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Biblical Art Enhances Worship in CTS Chapel

Winter 2008
[original publication]

"The fulfillment of my life's work is to have it here at the seminary," said Calvin University Professor of Art Emeritus, Edgar Boeve, when he spoke about his artwork hanging in the seminary chapel hallway. Boeve addressed the seminary community and invited guests on Friday, October 24, 2007, and explained his lifelong passion for bringing artwork into the church. "My life is fulfilled with the exuberance and the wonder of the I Christian community that surrounds me. And as the Holy Spirit has worked through me all these years, this artwork is the result."

The artwork donated to the seminary includes "Men and Women of the Bible," a series of fiber art hangings of biblical women as "The Scarlet Thread, The Golden Cord," and biblical men as "A Great Cloud of Witnesses."

Worshipers and art lovers can enjoy the beautifully crafted hangings representing Adam and Eve and many other Bible characters. Those who enter the chapel are reminded of and blessed by the lives of all those who have come before us to tell of God's wondrous works. The intent of the artworks is to interpret the essential character of each person by texture, color, and design through diverse fabrics gathered from around the world.

Boeve pointed out that "we are all part of that red thread or vein—the Christian community that continues from Christ. Gold is the color of divinity and purity, and we are all entwined in the golden cord which is wrapped around us. The cloud that led Israel and Elijah's small cloud are beautiful symbols. We are all under that cloud—not its weight, but its inspiration. As we manifest the scarlet thread, the golden cord, and the cloud, we realize that we are together as a communion of saints as we worship God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit in Trinity."

Also accompanying the fiber hangings is a series of paintings of the "Seven Days of Creation." Visitors are welcome to enjoy the artwork by stopping by the seminary. For those at a distance, the art can be viewed at www.calvinseminary.edu/ worship/artwork/ along with descriptions of the hangings and paintings. The artwork is a gift to the seminary from William and Willa Beckman and from Professor Boeve and his late wife Ervina.

History of the Christian Church, Volume III: Nicene and Post-Nicene Christianity: specifically the chapter entitled 'Christian Art.'

Journal of John Wesley by John Wesley: specifically Wesley as Art Critic found in Chapter 16