eauty, like truth, brings joy to the human heart, and is that precious fruit which resists the erosion of time, which unites generations and enables them to be one in admiration. Pope Benedict XVI, Address to Artists. This Summer and Fall, the Saint Vincent Gallery will host the 5th Nationwide Juried Catholic Arts Competition and Exhibition. The primary purpose of the competition is to foster the arts of the Western Christian tradition; other artistic traditions of Christian subject matter are also considered. Artworks must be iconographically recognizable and appropriate for liturgical use, churches, chapels, shrines or home altars.
Subjects sought (but not limited to) include: scenes from the life, passion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ; other biblical scenes, stories and characters; depictions of saints and their lives; current and historical events in the life of the Church; depictions of the seven sacraments; personifications of the corporal works of mercy, virtues and vices, etc.
Modernization of the subject is acceptable (e.g. Caravaggio’s The Calling of Saint Matthew, which depicts Christ in biblical clothing but those around Him in the contemporary dress of the artist’s times). Ethnic acculturation is also acceptable; thus, works portraying Christ as an African, Asian or other ethnicity are welcome for jurying.
Subjects which will not be considered include: portrayals of noncanonized persons as saints; portraits of clergy or religious; works which are only recognizably religious from their titles; and scenes of the exterior or interior of churches (unless the work is illustrating an important religious/historical event or the administration of the sacraments).
Janet McKenzie, Juror
Janet McKenzie is an artist internationally-renowned for her distinctive iconography of sacred subjects which glow with an inner, spiritual light. It is appropriate for an artist working in the field of religious art to juror a competition and exhibition fostering religious art, both in its traditional forms and in new expressions. Her works have been chosen for exhibition in the three Nationwide Juried Catholic Arts Competitions she has entered, and she has won prizes twice.
McKenzie is known for sacred imagery that transcends time and place. Her Jesus of the People was selected First Place winner of The National Catholic Reporter’s global competition by juror Sr. Wendy Beckett, the famed art historian and BBC personality. It was revealed for the first time on the Today Show in New York and generated enormous worldwide interest and discussion. The controversial painting challenges stereotypical thinking by including two groups traditionally left out of iconic imagery of Jesus — people of color and women.Janet McKenzie, the 2014 juror, is an artist internationally-renowned for her distinctive iconography of sacred subjects which glow with an inner, spiritual light.
Her art is featured in Holiness and the Feminine Spirit – The Art of Janet McKenzie, which won the 2010 First Place Award for Spirituality from the Catholic Press Association. Another book, The Way of the Cross – The Path to New Life features her Stations of the Cross with reflections by leading religious writer Sr. Joan Chittister, O.S.B.
Her solo exhibitions include: The Haggerty Museum of Art, Milwaukee; Loyola University Museum of Art, Chicago; Carlow University, Pittsburgh; and the Pope John Paul II Cultural Center, Washington, D.C. Her works can be found in the collections of: St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church, Carnegie, Pa.; St. Mary’s University, Winona, Minn.; Daughters of the Heart of Mary, Holyoke, Mass.; and the Archdiocese of Chicago. In 2013, she was the William Belden Noble Lecturer, Memorial Church, Harvard University.
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