For an artist, visual expression can be the best means of describing an indescribable God, memorializing the written Word, or commemorating the whispers of the Holy Spirit. Creating in response to the Creator and the Biblical text can serve as both a journey and a destination. Beginning in August 2021, Calvary Church entered into a sermon series on the book of Genesis. Using this series as an opportunity for visual response, the Calvary Art Committee called artists to submit artwork that reflects a personal connection with a passage in Genesis.
Both online and on display at the church, the resulting exhibition spans a full range of painting, drawing, photography, fabric art, cast metals, digital, and mixed media. Artists both young and old, experienced and novice, were willing to invite you into their process and meditation so that you, the viewer, can join in glorifying the Creator, the Promise, and the Healer. Through the eyes of these nineteen artists, you are welcomed into the most personal experiences of both joy and pain and asked to celebrate capstones on memories and monuments of God’s faithfulness. Many of these works serve as visual reminders of scripture or to shed new light on comparisons in scripture by presenting them with visual contrast.
Our prayer is that this exhibition would be a resource for reflection, a means of wrestling with questions, and a way to marvel at God through a new lens. The personal applications of the artists are an invitation for your own application and conviction. Just as the artists responded to the invitation to share, we encourage you to respond in a personal way to continue the discussion and add your unique perspectives to the body of Christ.
Please be sure to check out the ten pieces displayed in the church building (marked with an *) on the wall just east of the Sanctuary.
Pamela Alderman *
Acrylic on Wooden Blocks – 2022
God created the first garden and planted trees in the soil. He also invites people to join His creative work and care for His creation. One year, during summer vacation, my dad talked my children and me into planting hundreds of seedlings with him. I didn’t appreciate this opportunity at the time. I could think of better ways to spend my vacation than planting trees on a hot afternoon. But my dad loved to plant trees. He planted a tree in our yard wherever my husband and I lived—California, Philadelphia, Denver. These trees gave us fond memories of time spent with my dad. Only a couple of months after that vacation, my brother phoned. “Pamela, Dad died.” At his funeral, a speaker told a story about my father handing out dozens of seedlings to a group of children for their moms on Mother’s Day, earlier that year. The story helped me find joy in the midst of sorrow. As I thought about my dad’s short life, I realized I almost missed that last opportunity to plant trees with him, because I preferred to do something else. Years later, to remember and honor my dad—we planted a tree.
Acrylic on Canvas – 2022
Being informed that the universe and matter came as a result of the spoken word of a creator God qualifies as the gold standard for a miracle. No one could have seen this if they were there as it occurred in total darkness. Not until the creator spoke the words “ let there be light” was anything seen in an instant. Amazing, visual light and spiritual light from the creator God.
Digital Art – 2022
In the beginning of God’s creation He laid out His plan of redemption in the universe even before He had created Adam and Eve. One single planet was selected, in one single solar system, in one single galaxy, out of all the galaxies. The whole creation of matter and time and space came from nothing, ex nihilo. One star (Sun) signaled the arrival of God’s unique Son to redeem the fall of mankind and restore a ruined creation. A story of Love and Grace of the Creator who is all in all.
Fabric Art – 2012
“And God saw everything He had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the the sixth day”
Creation manifests the totality of God’s character; His power, authority, and His love for mankind. How magnificent are the works of His hands! I love to embrace the elements of His natural world.
Several years ago, I began experimenting with picture art quilting. This quilt, “Then Comes the Seventh Day,” speaks to me of God’s peace and rest. It is easy to see God’s creation glory while we are surrounded by His diverse ecosystems, the woodlands, waters, plains, and deserts. We marvel at the animals, fish, birds, and insects. We stand amazed at the majestic mountains, the intricate flowers, the diversity of trees, the colors, and the beauty of the skies. I pray that those who gaze at my quilt will thank Him and praise Him for His creation and His loving peace.
Digital Art – 2022
“Just as it was in the days of Noah, so will it be in the days of the Son of Man.”
When I thought about the genealogy leading up to Noah in Genesis, I was amazed by how many people lived and died without a story. There is an uncountable sea of people throughout history that did not walk with God, and it’s a sobering thought. I wanted to convey the seriousness of this through something visibly dark and eerie. In that generation, only Noah walked with God. In our generation, will we be a part of the sea and the drumroll of death? Or will we walk with God? My family experienced a lot of loss recently, so this topic was not an easy one. Yet there is a light and encouragement that our lives can have an incredibly fulfilling purpose in Jesus Christ. When we die, will our work preach righteousness?
Freedom – Creation Series
Jim DeVries *
Everlasting Life: Creation Series
Bronze Lost Wax Casting – 2001
The Seventh Day
God saw all that he had made was very, very beautiful… Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array… so on the seventh day He rested from all His work. And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it He rested from all the work of creating…
“Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I [Jesus] will give you rest.”
On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit… And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations… No longer will there be any curse… And they will reign for ever and ever.
Digital Photography – 2022
God said, “Let there be light” before we were even around to understand what true darkness is like.
In recent years, I experienced some of that darkness when I went through a major crisis of faith. The God in whom I’d spent the better part of my life believing, seemed to just disappear at a time when I needed Him the most. God was gone. And then? So was I. In the middle of my prayer, it felt like God had stepped away – and took my identity with Him.
When I could no longer take the exhaustion of feeling completely lost, I sought God with all of what little I had left in me and He appeared in a really cool way, connecting with me at my core – as an artist. He was back and I’m not the same. It’s hard to explain but it’s like I’m getting a fresh start; a chance to redefine who I am. A clean slate. A blank canvas. Creating again with my Creator in the Light of life, and transforming into a beautiful masterpiece.
Digital Art – 2021
The title of this piece comes from Pastor Jim’s sermon, Let There Be Light from Genesis 1:3 on August 22, 2021. This is a representation of the beginning of creation as we discovered what God did by speaking “let there be light”. We learned He broke -or tore – through the dark chasm or void and from the beginning had His love story already written. First, I was inspired by God as the subject of everything from Genesis 1:1-2 and then the next week by God as Creator. As someone who loves color and art, I’m so grateful for His creation and the opportunity to worship Him in it and through it.
Sherri Meines and Friends
Mixed Media – 2022
“Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.”
Our goal is for you to visually experience the beauty of God’s creation expressed through the large wooden flowers. Each flower works together to represent the seven days of creation.
This piece of art was created with the help of the Hope House Ladies along with Stephanie, Kristyn and Sherri Meines. The artists who helped complete this project are regular attendees of Go Getter’s/Worship on Wednesdays. They are excited to share their creative expression of creation with you.
Stephanie Meines *
Water color paint, markers, and crayons on paper – 2022
Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves…”
“Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.”
I learned from Genesis 11 how the “Tower of Babel” impacts us today. In one city many people were building a big tower, what they did wrong was when they depended on their own power and didn’t include God while building it. God confused their languages so they couldn’t communicate to build the big tower, then the people spread out all over the world. It’s important for us to seek God’s will or we too could be confused and misguided. I’m reminded here that it’s good to listen to God and communicate well with those God has put in my life.
Acrylic on canvas – 2022
“Am I my brother’s keeper?”
1 John 3:12, 16
“Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother’s were righteous… “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.”
As I meditated on Genesis 4, I was struck by the contrast between the blood on Cain’s hands and the blood from nails in Jesus’ hands. The one killed the righteous, the other was killed for the unrighteous. Cain was punished for his sin, while Jesus was punished for the sins of others. While Cain’s actions were driven by pride, Jesus humbled Himself even to death on a cross.
Andrea Perry *
Digital Photography – 2021
And God said, “Let there be light:” and there was light.
In August 2021, I went on vacation to Rapid City, South Dakota. As we were waiting for the bus that first morning, the sun broke through the clouds. It reminds me of Genesis 1:3.
Colette Plattner *
Digital – 2022
So God said to Noah, “This sign of the covenant I have established between me and all life on the earth.”
Pastor Samra gave a sermon about the rainbow and how we should remember the real meaning of this amazing sight. Right now, people are misusing the rainbow for their own purposes, but this sermon taught me to see each rainbow as a reminder from God that He is still with us. The verse that inspired this work was Genesis 9:17.
Oil on canvas – 2021
“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”
Walking along Honey Creek in Ada’s Seidman Park one fall day I was attracted to the patterns of light on the water’s surface and the dark forms of the creek bed beneath. Those along with the mossy rocks and fallen leaves drifting by speak of light, space, time and motion. All important elements in art. Elements that God set forth as recorded in Genesis chapter one, and that He gave for artists to use to glorify Him by communicating His truth and beauty to others.
Becky Van Stensel
Watercolor – 2022
Sarah said, “God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.” And she added, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.”
Sarah longed for a son. It was her “one thing.” She believed God’s promise to her husband that God would make of him a great nation, but she also believed that for some reason the Lord had kept her from having children (Genesis 16:1). Her own efforts at trying to “make it happen “ had been disastrous. Now it seemed too late. So, when the Lord came to their home and told her husband that she would have a son, she laughed. She laughed because it was impossible, because it was too late, but there were tears in her laughter. Within the year, just as God had said, Sarah had a son (Genesis 21:1). Abraham named him Isaac, which means ‘laughter.” Now Sarah’s tears were tears of laughter.
Melinda Ward *
Pastel – 2022
God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years.”
This is an image from the Gulf which shows the crescent moon and Venus boldly displayed at sunset.
Quilt – 2009
And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so.
At the time I begin a quilt, I may not know how the quilt will be biblically connected, but during the process a verse will come to me to incorporate into the quilt. My inspiration comes from an inner voice, which I believe to be the Holy Spirit, telling me that I should put what I see into a quilt.
Irene Wordhouse *
Acrylic – 2022
“Has God really said…? You shall not surely die… but you shall be as God, knowing the difference between good and evil, and blessing and calamity.”
The day the heavenlies shifted,
The day the Creator of Life was rejected
And His enemy embraced.
Love, Life, Trust, all thrown away,
Swept away by a tsunami of lies,
Leaving heartbreak, distrust, and death
In its wake.
Yet, before the creation of the world, the sacrifice was planned. God would not abandon His unfaithful ones.
If I had been in Eve’s place in that garden, I would have done the same thing she did. I am no better than her. God’s salvation is amazing!
The God Who Sees Me
Patti Wright *
Self portrait in pencil with watercolor wash – 2022
She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.”
Sunday, January 16. I had trouble sleeping last night. I was assaulted by fear and dread. A couple weeks ago my husband was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer and the reality of my future was sinking in. Genesis 16 speaks of Hagar, a woman troubled with an uncertain future and no hope. God met her in her need with promises of blessing and hope for the future. In response she named the Lord “You are the God who sees me.” The same God who comforted Hagar is also the God who sees me. While sorrow and grieving await me, I know the God who sees me will continue to bless and comfort me. He will continue to be my good and compassionate God.
*The work of these ten artists is also able to be viewed in person at the church on the wall just East of the sanctuary.
The Calvary Church Art Committee
Purpose – The purpose of the Art Committee is to promote the visual arts as a tool to support worship and teaching at Calvary Church. We also want to encourage the engagement of visual art that complements our faith, with members of the church and surrounding community.
Mission – The Art Committee seeks to support God’s work here at Calvary Church with the management of its permanent art collection and by sponsoring temporary displays of visual art in the church. Through the support of the church’s Statement of Vision and these tasks, the committee will help to create and maintain an aesthetic environment that will enhance the spiritual and community activities that take place in our facility.
Please feel free to contact email@example.com with questions.