Sanctuary Art Project Updates
June 5, 2013–The Visual Imagery Committee (VIC) has been at work over the past several months preparing information for our artist consultant, Catherine Kapikian. We have transcribed, summarized, and categorized all congregant responses received in the spring of 2012 for the art project for our two side sanctuary walls. Responses fell within the following six categories: Feminine Imagery & Women of the Bible; Mystery of Creator God / Creation; Natural World / Nature; Community / Relationships & Affirmation of Them; The Pullen Thread (Values & Ideals We Affirm); and Faith / Mystery of Faith. Ms. Kapikian will use this information as a guide as she creates our sanctuary designs. Ms. Kapikian is working on our designs now. When the design scale models have been submitted to us, the VIC will invite and welcome congregational feedback. More information to come as our design phase progresses!
May 16, 2012–Thanks to all who contributed thematic and textual ideas for our sanctuary art project during Lent. We received approximately 55 responses. Some responses were a few lines in length, some a few paragraphs, and some a few pages! We appreciate the breadth and depth of your responses, as well as the time and thought so many of you gave this invitation to participate in this part of the design phase. Our committee is carefully reviewing all responses, and we are summarizing them into thematic categories with related text. Your responses have been transcribed as well. We will forward our summary information as well as the transcribed responses to our artist consultant, Catherine Kapikian, in July or early August. She will begin work on the designs for our two side sanctuary walls by October 1. Thank you again for participating in this phase of the project as we work together to give visual witness to our evolving faith story, and to express the values we affirm as a faith community.
Additional information about this project can be found below. Donations to the project can be made to the church with “sanctuary art project” on your check memo line.
– The Visual Imagery Committee,
February 2012–The Pullen Visual Imagery Study Group (VISG), an ad-hoc group of Worship Council, was created and worked throughout the 2008 year. VISG consisted of 14 Pullen members and 2 staff members, and they were commissioned by the congregation to “…study the sacred spaces within our church to determine how they may more fully, through visual art and symbols, represent our shared beliefs and values we affirm: that God’s love is inclusive of all people and all creation; that it is important to honor the stories of both women and men of faith in our visual images; and that our space is a reflection of who we say we are and what we value as a church.”
VISG did a national search for liturgical art consultants who would be potential candidates to be retained to partner with our church in addressing inclusive visual imagery. Through their work, VISG members unanimously agreed to recommend that Pullen retain Catherine Kapikian from Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C. to help us develop a comprehensive plan for inclusive visual imagery in the church sanctuary.
Ms. Kapikian has visited Pullen three times (October 2007, September 2008, and September 2010). She has written recommendations addressing visual imagery for us, a number of which are items we can address ourselves. Her September 2008 recommendations letter is on the Pullen webpage and paper copies can be obtained from Gretchen Staebler.
One of Ms. Kapikian’s recommendations is that we consider an art installation on each of our blank side sanctuary walls. This art would complement existing sanctuary imagery and also proclaim a more comprehensive and inclusive faith story. Ms. Kapikian would design the artwork based on collaborative input from the congregation, consult with us throughout the project, and have Pullenites actually do the artwork. The projected medium to be used for the artwork is painted wood, needle pointed inserts, and inserts appliquéd in silk. The size and scope of the artwork would mimic the size and shape of each of the stained glass windows in the side sanctuary alcoves. (See attached drawing.) An estimate of 20-25 people would be needed for the project, with opportunities for all ages and ability levels. Samples of Ms. Kapikian’s work can be viewed on her Web site atwww.catherinekapikian.com.
The high-end cost estimate of this Pullen sanctuary project is $30,000, and it would likely take 3-4 years to complete. Approximately half of the project costs have already been donated, and there is a Pullen family who will pay the remaining balance after other Pullenites have had an opportunity to financially contribute.
This project was affirmed by congregational vote on October 16, 2011 and our contract with Ms. Kapikian has been finalized. Beginning February 26, 2012 and culminating on Easter Sunday, congregants of all ages are invited to share their ideas for approximately six themes and related text (scriptural or non-scriptural) that visually proclaim Pullen’s faith story. The Visual Imagery Committee (VIC), the group of Pullenites now shepherding this phase of the project, will summarize the responses we receive and forward to Ms. Kapikian, who will then create the design. Cards are in the pews that invite your written ideas. These cards can be placed in the basket at the back of the sanctuary on the main floor or in two designated “drop boxes” – one in the information room next to the east foyer and one in the church office. Ideas can also be e-mailed to email@example.com.
We invite you to actively participate in this exciting project in the life of our church! Any additional comments or questions can be addressed to any of the VIC members.
Looking forward to the creative process together,
Jeff Evans, Phil Letsinger, Janet McCormick, Larry Schultz (staff representative), Bruce Spencer, Cheryl Stallings (chairperson), and DeVon Tolson
History–The Pullen Visual Imagery Study Group (VISG) was a group of 16 Pullen members and staff who researched and discussed ways to make the visual imagery in our sacred worship spaces more inclusive. The VISG met monthly, and sometimes more frequently, beginning in March 2008. They were formally commissioned in worship on June 1, 2008. On that date, VISG was commissioned “…to study the sacred spaces within our church to determine how they may more fully, though visual art and symbols, represent our shared beliefs and values we affirm: that God’s love is inclusive of all people and all creation; that it is important to honor the stories of both women and men of faith in our visual imagery; and that our space is a reflection of who we say we are and what we value as a church.”
Following is the study group’s full report, as well as a proposal and cost estimate from the consultant/artist who was retained by a vote of the congregation.