A visually impressive new exhibit will make its debut at the Grand Coteau Centre starting January 26.
The show is entitled “Moved by the Spirit: Artistic Interpretations on the Life of Jesus,” featuring “The Garden Way of the Cross”. Moved by the Spirit is a group exhibition curated by Louise Tessier, an artisan in handmade clay art tiles who works out of her Garden Rhymes Studio in Regina. The show includes the work of twelve artists who have interpreted the life of Jesus through textiles, glass, book arts, ceramics, jewellery, wood, stained glass, painting and religious icon. Tessier put the show together by inviting 11 other artists to join her in creating works focused on significant events in the life of Jesus. The artists created works that each express an event in Jesus’ life through their chosen medium and within their own faith experience. The featured piece is called “Garden Way of the Cross.” It is 15 clay works depicting the Stations of the Cross. The show will run until March 7 at the museum. In a story originally published in the Leader Post, Tessier said she was inspired to create the project through the writings of Rev. Thomas A. Stanley, a member of the Society of Mary. Stanley’s writings – The Garden Way of the Cross – described how specific flowers and plants could represent the Stations of the Cross and one could meditate by following a botanical path with Jesus from the Last Supper to His miraculous resurrection. Tessier received permission from Stanley to use his writings as a basis for a series of clay art tiles. “I spent a couple of years designing 15 tiles, creating my own designs, carving them into lino, then pressing them into clay,” Tessier told the Leader Post. About the same time, Tessier told the newspaper that she took a course in rug hooking and embraced the challenge of reproducing Our Lady of the Prairies in a hooked wall hanging. “So I had these two sacred art projects completed and thought I should find a venue to show them,” she said in the interview. “Since I’ve always exhibited my work in conjunction with other artists, I thought it would be interesting to draw together a group of artisans who would do art in their own medium to represent events in the life of Jesus.” The Birth of Jesus is depicted in a set of three rug hookings by Doris Fulmore. His early years in the temple are represented by two scrolls and a calligraphy manuscript by Blaine Lake book artist Kristina Komendant. Christ’s baptism is interpreted through a fused glass and concrete baptismal bowl by Janice Stefan. A clay pitcher by artist Cara Driscoll celebrates Jesus’ first miracle at Cana, while His Sermon on the Mount is symbolized by a sterling silver neck piece by silversmith artist Judy Zawacki. The Feeding of the Five Thousand can be seen in a clay sculpture of loaves and fishes by Barb Goretzky; Anna Hergert created a wall hanging to symbolize the Transfiguration. A tile-making workshop in 1998 was the catalyst that launched Tessier into the world of clay. In her home studio, she creates ceramic art tiles using the processes of graphic design, linoleum stamp carving and printmaking. Louise’s designs, inspired by nature and by the written word, evoke the humor, spirituality and playfulness of the folk art tradition. Born and raised in Leader, she received her Bachelor of Education from the University of Saskatchewan (with areas of concentration in art and music). Upon completing university, she taught elementary school in Saskatoon and she has made Regina her home for more than 25 years. Inspired by music, poetry, gardens and travel, Louise is attracted to art in its many forms. After 12 years of working exclusively in clay, she has taken an extended sabbatical to focus on spiritual expression through art in textiles (rug hooking), religious objects (iconography) visual art (photography) and the business side of art (curating a Christian-themed group exhibition). Tessier will be in Shaunavon for a special opening reception and artist talk on Sunday, January 26.