The artist's statements are archived here for those of you who want to read more about the artist.
KELLE ALONSO, Grantham BIC
In the current news cycle, I am reminded that art is a luxury. Art can only be made if your basic needs are met. I’ve often thought about refugees and persecuted people and how survival is the first and, often, only instinct. Making, preserving, and displaying art are ludicrous notions in this environment.
Sometimes, this “survival” mentality is my frame of mind as a mother. When everyone is fed, clothed, entertained, pacified, and, in some fashion, supervised; then I can create. I have tried to create without those things being in place and no one is happy. I am angry because of the barrier to the activity I really want to do and the ideas I want to pursue. My kids are upset because they are lacking something and depend on me for their basic needs. Therefore, I have chosen to prioritize my roles and order the corresponding activities and duties to reflect that value system.
All that to say, I am very thankful for the ideas, time, and materials to create the two pieces here. I am also grateful for the current balance at home where my other “works of art” (my kids Lucy, Lily, and Maddie) are growing and thriving.
I have loved making portraits for a long time. I learned the proper proportions and anatomy of the human face in high school. At Houghton College, in Houghton NY, I continued my education and received my degree in art, concentrating in oil painting. At college, my identity was artist. Since then I have taken on more facets to my identity and have had to grow in confidence that growing as a healthy and whole person is as worthwhile a pursuit as greatness in artistic skill or acclaim. I live in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania and attend Grantham Church.
Just a note about the painting of Rev. James Lawson. This is the man who brought the ideas and practices of non-violence to the civil rights movement of the 1960s. He is a Pennsylvania native, was a missionary in India, and then a professor. Martin Luther King, Jr. invited him to come south and he began a life long “ministry” of teaching people how to pursue change in an intentional, nonviolent way. He taught the philosophy and practice of advocating for social justice thru nonviolent confrontation. The photo that I used for this painting is his police booking photo after he was arrested for trying to lawfully ride an interstate bus occupied by black and white riders.
Kelle Alonso lives in Grantham with her husband Dan, and three daughters. They attend Grantham Church.
AMI BECKER, Hosanna! Fellowship
It started with a hurting soul. One that felt broken and useless, something to be tossed aside because it had lost its value, lost its worth. How can something that is damaged have anything to offer?
But broken crayons still color. A crayon need not be whole to add beauty to an otherwise empty canvas. Likewise, a few shattered plates from a thrift store may not be ideal for your next dinner party. Combine those easily discarded shards, however, and together they can become whole again.
To be broken only increases the depth and capacity of compassion, for until we have felt the pain of despair, we cannot truly appreciate the glory that is God’s love. What we see as the pieces of our brokenness, our failures, our inadequacies fit perfectly into the imperfections of others. They allow us to be with those who are struggling with these same feelings so they know they are not alone.
Though there are many times that I have been discouraged by my own shortcomings, there are also times that I am thankful to have been given the opportunity to receive grace and love. Grace and love that I can only feel because there are cracks to be filled from being shattered. Grace and love that I can provide to others because I recognize the pain of feeling broken.
This mosaic is the first that I have attempted. I barely had a clue as to what I was doing and no idea if it would even turn out okay. It is not perfect. It is flawed, but it is beautifully flawed. It is perfectly imperfect.
Ami Becker is the embodiment of a kind heart, fierce mind, and brave spirit who is amazingly good at half-heartedly pursuing far too many interests. She currently resides in East Petersburg, PA and sings on the worship team at Hosanna! A Fellowship of Christians. Her life verse is Micah 7:8, “For though I fall, I will rise again.”
ART BERT, Grantham BIC
The FRAME as ART
Frequently when we look at a piece of two-dimensional art on the wall, the frame is just an accessory— we hardly notice it. Maybe it’s not even there. In my efforts, I try to make the frame as significant as the subject matter.
I have been playing with the Tramp Art style for the past year, a craft/art form that was popular during the second half of the 1800s and on into the early 1900s. Early examples range from very simple folk art pieces to elaborate creations ... small decorative boxes and frames.
When creating a frame, I try to pick a subject piece that is appropriate for the general Tramp Art style so that the frame and the subject play nicely together. These have included significant ancestral photographs, portraits of Civil War soldiers, colorful cigar box lithograph labels and old mirror glass.
The two subjects I have submitted are from opposite ends of the spectrum. The photograph—Abram and Emma Niesley—is the wedding portrait of my wife’s paternal grandparents. For history folks, Abram was one of the carpenters hired for building Old Main on the Messiah College campus. The second piece is an advertising card from the Singer Sewing Machine Company, from the late 1920s. These cards were distributed to be sewn upon, like a sewing machine paint-by-numbers project. Whimsical, bordering on ugly!
I am always looking for new subject matter. I welcome requests.
Before retirement, Art Bert worked for years in the area of historic architectural restoration. He and his wife Donna live in Boiling Springs, PA, and attend Grantham Church.
STACY CRAWFORD, Canoe Creek BIC
LISA CRAWFORD, Canoe Creek BIC
TESS CRAWFORD, Mt Rock BIC
The walls of my office needed art. I wanted to be surrounded with images that pointed to Jesus, would minister to the people who came in, and didn’t cost anything to make. So, I challenged myself to create art using only what I had on hand. I learned to make beautiful things from throw-away stuff while serving as a missionary with my family in Indonesia.
I see the glory of God in the vast starry expanse of the equatorial night sky and in the glorious reflection of fall trees mirrored on a Pennsylvania lake. I see the glory of God in lives of men and women who invest themselves to follow Jesus no matter the personal cost. I pray my life might reflect God’s glory too. If I can breathe, speak, behave, live, and create in such a way that you will want to know him too, then you might open your eyes a little wider, see a tiny bit more clearly, or perhaps gain a new perspective of our amazing God and worship him for who he is.
I discovered Bible Journaling five years ago when a friend shared a picture of a journaling Bible. I knew right away that it was what I needed to gain a fresh perspective on the words I had grown up with.
“I paint in my Bible.” It’s the answer to the question, “What do you do for fun?” I don’t paint in my Bible just for fun, I do it as a spiritual discipline as well. I’ve learned that Jesus wants me to enjoy a relationship with him. His disciples got to have breakfast with him on the beach and listen to his stories as they walked along the road, but I get to paint with him! For the past three, years God has been giving me opportunities to encourage, equip, and inspire hundreds of people to find joy in fellowship with Jesus in the pages of the Bible with a pen or paintbrush in hand. It’s an awesome gift I could never have imagined! If you want me to lead a Bible Journaling workshop at your church, contact me at email@example.com.
Be a Telescope is a mixed media altered frame, part of a series of worship art created for the church office in which I was working at the time. Pages from a falling apart Bible are showcased in this art to get that Bible off the dusty shelf and bring it out where it can shine its light on our wonderful God.
Recess With Jesus was born in a busy season of family, work, and online classes. Priorities had to be chosen carefully. Painting in my Bible killed two birds with one stone — fun and discipline. This is my fourth journaling Bible, where I engage with what God is teaching me by illustrating it. I use all kinds of art supplies including some you might not expect, like junk mail. It’s not about the art but about my relationship with God.
Tess lives in Chambersburg, PA with her husband Ron and two kids still at home. Tess and Ron serve together as the pastoral couple at Mt. Rock BIC in Shippensburg. Tess is the Administrative Assistant for BIC U.S. World Missions. They have five kids and three grandchildren.
LAMAR DOURTE, Manor BIC
The pictures of the Rooster and the Noll Farm are photographs I have taken. I love the beauty of God’s nature and I love capturing it with my Nikon camera. I was working on the grounds of my daughter’s place and I saw this amazingly colorful rooster sitting on the window ledge of an old mill. I ran for my camera, crowed like a rooster, and when he stood up and looked at me I snapped the picture.
The Noll Farm is behind our house. We just had a beautiful snow and I was standing in my house looking through the window and snapped this picture. My wife Susie’s maiden name was Noll and this farm was owned by her cousin. Our house is built on the farm of Susie’s parents, John and Irene Noll.
Lamar Frey Dourte lives near Manheim in Lancaster County. Related to the Freys of Frey Hall at Messiah College, his father, both grandfathers, and uncles were BIC pastors. After graduating from Messiah College in 1972, and working as a social worker, he is retired and sings tenor in professional choirs, such as Lancaster Opera Company, Ministers of Music quartet, and Susquehanna Chorale. He has served as director of music at both Crossroads and Lancaster BIC churches, and currently attends Manor BIC church.
BRYCE ALAN FLURIE, Redland Valley BIC
Bryce has been entrusted with people’s stories through documentary filmmaking and photo-
graphy around the world for over twenty-five years. His work as a media professional has taken him to Bosnia, Palestine, Israel, Honduras, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, the United
Arab Emirates, Niger, Egypt, India, Kenya, Ethiopia, Malawi, Zambia, Uganda, Nigeria,
Columbia, Benin, China, France, Bulgaria, Russia, Philippines and all over the United States. He spent a dozen years as a corporate photographer and videographer and also served as Multimedia Producer for CURE International for almost a decade. Now, he and his wife, Jody own a legacy storytelling company, Red Dirt Recollective.
Equal parts indomitable and gregarious and a born raconteur, Bryce found his love of a good story around the dinner table with his father, a man of whom it is said, “never let the facts stand in the way of a good story.”
When he doesn’t have a camera in his hand, Bryce can be found debating the age of stinky French cheeses with his family, stirring onions in a cast iron skillet in his farmhouse kitchen, enjoying the company of his rambunctious beagle, and is regularly clad in a Stetson hat.
Bryce Alan Flurie is a photographer, filmmaker, and songwriter who lives on his family farm in rural Pennsylvania. He also leads worship at Redland Valley BIC Church.
TZIPORAH FLURIE, Redland Valley BIC
Tziporah has been playing piano for 13 years. In those years she has taken the opportunity to lead worship at her home church and also her youth group. Tziporah is self-educated in her journey with guitar, singing and painting, but has studied piano with her great grandmother in her family’s farmhouse and has taken a couple drawing classes. With her great grandmother she survived exacting renditions of the hymns and “This Little Light Of Mine.” She was frequently asked, “Porah, where’s your head?” She is also a fan of ukulele and has dabbled in it but she doesn’t play as often as she would like. Tziporah has participated in Masterpiece Ministries art camp that has helped build her faith, musical talents, and artistic ability. She has been painting for a couple years, and drawing for a couple months.
LESLIE GATES, Millersville BIC
Leslie Gates’s artist books and text-based sculptures deal with a range of issues related to sacred objects. Her work, which often explores the question of how something is rendered sacred, asks the viewer to consider the sacred in everyday lived experiences. In this show, her work Parenting Manual is, not surprisingly, blank. The structure serves as a metaphor for the bonded nature of the parent/child relationship. The work Policy in Place explores what happens when policies do not serve all people well.
Leslie is an Associate Professor of Art Education at Millersville University of Pennsylvania, where she teaches undergraduate and graduate courses and supervises teacher candidates. In 2017, Leslie was named the Pennsylvania Art Educator of the Year. Leslie and her family live in Lancaster, PA and attend Millersville Brethren in Christ. www.lesliegates.wordpress.com
CAROLINE HESS, Redland Valley BIC
Caroline Hess lives in York Haven and is a tenth grade homeschool student.
She enjoys all types of art.
LYDIA HESS, Redland Valley BIC
Lydia Hess lives in York Haven and is an eighth grade homeschool student.
She really enjoys painting.
ROBERT HIRSCHHORN, Carlisle BIC
If I had to describe my work in a single line, it would be “revealing the familiar to fresh eyes.” I long to illustrate the calmness and color of life as I pick and choose small fragmented elements we all pass by. My perspective of this world depends on where I stand, sit, kneel or lie down, and always with my photographic pallette.
Robert M. Hirschhorn was a self-taught photographer from Carlisle, originally from Brooklyn, NY. He died in 2014, and 100% of the proceeds from sales are donated to the Pulmonary Hypertension Association.
GEOFF ISLEY, Grantham BIC
A hybrid of mosaic and traditional stained glass techniques, these windows are made from old windows and discarded pieces of stained glass. The glass is glued onto the antique glass from an old window with its original wooden frame, and then grouted to fill the cracks. Geoff Isley is interested in making artwork from the stuff of our lives that has been tossed aside as useless or outdated, and using design to create something beautiful and new. Something incredibly sacred happens when light streams into your space through colored glass.
Geoff lives and works from his home studio in Grantham, PA, with his wife Dawn. He has worked as a graphic design artist for over 30 years. They have attended Grantham Church since their marriage in 1988. They have three adult sons and three grandchildren.
JENNA MINOR KLINE, Elizabethtown BIC
After several years at home raising my young children, I reentered the art world with newfound inspiration showing my work with a group of “art moms” and some anxiety about rusty talent after my years away. I took this opportunity to explore new media and subjects in 2019.
Mouser and Sunning Dragon were my first animal paintings since childhood. I spent a spring afternoon walking at my parents’ property to gather photographs for landscape painting reference. The farm cats followed me and entertained me by playing in the fresh sawdust at the wood pile. It was such an unexpected, simple pleasure, and I wanted to pause that moment in my art. “Sunning Dragon” was inspired by a similar experience. I’ve never been a reptile admirer, but I was mesmerized by watching a bearded dragon pose regally with his spiky, scaly textures. I found a new appreciation for this member of God’s creation.
Watercolor became my medium of choice because I enjoy watching the paint flow with water across the paper. It is both exciting and relaxing. For over 20 years, I have prayed about how God might use my artistic talent in His service. Last year, I started pondering work, rest, and peace in the Bible. God led me to the revelation that my art is His gift to me to develop the Fruits of the Spirit, especially peace and joy. Although I am still prayerfully looking for ways to serve God, I know how God is using my artwork right now.
Jenna Minor Kline is an artist and mother residing in Elizabethtown, PA. She graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Art Education in 2004 from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Contact her at JennaMinorKline@gmail.com. She attends Elizabethtown BIC Church.
BROOKE LANASA, Grantham BIC
Find Beauty came about when I was at an Infused Arts meeting in May of 2016 at Living Word Community Church (which was my background before coming to the BIC). We were talking about the world and someone mentioned that the world needs more beauty. However, I believe it’s already here… not only in nature, art, love, and all the things we think of as “beautiful,” but in God’s greatest masterpiece — us. We are made in God’s image. The Bible mentions several times how beautiful He is. So, if we are made in His image and God is beautiful, that makes us beautiful, right? I decided to start with myself — my broken, messy self. And, that’s where I got the idea. I took my broken, messy self and found the beauty. Now look in the mirror and find your beauty.
Withholding Nothing is a vertically inspired piece I did at Messiah College’s Incense in March of 2018. I am part of Messiah’s gospel choir, United Voices of Praise, and one of the songs we sang that night was “Withholding Nothing” by William McDowell. This was spring of my Sophomore year, which was by far the hardest semester I went through during my time in college, and this song was a reminder that, with an open hand, God can renew all things. That evening at Incense there was a creative space set up which is where I completed this painting in no more than an hour. It is the first piece I’ve completed that just spilled out of me rather than taking extended amounts of time to complete. I usually keep it above my bed where it reminds me of where I’ve been and where I’m going with an open hand stretched out to the Father.
Brooke LaNasa is a Senior Music and Worship major at Messiah College. She’s always had a love of the arts, especially music and visual mediums. In high school she started attending her home church’s Infused Arts ministry which had a deep focus on “Vertical Creativity,” the idea that art is a gift from God and is inspired by Him. Since then she has painted several pieces with Christian themes and continued to do so as a hobby when she’s not working or finishing her degree. Outside of the arts, she enjoys spending time in God’s gorgeous forests around South Central PA, volunteering with animals in need, and bouldering.
HIDEHIKO OTSUBO, Yamanota BIC, Japan
I am an avid cyclist and ride my bicycle everyday for exercise and for peace of mind. During most rides, I take photographs, often including my bicycle in my photographs. After shooting the photos, I edit them digitally to enhance and emphasize a particular color or set of colors. Frequently, I allow some portion of my bicycle to guide my editing choices. As these examples show, the result is often highly saturated photographs.
Hidehiko Otsubo is a member of the Yamanota BIC church in Shimonoseki, Japan. His other creative work includes wooden figures, complex wooden marble chasers and wooden automata. These photographs are courtesy of Dwight and Carol Thomas, who are friends of Otsubo and recognized his artistic abilities; they arranged to have these two photos printed for inclusion in this exhibit.
JENN PARSONS, The Exchange
Foreshadowing was created while considering the story of Lazarus found in John 11. The canvases are read from left to right and represent three stages of grief: loss, disorientation, and restoration. The grief progression also coincides with the liturgical season of Lent: loss — the death of Jesus on Good Friday; disorientation — the confusion on Holy Saturday as the followers of Jesus wondered, “How can this be true?”; and restoration — the beauty found in life regenerated, often in surprising and unexpected ways.
When loss occurs, it feels utterly dark — no life, no air, no way out or forward. It can feel paralyzing — like one wrapped in burial cloth, unable to move. Breath suppressed.
Disorientation follows the initial shock. Questions abound, “I didn’t think my brother would die before Jesus arrived. I thought Jesus would live. We just rolled the stone in front of his grave. What do we do now? How do we live? How can we live without him?” Disorientation is represented in the multiple directions of the paper, frayed edges, and loose strings.
Restoration is depicted in the white bandages coming unraveled. The gold ribbons represent the work of the Trinity — Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The fourth gold ribbon is interwoven with a plum ribbon, which represents community. We are unable to heal on our own. We heal together, with and alongside one another. Lazarus could not unravel his own grave clothes. I imagine that his sisters, his family, and his friends helped to free him. The color plum was chosen because it represents the priesthood of Jesus and the priesthood of all believers. The ribbons and bandages are frayed because healing is not clean and does not often occur in a straight line. Healing and restoration is messy. The ribbons extend beyond the canvas because it is not the end of your story. There is more. Much more. You are invited to reach beyond your own loss, disorientation, restoration, and help remove the grave clothes from your brother or sister. Together, we walk arm in arm on our way home.
Thank you for reading and seeing. May you experience the deep and abiding love of Jesus in all seasons.
Jennifer Parsons resides in Mechanicsburg with her husband and two sons. She is an graduate of Messiah College, and after almost two decades employed in communications and marketing, a midlife desire to become a hospital chaplain invited Jennifer to return to the classroom in 2018. She is pursuing a Master of Divinity degree from Eastern Mennonite Seminary. The expressive visual arts are an unexpected gift that offer delight, creative expression, and prayer. Jennifer hopes to offer opportunities for others to create alongside her in chaplaincy and spiritual companionship.
ROBERT REDCAY, Cross Roads BIC
My mother was a creative person. I always enjoyed art, but didn’t get into artist projects until the later 1990s while working as a licensed social worker. I needed an outlet from the demands of work, took a watercolor class and was hooked. Later on, I took private art lessons and continued to read and paint to develop my artistic skills. Currently, as Director of Human Resources at Friendship Community since 2000, the creation of art has functioned as a “Sabbath.” It’s been a God-send for me and a positive escape from the demands of my job. Work-life balance is critical for preventing burnout.
My hope is that my art will inspire others to get involved in creating art. I greatly enjoy both the creative process and the problem-solving aspects of working on an art project. Try it! Don’t be intimidated by the artist process.
“Koi on Oak Leaf” is an acrylic painting and leaf collage. It’s satisfying to repurpose objects that are typically tossed away, into art. (The leaves are sealed with a preservative.) For centuries, naturalists used leaves as canvases to document their observations. After I read about it, I had to try it. “Koi on Oak Leaf” is treated with a preservative prior to and after painting with acrylics.
Koi on Oak Leaf: $110
Autumn’s End: $295
Bob and his wife, Cindy, began attending Cross Roads BIC in 1992 when they moved back to Lancaster County from northern PA in order for him to start a new Clinical Social Work position. He lives in Mount Joy and works in Lititz. They have two adult children and one granddaughter.
CHERYL SHEARER, Mechanicsburg BIC
God has blessed me with a talent that I am very thankful for. Not only do I create artwork for my own enjoyment, but I also lend my talents to the church when needed. The style I most like to do is realism. I paint or draw what I see. Other mediums I have done include acrylic, oil, airbrush, wood intarsia, pen and ink, and pencil. My faith is reflected in my artwork, by my images of Jesus I have painted or by using my talent to do backdrops for the church productions or other events that have utilized my gifts. It is evident that I have an artistic side by the way I dress, cowboy hat, boots, leather jacket and I drive a Mustang. I have been married for 36 years to Tim Shearer, I have two beautiful daughters and four grandchildren.
Remember art is subjective. What is art to one may not be to someone else. Keep being
creative and do not let one criticism stop you from expressing yourself.
Cheryl Shearer graduated in 1980 from Cumberland Valley High School, resides in Shermans Dale, PA, and attends Mechanicsburg BIC.
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