Upcoming Exhibit: Dressing Sacred Space

The Fine Arts Council at Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg will present the work of three textile artists in its upcoming fall 2011 exhibit Dressing Sacred Space. Works from Berlin, Germany-based liturgical weaver Christina Utsch, from quilter Sue Ann Moore in Maine and from textile artist Linda Witte Henke in Indiana will be on display from October 10–December 2 in the Library Pioneer Room.

The exhibit features three parament and vestment sets, a series of seven tapestries based on Psalm 84 called “Heavenward” or “Himmelw√§rts” and the eight-panel mixed-media “Tabula Rasa.” The sacred spaces these works can clothe is not limited to sanctuaries. Join us for a look at different materials, techniques and compositions. The public is invited to the opening reception on Tuesday, October 11 from 4:00-6:00pm. The Seminary community is pleased to be welcoming Christina Utsch to campus. She will be present to answer questions at the reception.

Christina Utsch holds a degree in textile design from the Fachhochschule Kunst und Design (University of Applied Sciences and Arts) in Hannover, and a trade apprenticeship in embroidery, weaving and coloring from the Paramentenwerkstatt in Darmstadt. She also worked as a parament weaver in Ratzeburg and in Jerusalem. Utsch considers paraments an integral part of the way sacred interiors are designed. “They help to visually support the liturgy during worship.” They can “invite people to look more attentively, to discover and to be still.” Today Utsch is a freelance artist and instructor in Berlin. Her studio is located in the Paul Gerhardt Stift in Berlin-Wedding. “The goal of the Heavenward series,” explains Utsch, "is to aptly capture and translate the rich visual language of the Old Testament Psalms through the weaving.” The series has been shown at sites in France and Germany.

Linda Witte Henke’s work has been shown extensively in juried solo, group, and invitational exhibitions in Europe, Asia, and North America. “Although I work in a variety of media, I am especially drawn to the textile medium by its vibrant palette, tactile richness, and endless versatility” says Witte Henke, who often introduces dye, paint, paper, foil, stitch, and embellishment in her work. Her eight-piece “Tabula Rasa,” included in the show, references connections between the individual’s life/faith journey and the seasons of the Christian liturgical calendar. It features translucent silk organza “windows” that showcase symbols of the seasons. “Veni, Creator Spiritus,” an abstract, four-piece parament and vestment set reminiscent of the Pentecost flame and baptismal dove will also be part of the exhibit. Witte Henke studied with Jane Dunnewold in a graduate Art Cloth Mastery Program at Art Cloth Studios in San Antonio, TX. She holds an M.Div. from Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, OH, and both M.A. and B.A. degrees in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma in Norman, OK. She lives in Indiana.

Dressing Sacred Space features two parament and vestment sets from quilter Sue Ann Moore who created them for Nativity Lutheran Church in Rockport, ME. She said the process required her “to study the liturgical seasons at a deeper level in order to understand the significance of each season’s color and symbols.” One is a wedding set composed in neutral shades to contrast with the white frequently worn by brides. The symbols are quilted with outlines of metallic thread to highlight them. Moore’s Lenten set uses the quilting block pattern “beg and borrow,” and purple, the liturgical color for Lent. The design represents brokenness. “No circles in the design are complete,” she says, “and the incomplete circles are of various sizes.” Moore was given her first sewing machine at age 12. In addition to general sewing she learned to do needlepoint and cross-stitch and later developed a passion for quilting. She worked in marketing for IBM and then taught school as her children were growing up. 

Visit the Gettysburg Seminary Fine Arts webpage for exhibit updates at www.ltsg.edu/Programs/Finearts. For questions, contact the Gettysburg Seminary Office of Communication at  kgiebenhain@Ltsg.edu.

Posted: 9/12/2011 10:34:08 PM by Katy Giebenhain | with 0 comments
Filed under: dressing, exhibit, Henke, Moore, sacred, space, Sue, textile, Utsch, Witte, Ann

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