Spirituality, Art, and Community:
An exhibition of artworks from members of our community
March 27 - May 2
In the windows of Christ Church Cathedral
690 Burrard St, Vancouver
In November 2020, Christ Church Cathedral, posAbilities, and Outsiders and Others decided to work together to bring light and hope to our community in a time of panic and isolation. We chose to do this by creating an exhibition of artworks created by members of the Christ Church Cathedral community.
A call for artists was made public and soon after we received dozens of application. After a long selection process, we brought together a collection of artists work that reveals where we are at this period of time, as well as pure escapism.
Because there can be no visitors in the Cathedral due to Covid restrictions, we are displaying the exhibition in the windows of the Cathedral so the work can be seen by anyone at any time. You will also be able to view the entire exhibition online at www.outsidersandothers.com
The exhibition features artwork by 19 artists, self-taught and traditionally trained.
These artists are:
Valerie Arntzen, Abigail Broadhurst, Leslie Buerschaper, Grace Chan, Susanne Cruickshank, Katrin Dar, David Dumbrell, Alecia Greenfield, Krista Greig, Marilyn Hames, Sheila Letwiniuk, Daniel Lopez,Sandra Yuen, L.J.Throstle, Janet Wheeler, Andi -G- Dub, Augusto Almenara Wilson, and Ilir Xhediku.
Spirituality, Art and Community: Not being raised in a religious household I did not meet people who went to church until my late teens when I started to travel in third world countries. I went to lots of churches and was in awe of the artwork that was included in the churches whether it was a plain church with exquisitely made pews and cushions or incredibly ornate like the Catholic Churches in Europe. The people I witnessed inside the churches whether simple farm folk or fashionistas in Milan they all seemed to bask in the peace of that place. I did not see the light after all those churches but I certainly feel and understand the spiritual and communal need for churches. I would not be who I am without my physical community or my art community.
I am a self-taught artist. I was always making things as a kid but did not take any classes. In high school I majored in welding and woodworking and that was when I fell in love with creating. In our drafting class we would design something, take the drawings to the workshops and create it. When I married my artist husband we made a conscious decision to buy a studio for him to carry on with his art practice as he was signed with 4 galleries and I would work in a creative field for the steady money. I worked in theatre, commercials and film. Once our home was paid for I quit and moved into my own studio in our building. I have been in my studio as a professional artist now for over 15 years and my main focus for my art practice is assemblage, collage and mixed media. Ninety percent of the materials in my work are found objects, recycled items and/or my own photographs.
Measure of My Faith is a nod to the women of the world who have faith not only in spirituality but how they also balance their lives on sometimes rocky seas. It is housed in a drawer from an old treadle sewing machine.
Measure of My Faith 3
Mixed media assemblage
11" x 4" x 4"
Spirituality is an all-encompassing aspirational vision and commitment--regardless of religion--providing purpose, direction, and transformation in a quest for the sacred and divine. Lived out intentionally towards one's self and others, it is self-reflective in values and authority. It involves practices and actions, striving towards the ideal of perfection, aligned with religion. When I think about the name of the exhibition, "Spirituality, Art, and Community," I see art as a venue for spirituality's aspirational vision. I also see it as a practice and action--a way to glorify God with the gifts we have been given. Spirituality is not all about one's self, it is also largely directed towards others, and that is where community comes in. With spirituality as the foundation and art as the vessel, a community can and will be fostered.
I am currently in my second year of Art + Design at Trinity Western University. When it comes to my art, I want what most other artists want--genuine meaning and connection. I want to create pieces that not only inspire but jumpstart action and transformation in the viewer's lives. Stories can only be told so well when we describe them with words; words cannot capture feelings like a brushstroke, colour, or movement throughout a painting. Telling stories that are intimate but important and valuable is something that I aspire to do in and through my work.
Bucket of Agape
Acrylic on canvas
24" x 18"
Spirituality, Art and Community literally describes who I am as a person. Sculpture is my creative outlet. It shapes and balances who I am. I work as a Spiritual Care Provider for the Living Interfaith Sanctuary in Vancouver and am the volunteer Chaplain/Spiritual Care Provider for North Shore Emergency Management. Community is very important to me and I work hard to create a community/neighbourhood I am proud to be a part of. My greatest spiritual practice is sculpting. Spirituality, Art and Community, for me, are the foundation of being.
I am a self-taught artist and have been sculpting for about 30 years. My objective is to produce sculpture that evokes emotion and spurs creativity in others. I work from my homebased studio where I am blessed to combine my work life with that of raising my daughter and working in the garden. My inspiration comes from these things and from the love and support I receive from my family and friends.
I work in a variety of mediums depending on the intended placement of the piece: often starting in clay and then casting in concrete or resin. I have recently discovered a new found love for polymer clay. Over the past five years I have been creating pieces for Mount Seymour United Church for installation in their outdoor entrance space.
“2020” (at the foot of the cross)
Polymer clay and patina
11" x 6" x 7"
Grace is a self study artist. She has joined groups at Oppenheimer Park, Carnegie Community Center and WePress gallery for printing. She joined the Emerge Festival, Her portrait was focused on athlete portrait with painting for a group exhibition in June 2019. When She totally lost. She draw the Hope Church to make her feels peaceful and bring hope. She wants to encourage people to go to Church to feel peaceful and hope.
Acrylic on canvas
16" x 20"
My spirituality is grounded and renewed in community. The shared wisdom of various Christian communities in which i have dwelt has formed who I am. My relationship with God has been sustained, challenged, and renewed in these communities. For this I am eternally grateful.
I trust that we are Co-creators with God. Through Her love, God has gifted us with free will and creative energy. We step into this 'holy energy' when we trust the flow of creativity through us in whatever form it takes. This brings new life to ourselves and those around us.
Every Child Matters - Sept. 30 Nlaka'pamux Territory.The bitter legacy of the Anglican residential school, St. George's, pervades the landscape of the Nlaka'pamux territory
Mixed media on canvas
18" x 24"
The name of the exhibition "Spirituality, Art, and Community" for me means a dialog between different groups within a community. From our birth, our community has set frames. Then we are who continue to have these frames unconsciously. We identify ourselves by religion, race, gender, style, profession. But we are integrity. We live in a very global world in which people are intertwined and have a great influence on each other.
Katrin Dar is a self-taught mixed media artist. Born in Russia. Lives and works in Vancouver.
“I’ve been exploring Cosmopolitanism for several years and would like to share it through my new series Cosmokids. This is not an abstract theory. This is an axiom. It is not a matter of faith. This is reality. I used to think about Cosmopolitanism in the digital world, as we are connecting with other people on our planet through the Internet.
But we were one whole even before the Internet. It was all along the way. The term Cosmopolitanism appeared in ancient Greek about 2400 years ago. Diogenes was the first to coin the word ‘Cosmopolitan‘, which means ‘citizen of the world‘. Then it became a part of the Stoic philosophy.
We are used to living in a society, and that's great. But from our birth, our community has set frame. Then we are who continue to have these frames unconsciously. We identify ourselves by religion, race, gender, style, profession. But all of us are children of the universe from the Stardust, we are Cosmokids. We are integrity.
I want more people to think about global basic things. This can help society make decisions from a holistic perspective. Derivatives of this are such things as peace, ecology, the development of mankind. We all want to live in peace. This may be possible due to decision-making at a different conscious level, which I want to tell in my work.
I used embroidery on metallic photo paper for the Cosmokids series. Also, I’ve bought old frames at a flea market. These artworks and their century-old frames are an integral whole. You can feel the past and the present moment at the same time while watching them.
We Are Different, But We are All Together
15" x 18"
I am a self-taught woodworker and machinist.
The name of this exhibition invokes expressing deep feelings or connections through art, with the hope that it brings meaning to others. This show would give me the opportunity to display a piece that is very close to my heart. It is called "Eternal" and is dedicated to my wife, Maryke.
After 38 years in the woodworking business, I retired and set up a studio in my backyard. Here I got interested in the art of automata (figures and/or objects set in motion by mechanical means). I had a few exhibitions in town, Bellingham and one in New Jersey. Always looking for new avenues to explore, I turned to metalworking, in particular rolling ball sculptures. One is currently on display at YVR. My latest piece is a kinetic water piece for our garden. I have been commissioned twice by Science World to create automata pieces for their exhibition.
You can see this sculpture in motion by clicking HERE.
15.5" x 4" x 6.5" Sculpture
I am a priest in the Diocese of New Westminster and did a student placement at the Cathedral.
While I do not have a formal artistic education, I do not feel I am self-taught. For the last seven years a group of other fabulous (but not art school trained) artists and I have worked with teachers Catherine Nicholls and Linda Sharp (North Shore artists) meeting with them 5 or 6 times a year, and then critiquing each other’s work. This community has been essential to my artistic development.
My pieces include fabric I dyed or painted, stitch and beads on felt.
A Map of My Anger speaks to understanding my feelings in community. I was listening to the misogyny in the news. My spiritual director suggested I pay attention to my feelings and so – I began stitching coloured thread on squares.
I saw red -and stitched red. I noticed that anger (which can be so destructive) is also a powerful force for change. I wanted to decorate and make beautiful the map of my anger as it threads through my experience of my life and my spirituality and the church.
A Map of My Anger
18.5" x 11.5"
The name of this exhibition encompasses three of my passions and driving forces of my life. My Catholic faith influences all that I do, including my art. Whether I’m drawing a scene from nature or creating a peg doll of a saint, I am fuelled by my spirituality. I feel so connected to my faith in the outdoors and while I am making art; in this way I am able to combine the two. It is through my faith that I have cultivated community in my life, and I know that spirituality and art are both areas where one can find a safe and welcoming community.
I am a 24-year-old woman born and raised in Vancouver, BC. My day job is working at a church in West Vancouver where I focus on community engagement and outreach. In my spare time I volunteer with youth and love to spend time outdoors. My spirituality and love for the outdoors both inspire my artwork; my ink drawings tend to capture nature or outdoor scenes influenced by places I’ve explored, and my peg dolls embody Catholic saints in a captivating and modern way.
Modern Catholic Saints
3.5" x 1" for each doll, x6 dolls
Acrylic on wood
Placing ‘Art’ in the middle of the exhibition’s title captures its central role as the profound link between an outward, visible expression of a person’s inner Spirituality and the Community through whose eyes it can communicate via the viewer’s own creative, interpretive spirit. Art is a medium through which holy inspiration and ideas take shape to inform, inspire or challenge others by inviting engagement, so sparking conversations that forge bonds of common agreement, concern and different perspectives of a shared vision.
Being deaf/hard-of-hearing, visual art is the means through which I explore that inner landscape where I can wander wherever the Spirit leads to help me, and hopefully others, see the ups and downs of life’s journey for what they are—confronting the challenges and celebrating the joys, through quasi-realistic, yet symbolic use of colour and physical features that represent the ‘way’. For example, connecting with all who feel constrained by the pandemic, so longing for the freedom of wide spaces, this watercolour invites the community of viewers to share my sense of liberation at reaching an airy viewpoint to see the 'Cathedral of the Winds'.
Christian Catechisms describe the Sacraments as ‘Outward and visible signs of an inward and invisible grace’.
Extending that notion to the universal experience of the Holy or Sacred—visual art can a provide concrete, visible expression of the mysterious workings of the soul—the soul of the individual and, by common consent, the collective yet multifaceted soul of the community. As a labour of love, intended for the enlightenment and good of others, surely the very act of creativity is sacred—consecrated by the community of those who would give glory to the Creator of all.
I have been painting from before I could read or write and am largely self-taught, but attended two workshops on watercolour some years ago, plus classes on pottery and printmaking. I am a retired engineer who for many years overlapped my career with serving in non-stipendiary roles as an Anglican deacon, priest and spiritual director.
A lover of nature and keen hiker, I have made several pilgrimages and find the ‘journey’ to be a powerful metaphor which springs up spontaneously, often surfacing in my watercolours as paths that lead to a destination hidden beyond the horizon or borders of the image. Perhaps a special tree, peaceful resting spot, steps to climb, rocks to negotiate, or natural feature may set loose the imagination—for instance, suggesting the spires in my 'Cathedral of the Winds'. Colours or mirror-like lakes can silently reflect a mood, babbling brooks offer refreshment, or raging rivers issue a challenge, saying ‘Cross me’. Bends in the path and misty seashores or mountain passes beckon, capturing a sense of mystery, adventure and anticipation.
Read like story-boards or parables of the life/faith journey, hopefully my paintings invite viewers to step into the Great Story and explore how their own stories fit within it by contemplating the contours, milestones, detours and turning-points of their own spiritual landscapes, including the gates and crossroads that offer a choice in the way forward.
Cathedral of the Winds
24" x 18"
After an acquired brain injury I began creating art
I work mainly in watercolor and acrylics but also pastel and multi medium.
The show Spirituality, Art and Community has personal meaning for me.
During my concussion and subsequent years I overcame many challenges.
A lost marriage, inability to return to work I loved, loss of independence.
And at one point my speach was greatly affected.
It was rough, i found myself in a place I'd never been before as I experienced for the first time being outcast and rejected at large by society due to my inability to communicate properly.
After months of hurt and isolation I connected with a body of believers who gave me community.
This art piece is the transfiguration. A reminder foŕ me of how an act of transforming and translating our spirit uplifts us to a place of love and wholeness!
It was through receiving of community I desperately needed that I found healing and was transformed.
8" x 10"
My name is Daniel Lopez, and I’m 21 years old, and I was born and raised in Vancouver. My current interests are building domino structures, reading books, and playing video games. Another interest of mine would include posting domino structures I have constructed to YouTube. I am also interested in doing art projects on my own time, such as drawing buildings, patterns, shapes, cities, skylines and other things. I like to create domino structures, such as pyramids, towers, cities, cubes, and domino fields. I have even invented some of my own techniques for building domino cities.
My work is about cities, shapes, objects and patterns. Sometimes the buildings look all the same, and sometimes they are different. It’s all drawn freehand, and helps me pass time if I’m bored. The pieces aren’t real cities, but ones I’ve made up in my head. Some of them are based on other projects, like cities I create with dominoes. When I’m drawing, I feel relaxed and calm. I get to focus on something that’s enjoyable, and every piece is different. I am a self taught artist.
12" x 9"
Pencil on paper
I use art as a way to engage and communicate with the local community. I am not religious but I do believe in the human spirit and what can be accomplished through hope and perseverance. I also appreciate knowing other artists in the community who have challenges as myself.
My "House" paintings are based on homes in my neighbourhood. To me, they are about belonging and having a place to call home. I concentrate on light and shadow, form and shape on panel incorporating the raw grain of the wood in the finished piece.
I have a Fine Arts Diploma from Langara College and took a few classes at Emily Carr College of Art and Design and The Art Studios, but I have been mostly self-taught throughout my adult life. I do not like the classroom and prefer to paint on my own.
Being an artist can be a solitary life, especially during COVID.
House for Sale
Acrylic on panel
8" x 8"
Spirituality, Art, and Community.
Walking the Camino de Santiago in 2019, I found that my pilgrim community became the various creatures I met along the way. I was particularly surprised at the diversity of characters I met in the farm birds that frequent the paths between farms and villages. My submissions are dedicated to two of the most lively characters I met along the way, and gave thanks for. I think we make community where we are, we have to.
Lucy (L.J) is a self taught artist working out of The Archive Studio on East Hastings Street, Vancouver. Her work is inspired by pop and stencil artists, with an interest in pointillism on the side. Born in Newcastle, UK, L.J spent most of her youth in the East Midlands. Having studied A-level Art (High School Equivalent she went on to develop a keen interest in portrait photography and painting. After travelling in Europe, North Africa and North America she is now permanently settled and working in East Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
L.J.'s style developed from pen and ink drawings mixed with acrylics to a more precise method of drawing with emphasis on the many layers of light and contrast that can be identified in photographic images. In her stencil work she uses rich background colours to contrast the predominantly monochrome palette of her subjects, more recently she has begun working with mixed media, and her work has been recognized by the Federation of Canadian artists in two shows since then. Subjects include people, animals and some still life, all work is representational and built layer by layer, using single use stencils and acrylic spray paint.
Acrylic and Spray paint on wood
16" x 16"
Ralph Heading from imagination to reality.
Having worked all my life in wood as a journeyman carpenter I got the opportunity to do volunteer work all over the world helping small woodworking shops adapt to the future.
What I saw were mostly men assisted by their wives making things to sell. After work they used whatever objects or materials they found to create art which they sold to dealers, or at markets. Pretty soon I changed my interest to these artisans.
From across the world I realized that sculpture can be created from scrap ,that it is the imagination and skill that transforms these bits into sculpture.
Alone, But Not Lonely
Mixed media sculpture
16" x 10" x 7"
From earliest times, in many cultures, spiritual beliefs have been expressed through various forms of art, enhancing worship and enriching the spiritual experience. Art may provoke an emotional or thoughtful response, uniting people in a common belief system, and provide a connection to the Universal Spirit. A community with Spirit at its core is welcoming, supportive, inclusive, respectful, and provides opportunities for social interaction. During this year of Covid and forced isolation, many of us have realised that being part of a community is necessary for our health and wellbeing. We all need the contact and support of others.
In 2010 my husband and I emigrated from the UK to Canada on our retirement to be with our daughter and our grandsons, and became Canadian citizens in 2013. We found our Spiritual home in Christ Church Cathedral. It provided the spiritual connection we needed; friendships, and opportunities to serve the community, which all helped us settle in Vancouver and feel at home.
I have had a life long interest in Art in various forms, particularly textiles, and retirement brought the opportunity to develop my interest and explore various techniques.
My piece - ‘Threads of Life’ - describes how our lives are composed of many intertwined threads, which lead us in many directions. There are endings and beginnings, moments of calm, and moments of energetic activity. Life leads us along many different paths providing opportunities for friendships, community and belonging. Amongst these complex paths are the underlying threads of the Spirit, not always visible in the tangle of our lives, but always reappearing when most needed, to guide us to the light.
Threads of Life
18.25" x 11.5"
Hand stitched with silk and metallic threads on hand dyed silk fabric
Andi -G- Dub
I have enjoyed creating art ever since I can remember, but I have never taken any formal Fine Arts training outside of a number of Art History courses I took in University. I enjoy depicting places that hold significance in my life and try to paint the stillness of memory and the power of emotion using bold lines and vibrant contrasting colours. In my piece ‘The Pond’ I have depicted my own sense of longing, hopefulness, nostalgia, and a loss of community.
I typically work with pen and pencil doing portraits and landscapes because I really enjoy detail. In the last few years I have dabbled in painting and when I am producing a significant piece of artwork I will often choose to use oils or acrylic.
When reflecting on the exhibition title, two things come rushing to mind. The first is a place few people have seen or know about, hidden in the heart of Calgary, AB. Surrounded by trees, bush, and smooth eroded rock is a pond eddied in by the Bow River. On one particular day - a very difficult day - years ago in early spring, I went for a soul-searching walk where I stumbled upon a trail that led me to this opening. It was quiet and deep. I recognized right away I had found a special place where I could go to clear my mind. This place had almost an ethereal peacefulness to it. On the sunny summer days that followed I would come here to swim and enjoy the sounds of rushing water. However, over time I realized I was not the only one coming here. I started to meet others who felt as deeply as I did towards this sacred space, who felt connected, and protective. I started inviting friends to the pond and it became more or less a pond community. Sometimes the pond would encounter those who did not value its essence and I would often find garbage, bottles, and the destroyed rock sculptures and pyramids which we had been creating on the pond’s peninsula. However, the pond is a public space, it is a place for all, and since I had no ownership the only thing I felt I could do was clean the garbage and rebuild the rock art my friends and I made together. I never felt deterred or angry when I had to do this. I felt it was my duty to the pond and to others who frequented it. This leads me to the second item: the philosophy of Ubuntu. “I am only because you are.” Ubuntu is the idea of a universal bond in sharing that connects all of humanity and to have love and compassion for other people as we do not grow without community or the people around us. For me, this is a spiritual practice. By living by this principle, I feel that humanity can reach a higher level of spirituality together. On a smaller level, I felt ubuntu practiced at the pond. We shared the space, we kept it clean, we rebuilt when things were destroyed, and ultimately we enjoyed this place together. Given the current time of COVID-19, I feel that this practice is more important than ever because we are now trying to evolve into a different scape of community. We are all connected in this and being good to one another is essential.
Andi -G- Dub
Acrylic on wood
Augusto Almenara Wilson
Spirituality, Art, and Community - together with nature, are grounding concepts that hold me dear. I
observe the three concepts intertwined by the Spirit.
My Art is autodidact and a vessel of self discovery and where I reflect my relationship to the outside
world, hence it’s also a log of the ethereal passage I run through life. Most of the times it’s simple,
limited in skill or technique, it doesn’t have mass appeal perhaps it’s intimate in references and hard
to read, like me.
It may steep inherited mysticism found in the bodies of water, mountains, skylines, ancestral
legacies from the land where I was born and formed: Perú. But then, it may turn eclectic as I have
travelled broadly, lived experiences, fed curiosity and attended occupational roles that change by
The painting chosen for this art event at the Church of Christ Cathedral narrates a beautiful and
trascendental story that started 5 months ago, of course it could extend further back, but I will focus
on how fitting the title of this exhibition, my first ever, is.
Pointers and references: a) the trail of a music video from the musician/ composer Don McLean
about Vincent Van Gogh, b) the first time ever I painted something trying to copy or emulate another
picture, and c) the amazing, surreal week+ that I immersed into Vincents paint, talking and laughing
out loud “with him,” while each layer of his oil painting and genius became revealed and shaped in
watercolours and paper. It was a very unique and invaluable experience.
Moving forward, I see myself painting the new decade I have stepped into and the landscape of the
meandering river that lays ahead before it hits the ocean.
I acknowledge, gratefully, the roles of many actors who have helped me reach this point, including
NS CMHA and the organizers of this event which I hope repeats next year to give opportunity to
other authors and audiences to experience what I am. Thank you.
Augusto Almenera Wilson
"Starry Night Over The Rhone",
a week with Vincent Van Gogh
5" x 7"
Spiritually is essential in my painting since when applying the paint onto the canvas it is a very transcendental act throughout.
Art builds community since painters befriend one another.
I am a self taught abstract painter.
Oil on canvas
20" x 16"
This exhibition has been produced in collaboration with: