A few years ago, a group of St. Andrew’s members came together and organized this amazing art collection for our Stations of the Cross. Local artists, members of the church, and young artists each designed one of the Stations. At the beginning of Lent, the Altar Guild puts these pieces of art around the Sanctuary for display and meditation.
First Station – Jesus is condemned to death
Kirsten Anderson, conté crayon on paper
As soon as it was morning, the chief priests, with the elders and scribes, and the whole council, held a consultation; and they bound Jesus and led him away and delivered him to Pilate. And they all condemned him and said, “He deserves to die.” When Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judgment seat at a place called the Pavement, but in the Hebrew, Gabbatha. Then he handed Jesus over to them to be crucified.
From the artist: It’s so easy to identify with the victim—the sadness of an innocent person wrongly accused and wrongly condemned. It’s so easy to feel tiny and powerless. It’s much harder to look at our shadow side, the possibility that we (as individuals and a society) at times might have more in common with the oppressors rather than the oppressed, the accusers more than the accused. So, that is what I wanted to do—explore the shadow.
Second Station – Jesus takes up his Cross
Sharon & Jerry Fishel, stained glass
Jesus went out, bearing his own cross, to the place called the place of a skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha. Although he was a Son, he learned obedience through what he suffered. Like a lamb he was led to the slaughter; and like a sheep that before its shearers is mute, so he opened not his mouth. Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and riches and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessing.
From the artist: I am from the Jesus Christ Superstar generation; the one that said “Jesus Christ, Superstar, do you think you’re who they say you are?” When I saw Mel Gibson’s the Passion of the Christ it said to me that yes, Jesus did think he was the Christ and he willingly took up the cross, which was not a fun, easy, or pretty thing to do. In fact the graphic portrayal of what taking up that cross meant was a profound experience for me. So…when I went to make a symbol of that act I wanted to show that the cross was not just a pretty thing, but a prickly one.
We had a good experience coming up with the design. I went to the glass shop looking for patterns and met a young woman who grew up attending the National Cathedral. It was a rainy day and there was hardly anyone in the shop. She really got into finding me patterns and designs. I took some home and told Jerry what I was trying to accomplish; Jerry put the designs together. I loved the pattern he made. He said he felt inspired when he drew it. We then together went and chose glass to bring it to life.
Third Station – Jesus falls the first time
Anne Ritchey and Sunday School, collage
Sunday School Project
Christ Jesus, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped; but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, and was born in human likeness. And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him, and bestowed on him the name which is above every name. Come, let us bow down, and bend the knee, and kneel before the Lord our Maker, for he is the Lord our God.
From the artist: The diversity of the drawings done by the Sunday School children illustrates so well their compassion for Jesus. This project provided them with a wonderful opportunity to “live” the Passion of Christ. The children are so proud to have their work displayed in church.
Contributing artists: Rebecca Waller, Sydney Hudson, David Waller, Cecelia Kerns, Logan Hudson, Rachel Townsend, Jason Ritchey, Celestine Glover, Jeremy Ritchey, Duquan Ruff, Sara Townsend, and Chris Mello
Fourth Station – Jesus meets his afflicted mother
Claire Beorn Norman, cut paper on canvas
To what can I liken you, to what can I compare you, O daughter of Jerusalem? What likeness can I use to comfort you, O virgin daughter of Zion? For vast as the sea is your ruin. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. The Lord will be your everlasting light, and your days of mourning shall be ended.
From the artist: Northwest Coast art is rarely just representational; it is a symbolic art form, drawing on the rich lore of the tribes of the Pacific coast in which the salmon is a prominent theme. The salmon is honored and celebrated by all coastal peoples as a powerful symbol of self-sacrifice, regeneration, and perseverance. According to one Coast Salish artist, “It is said that the Salmon People took pity on our lives and gave themselves to save us.”
In reality, every salmon parent sacrifices itself, fighting the current to return to its birthplace to spawn, and then to die, so that life can continue in its offspring. But in this allegorical piece, the roles are reversed. The mother salmon encircles her wounded son, guarding him with her body although it is clearly futile: he has felt the fisher’s spear and is bound to die. Violating the privacy of this tragic moment is a crowd of pitiless onlookers, who have yet to realize that they, too, are wounded.
Fifth Station – The Cross is laid on Simon of Cyrene
Donna Brough, ceramic sculpture
As they led Jesus away, they came upon a man of Cyrene, Simon by name, who was coming in from the country, and laid on him the cross to carry it behind Jesus. “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
From the artist: When asked to participate in the “Stations of the Cross” endeavor, I immediately chose to do Simon of Cyrene helping Jesus carry his cross. It was not until much later, after further contemplation that I figured out the “why” of that selection. Simon was chosen do be of assistance and accepted somewhat reluctantly but willingly. We do not know how he felt about this dubious honor but can only imagine. How often do we (I) get chosen to assist with a task and help out willingly but with some reluctance? We always seem to hold back slightly and not embrace the sheer joy that can come from accepting wholeheartedly the duties requested of us.
Simon was, perhaps, my lesson in doing God’s work. I chose to do the piece in my favorite medium—clay. I teach ceramics as art therapy at the Cabrillo College Stroke Center.
Sixth Station – A woman wipes the face of Jesus
Donna Ryder, fabric
We have seen him without beauty or majesty, with no looks to attract our eyes. He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces, he was despised, and we esteemed him not. His appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of the children of men. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that made us whole, and with his stripes we are healed.
From the artist: Oddly enough, the first I ever heard of “Veronica’s Veil” was while reading Anne Rice’s Memnoch the Devil, one of the “Vampire Chronicles.” In it, the vampire Lestat is transported throughout Christian history and at one point is actually at the roadside as Christ passes by carrying the cross. After Veronica wipes Christ’s face, His image is perfectly preserved on her veil.
Having always been fascinated by the Shroud of Turin and the possibility that Christ’s image could have been preserved all these centuries, the Veil of Veronica piqued my interest as well, and I knew that this was the station I had to do.
There is little or no evidence that the event actually took place or that Veronica ever existed, and there is no mention of the event in any of the New Testament gospels. However, the Roman Catholic Church lists Veronica among its saints, and the ‘Veil of Veronica’ is listed among the many treasured relics of the Vatican, residing at St. Peter’s Basilica, where once a year it is revealed to the public. The Veil is reputed to have miraculous curative powers.
The legend of Veronica became one of the most popular in Christian lore, and the veil one of the beloved relics in the Church. Nothing is known of Veronica, although the apocryphal Acts of Pilate identify her with the woman mentioned in the Gospel of Matthew who suffered from an issue of blood and was healed by her faith when she touched the hem of Christ’s robe. Her name is probably derived from the word “veraicon” which means “true image.”
Having been an avid seamstress for over 35 years, I chose fabric as my medium, using both quilting and appliqué techniques. I am honored and grateful to have been a part of this amazing project.
Seventh Station – Jesus falls a second time
Barbara Rowland, photo montage from Jerusalem’s Via Dolorosa
Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth. For the transgression of my people was he stricken.
From the artist: Israel is…tourists. The…crucifixion. While walking there I experienced profound feelings. It felt as if the tourists all disappeared and I was there alone, filled with my quiet and grief. I looked to the ground to see Christ’s blood feeling of being rolled back to that very time and place in history brought forth such feelings of anger and helplessness; these have been burnt into my soul and heart forever. Since my visit to Israel, I have worked on making productive use of these feelings and never fail in my belief of the man who died on the cross for me.
Eighth Station – Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem
Shealagh Devlin, mixed media
There followed after Jesus a great multitude of the people, and among them were women who bewailed and lamented him. But Jesus turning to them said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children.”
From the artist: As I searched for the meaning in this station, I discovered how appropriate it was that I receive this station. I feel that this station expresses the importance of women’s leadership in the Church. In a Church that has been patriarchal for centuries, the feminine qualities of compassion, understanding, nurture, and care of mother earth are critical to the survival of our planet.
Ninth Station – Jesus falls a third time
Charise Olson, watercolor and mixed media
I am the man who has seen affliction under the rod of his wrath; he has driven and brought me into darkness without any light. He has besieged me and enveloped me with bitterness and tribulation; he has made me dwell in darkness like the dead of long ago. Though I call and cry for help, he shuts out my prayer. He has made my teeth grind on gravel, and made me cower in ashes. “Remember, O Lord, my affliction and bitterness, the wormwood and the gall!”
From the artist: I selected this station because the title of it struck me—Jesus fell a third time. Jesus FELL. JESUS fell. And each time he rose and carried on. In my piece, I wanted to demonstrate the contrast of good and evil—how they commingled in our Savior’s journey to the cross and the hope we can have in the knowledge that His good triumphed over darkness and pain.
Tenth Station – Jesus is stripped of his garments
Donna Seelbach, painted silk
When they came to a place called Golgotha (which means the place of a skull), they offered him wine to drink, mingled with gall; but when he tasted it, he would not drink it. And they divided his garments among them by casting lots. This was to fulfill the scripture which says, “They divided my garments among them; they cast lots for my clothing.”
From the artist: I have been painting on silk since 1991. I teach children art in the summers and I work at the Cabrillo Stroke Center during the school year. What the station brings to mind for me is how during Lent we are laid bare before God with ourselves as we are. When garments are ripped away from us we are vulnerable, we can no longer hide. We are vulnerable to His working in us.
Eleventh Station – Jesus is nailed to the Cross
Nana Montgomery, art quilt
When they came to the place which is called The Skull, there they crucified him; and with him they crucified two criminals, one on the right, the other on the left, and Jesus between them. And the scripture was fulfilled which says, “He was numbered with the transgressors.”
From the artist: I was drawn to do the Eleventh Station because of the strong imagery suggested by Jesus being nailed to the cross in the place of the Skull (Golgotha). I used the traditional colors of black, oxblood red and ivory white along with blues and golds to complete the color scheme. Once I had committed to the project, the layout of my quilt came together quickly. It took a bit more time to apply the finishing touches: paint, decorative stitching, and beads. Joining this project for St. Andrew’s Lent installation seemed like an interesting challenge; I have been acquainted with the Stations of the Cross through my early education in the Episcopal Church but I have not been a regular churchgoer for many years. The project had more of an artistic perspective for me, mixed in with a desire to portray the familiar yet emotionally powerful scene of Jesus’ hanging on the cross. The figure is an important and recurring element in many of the quilts that I make. More of my work can been seen at www.bluesharkdesign.com.
Twelfth Station – Jesus dies on the Cross
Margie Anderson, watercolor
When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold your son!” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold your mother!” And when Jesus had received the vinegar, he said, “It is finished!” And then, crying with a loud voice, he said, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.” And he bowed his head, and handed over his spirit.
From the artist: During the last supper Christ referred to his death and told his followers to remember him when they take the bread and the wine. So I wanted to show the connection to Christ’s death with communion. I tried to show Christ suffering and dying and his Spirit going into the hands of the Father and also the pain it cost God the Father to see his son suffering. All that is really beyond me…how the father could love me so much that in my rebellion He sent his son to die for me. “Amazing love how could it be that Thou shouldst die for one like me.”
Thirteenth Station – The body of Jesus is placed in the arms of his mother
Kenneth Olson, mixed media
All you who pass by, behold and see if there is any sorrow like my sorrow. My eyes are spent with weeping; my soul is in tumult; my heart is poured out in grief because of the downfall of my people. “Do not call me Naomi (which means Pleasant), call me Mara (which means Bitter); for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me.”
From the artist: Mary’s sorrow and grief are captured as Jesus’ lifeless mortal body is placed in her arms as he is taken from the cross. It is contrasted by the spirit of hope, faith, and new life from Jesus having died for our sins.
Fourteenth Station – Jesus is laid in the tomb
April Milne, watercolor
When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who also was a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. And Joseph took the body, and wrapped it in a clean linen shroud, and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn in the rock; and he rolled a great stone to the door of the tomb.
From the artist: When I was given this station I had the opportunity to talk with Margaret Statzer, who was the original artist for this station. I was inspired by her insight. (We) wanted to create a piece of art that evoked individual emotion—a piece of art that allowed each viewer to see and experience the station in their own way.