“Ecumenical Beauty: Icons & Sacred Images of Christian Cultures” will be the featured fall 2012 art exhibit held in the Seminary Library's Pioneer Room and Valentine Hall.
Slated to run October 1 – December 14, 2012, the exhibit features the work of Celeste Lauritsen, artist, teacher and former Arts and Theology Coordinator at the Washington Theological Union (WTU). Also featured will be work by her spouse, sculptor and wood carver Jim Lauritsen as well as some original pieces from their collection. The exhibit will include work which explores the beauty of multiple Christian cultures. Ecumenical Beauty will involve traditional Byzantine and Coptic icons, and works influenced by the Book of Kells, other illuminated manuscripts and the art of the Santero’s (saint makers) of the Southwest and Mexico. This will be the Lauritsen's third exhibition at the Lutheran Theological Seminary over the last decade.
Sponsored by the Gettysburg Seminary Fine Arts Council, a special opening presentation and reception will take place Wednesday, October 17th at 4:00pm in the Pioneer Room of the A.R. Wentz Library, 66 Seminary Ridge on the Seminary campus. The exhibit, displayed both in the library and Valentine Hall, will remain open during most daytime hours (8:30am-4:30pm) on most week days. The exhibit, and the opening reception with a brief presentation on iconography and light refreshments, is open to the public.
In the artists’ own words, “Christian images through the years have taken on the beauty of the culture where they have originated and the creators of these works endeavored to share the Good News of Jesus Christ through sign, symbol, color and theme. This visual religious heritage” she continued, “has influenced our faith, devotion, worship spaces, and comprehension of the Gospel.” Lauritsen examined images of Jesus, Mary, the doctrine of the Holy Trinity, painted scriptural depictions, carvings, and saints and angels from various cultures and used these influences to create fresh representations patterned after historic works.
A leader in Christian art for many years, Celeste Lauritsen was the first artist recognized with the WTU’s “Ade Bethune Award for Excellence in the Sacred Arts” to honor an individual who has made a significant contribution to the integration of the arts in the theology, liturgy and pastoral practices of the church.
Lauritsen has exhibited her own textile works and paintings in several exhibits sponsored by the Seminary. The sculpture of Celeste’s husband, Jim, was featured in the fall (Advent) 2006 exhibit at the Seminary, a collection of works based on the ‘O’ Antiphons.
The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, the oldest of the eight seminaries of the 4.8 million-member Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, prepares women and men to be outreach oriented pastors, public theologians and mission leaders. In addition, it provides programs in continuing studies, advanced theological education, and specialized educational programs for informed lay persons, ordained and other rostered leaders, and high school youth.
Visit the Fine Arts Council page here.