Monday, September 8, 2014

Ric's Eyes II: Adding Spiritual Uplift to Saint Paul's Cathedral Center for the Performing and Visual Arts

by Joe Nalven

Ric Todd has been the artist-in-residence at Saint Paul's Cathedral since 2002. His curated exhibit, Ric's Eyes II, runs through October 13, 2014. 

I had been involved earlier with the arts program at St. Mark's United Methodist Church and became aware of the arts program at Saint Paul's Episcopal Cathedral. I had planned to follow up with the arts program at St. Paul's, but found myself delinquent. The ongoing reasons for wanting to cover both church-centered arts programs are several. They represent the longer traditions in exhibiting art in San Diego for over fifty years and the connection of spirituality to the arts has an even longer tradition. Museums come on to the scene as a repository for art much later and, of course, with a questionable connection to spirituality. (And, of course, the organ music is magnificent.)

Joe Nalven:  How have you found your experience as the artist-in-residence at Saint Paul's?

Ric Todd:  It is a joy to bring the Visual & Performing Arts to the Cathedral families and various other programs we offer.  We also have a strong music and choir program in addition to the visual arts program.  I’m also a member of the Cathedral’s Out Reach Commission. Our focus is building a stronger relationship within the San Diego communities.  I see this exhibition as part of my residency in aspiring to the many reasons cathedrals were originally built. The role of a cathedral was to be at the central core of the community; it was built on the highest point; it was the center of education (since most of the community could not read, but the stained glass told the stories of the Bible); it was a healing station and sanctuary. It was the community center for every part of the daily life of its citizens. This is what I hope this exhibition reminds us of and, in a small way, aspires to in my work here.

Neil Shigley /  Betty  /  Wood Cut Print, Acrylic on canvas.  
The subject is a homeless San Diego woman
 who lives downtown near Balboa Park
 and gets food every Thursday at the Saint Paul’s Food Bank.
JN:  You gave this show a curious title. Why Ric's Eyes II?

RT:  There are a number of ways to think about this exhibit. In one sense, it represents a continued offering of images by artists who have lived and worked through the past fifty years since the Voting Rights Act was passed. Think of their art work in this way: Art is the visual history of humankind and its spiritual innovations. The images gathered here bring forth the inspired riches of minds, eyes, cultures, communities, current happenings, families, spiritual consciousness and our faith to sustain one's spirit, heart and desires. Worth noting is that we all have lived during times of troubled waters, but our arts and culture have always united the breath of “Peace Be Still - for his eye is on the sparrow and I know his eyes are on me." Your eyes will see a wide range of sculptural styles, paintings, prints and photos that reflect our inspirations. This exhibition also reflects the mission of Saint Paul’s Cathedral for the City of San Diego.

Viewers discussing Ric Todd's sculpture. On Ric Todd's left is Emalyn Leppard, a member of the San Diego Art Institute Advisory Board and a former student of Todd.
Ric Todd and his sculpture, Lineal Umoja / Swahili:  direct descent, to strive for and maintain unity/me, past and present
Ric Todd / Lineal Umoja
Center view shed of the Nave facing the alter and some of the pipes to the oldest pipe organ
west of the Rockies- celebrating its 150th birthday

Ric's Eyes II
Saint Paul's Cathedral
2728 Sixth Avenue
San Diego, CA 92103-6397

(619) 298-7261

Through October 13, 2013
Viewing hours:
Monday - Friday:  10 am to 4 pm
Saturday:  10 am to 1 pm
Sunday:     Following services

Artists in Ric's Eyes II
Amos Robinson, Neil Shigley, Robert Glick, Joseph Andrews , Jaimee Todd, Marcos Armitage, Judith Parenio, Joan Hansen, Christa Vragel, Manuelita Brown, Robert “Beto” Ambler, Rupert Reyneke, Sammy Pasto, Ken Goldman, Monique Straub, M. Spiegelman, Steve R. Allen, Ric Todd

Joan Hansen /  Penelope's Friend  (with Ric Todd)
This painting was created when Joan was invited to the San Diego Zoo as a featured artist for their Garden Celebration in May 2013. On the day this painting was started, a new baby giraffe was born at the Zoo. The name of the giraffe is Penelope. Joan went to the giraffe enclosure to meet the new baby giraffe on the day she was born.

About the Cathedral Arts Program
The Cathedral Center for the Performing and Visual Arts is an integral part of the program and ministry of St. Paul’s Cathedral. Our activities are a means of outreach, not only to the Cathedral congregation, but to the diocese and the community-at-large. We seek to be aware of the community needs and concerns of the San Diego area, and desire to engage the community in conversation to meet these needs through art-based programs. We also value the significance of the arts in spiritual formation and the development of faith.

As in worship through rite and ceremony, the Cathedral celebrates God’s message of love and holiness through art, music, and architecture. The richness and quality of these forms of expression confer on the Cathedral a significant role among the cultural organizations downtown and in Balboa Park.

Mark and Donna Turner, co-leaders

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