Kanuga Hosts Religious Art Exhibit During Lent

02.06.2020 - Events

This winter, Kanuga’s Chapel of the Transfiguration is proud to serve as the location for Reliquaries: Paintings for Lent by Suzanne Zoole. The pieces will be on exhibit February 13-April 15 with an opening reception from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on February 13.

“Churches have historically served as spaces for expression through the visual arts. Art opens us to thoughts and experiences too deep for words. Kanuga is honored to host this exhibit for Western North Carolina during Lent, a time of reflection for the community,” said Michael R. Sullivan, President of Kanuga.

An Inspired Exhibit

The exhibit features 12 paintings of reliquaries—ornate and embellished boxes which are traditionally created to hold and protect religious relics. The paintings are displayed within the chapel’s transept. In front of the altar is a special piece constructed by Suzanne’s brother, Roger Amidon. A blacksmith and seasoned craftsman, Roger rendered his version of a reliquary to be a part of this exhibition.

Suzanne’s paintings are images of reliquaries on sheets of masonite. “I thought the unrefined aspect of masonite would make a nice contrast to the gold embellishment that is associated with the fine craftsmanship of the reliquary,” said Suzanne. “I have used acrylic paints throughout with some touches of collage.”

An Artistic Retelling of Bible Stories

Images on the sides of traditional reliquaries usually portray stories from the Bible. Suzanne chose to select stories from the New Testament. “I illustrated various stories beginning with Jesus’s miracles and ending with a parable,” said Suzanne. “To complete the paintings, I added a background of design and flowers to balance the colors and composition.”

The exhibit is a departure from Suzanne’s usual styles of icon painting and modern art. “Icon painting is a very meditative experience, while modern art is very creative,” said Suzanne. “Creating pieces for this exhibit was the best of both worlds. It was a combination of meditation and creativity.”

“Zoole’s paintings are inviting, expressive, and fresh interpretations of a classical form.  I know that our community will appreciate sitting with them during this important time of year,” said Michael.