Saturday, April 17, 2010

A Picture Says a Thousand Words

And you Can read Books of them at the John Paul II Center in DC (JPII)

John Paul II, who is in heaven now about five years, wrote a letter to artists. It was in part cited today inspirationally in the program at the JPII Center, courtesy of that lovely Hugh Dempsey who invited a look today on modern sacred artists interpreting culture in the form of some spectacular pieces on display there for the next month. Go visit -and catch a Mass at the Shrine. It features local and nationally acclaimed artists.
One particularly brilliant woman artist, Cuban born Sylvia Castellanos ( has a few pieces that you should definately see. There is one of Sojourner Truth, and another brilliant large one of Saint Jose Maria-Escriva -that Opus Dei founder. Someone at the Catholic Information Center should go visit, buy that piece and do a deal with her to turn it into prints to sell at the CIC. She has another beautiful one of a child with the image of Our Lady of Guateloupe in the background- her work is decidedly latin in flavor and colors. Last one there is a rotten egg.
Brilliant. She currently lives in Philadelphia but gets to DC quite a bit. Any further questions on how to get in touch with her contact me-you know where to find me-I don't charge commision (yet!)
Christina Cox is another inspiring personality who had a vision sitting in Saint Patrick's Cathedral one day in Manhattan that there should be a National Catholic Museum of the Arts and History- there is one on the Mall for just about everyone else- native americans, soon African Americans, etc. By some measure a fifth of the country at least has some Catholic heritage or roots in America as an immigrant nation. Why not for Catholics whose art historically has been integral to its exposition of its faith- as art has been used as a teaching device since the early Christians wrote symbols and drawings on the catecomb walls. Stained glass, sculptures, mosaics, brilliant paintings have always been integral to the catholic tradition who didn't view it as idolotry but exposition and illustration, particular in times when literacy was low in various countries as a method of retelling the biblical accounts and historic church events. Sounds like an inspired idea to me.
The National Catholic Museum of the Arts had a home in Manhattan until recently and now is deal shopping for a suitable place in DC.
Note to real estate guys, if you have space near a cathedral or basillica that you think may be suitable and appropriately priced give her a hollar
info[at] (sub. @ for 'at'). I am thinking old Woodies building near St. Patrick's. These are all inspiring characters living the "Hope and Love" that the church is supposed to be about. Some of the works were breathtaking.
Thanks to all involved- and the caterer who put on a display for royalty with strawberries in white and dark chocolate, pecan pies, petite fours, and cajun spiced shrimp. Those folks know how to party in the name of the Pope.

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