Art Gallery

THE WESTMINSTER ART GALLERY 

At Westminster, you can immerse yourself in the arts! New exhibits are planned for each month or season throughout the year. Visit the Gallery, located on the lower level of the church, any time the building is open. If you have any questions about our gallery or Visual Arts Committee please e-mail us. 

 

God’s Grand Design: Diverse Yet One in the Spirit Exhibit

 

New Gallery Exhibit Features Works by Amy O’Brien

 

The Visual Arts Committee announces a new Gallery exhibit of works by Des Moines artist Amy O’Brien.  A native of New Orleans, Amy holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Art and Interior Design from California State University Long Beach.  Amy’s motto is “Live Creatively,” and throughout her life, she has expressed her creativity in a variety of ways: as an interior designer, hotel manager, event planner, restaurant owner, and cosmetologist.  Her husband’s job brought them to Des Moines, where she now focuses on her artwork.  Amy’s studio is located in Mainframe Studios, where she works in a variety of media, teaches classes, and offers Sip & Paint events.  Amy’s art will be on display in the Westminster Gallery through the month of October.  Visit the Gallery any time the church is open.

 

 Visual Arts Mission Statement:

"The Visual Arts unite us in the human experience and invite us into the presence of the divine.

 

God’s Grand Design: Diverse Yet One in the Spirit Exhibit

The art on display in the Sanctuary has been created by Westminster artists. The exhibit’s theme focuses on the uniqueness and the unity of all living things in God’s amazing creation. The artwork will be on display in the Sanctuary throughout October.

 

TAPESTRY OF LIFE

by Jan Davison
Acrylic paint and fabric ribbon 

Artist’s Statement

“God revealed himself through nature, a joyously interconnected web of being.” –John Muir
God’s creation is infinitely complex. From the tiniest of living organisms to earth’s largest creatures, each individual entity is unique, yet in God’s grand design, all are bound together and dependent upon one another for their very survival. Through this interdependency, all are intricately woven together to create one amazing fabric of life.  I chose to illustrate the interdependent nature of God’s creation by using ribbons in a variety of colors, patterns and widths, and weaving them together to create one large, complex tapestry.

About the Artist

Life-long artist Jan Davison earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Drake University and worked as a free-lance graphic artist and later Director of Communications at Westminster. Jan retired in 2014.  She is currently a member of the Visual Arts Committee, the Gay-Lesbian-Straight Affirmation Group and the Book Club.

 


SPIRIT: FIRE AND WIND

by Kris DeWild
100% cotton fabrics 


Artist’s Statement

"God says, “I will pour out my Spirit on all people.' "  – The Prophet Joel as quoted in Acts 2:17: Pentecost 


I am the fiery life of the essence of God;  I flame above the beauty of the fields; I shine in the water, I burn in the sun,  the moon and the stars, And with an airy wind, I quicken all things  with unseen, all-sustaining life. " –Hildegard of Bingen, 12th century  Christian mystic 

Spirit: fire and wind - God’s grand design, poured out on all people, quickening all things in their diversity, complexity, and breath-taking beauty. Soli Deo gloria. 


About the Artist

Kris DeWild was organist and director of music at Westminster Presbyterian Church from the summer of 2016 through the end of 2018, at which time she retired from church work. Kris is lecturer in music at Central College in Pella, where she teaches and accompanies. She recently came out of retirement to return to music ministry at Second Reformed Church in Pella where she plays organ and directs choirs and ensembles. Kris and her husband Dale hold many fond memories of their time at Westminster and treasure the friendships made.

 

 

 

GOD’S TREE OF LIFE

by Kayla Geerts
Acrylic Paint


Artist’s Statement

I created this piece of art in the hope that I would be able to express an idea of diversity in all living things, as well as the idea that the world lives as one in the Spirit.  Specifically, this piece of art was based on the Bible verse, “God made the wild animals of the earth of every kind, and the cattle of every kind, and everything that creeps upon the ground of every kind. And God saw that it was good.”(Genesis 1:25) In further and more symbolic detail, the tree and the spiritual-looking background represent God himself. The complex collection of creatures drawn illustrate a diverse environment. Adding to this, the painting addresses the fact that although we are all different, we all live as one through the Spirit (hence the tree of life).

About the Artist 

Kayla Geerts is 14 years old and a freshman at Johnston Middle School. She spends most of her time dancing and participating in show choir, band, and chamber choir. Art is one of Kayla's favorite hobbies, and loves to share her creations with those around her.

 

DANCING IN THE NIGHT 

by Tiffany Hays
Acrylic paint'

Artist’s Statement

I was inspired for this painting by one of my favorite memories as a teenager in northern Wisconsin. It was a time in my life that I felt very lost and alone, as many of us have felt at one time or another, in our journey. I found myself sitting in a field of wildflowers, watching the magnificent colors of the Aurora Borealis dance in the night sky. As I sat in awe of the unparalleled beauty of God’s creation, I found answers that I could not find anywhere else. The answers to the doubts and fear I felt inside. God had a plan for me. God was going to work through me to make a positive impact in the world, though I could never imagine what that might look like. We each have a unique journey, a story to tell that no one else knows until we share it. Yet, through Christ, our stories are woven together like a beautiful tapestry. No single strand can tell of God’s greatness. It takes the plethora of strands and stories in our world to make it all come together. 

About the Artist

Tiffany Hays is often inspired by her children, Lillian and Shane. Their joyful spirits motivate her to create and experience the wonders of the world through a variety of mediums; particularly through writing, painting or drawing, and music. She has a passion for working with children and helping them express themselves through creative avenues. This is ever-present in her work as the Director of Children’s Christian Education here at Westminster. 

 

THE BRIDGE

by Beth Hirst 
Mixed media, acrylics and paper 


Artist’s Statement
“The wolf shall live with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid, the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them.” –Isaiah 11:6 


My inspiration for this piece came from two sources. First were the Peaceable Kingdom paintings of Edward Hicks (1780-1849), Quaker minister and folk artist. He made 62 versions of the scene based on Isaiah 11:6-9, featuring children, wild and domestic animals, angels, and, strangely, scenes from American history.

Second was a song by REO Speedwagon, “Building the Bridge,” by Kevin Cronin (1996). Just as timely now, the lyrics speak of “looking for the common ground in every human heart.”

“...There’s a land of justice, cities filled with pride, a mountain of hope, just on the other side. Across a river of indifference, and a valley of despair, there’s a tower of courage, piercing through the air. I have a dream for our children, I want to take them there. 
“And we are building the bridge, one small stone at a time, With a lot of love and some help from above, from your heart to mine. 
“As we seek out understanding, as we learn to forgive, When we open up our minds, when our words are true and kind, We are building the bridge.”
The children and animals in my painting represent all races and all creatures. As different as an alligator is from a chicken, as a child is from an elephant, we are all children of God, all connected and beloved in God’s kingdom. Let us seek out the common ground and keep building that bridge. 


About the Artist

Beth Hirst is a long-time member of Westminster who sings in the choir, frequently reads the liturgy for Sunday services, and enjoys serving on the Visual Arts Committee. 

 


THE BIG PICTURE

by Christine Jensen
Photography and Graphics 


Artist’s Statement

Obviously, I was not in a position to shoot the kind of photo I wanted for this project. So I went to NASA’s online photo library and found this high-resolution image, which was perfect. After researching Scripture, Fred Rogers quotes, and other texts, I settled on two separate lines from the ecumenical Christian hymn written by Bob Scholtes in 1966. I believe that these lines of text, when placed together, apply not only to Christians, but to all of humanity. 


About the Artist 

Christine Jensen has been interested in photography for at least 50 years. After working more than three decades in public relations, she now teaches at Iowa State University. Her undergraduate major was theatre, because it incorporates multiple art forms: language, visual arts, music and dance. Although she later earned a graduate degree in business, her true passion has always remained the arts. 

 

 

FAMILY 

by Karla Killinger 
Mixed Media 


Artist’s Statement

Throughout our lives, we form groups of people that we are connected to. Whether in blood, or in village, we are all unique and diverse, and yet we are one. I came up with an idea that would show the diversity of my own family. I sent a letter to all family members, along with a description of my idea, a 4" x 4" canvas, and a self-addressed stamped envelope. I explained about this year’s Visual Arts theme and invited them to create a 4" x 4" design. I had no idea what I would get. To my amazement… pieces started to come in from around the country, as well as explanations of each design. I was excited to compile all of these pieces. The finished project represents ages 3 to 90. 


About the Artist 

Karla grew up in Beaverdale and was confirmed at Westminster Church. Presently, she serves as an Elder on the Worship & Music Unit. Karla holds degrees in Art and Music Education, a Master’s in Conducting, and has retired after 33 years of teaching art & music. She has been chairman for the Burlington Snake Alley Art Fair and the voice of “Bright Spots" on KBUR/KGRS radio. She treasures her family’s musical heritage and the many years of traveling with her family in circus, show, and big bands. Karla and her husband, Scott Blacketer, enjoy spending time with grandchildren, family, friends, and cheering on the Cyclones. 

 

GOD CREATES DIVERSITY

by Carolyn Larson
Cyanotype (sun print)


Artist’s Statement

Days of Creation:

  • First Day Light
  • Second Day Sky & Water
  • Third Day Land and Seas: vegetation
  • Fourth Day Sun, moon and stars
  • Fifth Day Fish and birds
  • Sixth Day Man and woman
  • Seventh Day God rested and declared all he had made to be very good

My inspiration to create a sun print came after I received one from Kata Fodor whom I met when she came to Westminster from Szeged, Hungary, on a mission trip. I have done small prints but was excited to try cyanotype on a larger scale. I envisioned God from above “sprinkling” the Earth with all of His creations. I created this design using one of those creations - the sun.


About the Artist

Carolyn has dabbled in art since high school. Different mediums have included watercolor, ink, acrylic, porcelain painting and currently cyanotype, a mid-19th century printing process. She and her husband, Steve, joined Westminster in 1994. Both are retired and enjoy traveling and biking. Carolyn currently is part of the Visual Arts Committee, the Gay-Lesbian-Straight Affirmation Group and the Connections Committee. She was the 2019 Hungary Mission Coordinator and has traveled to Hungary on several mission trips. Carolyn has served as a Deacon, chair of the Evangelism Committee and chair of the Church and World Committee for many years.

 

 

IN THE SPIRIT

by Marj Luchtenburg
Quilted wall-hanging made with commercial quilting cottons and cotton/polyester batting, machine appliquéd and machine quilted


Artist’s Statement

By God’s design, our world is a rich tapestry when we see it woven with many colors and textures.  How bland our world would be if we were carbon copies of each other.
Creating this wall-hanging helped me focus on the ways I see differences in others, from physical differences to beliefs and ideologies.  I noticed that on some days, it’s easier for me to be accepting of cultural diversity in brothers and sisters; some days, it’s harder.  And I thought about all the ways we are more alike than different.


About the Artist

Marj started quilting in junior high when her mom encouraged her to join the local 4-H group. She enjoys working on art quilts that feature people and animals. Marj exhibits her quilts in the annual Des Moines Area Quilter’s Guild show, the annual Reiman Gardens quilt show and other venues. One of her quilts is being published in the American Quilter’s Society desk calendar for 2020.

 

TAPESTRY

by Paula Murrell 
Acrylic/mixed media 


Artist’s Statement 

When I reflected on God's Grand Design  I was inspired by a quote from Maya Angelou. God’s design is like a tapestry with all of creation playing a part. We are called to participate in God’s plan by accepting the rich diversity that makes up our world. We are called to celebrate and protect God’s vision. This idea is well represented by the PC(USA) with its commitment to bringing God’s love to all humankind in all its diversity, and by telling us to obey God’s call to act as stewards to all God’s creatures. I chose to represent these ideas with the use of the dove as a symbol of the hope that comes from God, and I wanted the dove to incorporate many colors from God’s creation, to form the tapestry of our world. 


About the Artist 

Paula Murrell grew up in a family of professional and amateur artists who worked in oil painting, watercolors, ink and other media in fine art and commercial art. Her great-grandfather was a pioneer in photography and his son (her grandfather) was also a professional photographer. Her husband was an artist and an art teacher. She learned a great deal from these family members as she worked alongside of them. Paula has been a member of Westminster since 1993 and has served as a Deacon, as well as on a number of committees and a task force. She is currently in Eve Circle, Westminster Book Club, and volunteers in the church library. 

 

KALEIDOSCOPE WORLD

by Judy Sebern Beachy
Paper and acrylic on canvas


Artist’s Statement

“A belief in separation is always at the root of a problem, and a realization of our oneness is always at the root of its solution.” –Marianne Williamson, A Politics of Love
My Painting centers on the one holy universal consciousness, the genesis of all life. I call this God – you may call it what you’d like. Since our life comes from this one source, this unites us with all of creation. The world was born unique, colorful, and diverse – a beautiful kaleidoscope of many pieces which make up one glorious image from God’s view.  Let us strive to see each other through the eyes of God.

About the Artist

Judy, newly retired, is enjoying spending more time creating in 2019. She currently serves on Westminster’s Visual Arts Committee, and has been a member of Westminster for 21 years. Judy and her husband, Greg, live in the Beaverdale neighborhood of Des Moines. 

 

 

GOD'S LOVE UNITES

Laura Sherlock
Acrylic paint


Artist’s Statement
The theme for my painting reminds us that the world is diverse, but God unites us in the Spirit.  I believe that In this chaotic world in which we live, God is ever-present - like a web connecting all things together.  God has plans that are mysterious to us, but that are majestic in God’s eyes. My piece depicts the earth – God’s grand creation. All of our planet’s complex nuances are united together by the silver web of a mandala – the depiction of God’s grand plan – to make peace and order out of chaos and uncertainty. Thus, God’s Love Unites.  

 

About the Artist

Laura grew up in Ankeny, Iowa, and has been creating artwork and projects from the time she could hold a crayon.  Her parents encouraged her problem-solving skills, and her interest in the arts thrived.  Laura studied Art Education at the University of Northern Iowa and taught art for several years to K-8 students. She also worked as a graphic artist and design assistant prior to coming to Westminster.  Currently she is the Director of Communications at Westminster and loves the challenge of new projects.  She and her two children, Penny and Charlie, live in Norwalk.