European Stars And Stripes Newspaper Archives Dec 18 1999, Page 7

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European Stars and Stripes (Newspaper) - December 18, 1999, Darmstadt, HesseSaturday december 18, 1999 stars and stripes Page 7 Jesus of the people painting wins Catholic publication s contest the associated press Courtesy of National Catholic reporter the painting of a Black Jesus shown in this image released monday has been selected by a Catholic Magazine As Winner of its global Art contest aimed at updating the image of Christ for the new millennium. By David Crary the associated press new York a painting of a dark skinned Jesus by a Vermont artist who used a woman As a Model has been selected by a Catholic publication As the Winner of its contest to update the image of Christ for the new millennium. The painting Jesus of the peo ple was selected from about 1,700 entries for the cover of a special millennium Issue being published this week by the National Catholic reporter an Independent news weekly and one of the Best known Catholic publications in the coun try. My goal was to be As inclusive As possible said the artist Janet Mckenzie from her studio in is land Pond it. At first glance he is a Black or african american Jesus but looking More deeply you see Many people in the painting shows a Robed and halted Jesus. Against a Pale Pink background Are a Yin Yang sym Bol intended to represent perfect balance and a Feather symbolizing the american Indian spiritual the judges who reviewed the iry that Mckenzie Learned about entries said they were struck by technology tour % my _ _ 1 l dec 18-31 a experience advanced technology Pdv-lc10 portable did / cd player -7"16 9lcdsm.-Iik-Iil i 1 Chr aah ski to Iii r pm is no i i i i during a stay in new Mexico. The painting is a haunting image of a peasant Jesus dark thick lipped looking out on us with ineffable dignity with sad Ness but with Confidence wrote sister Wendy Beckett the 69-year-old British nun and Host of a Public to series about Art. She selected the Winner and three runners up. In the View of one of the judges Sherry Lynn Best who directs an Art gallery at Rock Hurst University it s not real Mas Culine. It s not real feminine. It s not really androgynous contestants in 19 countries rang ing from children to prominent graphic designers submitted entries that a three Mem Ber jury win nowed to 10 finalists. The contest was conceived by the National Catholic reporter s editor Michael Farrell who had hoped it would produce a provocative win Ner. If everybody looks at it and says very Nice that Means it will have failed he ii if everybody looks at it and says very Idee that Means it will have failed. Every new work of Art that has been Worth anything has been controversial when it first appeared Michael Farrell National Catholic reporter editor the variety abstract designs computer graphics Jesus As a homeless person Jesus in outer space cradling the Earth a Jesus with superhero biceps. I think Jesus would have liked this contest said one of the judges Pattie Wigand Sporrong of Catholic theological Union in Chicago. It did t have a lot of boundaries and Mckenzie 51, is a Brooklyn native who moved to Vermont in 1976. Her base is Island Pond a Small town in the sparsely populated northeastern Corner of the state where she sometimes paints 12 hours at a stretch in the Wing of a 135-year-old House. Jesus of the people simply came through me Mckenzie said. I feel As though i am Only a vehicle for its the 50,000-Cir curation National Catholic reporter based in Kan Sas City mo., and founded in 1964, has taken Pride in its Independence its sup said. Every new work of Art that port for ecumenical reforms and has been Worth anything has been controversial when it first Mckenzie who wins a $2,000 first prize describes herself As a devout agnostic with an inter est in Many faiths. She has devoted much of her work to images of Strong spiritual women. Her Jesus she said was intended to be a masculine presence but she sought to add subtly a feminine dimension by using a woman As a Model. This painting is about love she said. It s about reminding All of us about the importance of Cele Brating our its willingness to provoke debate. Farrell in a column in the new Issue predicted the Choice of Jesus of the people would carry on that tradition. We got a Strong impression that the Era of the Blond Blue eyed Jesus is Over he wrote. When the Church was overwhelmingly a Western institution we made Jesus in our like Ness. This work of Art May be prophetic of where and How christianity will flourish in the next millennium or More information about the contest can be obtained from the National Catholic reporter s web site . 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