Three new works were added to the large permanent art collection at the Lutheran Center in Chicago. They were selected by the Office of the Presiding Bishop from entries to a competition honoring the ELCA’s 20th anniversary in 2007. Replicas of each will be presented as gifts to global and ecumenical guests and partners.
Joel Miller, a member of Pinegrove Lutheran Church, Roseau, Minn., created a hand-forged iron cross, surmounted by a thorny crown in a twisted-wreath design (right). Miller sees his craft as part of a long tradition of smiths serving the church, especially for the great cathedrals of Europe. He finds inspiration in the biblical figure of Tubal-cain (Genesis 4:22), “who made all kinds of bronze and iron tools.”
Sally Stewart has attended Mount Calvary Lutheran Church, Johnstown, Pa., since her confirmation. Retired from teaching junior- and senior-high school art, she fashioned a cross from 50 pieces of different woods from around the world (center). She began making these crosses after Sept. 11. The many woods make her think of “the various peoples around the world,” she said, with the cross as a symbol of Christ’s uniting love.
The third artist is Joan Blanton, a member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Jackson, Miss., whose paper-cut design is a version of the ELCA’s cross-shaped emblem (left). Symbols of the four Gospels appear at the four points. The design also was used for the presiding bishop’s 2007 Christmas card. Blanton is a program manager in the College of Science, Engineering and Technology at Jackson [Miss.] State University. She helps students at the historically African American college prepare for careers in the sciences.
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