A collaborative exhibit of paintings, graphite drawings, and prints by Deacon Leon Kortenkamp and Katie Schmid, through which the viewer encounters the Scripture narratives.
Leon Kortenkamp is a deacon in the Archdiocese of San Francisco, where he serves as director of the permanent diaconate. He is also an art professor at Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont, California. The monotypes, small paintings and digital prints in this exhibition are part of the artist's private collection. They reflect the artist's conviction that soft definition imagery calls viewers to bring their own experiences into their appreciation of the art.
The brushed plate monotypes are produced by brushing etching ink on a blank zinc plate with a firm bristle brush until the desired image is achieved. The inked plate is then printed on archival paper by processing it through a high pressure etching press, producing a one of a kind image.
The digital prints in the exhibition are dedicated to cultural evangelization. Through the use of contemporary imagery, the artist hopes to demonstrate the timeless power of scripture to touch the human heart in any age. His work is a play on the pictorial narcissism of our time, featuring it as a link to ancient scripture. The handwritten scripture passages presented under the image personalize the dedication of the words to the image. The lengthier excerpt of scripture, from which the handwritten passage is drawn, is presented next to the piece to tie it the broader biblical context, inviting the viewer to consider the full deposit of revelation between the covers of the bible and its living expression in the community of the faithful. These pieces are scriptural reflections produced for this exhibition.
Little did Janey Schmid know that when she drew sketches at the requests of her children, that her daughter Katie would one day become a dedicated fine artist. Neither did Katie, even in her first year of college. She expected rather to become a children's book illustrator and thought her dream of being an artist would take her only to that realm. However, in her time of study at Laguna College of Art and Design (LCAD) and experiences within the arts, Katie gained a much greater understanding of her vocation as an artist. Some of her greatest influences have been Mary Cassatt, Michelangelo, and Raphael; and, with the refining of her palette throughout her studies and career, she aspires to continue the tradition of sacred art painting, while pursuing her Masters at LCAD. To exhibit works of sacred art is an honor for Katie to share, as she says in her own words:
“I feel very blessed for the chance to show these works with my fellow artist Leon Kortenkamp, whom I hold in the highest regard. I feel so honored to support the call that the Dominicans have within the Church today. It is so very inspiring to think of the many wonderful talks and teachings that take place within their walls. The pieces that I am exhibiting are reflections on inspirational scripture passages or poignant scenes that draw the viewer into spiritual contemplation. In 2010, I completed a series of the Stations for the St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Center at Purdue University. Fortunately, I have painted two renditions of one of these paintings, and I am able to share it with you currently, at the Blackfriar's gallery. It is of Christ embracing His cross, the second Station. I chose this pose of heartfelt embrace in light of the great love that He accepted and bore our sins at Golgotha in the representation of the wooden cross.”
“There are two very newly completed works that are being shown in this exhibit as well. They are the Nativity paintings. This is my first attempt at painting the Nativity of our Lord. In exploration of two mediums for the project I am using graphite and oil as a medium for viewing. I had been rereading the Diary of Saint Faustina Kowalski and came upon a passage in which she described how a specific angel appeared to her. It was so very beautiful and I hoped to translate some of that awe and reverie into my work. I consider my paintings as meditative pieces, not only for my personal creating of art, but also for the benefit of the viewer. I hope each viewer may experience the same peace while viewing these paintings. I made them as windows to see our Lord's Great Beauty.”
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