Two Christian artists give their very different and personal interpretations of the Stations of the Cross and Passion week in the new exhibit at Shafer Art Gallery, located on the Barton Community College campus. Works by Todd Dayton-Fox and the Rev. Richard Vettel-Becker will be on display March 7-17 and March 24-29.
The public can meet the artists at the “Signs of the Passion” exhibit opening reception from 6-8 p.m. Thursday, March 7. Gallery Director Dave Barnes said the reception will include music, refreshments and gallery talks from the artists.
“Both of the artists come from strong faith traditions,” Barnes said. “One is an Episcopal priest and one is an Evangelical.”
Dayton-Fox has a strong foundation of faith that was instilled in him during childhood, and it is reflected in his artwork.
“Religion is in my roots, it’s who I am and it’s what inspires me,” he said.
Rather than depicting traditional figures, his pieces illustrate the events of Holy Week with a series of imaginative, surreal images using birds and architecture as focal points.
“I think a lot of people get bored of the human figure, and I think birds express emotion in how they move and fly,” he said. “I love their wingspan, and I can show my emotions through how I shape the bird.”
Dayton-Fox’s work presents an interesting non-traditional take on religious art, Barnes said. “He takes a really different approach, and he uses a style called surrealism. His work is very creative and imaginative, and I love when an artist gives full sway to their imagination.”
Vettel-Becker is an Episcopal priest and his contribution to the exhibit will present a personal and colorful rendition of the traditional Stations of the Cross.
“As a kid, I remember walking the stations of the cross and really thinking about each one,” he said. “They are just part of my spiritual framework.”
Barnes sees Vettel-Becker’s work as the perfect complement to Dayton-Fox’s contributions, which will create an exhibit with a nice amount of visual contrast.
“He approaches his work with a very modernist sensibility,” he said. “It is very bright and colorful and dynamic, and it is very powerful because his pieces have a visual impact makes them very unique and bold as works of art, but they also do a great job telling the story of the stations of the cross.”
The Shafer Gallery’s regular hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 1-4 p.m. on Sundays. Admission is always free. The gallery will be closed March 18-23 for spring break, but will reopen on Palm Sunday.