bring their personal perspective and creativity to bear on the portrayal of their subjects while deepening our awareness, appreciation, and experience of God’s wonders.
Rosana Azar, who moved from Argentina to the U.S. in 1990, has exhibited in her home country, as well as in France, Germany, Japan, and Portugal. Her work, she says, seeks to capture glimpses of “the universe as a powerful, vivid place of continual transformation.” Rosana teaches after-school and summer art enrichment classes for children. Pooja Campbell, whose organic shapes “are heavy with symbolism,” compares her paintings to “taking a stroll through a garden.” Primarily an allegorical figurative artist, Judith Peck is concerned with universally human feelings and how we might “experience healing in a broken world.” She paints with oils, mostly on board embedded with gessoed plaster shards. A painter of seascapes and landscapes, Angela White emphasizes “the quiet mystery and power of the natural world.” Recently, she has begun integrating in her work “sigils” (“symbols imbued with magical intent”) to articulate both her “visceral and emotional reactions to the natural world and our human experience of it.” Tal Shpantzer, who lives and works in New York, pursues her deep interest in photography as a means to explore “moments that are undefined,” the “states of uncertainty and transience” that reveal the complexities, “imagined histories,” and “hidden truths” of life.
A reception for the artists is scheduled for Sunday, May 5, at 4:00 PM. The artwork will be on show until May 25.
"Evening Light" by Angela White is pictured above.