Shafer gallery hosts reception for “Signs of the Passion” exhibit

February 26, 2013
Story by Joe Vinduska
Submitted Photos

Guests of the Shafer Gallery will have the opportunity to observe works inspired by Christianity by Todd Dayton Fox as well as an artistic interpretation of the stations of the cross by Reverend Richard
Vettel-Becker at the “Signs of the Passion” exhibit’s opening reception from 6-8 p.m. Thursday, March 7 in the Shafer Art Gallery, which will include music, refreshments and gallery talks from the artists.

While Christmas tends to garner most of the attention in terms of holiday celebrations, Easter is often revered by many denominations to carry equal significance. Regardless of creed, there exists a large world of beautiful art inspired by these events and stories, and artists Fox and Vettel-Becker will grace the walls of the Shafer Art Gallery with their religious themed creations.

Fox has a strong foundation of faith that was instilled in him during childhood, and it is reflected in his artwork.

“Religion is in my roots, it’s who I am and it’s what inspires me,” he said.

His pieces illustrate the events of Holy Week with a series of imaginative, surreal images using birds and architecture as focal points instead of traditional figures.

“I think a lot of people get bored of the human figure, and I think birds express emotion in how they move and fly,” he said. “I love their wingspan, and I can show my emotions through how I shape the bird.”

Shafer Gallery Director Dave Barnes said Fox’s work presents an interesting non-traditional take on religious art.

“He takes a really different approach, and he uses a style called surrealism,” he said. “His work is very creative and imaginative, and I love when an artist gives full sway to their imagination.”

Vettel-Becker is an Episcopal priest and his contribution to the exhibit will present a unique, personal and colorful rendition of the traditional Stations of the Cross.




Sation XII

“As a kid, I remember walking the stations of the cross and really thinking about each one,” he said. “They are just part of my spiritual framework.”

Barnes sees Vettel-Becker’s work as the perfect complement to Fox’s contributions, which will create an exhibit with a nice amount of visual contrast.

“He approaches his work with a very modernist sensibility,” he said. “It is very bright and colorful and dynamic, and it is very powerful because his pieces have a visual impact makes them very unique and bold as works of art, but they also do a great job telling the story of the stations of the cross.”

The Shafer Gallery’s regular hours are 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 1-4 p.m. on Sundays. Admission is always free.

Throne of Thorns
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