Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Featured Work: Pieta by Joseph K. Beyer

Daily Mass Chapel Altar Window, Saint Peters Church, West Brandywine Township, PA. 60" in diameter. Hand blown German glasses, vitreous glass paints, lead.

This contemporary interpretation of the Pieta began with digital photography. Models, dressed in traditional garments were arranged, dramatically lighted and recorded. Here the best computer imaging technology is partnered with techniques of vitreous glass painting rediscovered in the restoration of early 20th Century Bavarian windows. The goal was to create a new style of art glass window for 21st Century Churches that acknowledges the trend back toward traditional design. A style that is both familiar and challenging for a contemporary audience but without the once-upon-a-time sentimentality popular a century ago.

Joseph K. Beyer
For more information on Joe Beyer Studio please click here.

Lessons in Iconography: The Anchor

The anchor is an ancient Christian symbol of hope in Christ. Given its origin in catacomb imagery, a genre that developed during the earliest persecutions and required some subtlety, the Christian meaning may not be immediately apparent. Yet we find the cross hidden within the symbol: the crosspiece of the anchor reveals the cross of Christ and represents his redemptive action upon that cross, the object of our hope. It is this hope which grounds the Christian, fixing him in place while being buffeted by worldly concerns, uncertainty, even persecution. The anchor of Christian hope prevents us from losing our way or running aground. Often, the symbol of the anchor is accompanied by a fish, one of the earliest symbols of Christ and an embodiment of his self-offering for our sake. The anchor is a timely symbol to contemplate during the Advent season, as we watch in hope for Christ's coming at Christmas, and anticipate his second coming in glory.

Rachel Ross
Curator of Art

Papal Address to Artists

On November 21st, 2009, the 10th anniversary of Pope John Paul II's Letter to Artists, and the 45th anniversary of Pope Paul VI's similar meeting with artists, Pope Benedict XVI met with some 250 artists from around the world in the Sistine Chapel. The intent of this meeting, in his words, was "to confirm the friendship between the Church and the arts." He maintained the need for artists in the Church "in order to carry out our ministry...preaching and rendering accessible and comprehensible to the minds and hearts of our people the things of the spirit, the invisible, the ineffable, the things of God himself." In this regard, he continued, there is a particular need for an authentic beauty in the arts, since beauty is "a path towards the transcendent, towards the ultimate Mystery, towards God." As "custodians of beauty" artists "are to be heralds and witnesses of hope for humanity." The full text of this address is now available in English by clicking here.

Monday, November 30, 2009

News Archive (2007-2008)

November 28, 2008: Placido Domingo puts Pope John Paul II poems to music. Click to read the article on ZENIT.

November 27, 2008: Pope Benedict XVI says the artist’s mission is “to stir up awe at and desire for the beautiful." Read the article on Catholic Online.

October 15, 2008: Art as bridge to Scripture emerges as a topic at Synod of Bishops. Click to read the article from Catholic News Service.

October 13, 2008: "Art must be used in proclaiming the word of God," German Bishop remarks. Click to read the article from Catholic News Agency.

September 19, 2008: Dramatic stories in Bible have inspired artists for centuries. Read the news brief from Catholic News Service.

September 1, 2008: Vatican proposes sacred art presence at the 2009 Venice Biennial. Read the full article on ZENIT.

August 26, 2008: Master's program in Architecture, Sacred Arts, and Liturgy at the European University of Rome seeks to halt sacred arts crisis. Read the article on ZENIT.

July 7, 2008: Pope Benedict XVI says music is an evangilization tool. Read the full article on ZENIT.

July 4, 2008: Archbishop Raymond Burke founds the Institute for Sacred Music. Read an interview with the Institute's first director, Fr. Samuel Weber, on ZENIT.

Part 1 Part 2

June 20, 2008: The Foundations’ assistant director, Rachel Ross, is interviewed by ZENIT on the current exhibit, Redeeming Beauty. Read the full interview.

April 25, 2008: "Music infuses hope into the human soul," says Pope Benedict. Full story from CNA

March 14, 2008: The Foundation for Sacred Arts moves to a new location in downtown Washington, DC. Full story in our March-April 2008 e-Newsletter.

March 9, 2008: Redeeming Beauty opens at Ave Maria University in Naples, FL. Read the full story in our e-Newsletter.

February 7, 2008: New York museum organizes art expo entitled "The Prodigal Son: The Art of Forgiveness." Full story from CNA.

October 15, 2007: "Sacred music safeguards tradition of the Church and is of greater value than any other art," Pope says. Full story from CNA

April 17,2007: Pope praises the power of music to raise the gaze of man to "absolute Good and Beauty". Full story from the Catholic News Agency.

March 1, 2007: Enriching prayer: Artists, enthusiasts promote local, sacred art . Click here for the full story from the Phoenix Catholic Sun.