Approved by congregational vote in the fall of 2011, this project is a collaboration between Pullen Church and liturgical artist, Catherine Kapikian. Congregants provided image and text ideas for the project in the spring of 2012. Responses fell within the following categories: Women of the Bible & Feminine Imagery; Nature & The Natural World; Mystery of Creator God & Creation; Community / Relationships & Affirmation of Them; Values & Ideals We Affirm; and Faith / Mystery of Faith. Ms. Kapikian used this information as a guide to the creation of our sanctuary designs.
We received the full scale drawing from Ms. Kapikian in March 2015. Since that time, a group of Pullen members and friends cut the final wood panels, primed the panels, transferred the images to the panels, and carefully had over 180 different colors prepared and matched to the design images.
We have painted the images and applied the related text to each panel. We are currently painting the frame, and hope to plan for installation soon. Please contact any Visual Imagery Committee member or chairperson Cheryl Stallings (firstname.lastname@example.org / 919-363-4838) if you would like to assist in this work or make a financial contribution to the project.
Scale model: Tree of Life
Text to Appear in the Tree of Life Panel Illustrations
- The trees shall clap their hands (Isaiah 55:12)
- All shall be well (Julian of Norwich, Christian mystic)
- Phoebe a leader (Romans 16:1-2)
- Where two or three are gathered I am there (Matthew 18:20)
- In cocoons a hidden promise (Hymn: In the Bulb There Is a Flower by Natalie Sleeth)
- Shiphrah Puah (Exodus 1:15-21)
- If you keep silent Esther (Esther 4:14)
- The tree of life whose leaves are for the healing of the nations (Revelation 22:2)
- Declares the sacred (Psalm 19)
- Young, growing God (Hymn: Bring Many Names by Brian Wren)
- Aching God, grey with endless care (Hymn: Bring Many Names by Brian Wren)
*(Information in parentheses indicates the references for the text.)
Scale model of the Cascading Light panel.
Text to Appear in the Cascading Light Panel Illustrations
14. In the beginning Ruah created and it was good, very good (Genesis 1:1-31)
15. Searched me, known me (Psalm 139)
16. Seek welfare of the city (Jeremiah 29:7)
17. When you do it unto these (Matthew 25:35-45)
20. A friend loves at all times (Proverbs 17:17)
21. Tabitha a disciple (Acts 9:36)
22. We drew a circle (Poem: Outwitted by Edwin Markham)
23. Walk in newness of life (Romans 6:4)
24. Every creature is full of God (Meister Eckhart, German theologian and mystic)
25. Raise up new hope (Hymn: Raise Up New Hope by Shirley E. Murray & Larry Schultz)
26. Do justice, love kindness, walk humbly with God (Micah 6:8)
*(Information in parentheses indicates the references for the text.)
Pullen Sanctuary Art Project Timeline Summary
- March 2008 – The Visual Imagery Study Group (VISG), an ad-hoc group of the Pullen Worship Council, was formed. This group was commissioned in worship in June 2008 “…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 imagery; and that our space is a reflection of who we say we are and what we value as a church.”
- February 2009 – The VISG completed its recommendations report for the congregation. One of the recommendations was to retain artist Catherine Kapikian to help Pullen develop a plan for inclusive visual imagery in the church sanctuary. Members of the VISG were Carolyn Billings, Anne Dahle, Grace Evans, Jeff Evans, Kathy Foglia, Holly Harris, Phil Letsinger, Gayle Lowry, Santi Matthews, Nancy Petty, Larry Schultz, Bruce Spencer (co-chair), Gretchen Staebler, Cheryl Stallings (co-chair), Alexa Williams, and David Wilson.
- October 2011 – The sanctuary art project was approved by congregational vote. The motion that was presented and voted upon read as follows: “The Pullen Worship Council moves that the church retain liturgical art consultant Catherine Kapikian for the design of a collaborative worship art project to be installed on the two side sanctuary walls.” The Visual Imagery Committee (VIC) was subsequently created to shepherd the project on behalf of the church. VIC members are Jeff Evans, Phil Letsinger, Janet McCormick, Larry Schultz, Bruce Spencer, Cheryl Stallings (chairperson), and DeVon Tolson.
- March/April 2012 – Congregants provided image and text ideas to the VIC for the sanctuary designs.
- December 2012 – The VIC presented all transcribed image and text ideas to Ms. Kapikian. Congregant ideas fell within six categorical themes: Women of the Bible & Feminine Imagery; Nature & The Natural World; Mystery of Creator God / Creation; Community / Relationships & Affirmation of Them; Values & Ideals We Affirm; and Faith / Mystery of Faith. Ms. Kapikian used this information as a guide in creating the sanctuary designs.
- September 2013 – September 2014: Ms. Kapikian and the VIC collaborated to refine the scale model designs.
- September 2014 – The scale models were displayed for Pullenites to see.
- January 2015 – Grace Evans joined the VIC.
- March 2015 – Pullen received all full-scale drawings (28 in all) from Ms. Kapikian. She transferred the ideas and depictions from the scale models into life size drawings (“cartoons”). The full scale drawings will be transferred to wood panels.
- May 2015 – The Pullen Handy Corps purchased seven 4’x 8’ sheets of Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF) and cut the sheets for the final panels. The panel scheme or layout was designed by DeVon Tolson. Two work sessions followed with approximately 20 Pullenites painting the panels in a neutral shade. This “priming” step was in preparation for painting Ms. Kapikian’s designs on the panels.
- June 2015 – Pat Thomas joined the VIC.
- June 2015 – DeVon Tolson carefully calculated center registration marks, the spaces where text will go, and the space between panels where the frames will be applied. Over the course of several six-hour shifts, approximately eight Pullenites carefully transferred the cartoons to the wood panels, using large sheets of carbon paper.
- June 2015 – Grace Evans, serving as the “Color Czar”, took all of the tiny chips of color used by Ms. Kapikian in the model to Home Depot. She carefully matched these chips to paint colors to assure that the final panels will convey the same colors and stunning design that Ms. Kapikian intended. A very patient employee then mixed small cans of paint, followed by Grace painting a color chip and assigning a number to each can. After several trips to the store, Grace has approximately 180 different colors of paint mixed for the panels. Some colors will be used in large areas and on several different panels, while others may be a small accent or a color just used on one panel.
- July and August 2015 – Committee members and other Pullenites compared the color chips both to the models and to the cans of paint, and assigned a number to the color chip that will identify the appropriate paint can. Using carbon paper again and working over the course of several evenings, the paint numbers were assigned to each spot on the cartoon and then onto the wooden panels. For example, that person’s coat is a color 12, 27, 45A and 90. Much proofing and cross-checking occurred for quality control.
- September 2015 – Pat Thomas compiled color chip sheets for each of the 28 panels, noting which color numbers and colors are used in each panel. Some panels use 6 or 7 different colors, while others use 30 or more colors. She also compiled a spreadsheet showing which colors are used on each of the panels, allowing the Committee later to say “color 90 is used on these 6 panels.” Both of these products facilitate cross-checking and quality control when the painting begins.
- October – November 2015 – Approximately 20 Pullenites and friends paint the images on the wood panels across several shifts in Finlator Hall. There are group work sessions scheduled, and others come to paint independently throughout the week as schedules allow.
- After all of the images are painted on the panels, the frame will be cut and painted. Most of the panels will have text applied, after the raised letters are cut and painted. When completed, the works will be installed on the east and west walls of our sanctuary.
- Please contact any current VIC member for questions/comments: Grace Evans, Jeff Evans, Phil Letsinger, Larry Schultz, Bruce Spencer, Cheryl Stallings (chairperson), Pat Thomas, or DeVon Tolson.