Friday, April 2, 2010

The Son Also Rises

The Son Also Rises

By Tom Wachunas

Happy Easter. Let’s begin with gratitude. I’m grateful to God – the First Muse, the Creator of all creators - for moving Kevin Anderson and his curatorial partner, Craig Joseph, to organize and mount Stations of the Cross at Anderson Creative. I’m grateful for all the participating artists: Kevin Anderson, Dylan Atkinson, Marcy Axelband, Mark Ball, Ashley Barlow, Sharon Charmley, Joseph Close, Steve Ehret, Adam Gruber, Hugo Jimenez, Tiffany Marsh, Tom Megalis, Erin Mulligan, Emily Vigil, Michele Waalkes, and Chris Wurst. And I’m grateful for the opportunity – make that blessing – to be among the participating writers who contributed to the exhibition’s accompanying meditational booklet: Judi Christy, Steve Shumaker, Gennae Falconer, Jenny Hardacre, Andrew Rudd, and Todd Walburn.

For all of the marvelous visuals to be found here, this is neither a typical gallery show nor an artsy-craftsy emporium. Call it an artful enablement. Here is a place to quietly commit time - that most precious and fragile of commodities – to consider Christ, crucified and risen. And consider this, too: To the extent that you are willing to spend time here, to that extent you become a necessary, integral part of the “exhibit.” For in so doing, I really think you will not be just looking at something exterior to yourself, but looked upon lovingly by our God who inspired it. As such, then, I also see this show as a bold, communal act of faith, encouragement, and praise.

Historically, Stations of the Cross in many churches that display them have been classically-rendered illustrations of 14 “moments” in Jesus’ final hours between his agonized Gethsemane prayer and his burial after the crucifixion. Here, the art work spans a wide and well-crafted range of media and styles from the naturalistic to the purely symbolic. While these are clearly very personal visions on the artists’ parts, each inspires real and refreshing connections to the Gospel narrative on ours.

The same can be said of the accompanying writings. Each writer offers not only a personal meditation on the posted Scriptural content, but also poignant questions or perhaps even challenges on making these events alive, applicable, and otherwise relevant to our lives today. Regardless of your predisposition to the Passion of Christ, you are here invited to savor how the writers and visual artists alike have provided contemporary significance to this devotional milieu, investing it with a loving spirit of urgency and empowerment.

Now, back to gratitude. I’m grateful that this exhibit will be on view through May 1. It’s an expanded “station” to make Easter something beyond merely a too-temporary rite of Spring and its attendant holiday feasts, appreciations of bunnies and colored eggs, or visits to church all dressed up in our Sunday best. Think of it as a service offered to re-examine that pesky ‘world view,’ that dusty ‘moral compass,’ and see how well- aligned it may or may not be with the magnetic field of Christ.

For He is Risen Indeed.

Stations of the Cross, on display through May 1 at Anderson Creative, 331 Cleveland Avenue NW, downtown Canton. Open from noon to 10p.m. on Good Friday (April 2), and during regular gallery hours of noon to 5p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Indeed, indeed!! He is risen indeed! Thankfully, so! Tom, I share your gratefulness and enthusiasm for the fact that there is openness in Canton for this type of show. Thank you, too, Kevin and Craig at Anderson Creative, for putting such effort into this inspiring exhibit. As a Christian, I found the show quite thought-provoking and very much appreciated the artists' statements accompanying many of the artworks which gave further insight into their thought-processes and afforded me a greater understanding and appreciation of what they were attempting to convey. The amount of traffic through the gallery on "First Friday" was, to me, a strong indication of Canton's continuing growth in appreciating the arts and at least a curiosity toward the deeper, more significant meanings of life. - Michelle Mulligan