On the religion beat: Display at Edina church celebrates festival, found object art

  • Article by: ROSE FRENCH , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 31, 2012 - 5:59 PM

Can God be found in pieces of old and used metal, wood, glass, stone and fiber?

Minnesota artist James Quentin Young believes so and has created sculptures of crosses using these and other such materials. His distinctive "found object art" will be on display Sept. 9-30, as part of a yearlong celebration to commemorate the 30th annual Christian Arts Festival at Cross View Lutheran Church in Edina.

Cross View's senior pastor Steve Wheeler says it's important for churches to incorporate art in worship because it can be an "expression of the truth of God in a creative format."

"It enriches the worship experience in that [congregants are] able to take in those truths in a new and creative manner. To see that in a visual format really touches the soul in a beautiful way."

Cross View will showcase the work of seven visual artists -- including Young -- in its sanctuary through May 2013; anyone is welcome to view them.

After Young's work, the church will exhibit a bronze sculpture by Nicholas Legeros Oct. 28 to Nov. 18. His recent large commissions include a statue of Sid Hartman for the Target Center.

The exhibit will mark the anniversary of Cross View's Christian Arts Festival. The monthlong festival typically takes place in April and features a variety of visual arts depicting Jesus or Christian themes or symbols. The art -- which includes sculptures, calligraphy and paintings and drawings -- is created by artists primarily from Minnesota and surrounding states, Wheeler said.

Cross View is part of a growing number of congregations that are using art to enhance the worship experience. Wheeler said the church also started the festival "to encourage and inspire Christian artists to continue to use their gifts to express the truths of God in a variety of creative forms."

"People can walk in here and take a look and be inspired by works of art that point to God ... that help us understand the word of God expressed in a different way, in a visual form."

Rose French • 612-673-4352

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