My drawing “Troubled Man and the Comforter” has been awarded Best of Show in the “Liturgical and Sacred Art 2022” exhibition at the M.G. Nelson Family Gallery at the Springfield Art Association in Springfield, ILL. The show runs from April 20 – May 28.
The exhibition prospectus read: “In cooperation with the Liturgical Arts Festival of Springfield (LAFS), the Springfield Art Association (SAA) will host a juried exhibition of liturgical and sacred art as part of the biennial, interfaith Liturgical Arts Festival: Come Creative Spirit. All spiritual interpretations, approaches and media are welcome. We hope for an exhibition of work that will support diversity, promote understanding and foster tolerance.”
The Springfield Art Association (SAA) is a community based Non-profit organization that promotes and supports the visual arts, provides art education opportunities for the greater Springfield area, and preserves and interprets historic Edwards Place and the collections of the SAA. It offers community art classes and a summer art camp as well as various scholarships. Further, it presents curated exhibitions of work by recognized artists in the M.G. Nelson Family Gallery.
Interpreting the drawing
I embrace universal themes in my work, and I was thinking about the various times in life where we feel anxious, lonely, and depressed. In the drawing the man is surrounded by a thorn bush. Additionally, he is thrusting his hands into more thorns. Sometimes when we are in deep distress we isolate ourselves and in some strange way feel we deserve the pain we are experiencing, often to the point of self-inflicting additional pain. But there is hope. The biblical representation of God’s presence on earth is his Holy Spirit, often represented in the form of a white dove, sometimes referred to as “The Comforter”. People have different ways of coping with life’s darker challenges, and I often take comfort in my belief that there is a caring God who sustains me through troubling times. This is what I wanted to express in this piece. I’ll leave it up to the viewer to decide what the outcome is. Does the man turn to the divine for strength, or does he continue to suffer in his own isolation? I know how my story line plays out.
See how I developed this drawing here.