New art series spotlights spiritual in local artists’ work

| September 3, 2015 | 0 Comments
"Beneath the Surface," Untitled No. 1, by art team of Chuck and Peg Hoffman, a piece in a year-long exhibit opening Sept. 4 at the Benedictine Center at St. Paul's Monastery in Maplewood.

“Beneath the Surface,” Untitled No. 1, by art team of Chuck and Peg Hoffman, a piece in a year-long exhibit opening Sept. 4 at the Benedictine Center at St. Paul’s Monastery in Maplewood.

Paintings inspired by a trip to the Holy Land are the initial exhibit of a year-long art series designed to elicit an experience of the presence of God in new ways.

Hosted by the Benedictine Center at St. Paul’s Monastery in Maplewood, the series will include works by local artists who portray spiritual themes, including student artists from neighboring Hill-Murray School.

Opening Sept. 4 and running through Nov. 22 is “Beneath the Surface: Exploring the Layers,” a collection by partner artists Chuck and Peg Hoffman. The works are creations that resulted from the couple’s reflection after they spent time as pilgrims, teachers and learners in Israel and Palestine.

"Beneath the Surface," Untitled No. 17.

“Beneath the Surface,” Untitled No. 17.

In describing their work in Beneath the Surface, the Hoffmans noted, “Although visually abstract, we often retain faint echoes of symbol and landscape inspired by the colors and layered mark-making we found so prevalent in our pilgrimage. Our abstractions form memories, spiritual reflections and prayers forged in color, shape and form.”

Sam Rahberg, director of the Benedictine Center, said exhibiting works such as those in the new series derives from the Benedictine tradition of supporting artists and encouraging artists to use their talents in service to the community. The exhibit is open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

“We want to help people experience the presence of God,” Rahberg said, “and that’s something that happens through words and visuals and other forms of art.

“We also want to encourage art as spiritual practice,” he added.

"Beneath the Surface, Untitled No. 4"

“Beneath the Surface,” Untitled No. 4

Viewing art can cultivate people’s own creativity, Rahberg said, and the works in the series demonstrate how the individual artists interpret their own religious experience through their art.

“They model how each of us has the opportunity to do so and gives others the permission to do so as well,” he said.

Following the Hoffmans’ work in the Benedictine Center series will be:

  • Nov. 24-Jan. 22, 2016: “Superior Light,” pastel paintings from the North Shore by Rita Corrigan.
  • Jan. 27-March 14: “Seeing God,” a juried exhibit of sacred art.
  • March 7-March 28: “Celebration of God-Given Talents,” by students of Hill-Murray School.
  • March 31-June 2: “Co-workers In The Vineyard: Words and Images of Ministry,” by pastoral ministers from St. John’s University.
  • June 5-Aug. 26: “On Community: A Collaboration Of Women Artists.”
  • Aug. 30: “Movement = Life,” art by Lara Hanson.

The Benedictine Center at St. Paul’s Monastery is located at 2675 Benet Road, Maplewood, one block north of Larpenteur Avenue on Century Avenue (Hwy. 120).

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