The church web promo post made me a believer. “Art speaks in a language all its own, it has the power to provoke to provoke, inspire and give hope. It is a powerful force that rules the internet, the airwaves and demands the square footage of thousands of museums and private galleries. Art is important to us as individuals and to our culture, and we believe it should be celebrated.”
And so it was a celebration attended by hundreds of artists, aficionados, and buyers. For the fourth year it raised awareness and interest supporting the churches missionary program and local artists. For more on the event read Tony Simmons UNDERCURRENTS column on page 3 of the News Herald special entertainment section firstname.lastname@example.org.
All that being said there was only one glitch in the Friday evening gathering. A work of art from the M L Jankowski archive collection by world renowned artist Joe Coleman had been recived and hung on Thursday but significantly absent at the opening. No advance notice was given of the work being removed. In a corner of the space behind a table with ladies processing the evenings art sales standing on the floor faced to the wall was the art in question.
The artwork and hand lettered text was two original facing pages titled The Healer and The Exorcist. The pages appear in a limited edition book The Man of Sorrows. printed in gold on black pages with hand tipped in full color illustrations done with single hair brushes. The book is an examination of Joe Colemans paintings which he says is a revelation of the hidden truths about Jesus Christ and illumination of the Christian iconography which formed a base from which Joes artistic pathology grew. The Man of Sorrows is based upon his research into the early Christian writings known as The Apocrypha which are stories that were stricken from The New Testament because they clashed with views of Jesus that the church wished to perpetrate.
I was directed to speak with Lee as to why the artwork no longer was hanging in the show and sale. Lee was standing directly behind me and ending a conversation. He said the artworks text and bible verses did not meet with their beliefs and could not be presented. I had hoped that any discussions or conflicts of belief would be a perfect way to have the art aid in a better understanding of the scriptures. But alas the minister won out and I spent the remainder of the evening enjoying the artwork and conversations with other learned folks on the topics noted by Coleman as well as other bible verses.
For any intrested in seeing the original artwork of Joe Coleman, reading or owning your own copy of the entire book The Man of Sorrows or viewing a screening of a documentary about the artist… comment here