During his annual address, Dean Gray reminded us, “At the heart of our Cathedral life together, is the Deep Beauty of God we experience in worship that nurtures and fuels everything else that we do together.” This component of our spiritual development is an intrinsic part of our strategic plan, earning a place in our 5 pillars. Our fourth pillar, The Deep Beauty of God, calls us to develop deep and intentional ways to celebrate the arts in our community. And we are so fortunate to have parishioners among us who lead by example and who share their art regularly as both a spiritual practice and community offering. Meet two artists among our congregation whose work you can see now at various exhibitions in Indianapolis!
Meet David Chandler
David Chandler’s interest in photography has evolved from his high school yearbook days and traveling to receiving his Certificate in photography at the New York Institute of Photography. He says, “Majoring in philosophy provided tools and passion to question and grow out of my fundamentalist upbringing. Philosophy pushes me to question assumptions, which has proved to be a whole ‘new lens’ through which to explore the visual world.”
His most recent photography exhibitions include:
“The Sacrament of the Present,” Orchard Park Presbyterian Church Art Gallery
“Seasons of Wonder,” St. Luke’s United Methodist Church Art Gallery
‘”Painting” with Wind,” The Mill Art Gallery
Chandler says that his art has always connected him to his spiritual practices noting, “Through my graduate work in historical theology and philosophy I was increasingly attracted to the great contemplative traditions in Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism…So often I am too busy, too pre-occupied with worries, goals, schedules—the appointment this afternoon, the deadline I just missed, what to prepare for dinner tonight—that I miss seeing, hearing, feeling, touching, tasting what is all around me. How can I ‘see’ more often? Wonder? Be in awe? Be surprised?”
When asked how his experiences at CCC intersect with his artworks, he explains that the music and liturgy often provide occasions to listen, to pause, and to open-up the “the sacred space of the present moment.”
Meet Orlando Peláez
Every time you walk through the St. Francis Foyer, you are in the presence of artwork created by parishioner Orlando Peláez. Featuring Jesus Christ with his arms widely extended over is a vibrant depiction of Jesus Christ that reflects the dynamic and lively congregation of CCC. Peláez brings a spirituality to his pieces that evokes all the senses.
Peláez grew up in Medellin, Colombia, and was heavily influenced by Western art and comic books. As part of his Creative Renewal Arts Fellowship in 2017, he traveled to Nevada, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico to revisit his childhood fascination with Southwestern people, landscapes, and cultures.
His journey inspired Under Western Skies: Paintings from the Southwest, opened this past weekend at Gallery 924. There, you can see his trademark bold, almost-graphic approach incorporates vintage Western comics and pays homage to Native American people while exploring his view of the fictionalized romanticism of the West.
“I want to send a strong and genuine message about how I see the ‘American dream’ about the West, with all of its historical tragedies and triumphs,” he said.
Under Western Skies: Paintings from the Southwest will be on exhibit through April 28.